Creating Vital Congregations Webinars

If You Miss a Webinar

If you miss a webinar in the current series you may purchase the URL for the webinar below.  Enter the name of the webinar you wish to purchase in the box below and submit payment of $10.00.  Please email Deena Ainslie (dainslie@lextheo.edu) once you’ve made the purchase and she’ll send you the URL to view the specific webinar.  The webinars can be viewed numerous times and the URL is good for 1 year.


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2017-2018 Webinar Series

Preaching Controversial Issues

Date:  November 14, 2017 
Where:  Online
Time:  1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST
Presenter: Rev. Dr. Leah Schade, Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship, Lexington Theological Seminary
Note:  Webinar URL will be emailed out the day before the webinar

The challenge of addressing issues of public concern from the pulpit is fraught with risks, but also offers opportunities for proclaiming the gospel and building community in profound and contextual ways.  Informed by insights from her survey of over 1200 clergy entitled “Preaching about Controversial Justice Issues,” Dr. Schade will provide both scriptural and theological rationale that authorizes preachers to address “hot button” topics.  With the lectionary texts for Advent in view, participants will learn a variety of models to proclaim the gospel in the midst of a contentious political climate – without being divisive or partisan.  Preachers will envision new ways to engage the public sphere with both prudence and imagination.

The Rev. Dr. Leah D. Schade is the Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at Lexington Theological Seminary in Lexington, Kentucky.  An ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) for 16 years, Leah has served congregations in rural, urban, and suburban settings.  She earned both her MDiv and PhD degrees from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, and completed her dissertation focusing on homiletics (preaching) and ecological theology (caring for God’s creation).  Her book Creation-Crisis Preaching:  Ecological Theology and Homiletics (Chalice Press, 2015) is available at www.chalicepress.com.  Her “EcoPreacher” blog on Patheos can be found at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/ecopreacher/.  Leah’s latest research is focusing on ministry in “the purple zone,” helping clergy find ways to preach about controversial justice issues in a time of contentious politics.  Visit her website for articles and results from her research:  https://www.thepurplezone.net/

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Church Communication and Promotion in the Information Age
Date: 
January 13, 2018
Where:  Online
Time:  1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST
Presenter: Ms. Beth Goins, Blue Sky Communications
Note:  Webinar URL will be emailed out the day before the webinar

Communication is at the core of what churches do, yet it can be overwhelming to construct a comprehensive communication strategy. How do we surmount obstacles such as limited resources of time, expertise and finances to express clearly and effectively who we are and why we’re here? How do we communicate with our congregations? How do we use church resources most efficiently for successful communication? In this webinar, we will discuss the essentials for effective church communication for congregations large and small. You will learn about tools you can use to keep up with the changing expectations of today’s information consumers and equip members to spread the church’s message to your communities.

Ms. Beth Goins has more than two decades of experience in communication, from print and broadcast journalism to public relations, marketing and consulting roles with a wide range of organizations and institutions, from large regional medical centers to small congregations. She is the owner and president of Blue Sky Communications, LLC, a marketing and public relations consulting firm in Kentucky, and is a longtime member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

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Islam 101
Date: 
February 10, 2018 
Where:  Online
Time:  1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST
Presenter: Dr. Ihsan Bagby, Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Kentucky
Note:  Webinar URL will be emailed out the day before the webinar

The first half of this webinar will cover the basic beliefs and practices of Islam, highlighting the similarities and differences with Christianity and Judaism.  The second half will explore present day issues such as terrorism, Shari’ah, Islamophobia and the typical stereotypes of Islam and Muslims.

Dr. Ihsan Bagby is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Kentucky.  His research focuses on the Muslim community in America, the American mosque and the African American Muslim community.  He has conducted two comprehensive studies of mosques in America in 2000 and 2010, resulting in multiple publications on the state of Islam in America.  Presently he is working on two articles on giving in mosques and on mosque governance; he is also working on a book-length congregational study of a mosque.  He is active in the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership (an interfaith association of religious researchers).  He is a research fellow in the Institute of Social Policy and Understanding.  He is a board member of Islamic Seminary Foundation and the Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA).

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The Three Tables of the Deacon
Date: 
March 17, 2018
Where:  Online
Time:  1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EDT
Presenter: Rev. Valerie Melvin, Associate Regional Minister, Christian Church in North Carolina
Note:  Webinar URL will be emailed out the day before the webinar 

Imagine your local church employing social workers.  That is exactly what happens each time the gift of diaconate is stirred.  The deacons are called the serve at the table of communion, the table of the pastor, and the table of community.  In this webinar, you will explore “The Three Tables of the Deacon” while discussing how with spiritual depth and cultural awareness, deacons assist in alleviating the conditions of those in need while offering the restorative power of the gospel.  Aprons in place; let’s get ready to serve the tables!

Bishop Melvin, who most recently served as Acting Regional Minister for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in North Carolina, became the 16th pastor of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Reidsville, NC in 2010 and was consecrated as a Bishop in the Lord’s Church in 2016.  Her primary goals has been to fulfill the call to pastoral ministry with a focus on Christian Education and Administration.  In 2000, “Victory Is Inevitable Ministries” (VIE, a mobile Christian Education Academy) was founded for the sole purpose of edifying believers and seekers.

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Sustaining a Long-Term Pastorate
Date: 
April 24, 2018
Where:  Online
Time:  1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EDT
Presenter: Rev. David Emery, Senior Pastor, Middletown Christian Church, Louisville, KY
Note:  Webinar URL will be emailed out the day before the webinar

Healthy churches that impact their communities almost always have one thing in common. They have pastors that serve long-term pastorates of 10 years or more. While a long-term pastorate does not always produce a healthy church, it’s almost impossible without one. Changing the culture of a church simply takes a long time.  In this webinar, David Emery will identify the blessings, benefits, and pitfalls of a long-term pastorate. He will also share some strategies for staying healthy, spiritually alive, and effective for the long haul.

Rev. David Emery celebrated the 30th anniversary of his ordination in 2017, and has served 15 years as senior minister at Middletown Christian Church. He previously served churches in Little Rock Arkansas, and Houston, Texas. David is a spirit-led and passionate leader who believes the church is at its best when it’s focused outward and meets people where they are. He has a generous theology that is grounded in the unconditional love of God for all people. He’s a certified life and leadership coach, a cancer survivor, and a long-distance runner.

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Reconciliation 2.0 The Urgency of Now
Date: 
May 19, 2018
Where:  Online
Time:  1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EDT
Presenter: Rev. April G. Johnson, Minister of Reconciliation, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Note:  Webinar URL will be emailed out the day before the webinar

In this workshop participants will have the opportunity to learn of threads of the historical roots of Reconciliation Ministry as well as a share in an opportunity to demystify the language of anti-racism and practice faithful conversations that promote God’s shalom.  At the end of this webinar participants will understand the climate in which the ministry was created, the legacy for which we participate currently and be equipped to engage in faithful conversations that lead to impactful community ministry.

Rev. Johnson serves as the Minister of Reconciliation for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada. She brings to this work a deep passion for racial understanding, justice and compassion.  As Minister of Reconciliation, she facilitates the church-wide process of awareness, analysis and action toward healing the fractures in the body of Christ that are caused by systemic racism. She collaborates with organizer trainers, regional and congregational staff leadership, transformation teams and ecumenical partners in her efforts to guide this work. Rev. Johnson has added mediation to the toolbox of Anti-Racism skills and practices in the church’s pursuit to embody a Pro-Reconciling identity. In her capacity as both pastor and administrator, Rev. Johnson emphasizes the importance of relationship-building across differences as one of the critical ways that we actualize God’s plan for humanity and creation.

She received her Bachelor’s of Arts from the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana and her Masters of Divinity from Howard University in Washington, DC.  She is a native of Chicago, IL

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Welcoming the Stranger
Date:
 October 21, 2017
Where:  Online
Time:  1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EDT
Presenter: John Koehlinger, Executive Director, Kentucky Refugee Ministries
Note:  Webinar URL will be emailed out the day before the webinar 

This webinar will discuss the various dimensions of the U.S. refugee resettlement program, touching on the global refugee crisis, and the program’s unique ability in many localities to garner a large measure of community support from volunteers and faith-based organizations.  Kentucky Refugee Ministries’ historic congregational support from a range of denominations will be examined, with some reflections on the ecumenical and interfaith aspects of church co-sponsorship of individual refugee families.  The alignment of Christian injunctions to welcome the stranger and love all people made in God’s image with bedrock American civic values of inclusion, equality under the law, and religious tolerance will be underlined.

John Koehlinger is Executive Director of Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Inc. (KRM), the largest refugee resettlement agency in Kentucky.  Founded in 1990, KRM is a local affiliate of Church World Service and Episcopal Migration Ministries.  The agency resettles more than 1,000 newly-arrived refugees and immigrants a year.

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