Pop Topic Workshops

WhPop Topic workshops are short, 25 minute workshops that you, as a conference participant, are invited to lead. See below for a list of workshops offered at the 2016 General Conference.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Progressive Music and Theology
Time/Location: 11:00 – 11:25 AM – Rattenbury B
Presenter: Shaun-Michael Morse

Finding worship music that supports a more progressive theology can be difficult at best.  We will share some resources and thoughts about how to bring together music that will support your theology and ministry.

Free Therapy? Creating a Community Partnership
Time/Location: 11:30 – 11:55 AM – Rattenbury A
Presenter: Claudia Griffith

We will offer suggestions about how to obtain the professional people to offer free therapy to your congregation and non-members in your city.  We will offer suggestions on how to find these professionals and sample psycho-ed programs to develop your congregations.

Individual growth can change our faith community.

Time/Location: 1:30 – 1:55 PM – Rattenbury A
Presenter: Joel Ogburn

From Mobile Pay to Giving Kiosk – We will discuss how our congregants  ‘ways to give” must be effective and relevant in tech filled society.  Checkbooks are a thing of the past – Come “ TAP” into ways to grow your giving opportunities.

Trans* Jail Ministry
Time/Location: 2:00 – 2:25 PM – Rattenbury B
Presenter: Beth Kind

One of the very few “rights” incarcerated individuals have is the right to practice their religion. Historically, local churches have provided services to inmate groups in jails and prisons on a regular basis. In San Diego County, the Sheriff’s Department has segregated pre-op transgender women from the general male population for physical protection. Local churches have not been readily willing to minister to this group. MCC San Diego has established a Trans* Ministry program that provides spiritual support to this group twice monthly. Come learn how this ministry is attempting to give hope and make positive changes in this unique segment of our jail system.


How to Feed God’s Children With No Money
Time/Location: 2:30 – 2:55 PM – Rattenbury A
Presenter: Connie Frederking

We will offer ideas and suggestions about how to start and sustain a successful food pantry.  We will offer resources for funding and volunteers. We can do that!

Stewardship: The I Am Project
Time/Location: 3:00 – 3:25 PM – Rattenbury B
Presenter: PJ Dwyer

Over the past year, MCC Sydney has embarked on a stewardship program called the I Am Project.  It has been designed to encompass a wider view of stewardship than simply tithing money.  Over the year, the project asks participants to consider what they can give to the environment, how they can make a financial contribution and what they can give of themselves.  Throughout each theme congregants are asked to consider what Legacy they will leave for tomorrow.  Come along and hear about the project and how you can be involved. What legacy will you leave?

Disenfranchised Grief Workshop
Time/Location: 3:30 – 3:55 PM – Rattenbury A
Presenter: Sandra Bochonock

This pragmatic workshop defines disenfranchised grief, identifies at risk individuals and groups, while providing therapeutic interventions and suggestions to facilitate healing and growth for the disenfranchised griever and those who care about them.

Time/Location: 4:00 – 4:25 PM – Rattenbury B
Presenter: Rev. Scottie Shelton

Since 1968, our denomination has changed into an ever diverse tribe. We celebrate differences in gender expression and spiritual openness. What “generations” explores is how to celebrate the many different age expressions resident in MCC. Generations invites all ages, “young” through “older adults,” and starts a conversation about age expression that goes beyond the chronological to define an “age location” of each individual. It also seeks to break down the walls that sometimes separates us because of age. Generations seeks to create a new language and acknowledge our responsibility to each individual regardless of chronology.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Dancing Gracefully: Discussion on Aging
Time/Location: 2:00 – 2:25 PM – Rattenbury A
Presenters: Dc. Bonnie Moore and Carole Weissman

Using humor as a source to “dance” through our ever changing world; our personal life (physical), spiritual growth, and our church.  How do we adapt to change as we age? Allowing our life experiences to guide us as we learn the next steps and “Dance Gracefully.”



Clergy Well-being: It’s a Piece of Pie
Time/Location: 2:30 – 2:55 PM – Rattenbury B
Presenters: Rev. Terri Miller and Rev. Kurt Krieger

Rev. Terri Miller, who is a coach, will speak about her journey to wellbeing and health. Rev. Kurt Krieger, who is a coach and coordinator of the Well-being program will talk about why Clergy who practice well-being can better serve their ministries.  We’ll use the Clergy Well-being Pie Chart (modified for MCC) which can indicate for clergy where they can work to help improve their well-being. Clergy that are well are less likely to burn out, break boundaries and feel isolated.  Lay leaders are encouraged to attend so that they can encourage their Clergy colleagues to work the Well-being program. Clergy are invited to attend to know more about the Well-being program and how to access it and derive benefit from it. Clergy Wellbeing is as easy as Pie!

Modern Church Movements & MCC: A Response to the Shifting Landscape
Time/Location: 2:30 – 2:55 PM – Colwood 2
Presenter: Rev. Rachelle Brown

Modern church movements vary from intentional worship communities seeking to describe Christ, God, or some other description of divine.  Some are missional with traditional language, others form new language for expression, all with the purpose of speaking to a new generation of people from devout, “Spiritual but Not Religious”, or no religious affiliation.  This discussion explores MCC as a movement that began in the midst of one seismic culture shift and the possibilities during the current powerful shift in religious culture.

Class Curriculum: Where’s My GPS
Time/Location: 3:00- 3:25 PM – Rattenbury B
Presenter: Rev. Brad Rice

We’ll explore the curriculum of “Where’s My GPS?!” which is a foundational leadership course that provides a look into one’s spiritual type and location.  This course helps one do more than a quantitative look into the spiritual gifts one has; instead, one determines spiritual gifts by looking at the qualitative aspects of one’s spiritual type through the process of spiritual discernment.  You will leave with the information and ability to teach this 4-week-class in your own congregational setting.

Tattoos, God, and Justice
Time/Location: 3:30 – 3:55 PM – Rattenbury A
Presenter: Rev. Elder Diane Fisher

We talk about getting young people into our churches and expect them to be the same as us.  We resist changing ourselves to be more open and welcoming. What can we do to get ready to include? We need to listen radically — openly and be prepared to change if we truly want to engage with young people.

Managing Media Interviews: Speak Into the Mic
Time/Location: 4:00 – 4:25 PM – Rattenbury B
Presenters: Rev. Ann Craig and Rev. Candy Holmes

MCC pastors need to know handle media interviews and come out sounding like a professional.  This training will help you with some techniques to make you sound and look your best while telling the vital MCC story and address the issues of the day.

Media & Ministry
Time/Location: 4:30 – 4:55 PM – Rattenbury B
Presenters: Rev. Ann Craig and Rev. Candy Holmes

How do you get journalists to show up and cover your historic moment?  It’s already too late when you find yourself in the middle of an event and say, “I sure hope the media is here!  This is great!”  Get ahead of the curve. Learn how to create an event that is really news and how to get journalists to tell all about it.

Christian Charity/Christian Social Justice: Essential but not Identical
Time/Location: 5:00 – 5:25 PM – Rattenbury A
Presenter: Rev. Dr. Pamela Jean Owens

As Christians, we are mandated to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and clothe the naked, but we are also mandated to attack and eliminate the causes of hunger, homelessness, and lack of clothing. We are mandated to visit the imprisoned, but we are also mandated to set the captives free. At MCC Omaha, we take those two distinct sets of mandates with equal seriousness. This workshop will explore more fully the distinction between Christian Charity and Christian Social Justice and will present ways one local congregation is working to provide ministries in both areas. Christian Charity and Christian Social Justice are not the same thing; a congregation needs to have ministries in both areas if it is to fully engage the ministry of the gospel.

Women’s Conference
Time/Location: 5:00 – 5:25 PM – Rattenbury B
Presenters: Rev. Donna Twardoski and Rev. Vickie Miller

The much acclaimed MCC Women’s Conference will take place November 1-5, 2017. The theme is “Honoring the Spirit Within US.” Investigating the Spirit from the head, heart, mystical and justice perspectives will be the focus of the conference.

Friday 8 July 2016

USA Clergy Retirement and UFMCC Board of Pensions
Time/Location: 11:00 – 11:25 PM – Colwood 2
Presenter: Rev. Wes Mullins

Presentation by Board of Pensions about the Pension Fund, the proposal to increase the per capita quarterly rate (Virtual General Conference vote slated for September 2016), and the need for churches and clergy to work together to ensure a healthy retirement.

Healthy Congregations Begin with Health
Time/Location: 11:00 – 11:25 AM – Rattenbury B
Presenter: Rev. Dr. Lori Dick

Be Inspired by best practices for health.  Learn from experience. Leave with resources. Wellness advocacy in churches is to promote and encourage preventive healthcare, early detection and treatment for health issues in our communities.  Learn from other churches how to support those with addiction or mental health issues, have a health fair to encourage health check-ups for HIV testing, prostate cancer, STI testing, mammograms for breast cancer, and testing for cervical cancer, be an advocate to decrease barriers to healthcare for those at risk including LGBT youth and elders and start support groups for those considering/in the process of transitioning.

Book Reading: I Made It Out
Time/Location: 11:30 -11:55 AM – Rattenbury A
Presenter: Rev. Candy Holmes

“I Made It Out” the premier and must read book by Rev. Candy Holmes that highlights her journey into a freedom far greater than she could have ever imagined. Rev. Candy will share the inspiration for writing her new book and the experiences that released her from spirit-destroying religiosity and life-limiting socialization. She will also discuss the amazing ability of the human spirit to propel us into freedom. “I Made It Out” reflects the spectacular ability in all of us to come out from the life-limiting effects of oppression into greater freedom and wholeness.

A Net Full of Hope/The Spoken Word As Activism
Time/Location: 12:00 Noon – 12:25 PM – Rattenbury B
Presenter: Annette Billings

The presenter will perform and discuss poetry from her book “A Net Full of Hope.”  She will demonstrate how she has used written art in her congregation and community to inform, inspire and heal. For samples of her work, click here

Labyrinth: How Churches and Artists Can Transform Each Other
Time/Location: 1:30 – 1:55 PM – Rattenbury A
Presenter: Rev. Joe Cobb

Come and hear how one church transformed their 30,000 square-foot building into a vibrant center for spirituality, arts and community partnerships. Through an art exhibit with their local Marginal Arts Festival, MCC of the Blue Ridge in Roanoke, Virginia, began partnerships with local artists to create artist studios and gallery exhibits, a local community theater that was “dark” to begin producing again, and an incubator home for the community Diversity Center. These partnerships have given life to new forms of community, while providing revenue for the local church. This is a powerful story of transformation! Transform your church into a vibrant hub of community partnerships!

Creating Innovative Collaborative Global Ministry Partnerships!
Time/Location: 2:00 – 2:25 PM – Rattenbury B
Presenters: Mr. Stan C. Kimer and Rev. Michael Kimindu

Congregations and individuals can team and collaborate in innovative ways to create ministry partnerships around the globe, and can have a tremendous impact in homophobic areas outside the US where new MCC congregations are emerging and can use our support.  In addition to providing several concrete ways for innovative collaborative global ministry, this workshop will use Neema MCC in Kenya as a case study illustrating how teaming with MCC adherents in the US, global non-profit agencies and the Global Justice Institute, Rev. Kimindu has built a multi-national congregation with 2 acres of land and its first building in Kenya!  

Learn About MCC’s Lay Leader Certificate Program (LEAD)
Time/Location: 2:30 – 2:55 PM – Rattenbury A
Presenters: Barry Hundley, Phil Griffin, Nancy Maxwell

The Laity Empowered for Active Discipleship (LEAD) program has over 100 participants world-wide and enhances lay leaders to be more effective leaders within their congregation as well as preparing those who are interested in taking on denominational level leadership roles. Enhance your leadership skills: Learn about the Lay Leader Certificate Program, LEAD

Vocational Ministry in MCC
Time/Location: 3:00 – 3:25 PM – Rattenbury B
Presenters: Rev. Elder Dr. Mona West and Rev. Dr. Kharma Amos

Find out more about the process of preparing for ordained ministry in MCC. 

Creating Covenant: Spiritual Trust Groups for the Journey
Time/Location: 3:30 -3:55 PM – Rattenbury A
Presenter: Rev. Anne Atwell

People of faith are looking for communities in which they can nurture their spirituality, share their story with those on a similar journey, and know that they are in a safe place where trust and confidentiality are paramount.  Using specific topics and a structured design, covenant groups provide an opportunity to connect with others by creating an enriching and nurturing environment for each member.  Covenant Groups are kept intentionally small (8-10 members only) so as to allow each person sufficient time to share deeply, honor sacred silence, and offer focused listening to others in the group. Embark on a journey to more meaningful community through sharing, ritual, and deep listening.

Accessibility – ACCESS: An Every-Person Issue
Time/Location: 4:00 – 4:25 PM – Rattenbury B
Presenter: Rev. Mel Martinez

Issues of access impact almost every person across the span of a lifetime.  Whether as a condition of one’s birth, as one ages, or due to unforeseeable circumstances, access to the world changes for us all.  Proper access to the community of faith must arise proactively, even in the absence of any particular need.  Only through a proactive approach may the church be ready and able to serve the whosoever who enter our presence.  Access is every-person’s issue; don’t wait until someone cannot access the message before we create a fully-accessible church.

Are We Truly Inclusive?
Time/Location: Friday, 4:30-4:55– Rattenbury A
Presenter: Trans* Advisory Team

Join us as we explore what we are messaging through word and images as well as what we say, sing, and write.  Is the message what we think it is?

Church Vision
Time/Location: 5:00 – 5:20 PM – Rattenbury B
Presenter: Rev. Stuart Sutherland and Steve Webb

For churches under 75 members. This workshop will address the issues of what, how, and why in making the church well. We will discuss how to create a vision for the church, and addreess governance issues of a small church.