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Convention Workshop Offerings


CLICK HERE to download a printable version of Convention Workshop Offerings. CLICK HERE to read more about our presenters.



WORKSHOP #1 (9:45 – 11:00)

The Authority of All Generations

Whether we are 10-, 20-, 40- or 80-years old, we all have a story to tell. How do we share our stories of where we see God when we are not in church or with our faith community? Where have we see God first-hand at work in the world, often in places we never imagined? We’ll answer some provocative questions with our own stories and even sing about it! Get ready to feel the spirit moving between and betwixt us in a model that you can take home and use in your congregation tomorrow. No singing skills required, just the openness to play and listen with one another. Bring your hymnal!

WORKSHOP #2 (11:15 – 12:3)

 Re-imagining our Mission of Faith Formation for the Future

As Episcopalians in Vermont, we have a high hunger for God and the spiritual life and (for the most part) are receptive to organized religion. But we know this is not true for everyone who lives in our communities. Studying two “future” scenarios of what may be (or already is) the reality of the communities in which we live and worship, we will explore ways to be a missional church to those who we might call “unaffiliated and uninterested” and “spiritual, but not religious.” What are the tools that we will need to engage the other as we venture forth into the world? What new visions can we begin to develop and try out once we get back home? Are these people that different than ourselves? Join the conversation and receive some tools for thinking outside of the box about what faith formation may look like in the future.



WORKSHOP #1 (9:45 – 11:00)

Learning to See

Implicitly and explicitly, we are formed and fashioned by our contexts. These environments deeply shape how we experience the world and interpret its significance in our lives. Most of us are unaware of how this formation informs what we see – and don’t see. Using video clips from the film, At First Sight, we will explore how we learn to see and make sense of our world, as well as playfully challenge our perceptions and encourage expansive thinking about church. It will also offer tools for reading new contexts and identifying needs to effect change as we prepare to find God in the city and Jesus in our neighborhood.

WORKSHOP #2 (11:15 – 12:3)

Two-Loop: A Living Systems Perspective

Change is embedded in our efforts to re-vision, re-orient, and re-tool church for the 21st century and it evokes a continuum of responses. For some, change feels exhilarating; for others, it’s overwhelming. If we want to hold our communities together as we explore new ways of being church and finding Jesus in the neighborhood, we need to both encourage innovators and comfort those who feel paralyzed. Two-Loops is a useful tool for mapping how existing systems die and new systems emerge that comes from the work of Margaret Wheatley and the Berkana Institute. It also highlights essential roles needed to enable individuals to share their best selves, discern and enact a co-created vision, and find communal support during predictable periods of uncertainty and change. After a brief introduction, we will use the Two Loops to show where we stand, literally, and reflect together on the implications for our ministries.



WORKSHOP #1 (9:45 – 11:00)

Re-Orienting Mission – a Perspective from Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is a country where the reconciling and renewing power of the Gospel is desperately needed, and where people are more open to it than ever before. After decades of violence, injustice and strife in Zimbabwe, it is difficult to hold on any longer to the illusion that we can live without God. The huge challenges are more than compensated for by the joy of working with people of all ages who are genuinely open to hearing the good news. For the last ten years, the Rev.Chris Hingley, former Rector, has been responsible for running the Petra Schools in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe … His personal reflection has been on the example of Jesus Christ, who seemed to spend much of his ministry apparently “wasting time”simply to be available to anyone who wanted to talk to him, particularly those whom others saw as small and unimportant.

Chris has been his learning to follow a different approach and now spends more time literally sitting under a tree where people know that he is available to listen to and talk to anyone who would like that. “The results have been astonishing in using an approach that emphasizes what God is already doing rather than what I feel I need to do. I am content to wait for God to work in his time and way, and am simply open to being available for him and the people that he brings to me. I only wish I had had the courage to do this years ago.”

In his presentation, Chris will let the young people of the Petra Schools tell their own stories through a video presentation and share the unique experiences of working with the young people of Zimbabwe. He will also share more of what he has been discovering and listen to the experience of those in Vermont who are working with very different challenges and opportunities to see what we can learn from each other. This workshop promises to be both very moving and extraordinarily full of hope.

WORKSHOP #2 (11:15 – 12:3)

Re-Orienting Mission – a Perspective from Zimbabwe

Repeat of Workshop #1



WORKSHOP #2 (11:15 – 12:3)

“Learning to Tell the Story of God’s Mission”

Have you ever wondered if there is some “grand narrative” in the Bible? Can you tell the story of what God is up to in the world in light of Holy Scripture? This workshop will consider all of Holy Scripture as the story of God’s mission. Beginning with Genesis and ending with the book of Revelation we will attempt to understand the Bible as the story of a loving God who is “on a mission.” Participants in the workshop will be invited to try on telling one’s own story in light of the story of God’s mission.




 “Baptized into Mission: Experiments for a Post-Christendom World”

From 19th century missions in far-off lands to the mission of the Church described in our Catechism, definitions and understandings of mission have changed dramatically over time. Our increasingly post-Christendom, post-modern, and post-colonial world challenges us to reconsider what the nature of mission is, and how mission and baptism are related. This interactive session will reconsider our history of Christian mission in light of the mission of God and invite us to imagine experiments in God’s mission based upon the promises we make in our Baptismal Covenant.


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