Educational Event

2023 PSWD Pre-District Conference
Ministers & Leaders Professional Growth Event
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Friday, November 10, 2023
Quay Board Room, University of La Verne
Cost $25 includes lunch, .6 CEU credits
Register by October 22 using the District Conference Registration form online

“Jesus taught them many things by stories…”
(Mark 4:2 paraphrased)

The parables of Jesus are at the heart of the story we know as the Gospel. While they seem familiar to us, some of their deep meaning is obscured by our lack of understanding of the time and culture in which they were shared by Jesus. A better understanding of the essence of stories and storytelling can help us more faithfully tell this Gospel story while at the same time giving us tools to share our own journey of faith. How can we be more effective in our own storytelling? In this interactive learning experience, we will explore the many facets of stories and storytelling. We will practice telling a story, telling our story and telling The Story. We will explore how our own experience can be used to share our faith. And we will highlight the discipline that is needed to more faithfully share the stories of Jesus.

Leadership by Jonathan Hunter
Growing up among the Brethren in the western United States, Jonathan Hunter has been grounded in the community’s history of justice and reconciliation. He is now retired after a brief time as a pastor in the Church of the Brethren followed by several decades working to provide housing, health care, recovery and hope for men and women living on the margins of our society. He is a regular storyteller at the annual Song and Story Festival. The stories that he tells are woven from memories of a childhood wisdom figure, his relationship with men and women living at the margins and the vibrant characters that he meets in his own imagination. He also enjoys deep exploration and sharing of the vibrant stories of Jesus of Nazareth.

2023 CEU Event – English y Español

At this year’s district conference, you’re invited to learn from creative arts leader Steven Homestead, who helps church leaders and creatives alike in discovering ways that creativity is God’s gift to us all. Rooted in a view of God as Creator/Artist, he’ll both teach and guide us to understand our own unique creative DNA (whether we consider ourselves creative or not) and how our churches can operate in ministry as creative teams with a mindset of hospitality and a call to restoration. Come to be inspired and empowered to live out your creativity as we move together in ministry. 
In person participation only (no virtual)
Friday, November 11, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the University of LaVerne
Cost – $25 per person which includes lunch

Steven Homestead
Creativity: God’s Gift to All

Steven Homestead is an artist, composer, writer, curator, speaker, and mystic who brings genre-spanning creativity to life, whether composing music, incarnating community art projects, writing and speaking on creativity and faith, or curating generative events and programs. Overall, Steven works to promote honor, champion voice, share wonder, and develop unity.

With over a decade of arts leadership, Steven speaks powerfully, passionately, and empathetically about creativity, community, and the need for artists and creatives to find belonging and empowerment in community. Equally, he is equipped to disciple and teach faith leaders to understand the power of valuing and empowering creativity, mystery, and wonder in their spheres of influence.

CEU: 0.6 CEUs in the area 3. Pastoral Leadership
  • Registration for the CEU event closes on October 17.
  • (Registration Link available early-September)……
  • Childcare for infants to Grade 5 is available at no cost, but you must register yourself and your children for District Conference by October 17 and fill out the free Childcare Form. (link)

“Pre-Conference Educational Event”
Presented by Dr. Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm
Brightbill Professor of Preaching & Worship at Bethany Theological Seminary
The Virtual Ministers Continuing Education Event is open to all church leaders
Friday, November 12, 2021, 9:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm
“Preaching and Spiritual Care: A Retreat and Learning Experience for Pastors and Preachers”
…….Through moments of spiritual reflection and opportunities for prayer and contemplation, participants are encouraged to experience rest and renewal with one another. Through brief lectures and discussions, there will be time to consider how you may develop and incorporate spiritual care into your sermon preparation and preaching.
…….Dawn is ordained in the Church of the Brethren and has served as a hospital chaplain (in a state psychiatric hospital and trauma hospital), pastor (in two congregations in Pennsylvania), and currently teaches practical theology (preaching and worship) and spirituality on the faculty of Bethany Theological Seminary. Her recent publications include resources for preaching (Preaching God’s Transforming Justice), the intersection of pastoral care and justice (Preaching Prophetic Care: Building Bridges to Justice) and international preaching (Preaching the Fear of God in a Fearful World). Having earned her certification as a spiritual director through Oasis Ministries, she also accompanies her students, pastors and others in their spiritual lives. Dawn is married and her family includes three young adult children. She also enjoys long walks in nature and outdoor swimming.
…….CEU: 0.6 CEUs in the area 4. Preaching & Worship.…….

Not held in 2020 Ministers Continuing Education Event

“Pre-Conference Educational Event”
Presented by Dr. Daniel Ulrich
Wieand Professor of New Testament Studies at Bethany Theological Seminary
The Ministers Continuing Education Event is open to all church leaders
Friday, November 8, 2019, 9:00 – 5:00 p.m.

At Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, Arizona

Dan Ulrich
“Appreciating Intercultural Biblical Interpretation”
…….As Dr. Dan Ulrich, Wieand Professor of New Testament Studies at Bethany Theological Seminary lead participants in an experience of intercultural biblical interpretation. Discussions focused on John 15:1-17, plus other related passages from the Gospel of John. The conference theme comes from John 15:5, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” The workshop included a two-way translation in English and Spanish so that pastors and other leaders can fully participate without a language barrier.
…….Intercultural biblical interpretation seeks to deepen understandings of scripture through intentional conversation between people who view the text from different cultural standpoints. To use an illustration by Justo González in Santa Biblia: The Bible Through Hispanic Eyes (Abingdon, 1996), when people view the same valley from different ridges, they tend to see different things. They can get a more complete picture of the valley by sharing with one another what they see. Similarly, understandings of scripture often deepen when people with different experiences help one another see it through their eyes. Attention to the cultural backgrounds of the authors and earliest audiences of biblical texts is also an important aspect of intercultural interpretation. The workshop offered .6 CEU in Biblical Interpretation.
…….Dan is the lead faculty member in the Certificate in Intercultural Biblical Interpretation program at the Seminary. He has co-taught a study of 1 Corinthians with Dr. Pandang Yamsat, a professor emeritus at the Theological College of Northern Nigeria. A video connection facilitated intercultural conversation between participants meeting in Jos, Nigeria, and in Richmond, Indiana. In another recent course titled Santa Biblia: The Gospel of Mark in Puerto Rico, Dan led face-to-face discussions between North American seminary students and Church of the Brethren leaders in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico. Dan is fluent in Spanish, and this fall will teach Evangelio de Mateo for students in the SeBAH program.
…….Registration cost for the event was $25 and included lunch at Franciscan Renewal Center. Registration for this occurred as part of registering for the 2019 District Conference. Registration for the event and childcare closed on October 15.