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Workshop Descriptions
for the
149th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Albany


Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. - Matthew 5:16


Workshops are subject to change or cancellation without notice.

Beth Moore's Bible Studies for Women (Mrs. Karen Love)
Are you looking for a mechanism to encourage women's Bible Studies within your church and community? Are you seeking programs that are easy to facilitate, interesting, and help you navigate all over the Bible? Beth Moore's Women's Bible Studies provide a passionate, knowledgeable, and fun vehicle to facilitate outreach while diving into God's holy words. This workshop will outline some of Beth Moore's 20 programs available, provide a discussion on how to start a program in your church, and discuss what programs parishes can share. In addition to Bible Studies, these programs can be used in conjunction with retreats. During the past two years, Christ the King Healing Center hosted two February Women's Retreats utilizing Beth Moore programs. Find out what these women's bible studies are all about, or to share what programs you have completed and what you recommend.
Border to Border: Boots on the Ground Ministry (The Rev. James Brisbin)
For the past ten years, St. Francis Mission (formerly St. David's, East Greenbush) has been evolving from its origins as a traditional parish always teetering on closure. A small influx of about 25 Christian Burmese refugees from the community changed that. Over the last 10 years, with the blessing of the Good Lord, the church has grown exponentially. The American-born and the Burmese-born, united in their love for Christ and desire to spread the Gospel, grew the congregation from 35 to 135 people over a short period of time. Now this vibrant, multi-ethnic congregation has moved its church and ministry to the urban streets of Albany. Being in Albany will allow the congregation to reach the unreached and unchurched of the East Hill neighborhood. The Mission field outside the door just got a lot bigger. This workshop will cover:
  • The story of Saint Francis Mission
  • What is a Border-to-Border Ministry?
  • Sharing your faith not only with those of faith, but with those who have not yet come to faith
  • Growing your congregation by understanding the needs of your community and reaching out to people in need
  • From the Bible to boots on the ground: taking your faith outside the church and fellowship hall, and sharing faith with the people in your community
  • Faith in Action: Serving others is an effective form of evangelism
  • Complacency: Continuing to focus and follow God's lead for a growing a Christ-centered ministry
The Call to Forgive (The Rev. Sue Waldron)
As Christians we are called to forgive. We may learn this, even know this completely, may even come to yearn for this; and yet, living it fully can be difficult. When we are called to forgive, it means that there is real sin to forgive and, therefore, real pain to heal from. For many, the call to forgive is a process, not a one-time resolve. In this workshop, we will begin to explore the forgiveness process and how God works to bring forgiveness to our minds, our hearts and our souls.
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd: Shining at Saint Michael's Colonie (The Rev. Judith Malionek)
Late in the summer of 2016, in a Spirit-swept staff meeting, Saint Michael's, Colonie, adopted the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd as its approach to the religious formation of its children. After information sharing sessions with the parish, the people of Saint Michael's embarked on an all-hands-on-deck effort to create a beautiful and abundant sacred space for the children. They cleaned, painted walls, colored, cut, sewed, learned calligraphy, scavenged, molded figurines, and painted materials. Two parishioners came forward to be trained in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. They opened their sacred space (called an "atrium") in October 2016, and they continue to bring in the carefully crafted materials called for by the approach, building an environment through which children can draw near to God. In this workshop, they will share their journey, an overview of this approach to religious formation, and they will give you some sample presentations, including some that you can immediately take back to use in your own parish. The materials that make up an "atrium" (classroom) are on display in Buirkle Annex throughout the weekend, except when another workshop is using the space. Please drop by to acquaint yourself with the materials.
The Church in South Sudan: Reflecting the Light of Christ in the Darkness: Philippians 2:14-16 (Mrs. Gillian Maganda, CMS Ireland)
South Sudan, the world's newest nation (2011) has descended back into civil war. Despite the overwhelming majority of the people wanting and yearning for independence, many of the tensions among the more than sixty different ethnic groups in South Sudan - and particularly the two largest ethnic groups, the Dinka and the Nuer - were set aside without being resolved. The Church has played a pivotal role in speaking out against injustice and advocating for true and lasting peace. This seminar will share stories of how the Episcopal Church in Maridi is continuing to bridge the divide and living out what it means as God people to "love the strange in your midst" (Leviticus 19:33, 34). Famine is looming, communities are being displaced and violent assaults are prevalent and considered normal. Come and hear how the Church is shining the light of Christ in very challenging circumstances. The seminar will also explore how the Church in Albany and Down & Dromore can continue to strengthen and invigorate the three-way partnership with Maridi, so that together we can 'shine' in our expression of both local and global mission.
The Cranmer Option: An Anglican Perspective on Rod Dreher's The Benedict Option (The Rev Karl Griswold-Kuhn)
In his bestselling book, The Benedict Option, Rod Dreher paints a picture that orthodox Christians will find themselves in in the not-so-distant future: trying to survive in a new dark age thanks to the ever-rising tide of secularism. He proposes that Christians need to return to the wisdom of St. Benedict, founder of western monasticism, in order to flourish for generations to come. This workshop will discuss the thesis of Dreher's book as well as present an Anglican perspective as a possible solution to the coming crisis. We will answer such questions as: How might our prayer book heritage offer an answer to questions raised by The Benedict Option? How can our local parishes be a light in a dark world? What would a renewed commitment to discipleship look like in order to combat the rise of nominal Christianity? What role does catechesis play in combatting secularism? These any many more questions will be addressed at this workshop.
Desert that Blooms, Darkness that Shines: The Way of Contemplation (The Rev. James Krueger)

The glory of God is man, fully alive; the life of man is the vision of God. - Saint Irenaeus of Lyons (130-202).

O God, our hearts are restless until they rest in you. - Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430)

In the Christian worldview, the completeness of human life is not measured by how much one can achieve or acquire or any success we may enjoy according to worldly standards. Rather, our lives become complete to the extent that we have come to rest in God, knowing and loving him. As lovers move from becoming acquainted in conversation and activity to the quiet embrace of the marriage bed, so our relationship with God must deepen in intimacy. In the Christian spiritual tradition, the natural movement of the soul towards God leads one from a life focused on outward things to an interior life focused on spiritual intimacy and rest in God. When this movement is unimpeded, our Christian faith can be said to be "contemplative." In this workshop, we will explore the Christian contemplative way. What is contemplation as understood in the Christian tradition? How is contemplation different from meditation? What are the challenges and pitfalls of the contemplative life, and what prevents us from entering into it? How does contemplative practice touch, deepen, and unite all aspects of the Christian life, from serving the liturgy, to study, to serving others in our livelihoods and living in accord with the Christian moral and ethical vision?
Discipleship Jesus' Way: The 3 - 12 - 70 Plan (The Rt. Rev. David Parsons)
After God called me to invite everyone to follow Jesus, I began to ask questions. How do I do it? How do I know it is God speaking to me and not my own mind? I'm not content with just a Sunday faith, so how do I live the faith Monday to Saturday? When many are uncomfortable talking about Christianity, how can I get into a positive conversation with others so that together we may grow closer to Jesus? When many sons and daughters are not following their parent's Christian faith how do we help our sons to not only attend church, but be in relationship with Jesus? How do I put boots on my prayers in the work place? How do I turn the noun love into love as a verb? St. James says that faith must be linked to works, and he compared a ship's rudder to our tongue. James also talked about the two types of wisdom. Jesus said, in Matthew 6:15, "no one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket..." This workshop will focus on Jesus' 3-12-70 plan being Christ's ambassadors who... "let their light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven..." We will look at two churches: the sitting and the sent. We will also look at the power of: Words, Blessings, Compassion, Questions, Self Discovery, Practice, and Witness.
The Fruit of the Holy Spirit as the Distinguishing Mark of Shining for Jesus (The Rev. Desmond Francis)
This workshop will attempt to answer the following three questions:

  1. Why Shine for Jesus Christ?
  2. Obstacles to Shining for Jesus Christ
  3. A possible, intentional strategy of Shining for Jesus Christ
Having Gifts that Differ (Sister Mary Elizabeth, CSM)
Romans 12:6 states, "Having gifts that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them..." This workshop will look at the particular set of spiritual gifts which follows in the context of grace-given endowments in discernment and character as an introduction to the broader topic of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Keeping Faith in Mind (The Rev. Dr. William R. Hinrichs)
This workshop provides basic information that everyone needs to know about memory loss issues and what they mean for all of us, as well as practical tips for creating dementia-friendly communities of faith. Chaplains, clergy, pastoral care coordinators, parish nurses, and care givers should attend this informative workshop.
Leaving a Legacy (Mr. John Iseman)
We so often think of youth ministry as a program. As youth group with games, and pizza, and quirky Bible studies. Maybe we think of it as summer camp or confirmation. None of those are bad things, but this workshop will challenge all of us to take up a more robust vision for youth ministry - that it would be a partnership between parents and their local church to lead the youth of that parish to be devoted followers of Christ! As you think about this vision, consider the youth in your family, and in your church and ask yourself this question: What kind of spiritual legacy am I leaving? Am I leaving of legacy of religion, of cultural involvement in my church? Am I leaving a legacy where although we say Jesus is important, sports, extracurriculars and pursuit of "success" receive more of our attention and devotion? During this seminar we will examine the importance of devoted and robust youth ministry, especially considering our current cultural context and be challenged to take up the task of leaving a legacy of young people who are more on fire for Jesus than any of us!
The Light Shines in the Darkness (The Rt. Rev. John Tarrant, Bishop of South Dakota )
Bishop Tarrant serves with and among some of the poorest people in our nation. Many of them are Episcopalians. Yes, many Episcopalians, even in the U.S., are poor. In the Diocese of South Dakota, 54 out of 79 of the congregations are Native American and over one half of the Episcopalians are Native American. In the midst of people affected by poverty, discrimination and isolations, Bishop Tarrant continually sees the light of Christ shine through their lives. He is awestruck by the generosity and hospitality he experiences week in and out traveling among God's people in South Dakota. Through story, he will share the amazing light he has experienced even in the midst of some very deep darkness, offering stories of how faith in Jesus lived out through people in the Episcopal Church is bringing abundant life to a population hardly noticed by the larger world. He hopes to offer holy stories from holy lives. In no time in his ordained ministry has he been more aware of the presence of Jesus than in the past eight years as bishop of the Diocese of South Dakota, where he has discovered what "abundant life" looks like.
The Ministry of Educating (The Rev. Kino Vitet)
This workshop will address the benefits and challenges faced by churches that manage an elementary, primary, or secondary school. It will cover the following areas: the theology of education, the need for a religious language, the formation of character, and the economics of schools. Education is generally considered to be primarily a secular exercise. The knowledge that is taught in elementary, primary, and secondary schools is largely classified as a human understanding of the natural world. God is hardly credited as the author of the laws that govern the universe. Furthermore, it is not normally seen as progressive to teach children the language and axioms that are necessary to process concepts such as faith and other notions about God. As beings created in the image and likeness of God, we are undoubtedly conditioned to assimilate and process information. We could all agree that Jesus spent a great amount of time teaching His disciples and the people by word and example. The Israelites were also expected to be committed to the study of God's Word. Deuteronomy 6:7 reminds us of the frequency with which we ought to teach the things of God: "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."
Pastoring Those Impacted by Addiction (The Rev. Frank R Lockwood II, CASAC, The Rev. David Haig, The Rev. Lynne Curtis, The Very Rev. Nixon McMillan )
This workshop will be a forum to discuss pertinent information regarding providing pastoral care to those who have the disease of addiction as well as families of those who have the disease of addiction.
Prayer Shawl Ministry - Knitting into the Mystery (Ann McMillan, Donna Rogers)
This workshop will introduce you to the blessing that hand-made prayer shawls bring to your parish and community. There is wonderful fellowship as knitters and crocheters gather to ply their yarns into garments and pray into the mystery of the comfort they bring to the receiver and the crafter. Shawls are given in times of celebration and crisis to enfold the recipient into the arms of Jesus present in the prayers that encompass the shawls.

Note: Bring your needles and yarn if you have them with you or use one of our kits to enjoy a "hands on" opportunity to create a pocket prayer mat.
Puppets of Grace (Rev Katherine Alonge-Coons)
Come and share in the fun of puppet ministry. Puppets bring out the child in all of us and are a great way to share the Gospel message. Unleash your creativity and have fun by making a puppet and acting out with your puppet the Gospel story. A fun and joyful way to share the joy of Jesus.
Safeguarding God's Children (Rev. Michael Gorchov, Mrs. Marianne Gorchov)
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. The Diocese requires that all individuals who have regular ministries with children and youth receive certification. 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. 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.
"Shine!" - What God is Like, and How We Become Like Him (The Ven. Dr. Christopher Brown)
The Apostle Paul said that we are being "transformed from one degree of glory to another." (2 Corinthians 3:18) Salvation centers on the cross, and the forgiveness of sin, but it does not stop there. God wants us to "be like him" (2 John 3:2). This workshop focuses on the glory of God, and his work of glorifying us. We will see what Scripture says about the work of the Holy Spirit in sanctifying our lives, and the Eastern Orthodox concept of "theosis" by which we "become partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4).
Shining As a Dad: For Fathers and the Women and Children Who Love Them (The Rev Dr. Michael O'Donnell)
Using the acronym I-CAN (Involvement, Consistency, Awareness, and Nurturance), Fr. Michael will help workshop participants understand and apply each of these fathering principles and tap into the real-life experiences of other dads. The session has three parts: hear about specific Biblical passages about fathering; reflect upon the I-CAN framework and what it suggests about fathering; and resolve to apply what you've learned to your relationships with your children.
Shining Light into the Darkness of Domestic Violence (The Rev. Anne Curtin, Rebecca Alamillo)
Learn what domestic violence is, who it hurts, and what the Bible says about men's and women's authentic roles.
Sing to the Lord an Old Song: Leading Traditional Hymns with Guitar Accompaniment - For singers and guitar players (The Rev. Darius Mojallali)
Many small parishes do not have or cannot afford a pianist or organist, and must find alternative accompaniment to facilitate singing. A competent and well-trained guitarist is a viable possibility. But can the music continue to be traditional church music? Father Darius will share his experience playing traditional hymns on guitar in a traditional way, pretty much as written - not turning them into contemporary worship songs like Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) or Lord I Need You (excellent as those songs are). Many hymns in The Hymnal 1982 and the Celebration Hymnal can be played tastefully on guitar. Fr. Darius uses both finger-picking and flat-picking styles in leading hymns. He will help vocalists and guitarists lead hymn-singing in a way that is musically excellent as well as Spirit-led.

Singers will benefit from this workshop by discovering that a congregation is empowered to sing with confidence. People can often hear themselves and each other more readily with guitar accompaniment than with organ or piano.

Guitarists will discover how to figure out chords and effective strumming styles, play in singable keys without having to play difficult chords, and receive written examples of hymns with chords.

Please bring instruments if possible.
Taizé: Worship in Community (Ms. Shannon Ames, Mr. Alex Rohr )
Taizé worship is a meditative style that intersperses music, scripture reading, and periods of contemplative silence. Music typically starts with a simple melody and lyric taken from a prayer or Psalm, and is then built upon by instruments and voices in harmony. The aim is to foster a peaceful environment that allows people to delve deeper in prayer and their relationship with God. The Taizé community was founded in 1940 by Brother Roger Shütze as an ecclesiastical monastic community particularly targeted at young adults. Today the community still caters to those under 30, but the worship form has spread to all ages and churches around the world. This workshop is offered both as an introduction and as a worship experience. After a brief introduction to Taizé, its aims, and how to engage as a participant, most of the time will be spent in worship. If you seek quiet prayer time or further chances to worship, or want to know more about Taizé, you are welcome at this workshop!
Youth Bible Study Programs (Mrs. Karen Love)
In order to continue to grow spiritually, Bible Studies are needed for all ages, but finding programs for teens can be especially challenging. This session will explore a couple of the teen programs available to include Youth Alpha, Fearless, E100 Youth Edition, and Tuesday Night Live. Youth Alpha was recently updated and includes great videos and discussions questions. Fearless is an 8-week Bible Study designed specifically for teens by the Pocket Testimony League. The E100 Youth Edition allows you great flexibility to encourage Bible reading on a broader scale. Joining the Tuesday Night Live sessions from the Diocesan Youth Ministry allows you to build relationships with your youth group, as well as supporting other groups at the same time! It also unites all the youth of our Diocese, studying the same scriptures. Come and discuss ways to facilitate teens' Bible Studies and encourage others to share in this vital ministry.
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