Activating Ubuntu: Ecumenical Interfaith and Intercultural Mobilization ~ Bishop Tutu defines a person embracing Ubuntu as one who knows that they themselves belong to “a greater whole and [are] diminished when others are humiliated, or [are] diminished when others are tortured or oppressed. This workshop will address strategies to design and sustain transformative and holistic movements.
Affirming Ubuntu: Framing A Moral Agenda In The Third Millennium ~ The destruction of ubuntu, the seeing and valuing of God in all of humanity “…became an essential tool in the moral justification of slavery, the subjugation of peoples, the theft of lands as well as souls….(Boesak)” Our current social, economic and moral condition as global citizens precipitates from the continuation of such destruction. This workshop explores affirmation and challenges of Ubuntu as core to framing a moral agenda that is powerful enough to ignite a global renaissance that restores human dignity, restores relationships, restores resources, and restores a tomorrow that belongs to all of us.
Empowering and Mobilizing Youth In the Age of Hip Hop and The New Jim Crow ~ As years pass, it seems that hip hop has become one of the tools of community destruction, materialism, misogyny, self-hate and supporter of the New Jim Crow. This workshop goes beyond accepting hip hop as part of a negative youth culture to reclaiming its roots in social justice commentary and activism. The facilitators will lead discussions and give practical approaches to guiding a generation of youth from consciousness related to mass incarceration to becoming a mobilizing force for change.
Environmental Justice: A Call to Communion ~ Environmental justice is often viewed as a cause that does not deserve high priority in light of what vulnerable people are facing related to systemic social justice issues of health, education, and economic struggles. However, environmental racism is present in this nation and the world. This workshop expands our understanding of the interconnectedness of environmental justice with social justice issues, with particular attention given to embracing environmental justice as a moral and ethical mandate.
Healing Communities: Confronting the Impact of Trauma on Our Souls ~ In our efforts to address powers and principalities we often think that legislation and an influx of wealth will heal historical and contemporary issues facing African American communities. In part that is true. However, beyond the obvious debilitating impact of slavery and Jim Crow on the lives of Black people, research has shown that racism has had a much deeper impact on the mental, physical, emotional and social health of African Americans. This session will address the need for confronting the often unspoken issues of trauma related to living in inhospitable environments and will suggest possible approaches for healing the soul.
Honoring Legacy, Adapting to Change: The Challenges of Aging Congregations ~ Many historical churches have been labeled as dying due to aging congregations that are situated in neighborhoods that are in transition. In this workshop, facilitators will articulate the challenges being faced by aging congregations and practical examples of how to honor the legacy of the church while excavating the power and resources to sustain ministry in ever-changing environments.
Occupy the Heart: Strategies for Developing Welcoming Communities ~ Faith communities are uniquely positioned to facilitate the transitioning of returning citizens back to community and supporting families of the incarcerated. There are very successful models of these programs around the nation. This workshop offers strategies and tools for local congregations to become welcoming communities, grounded in compassion and equipped to support individuals and families impacted by imprisonment.
Re-Invigorating Lay Ministries For Community Transformation and Global Missions ~Represented in the lay ministries of many congregations are untapped resources and forgotten or underutilized infrastructures that represent an unstoppable movement to transform communities both locally and globally. This century requires the Church to do missions differently and offers many exciting opportunities for lay ministries. “Strong people do not need strong leaders.” In this statement, Ella Baker speaks to the power of mobilizing the masses to impact social change. This workshop offers strategies for re-invigorating lay ministries in efforts to impact sustainable social and moral change.
Silence, Shame and Sex: The Power of Honest Dialogue ~ Too often silence and shame preclude honest dialogue on issues of sex, sexuality and faith in the Church. The consequences have been especially devastating for young people coming of age in a media world in which personal identity, body image and sex are so dominant. This workshop offers practical paradigms for creating safe spaces for all ages to educate, share, and address difficult and often uncomfortable topics around sex and our theological understandings of the imago dei.
Sisters of the Rock: Mobilizing In Her Image ~ Harriet Tubman, Ida B Wells-Barnett, Ella Baker, Winnie Mandela, Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai of Kenya and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, equipped with diverse intuitive understandings of mobilization, successfully constructed mass movements that exacted substantive change in the lives of people. Contemporary women calling upon the same spirit, continue efforts of healing and freeing communities, globally. The facilitators of this workshop will share their stories of and strategies for mobilization.
The Heart And Living Waters: Preaching For Prophetic Action ~ Prophetic preaching faces the challenge of inciting strategic communal response and social justice organizing in the midst of a culture of entertainment that requires no real action. This session explores methodological approaches to homiletics and social justice organizing. Specific attention will be given to methods of sermon development that will mobilize congregations to become welcoming and active communities.
The Role of the Church in Re-Creating Sustainable Economies ~ Macro-economies and the policies that fueled them have left scores of households and communities economically unstable and socially vulnerable. The emergence of pay day loan companies in our community exacerbate the problems. In the past, the black community had flourishing businesses that were supported by a sense of pride and faith in the spirit and independence and self-determination. Today, black churches deposit millions of dollars in banks every Monday, without much thought to how to collectively leverage those dollars. This workshop offers practical helps for faith communities to be core catalysts for establishing community-based sustainable economies that address the basic needs of families. Exploration of why and how to develop successful CDC’s will be shared.
To Be Free At Last: Dismantling the Prison Industrial Complex ~ The prison industrial complex (PIC) built on a firm foundation of private investments and sustained by unjust legislation has incarcerated generations of African American young men and women, has destroyed families, devastated communities and has caused progress in human rights legislation to come to a screeching halt. The undertow of racism and the addictive nature of profit associated with mass incarceration have turned this obvious moral issue into one of economic justification, impacting labor, pension funds, and prosperity of small communities. The SDPC with other faith partners has been engaged in a significant work around dismantling the private prisons. This workshop will demystify the multifaceted nature of the PIC and offer community-based strategies to dismantle it.
Using Social Media and the Arts for A New Way Forward ~ Social media and the arts have become primary vehicles in transmitting culture. This workshop will demonstrate how to design and use social media and arts as tools to building education and awareness campaigns, civic engagement, advocacy and action. Attention will also be given to media literacy such that participants will be introduced to the basics of analyzing, evaluating, and creating messages that will be constructive to organizing and community-building.
What’s God Got To Do With It?: The Power of Small and Rural Churches ~ In the age of cookie cutter ministries focused on large and mega churches, and church growth being equated with numbers of members, this workshop dares to explore the unique challenges, power and gifts of rural and small churches. This session is designed to identify, discuss and strategize around the challenges and opportunities of small and rural churches to network and organize.