Pastor Melaas-Swanson serves as pastor at Messiah Lutheran Church in Port Byron and currently serves as Spiritual Director for the Living Water Via de Cristo Secretariat Board.
Dr. Randy Mullin is serving as a Synodically Authorized Interim Minister at Cambridge Lutheran Church, Cambridge, attended a Cursillo and is a past Via de Cristo National Secretariat President as well as having served on the Board of the Living Water Via de Cristo Secretariat.
Deacon John Weit serves as Program Director for Music in the Office of the Presiding Bishop. Prior to his call to the churchwide organization, John was Cantor to Trinity Lutheran Church in Worcester, Massachusetts where he served as the principal musician and facilitated the worship and music life of this urban congregation. Having previously served congregations in Philadelphia, Lititz, and Reading Pennsylvania, John earned the Master of Arts in Religion degree with concentration in Liturgy and Music from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. At the seminary, he was for one year Interim Seminary Musician, coordinating music for daily chapel liturgies and conducting the seminary choir. As part of his work with the ELCA, John works closely with the board of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians.
Dave Daubert, DMin, PhD is the Lead Consultant for Day 8 Strategies. He works with faith-based organizations and with leaders to connect people to God’s work in the world and support renewal for the sake of God’s mission. He also serves as pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Elgin, IL – a role he shares with his wife Marlene who is a rostered Deacon in the ELCA. The connections between the teaching, coaching and consulting that Dave does and the parish experiences that he lives bring grounded insights that make his work unique. He is the popular author of several books and articles about mission, leadership and the practice of ministry. Dave and his wife live in Elgin, IL with their dog. They are the parents of two grown children.
Rev. Dan Herman has been the pastor of the Old Stone Church (First Congregational UCC) in Rockton, IL since 2004. He’s held his CADC-II certification in Wisconsin while serving churches and has been active in issues of alcohol and drugs. Along with his parish work he is the Police/Fire Chaplain to Rockton, South Beloit, and on the Rockford Chaplain Division. He’s on the board of directors for Hope Over Addiction which serves four functions: Raise Awareness/Education to reduce the stigma of opioid addiction; Offer Narcan training in Winnebago County; Offer grief groups opioid addiction/suicide; Speak to faith communities to increase understanding and compassion in this area. His wife, Carm, is the Executive Director of the Barbara Olson Center of Hope.
Discipleship is often one of those nebulous words that imply commitment but needs to be unpacked. Dave Daubert has worked with research and material generated in partnership with Bob Logan (a ministry leadership coach and trainer) and Charles Ridley (a sociology researcher at Texas A&M University) to focus a series of practices in ways that help Lutherans begin to be more intentional about their discipleship. Congregations can focus their equipping work in eight areas of discipleship growth, and individuals can work together to grow in them as well. Being intentional about this work can strengthen faith, deepen relationships with others with whom we journey, and set people up to be more effective as Christians in their daily lives. In this workshop we’ll explore all eight of these areas as well as three key practices that every congregation can implement to make a difference.
Congregations where people are passive about their faith and then wait for visitors to come, often wait a long time. Congregations where people are active in their faith and invite people to come often discover great joy in communicating their faith and inviting others into the life of the church. A healthy congregation knows why new people would benefit from coming, provides good tools for members to use to invite, and trains people to bring people with them to worship and other places in the life of the church. In this workshop, we’ll explore these key areas and share very useful and practical insights from Dave’s popular book, The Invitational Christian.
Pr. Amy Current, Vice President for Admissions and Student Services, Wartburg Seminary, Deacon Cheryl Erdmann, Assistant to the Bishop, and Members of the Candidacy Sub-Committee
Feeling that tug to becoming a pastor or deacon? Know someone who exhibits indications that s/he may be called to be a deacon or pastor? Unlike in the “olden days,” the process of candidacy for rostered ministry offers many different paths. Come and find out about candidacy in 2019!
Ms. June Cain, Synod Bookkeeper and Pr. Gary Erickson, DEM/Assistant to the Bishop
A review of the IRS 8822-B form, Clergy Housing Allowance, and other topics will be covered with a question and answer session, if time permits. A handout of Resources for Congregational Treasurers will be distributed at this session.
A critical part of the success of our congregations’ ministries comes through the work of the elected leadership, i.e., the Congregation Council. Bishop Clements will facilitate a conversation with congregational leaders about what it means to be an elected leader, and talk about some models for collaboration with the staff, especially the rostered minister. It will also be a time to talk with Bishop Clements and ask questions of him about his view of leadership in the congregation. If you wish to send a question or topic in advance, that you would like to see addressed, please submit them at nisynod.org/cre/question.
Ms. Dawn Anderson, Communications Coordinator, Trinity Lutheran Church, Moline
Create or improve your church Facebook Page. In this session, you will learn step by step instructions about how to create a Facebook Page, best practices of administering the page, best practices of posting (how often, content, scheduling posts, etc), and how to promote your page.
Ms. Julie Lee, Director of Congregational Ministries, Prince of Peace, Freeport
Get more reach out of your Facebook page! Learn how to use Facebook as a tool for outreach (and “inreach“). In this session, learn how to create an event (including creating event graphics), promote events, boost events, how to use Facebook Insights, and how to grow your audience. This session is NOT for beginners. If you are a beginner, please go to the Facebook Basics workshop.
Ms. Dawn Anderson, Communications Coordinator, Trinity Lutheran Church, Moline and Ms. Julie Lee, Director of Congregational Ministries, Prince of Peace, Freeport
Calling All Church Communicators: From bulletins to websites, church communicators are a vital member of each church’s staff. This is your chance to give and get technical, practical, creative, spiritual, and moral support to and from other synod communicators. Bring your questions, share ideas, discuss current trends and/or best practices.
Adrienne Stafford, Organizer, Strong Girls 2 Women and Pr. Josh Ehrler
Strong Girls 2 Women (SG2W), an empowerment camp for girls, was launched in 2018 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Mt. Morris to give young women a safe space to be affirmed and encouraged. With grant support from the synod Congregational Life Committee, SG2W took flight and plans to grow in 2019. Ms. Stafford will share her experience with sister churches to let folks know that summer camps like these are necessary, not terribly complicated, and worth every penny and minute of planning.
On a Mission From God is a journey of discovery that begins as you “perceive, respond to, and participate in God’s mission in the world.” It follows a simple 8-step process; each step follows a natural sequence and builds upon each of the preceding steps. The process may be used with individuals and/or groups, as they seek to discern God’s call in their lives and to carry out God’s mission in the world.
50Forward is a ministry geared for adults. It is a growing program of Lutheran Outdoor Ministries of the ELCA. 50Forward programs offer adults the opportunity for continuing education, experiential learning, faith development, fellowship, and travel.