Workshop list below. Go to www.moredomainsforless.com/wideningthewelcome/index.htm to learn more about the Widening the Welcome, UCCDM-UCCMIN Conference, September 23-25 at Drury Inn in St. Louis.
The time is now to join the conversati
on at the first national gathering hosted by
UCC Mental Illness Network and UCC Disabilities Ministries.
Workshops As of Friday, September 1, 2010
I Friday morning
1. We Care—Faith and Mental Health.
Exploration of the connection between faith and mental health in our faith communities.
The Rev. Craig Rennebohm, worked for 23 years on the streets of Seattle with individuals who are homeless and struggling with serious mental illness, substance abuse issues and PTSD. He is the author of Souls in the Hands of a Tender God.
2. A2A: Any Body, Every Body, Christ’s Body.
This is an invitation to be engaged in the congregational guide for faith communities becoming accessible to all.
The Rev. Peggy Dunn is the current chair of the UCC Disabilities Ministries Board and is
the director of the Maine Conference Academy for Congregational Life and Leadership.
3. Bringing them All Back Home and Whole: Helping those affected by war to spiritually heal.
The Rev. Peter Bauer is Lieutenant Colonel, Medical Service Corps Officer and Chief, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Department of Social Work, Carl R. Darnallo Army Medical Center, Fort Hood, TX.
4. In Our Own Voice, (IOOV)
Presented by National Alliance on Mental Illness–NAMI St. Louis, In Our Own Voice is a unique public education presentation that offers insight into the hope and recovery possible for people living with mental illness. Trained individuals living with mental illness lead a brief, yet comprehensive and interactive, presentation about mental illnesses.
5. Spiritual Support Group.
What does spirituality bring to the process of recovery? How can you offer one in your context.
Nancy Kehoe, Ph.D., RSCJ, is a clinician with more than 25 years of experience incorporating religious belief and spirituality and their role in treatment with persons who have a mental illness/brain disorder. Her book is, Wrestling with our Inner Angels: Faith, Mental Illness, and the Journey to Wholeness.
6. Ask the Professional.
What questions do you bring to explore in the interaction between brain disorders and behavior? You will learn about what a neuropsychologist does.
Dr. Kim Johnson, Psy.D., is a clinical neuropsychologist and Licensed Specialist in
School Psychology who specializes in understanding and evaluating the relationship between brain disorders and behavior. She evaluates individuals 4 years old through senior adult for a wide range of learning problems, developmental delays, autism, ADHD, traumatic brain injury, complex medical and neurological problems, emotional-behavioral disorders, brain injuries, strokes and various neurodegenerative disorders.
7. Disabilities and mental illness/brain disorders in worship and supportive resources for clergy and church members: A Panel
The Rev. Dr. Jane Fisler Hoffman, has served in the United of Christ as lay leader, pastor, Association Minister and for 10 years as a Conference Minister in two conferences.
The Rev. Bob Molsberry is Conference Minister for the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ. A wheel-chair user is the author of two books on adjusting to the culture of disability: Blinded by Grace: Entering the World of Disability and Tour de Faith: A Cyclist’s Lessons for Living.
The Rev. Martie McMane is the Senior Minister of The First Congregational Church, Boulder, CO, where she initiated a Mental Health Ministry and encouraged the church to vote for the Accessible to All (A2A) covenant.
II Friday afternoon
1. We Care—Building a Mental Health Team in a Local Congregation.
What are the practical steps you can take in addressing mental health issues in your congregation? What are the barriers and the strengths?
The Rev. Craig Rennebohm (see above)
2. Disabilities Ministries: Doing Disability Theology in the Local Congregation.
We will explore the ways that theology has been helpful and/or a hindrance as congregations engage in embracing our own disabilities.
Dr. Debbie Creamer is Assistant Professor of Theological Bibliography at Iliff School
of Theology and co-chair and a founding member of the Religion And Disability Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion. She is the author of Disability and Christian Theology: Embodied Limits and Constructive Possibilities.
3. Family to Family. This National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) program is for families, partners and friends of individuals with serious mental illness. We will share personal stories, be invited to share in an exercise, and to learn about the resources for help us all cope when we are affected by mental illnesses/brain disorders.
Liz Birchen will talk about this program and will offer practices as well as resources on the emotional responses families have the trauma of mental illness. Liz will start by telling her story as a parent of two adult children with mental illness. Liz has a bachelor’s degree in Christian Education and Psychology and Master’s in Religious Education from Eden Seminary. She has served as Christian Educator at two UCC congregations and directed a seven-county Head Start program.
The Rev. Alan Johnson has participated and then co-facilitated the Family to Family program because of his family’s experience of mental illness/brain disorders. He is a cofounder of the Interfaith Network on Mental Illness in Boulder, CO, and is chair of the UCC Mental Illness Network. He is a graduate of Yale Divinity School and was a chaplain at University Hospital and then retired from The Children’s Hospital, both in Denver. He served for 16 years on the national staff of the UCC. His book is Encounters at the Counter: What Congregations can learn about Hospitality from Business.
4. Spiritual Guidance and Practices.
We all need some direction when we are facing crises in our life and/or in the lives of those we love or those in our congregations. We will explore ways you gain strength of spirit as you live with these crises.
The Rev. Tom Haller is chaplain at St. John’s Mercy Hospital, Washington MO. Tom
has a heart felt passion to work with the mentally ill and their families. His life experiences include being associate UCC pastor, chaplain/counselor in a behavioral health/detox unit, staff supervisor at Emmaus Homes for the Developmentally Disabled, and volunteer with Suicide/Crisis intervention. Prior experiences to those include social worker, teacher, military intelligence analyst, marketing manager, and stock broker. He experienced having a mother who was a dual diagnosis of alcoholism/depression and he personally experienced three clinical depressions and a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). He is a Survivor by God’s grace.
The Rev. Donna Smith-Pupillo, RN is the Executive Director of the Deaconess Parish Nurse Ministry Network. She is registered nurse for over 30 years and has worked as camp nurse with adults with developmental disabilities for seven years. She has worked nine years at SSM-DePaul in behavioral medicine specializing in adults with developmental disabilities and geriatrics. Her love of parish ministry and nursing has led her to work currently with parish nurses in St Louis who serve in a variety of parishes and faith based organizations.
Pastoral Counselor. (TBA)
5. Children’s Mental Health Issues. The National Alliance on Mental Illness offers a class on children’s mental health that you can use in your context. Learn about the many ways that mental health issues can be addressed with children.
Betty Kramer is a foster parent, adoptive parent, and family member of person with mental illness. Professionally trained as a nurse, she currently is a hospice nurse, volunteer with NAMI, leads a new NAMI class they offer on children’s mental health. She also leads a support group for families with children with mental illness.
Dr. Kim Johnson (see above)
6. Shared Challenges, Shared Gifts: Coping with Mental Illness/Brain Disorders and Disabilities in the Family of Faith. There are difficult times in our lives when we turn for spiritual support, especially we hope in our faith communities. In contexts as in a state hospital, with those who are homeless, and those who are in prison, you will learn about ways of offering help.
The Rev. Ellen H. Hiatt is the chaplain at Anderson Hospital, Maryville, IL. She formerly served as Spiritual Care Director at Deaconess/Forest Park Hospital in St. Louis and as Community Liaison chaplain at St. Louis State Hospital where she developed MORNMI: Missouri Religious Network on Mental Illness. She also is a cofounder of UCC MIN and began her ministry in a St. Louis congregation and currently is an active member at First Congregational Church of St. Louis, UCC.
The Rev. Joan Murray is a community chaplain at Chaplains on the Way (www.chaplainsontheway.org), a ministry she founded in June, 2008 in Waltham, MA. As community chaplain, she provides a ministry of presence and spiritual care to poor and homeless people at programs and on the street. Until this past April when the hospital closed, Joan also spent a day a week as a chaplain at Westborough State Hospital. Prior to being a chaplain in Waltham, Joan was minister of common cathedral, the outdoor church of Ecclesia Ministries in Boston. Joan is a long-time member of Wellesley Congregational (Village) Church, UCC, in Wellesley, MA.
Dr. Marc A. Wessels is Associate Conference Minister with the Missouri Mid-South Conference of the United Church of Christ. Dr Wessels served for nearly a decade as a chaplain in medium-security adult male institutions with the Kentucky Department of Corrections and as a full-time member of the Kentucky Parole Board. He served at the Kentucky State Reformatory (KSR) which houses the Correctional Psychiatric Treatment Unit where inmates who have been adjudicated and convicted of crimes or crimes and have been diagnosed with a mental illness are housed. KSR provides substance abuse and sex offender treatment programs, as well as meeting the medical needs of the general and geriatric population, hospice patients and the largest segregation unit in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Dr. Wessels is an ordained UCC minister with dual standing with the Disciples of Christ and has worked in international and national settings. He is a published author and is the Founder and Director the Space Exploration Archive, a non-profit educational organization committed to the peaceful uses of Outer Space.
7. Losing Heart? Help and Hope for persons struggling with the realities of substance abuse and
addiction: Help is available and change is possible. Learn more about how people of faith are
helping others increase their motivation for change and are using coaching as a method for
helping persons enter and sustain recovery.
Chaplain Bridget Smith will lead the presentation along with her colleagues from the substance abuse treatment community. Bridget has a passion for ministry with those who are in the midst of trauma, change and transition. She has served in the inpatient psychiatric setting, hospice, general hospital, parish and state government settings helping those who suffer with mental illness, addiction and homelessness find hope and healing.
III Saturday morning
1. We Care—Companionship Training.
This hands-on training is a dynamic way to extend your compassion to those who are in need. Learn about being a companion on someone’s journey.
The Rev. Craig Rennebohm (see above)
2. Disabilities Ministries: Beyond Elevators: Creating Inclusive Congregations. Now that you really get it, what do you do with it? Explore ways that congregations can take the journey to make inclusion a reality.
Dr. Debbie Creamer (see above)
3. In Our Own Voice, IOOV.
National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI St. Louis. (see above)
4. Bringing them All Back Home and Whole: Helping those affected by war to spiritually heal.
The Rev. Peter Bauer (see above)
5. Spiritual Support Group.
Dr./Sister Nancy Kehoe (see above)
6. Speaking about disabilities and mental illness/brain disorders in worship and supportive resources for clergy and church members: A Panel
The Rev. Dr. Jane Fisler Hoffman, the Rev. Bob Molsberry, and the Rev. Martie McMane. (see above)
7. Ask the Professionals.
Dr. Kim Johnson. (see above)
Jennifer Starks is a training specialist with Touchpoint Autism Services in St. Louis and does in-home training of parents. She is also the parent of a child with disabilities. TouchPoint is a caring community of professionals who are dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals and families that are affected by autism. Jennifer will give an introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders and share some strategies for working with children with ASD in the congregation.
At least one in four families in all faith communities is affected by a mental illness/brain disorder or a disability. The United Church of Christ has long been an advocate in inclusion for all through the UCC Disabilities Ministries (DM) and the UCC Mental Illness Network (MIN). Throughout our UCC history, we have highlighted, voted, and enacted resolutions related to disabilities and mental illnesses/brain disorders. Now, for the first time, the UCC DM and the UCC MIN are together hosting a national gathering. The â€œWidening the Welcome: Inclusion for Allâ€ conference takes place September 23-25, 2010, at the Drury Inn in St. Louis, Missouri.
â€œWidening the Welcomeâ€ seeks to develop the life of congregations to include persons with disabilities and persons with mental illnesses/brain disorders and their families.
Featured speakers include Dr./Sister Nancy Kehoe, author of Wrestling with our Inner Angels: Faith, Mental Illness and the Journey to Wholeness, Dr. Debbie Creamer, author of Disability and Christian Theology: Embodied Limits and Constructive Possibilities, the Rev. Craig Rennebohm, author of Souls in the Hands of a Tender God, the Rev. Geoffrey Black, Dr. David Greenhaw, the Rev. Jane Fisler Hoffman, the Rev. Bob Molsberry, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Bauer, R. Jeffrey Pollock, atty., Vel Garner M.S., the Rev. Jeanne Ann Tyler, and more. Youâ€™re invited to join us for 7 workshops, worship, and devotions. Weâ€™re also inviting all who stay through Sunday the 26th to attend local UCC churches and to meet in the afternoon to plan programs and initiatives for the 28th General Synod of the UCC in 2011. For more information and to register, please go to www.wideningthewelcome.com or call (303) 756-8380.