Episcopal Diocese of Albany


Convention Home

Call to Convention

Convention Documents

Convention Schedule Friday

Convention Schedule Saturday Morning

Convention Schedule Saturday Afternoon/Evening

Convention Schedule Sunday

Workshop Schedule Session 1 (Friday Afternoon)

Workshop Schedule Session 2 (Friday Afternoon)

Workshop Schedule Session 3 (Friday Afternoon)

Workshop Schedule Session 4 (Saturday Morning)

Workshop Schedule Session 5 (Saturday Morning)

Workshop Schedule Session 6 (Saturday Afternoon)

Workshop Schedule Session 7 (Sunday Morning)

Convention Workshop Presenter Biographies

Convention Reconciliation Schedule, Friday

Convention Reconciliation Schedule, Saturday

Convention Reconciliation Schedule, Sunday


Workshop Descriptions
for the
148th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Albany

Abide in Christ
Bear Fruit
Glorify God


Workshops are subject to change or cancellation without notice.

Abide With Me: Making Sense of John's Gospel (Very Rev. Dr. Christopher Brown)
John the Evangelist has his own distinct voice, and a unique and powerful way of presenting Jesus' redemptive work. This workshop explores John's distinct way of speaking of God's saving action in Christ and our response. The more we grasp the richness and urgency of John's Gospel, the more we can claim for ourselves our new identity in Christ, and "abide" in him.
Addicition: A Pastoral Approach (Rev. Frank Lockwood, Rev. Michael Neufeld)
Addiction is real in our world, and yes, in the Church. Many find themselves enslaved to a host of destructive substances and activities and are desperate for release and healing. There is Good News. In Jesus Christ, new life is offered. This workshop will explore how parishes can be communities of support and healing for those seeking recovery.
All Who Wander Are Not Lost...But They Will Be Soon (Mr. Steve McGrattan)
"All who wander are not lost" is a catchy phase people use to say....Hey! I'm not lost, I'm just wandering around and that's ok. The problem is that only works for a short time. Eventually, without direction and a destination, people and organizations will wander too far from the path God has chosen for them, and before you know it, they're lost. Come share a story about how faith, some Bible verses and a compass provided purpose and direction to someone who wandered through life too long, but now has been found.
Bishop's Call: Spare God's Children (Rev. Lynne Curtis, CSW, Rev. Nancy Goff, Rev. Hannah Mudge)
Calling all Church School Teachers, Youth Workers, Deacons - all who care! Hear the silent, helpless cry of those most vulnerable among us. This workshop is offered to raise awareness among our congregations and in our communities about infants, toddlers and children who suffer physical, emotional and sexual abuse as well as neglect. Dcn. Nancy Goff will moderate and identify what abuse is not and share her experiences within the hospital setting. As a former school Social Worker, Dcn. Lynne Curtis will identify signs and symptoms of abuse. Mtr. Hannah Mudge (Oaks of Righteousness) will share her experience in ministering to such children and navigating the waters of support. Information will be available on community resources and tools available for use in reaching out individually and as a parish to children and families suspected of being at risk. Our Goal: That all who attend will be inspired and provoked by the Holy Spirit to go back to their congregations and communities, equipped with helpful information, and loudly proclaim: We care and are committed to sparing God's children from unnecessary suffering!
Can the Western Church Be Saved? (Rev. Dr. Ed Gross, CityNet Ministries)
This workshop will focus on the state of the U.S. Church today. We will note its demise, based on recent analyses made by award-winning Christian journalists. And we will give hope for the future through a brief look at biblical discipleship and the impact the renewal of biblical discipleship is having both in the U.S. and globally.
The Dash Event: Sharing the Gospel with the Un-Churched in a Comfortable Setting (Rt. Rev. William Love, Mr. Timothy Condon, Rev. Scott Evans, Rev. David Haig, Ven. Harvey Huth, Very Rev. Nixon McMillan, Very Rev. Derik Roy, Mrs. Sue Ellen Ruetsch, Rev. Jill Stellman)
The Dash Event is a preaching mission developed to share the Gospel message of hope and meaning to unchurched people. It has been created as a venue for local churches to encourage members to invite an unchurched person to an event planned purposely to be fun and non-threatening, yet with the Gospel message; ultimately to serve as a bridge to Christ and His church. Developed by a team of people commissioned by the Bishop, including the Bishop himself, this workshop is designed to help a church plan a Dash event in your local area, equip and encourage church members to invite a person to the Dash event, and develop a Dash event program using "local" people to put on the event.
Discovery Bible Study:
A Way to Make Disciples for Jesus (Rev. Dr. Ed Gross, CityNet Ministries)

Discovery Bible Study is a method for studying God's Word that provides structure for the study and encourages obedience to God's Word and sharing one's faith. This plenary session will provide information on and an example of how to study the Bible this way and disciple others.
Domestic Violence: Responding With Faith (Rev. Anne Curtin, Rebecca Alamillo)
Come and learn the myths and facts of domestic violence. With this knowledge, our faith response is clear.
Embracing the Recovery Community (Rev. Dave Haig)
Building on this year's Parish Leadership Conferences, if your parish senses a leading to engage with the recovery community, or if you would like to host an Alcoholic Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Al-Anon, or Nar-Anon groups, come and discuss ways to reach out to communities that we can assist as well as benefit spiritually. Recovery is a powerful thing!
Endurance, Relationship and Hope: What Our Partners in Maridi Teach Us About Mission (Linda Abwa, Diocese of Down and Dromore)
Often we come to mission as a task to accomplish, or a passion to fulfill. We talk of mission trips as if mission were a short term venture. We talk of what activities we will do 'when we get there', as if mission were only a 'to do' list. In this seminar we will explore the three-way partnership between Albany, Maridi and Down and Dromore Dioceses with an eye on what our partners in Maridi teach us about mission. More than an update, this seminar aims to deepen the committed relationship between the Diocesan links, and inspire you to explore the wider possibilities of mission.
Foundations: Do You Need Them? (Rev. Mark Chesnut)
The Diocese of Albany is pleased to partner with Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA in offering the Foundations for Christian Ministry courses throughout the Diocese. The eight-module training program is designed for adult Christians seeking greater preparation for Christian Life and Ministry. It covers Old and New Testaments, Church Doctrine, Church History, Worship and Spirituality, and Christian Ethics. This workshop presents the eight-module courses, content, costs, and schedules within the Diocese.
Fresh Expressions: An Approach to Evangelism and Church Growth (Rev. Leander Harding, Rev. Alistair Morrison)
Fresh Expressions is a movement for taking the Gospel to people and places in contemporary society that are seldom reached by other methods. This movement began in the UK and the Church of England has officially adopted it as an evangelism and discipleship strategy. According to the Fresh Expressions UK website, "Fresh Expressions seeks to transform communities and individuals through championing, resourcing and multiplying new ways of being church. We work with Christians from a broad range of denominations and traditions and the movement has resulted in thousands of new congregations being formed alongside more traditional churches." Join Fr. Leander Harding, Rev. Alistair Morrison and Mrs. Beth Strickland for a discussion of the philosophy of Fresh Expressions and the promise and challenge of adapting this approach for the Diocese of Albany.
From Confusion to Fruit: How to Discern Spiritual Gifts (Rev. Ellen C. Neufeld)
We all desire to be filled by the Holy Spirit in order to help build up God's Kingdom, however we all also have questions about how to discern the authentic gifts. While we are blessed in our diocese with openness to the power and activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between authentic gifts of the Spirit and our own thoughts and feelings. We are much more ready and able to bear the good fruits of the Holy Spirit when we have a clearer understanding of reliable ways to discern His work in us. In this workshop we will discuss principles and methods of discernment in order to develop more effective ways of operating in the Holy Spirit's gifts and growing His fruit.
From the Inside Out: The Gifts of the Spirit in Practice (Rev. Canon Mark Harvey, Diocese of Down and Dromore)
Many of us have been taught about the gifts of the Holy Spirit and have some experience of them at a personal level. How might the Spirit's gifts deepen our intimacy with Christ, enable us to bear more of his fruit, and enable us to be more effective witnesses to the reality of his presence and power in the world?
Healing & Holiness: Crockpots and Microwaves (Rt. Rev. Daniel Herzog)
How does the Lord fulfill His will for our lives: beginning, continuing and ending in Christ. Fresh starts, new beginnings, biblical faith and Spirit-filled living.
Healing Prayer: You Can Do It! (Rev. Mark Chesnut)
Are you intimidated or anxious about praying publicly, whether for one person or in front of a crowd? Do you even care to pray for others? In either case, this workshop is for you! Fr Mark Chesnut will lay the groundwork as to why to pray, then will lead you into how to pray so that you will be more comfortable in doing so. "The love of Christ compels us!"
Hear From Our Youth! (Mr. John Iseman Mr. Caleb Ames)
This workshop is based on a Diocese-wide youth survey. The survey was designed to gauge where the youth of the Diocese are in four main categories: understanding and enjoyment of our Sunday services, participation and engagement in youth activities during the week, their own faith, and the degree to which they engage with their parents in their faith. During the workshop, John Iseman will review the survey results and ask a panel of mature youth their thoughts about some of the more striking data. There will also be a time of Q&A where attendees can ask John and the Youth Panel about the ways we are serving our youth as well as how we can better reach our youth.
The Heart of Renewed Discipleship is Obedience (Mrs. Debby Gross, Mrs. Sue Hall, Mrs. Pam Hastings)
Obedience sounds like an old-fashioned word. Yet it is the key to being a renewed disciple of Jesus. This workshop will teach and model how Discovery Bible Study is an effective format to hear and follow the Lord's call, "Follow me."
Making Disciples of Jesus Among the Least and the Lost (Mr. Dan Towner, Mrs. Lillian Towner, Mr. Tom Tacconelli)
Our culture, and the local church, tends to overlook the lost souls and "least-valued" persons in our communities. This workshop will explain how to use the Discovery Bible Study (DBS) as an effective tool for reaching these invisible people so loved by God yet easily overlooked. It is led by Dan and Lillian Towner and Tom Tacconelli who are on the CityNet Ministries Mission Team from Philadelphia.
The Meaning, The Model and The Method of Glorifying God (Rev. Desmond Francis)
In this workshop, attendees will discover the mind and the heart of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and His Word and answers to three fundamental questions: What is the meaning and the message of Glorifying God? Who is the Primary and Secondary Model of those who glorify God? How can we glorify God today as the Easter People of God? Attendees are encouraged to come and be a part of this workshop and together, "Let us expect great things from the Lord and together attempt great things for the Lord!"
Messy Church (Ms. Julie Hintz)
Are you passionate about reaching people of all ages with God's love? Do you and your team long to connect with those who are not already in your church, and with those who don't know Jesus? Messy Church is a fast growing ministry that engages and builds relationships with people outside the usual church context. It works to respond to our changing world, and to be consistently relevant. Today there are more than 3,200 registered Messy Churches around the world (and many more that are unregistered), engaging over 300,000 people monthly! Join us as we spend time exploring what Messy Church is (and isn't!) and look at ways to start thinking about starting a Messy Church in your context.
My Hope: A Proven Approach To Evangelism In The Local Church (Pastor Jim Wolford)
"My Hope is a national initiative to encourage and equip the local church to proclaim the gospel. Since 2002, over 10 million people in 60 countries have come to Christ thru the My Hope project. Over 150,000 people have come to Christ in the U.S. and Canada since 2013. Pastor Jim will present reports of how the My Hope project has impacted churches and communities right here in upstate New York. My Hope resources local churches at no charge with all of the proven ingredients of a Billy Graham crusade, and empowers the local church to reach its community in an effective way. When the workshop is completed you will be prepared to hold your own effective evangelism event.
Participating In Christ's Mission; Identifying With His Heart (Dr. Michael Staples, Ms. Sonia Dobson)
This seminar will discuss the following: the present cultural realities in America and the challenge it brings to the relevance of the Church's Mission, the Mission of Christ and how His heart for people helps bring focus to the ministry activity of the church, guide participants in living out Christ's missions, equipping participant in mobilizing fellow believers across generation in identifying with Christ and participate in His mission, and how the ministry of Scripture Union is a partner ministry to the local church and how this ministry can assist in mobilizing volunteers for ministry.
Safeguarding God's Children (Rev. Michael Gorchov, Mrs. Marianne Gorchov)
The Safeguarding God's Children program was developed by the Church Pension Group in concert with Praesidium, Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in the production of professional programs, videos and text materials for churches and not-for-profit groups. Safeguarding God's Children provides participants with the information they need to protect the children they know and care for in their personal lives and the ministries in which they serve. Clergy and lay leaders are invited to participate in training seminars, and after three years, receive re-training (or refresher training) for the prevention of child abuse. Our Diocese requires that all individuals who have regular ministries with children and youth receive certification.
Theological Education in Arctic Canada (Fr. Joey Royal, Diocese of the Arctic)
The Diocese of the Arctic is reopening the Diocesan theological college (Arthur Turner Training School) in September 2016. The school will be located in Nunavut's capital city of Iqaluit, which is also the home of our newly built cathedral. Come hear about this exciting initiative, and about the joys and challenges of ministering in the Diocese of the Arctic.
Thoughts Matter: Holiness and the Renewal of Our Minds (Sr. Mary Elizabeth, CSM)
One of the key components in our call to abide and bear fruit in Christ is how we order our thinking. Sometimes our passions motivate us and sometimes they send us into a spiral that draws us far from our first love. From the earliest centuries of the Church, spiritual directors have addressed the importance of redirecting our thoughts both to reorder unruly emotions and to guide the actions of our will. This workshop will look at the importance of our thoughts in the ordinary path of the Christian disciple to inner healing, salvific action and the development of character. "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2 (KJV)
Try and Fail and Go Again... (Mr. Tim Burns, Diocese of Down and Dromore)
Young people need to be able to try and fail safely, to be encouraged to get up and go again, developing a faith that is real and robust. This workshop will explore the value and methods of working with young people, looking at why young people are important members of the church now and the value of that for the future. Youth ministry does not live in isolation from the rest of the church and has real worth to add to the diversity of the church community and in the mission of the church.
Vine Ripened: What Christian Maturity Looks Like & How to Achieve It (Rev. Tom Malionek)
In Ephesians 4, Saint Paul paints a vivid picture of the mature Christian. We will explore what "adulting" (yes, it's a verb now) looks like for followers of Jesus, and how we can ""attain ... to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (v. 13) by abiding in him in a way that bears fruit and glorifies God.
Welcome Veterans, Welcome Healing (Chaplain Noel Dawes)
The Diocese welcomes combat Veterans and their healing through the three-day Welcome Home Initiative© (WHI) retreat. These retreats bring spiritual and soul relief to military veterans and their spouses who have served in war or warlike zones. Many suffer in mind, body and soul from combat related stress such as Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), sexual trauma and other wounds, often hidden. The next retreat at the SLC is October 31 - November 2, 2016. The retreat, free for Veterans and spouses, is a great way to say, "Thank You! Welcome Home!" About 200 have been significantly helped since the first retreat in 2008. Interested to find out more about what happens during the retreat? Feeling called to support WHI in any way? Try abiding in Christ as a prayer minister. Bear fruit by helping scholarship a Veteran financially. Hear real life stories and learn to glorify God by encouraging a veteran or a spouse by coming to the public closing service at the end of each retreat.
What Does It Take To Become a Diocesan Evangelist? (Ms. Rachel Irish and Mr. Leslie McKeag, Diocese of Down and Dromore)
An insight into the work involved in training Evangelists who combine a credible level of learning with an ability to do the work of an Evangelist.
What's New In Alpha: New Ways To Introduce and Grow Christianity (Mrs. Karen Love, Chaplain Noel Dawes, Rev. Scott Evans, Rev. Karl Griswold-Kuhn)
This informational panel discussion on Alpha includes updates on the repackaged and revamped Alpha courses to better suit today's culture. It will highlight different programs to include Youth Alpha and The Marriage Course. Demonstrations on how to register online and access free videos, talk scripts, and promotional material will be provided. Ideas to promote Alpha through Facebook and Appointment Alpha will be discussed. Alpha is the most effective tool in our day for bringing the Gospel to people and helping them establish saving faith in Jesus. It remains a great context for Church growth. Come and join the discussion.
Copyright © www.albanydiocese.org All rights are reserved