Loading Events
Join us for a morning of learning and connection! Choose two out of more than a dozen workshop offerings to get practical tips to bring back to your congregation. Since there are so many workshops, we encourage churches to send a group so people can split up.
This is an especially great event for new church council members!
We will conclude the day by gathering in conferences to nominate and elect people for synod positions. The Conference Assembly gatherings are also when resolutions and memorials for Synod Assembly are discussed. Synod Assembly voting members are especially encouraged to attend, but all are invited!
8:30 Registration and check-in
9:00 Workshops  Session 1
10:00 Break
10:15 Workshops Session 2
11:15 Break
11:30 Time with Bishop Ann Svennungsen
12:00 Break
12:15 Conference Assemblies

Register now >


9:00 Workshops

What Our New Starts Are Learning That You Should Know

Led by MAS Mission Developers
Our synod’s mission developers are connecting with new people in new places in new ways. They are learning lots along the way. What have they discovered that can fuel your congregation’s imagination?


Best Accounting Practices

Led by Ty Inglis
What are the building blocks for serving God’s church through communicating financial information, establishing effective policies and procedures and building enthusiasm for mission?

What Churches Can and Can’t Do Regarding the Election

With the 2020 election fast approaching, we’re hearing a lot of questions about a congregation’s role at this time. How can pastors preach clearly about our Christian values from the pulpit while remaining non-partisan? Can our social justice team host a voter registration drive? How about a candidate forum? What’s okay to have on display in the halls when our church is a polling place? During this workshop, experts will answer these questions and more. Come prepared to learn a lot and leave ready to engage thoughtfully in the political process as a community of faith.

Parents as Faith Formers

Led by Stephanie Luedtke
Research shows that parents are the most important influence on their children’s spirituality. We will discuss how we, as church leadership and staff, can support parents in their roles as the primary faith formers in their children’s lives. Participants will come away with specific tools for how to help parents and congregations keep the promises they made at their children’s baptisms.

Mental Health Connect

Led by Vicki Elliott

Mental Health Connect works to provide community-based resources, support and education to improve access to mental health services and to connect individuals and families with the services they need. We provide this important service through a unique direct service, navigation program using phone/text/email communication. Our education services are offered at outreach sites and faith communities throughout the Twin Cities. This presentation will provide you with important updates on mental health data, how faith communities can best serve people with mental illness and how Mental Health Connect is growing and collaborating with you.

Good Stewardship: Maximizing the Value of your Real Estate

Led by Jeremy Striffler
Real estate can be a religious organization’s largest but most overlooked asset. We will offer our real estate expertise and nuanced understanding of the complexities of a religious community to help attendees understand how they can achieve outstanding results that are thoughtfully matched to their mission and ministry. The panel will encompass leasing, buying and selling of properties, along with effective property management ideas. More importantly, we will provide ample time for Q&A and idea sharing focused around good stewardship.

10:15 Workshops

How to Kill a Meeting

Led by Rev. John Hulden
Is it against the 5th Commandment to kill a meeting? Have you been to a meeting that died a slow death by neglect or lack of planning or discussions that go off the rail? What makes for a good meeting? How about a terrible meeting? Are your meetings worth the time (# of people x length of meeting=hours of precious volunteer time)? Come hear some antidotes to bad meetings, and bring some of your own to share.

Engaging your Community: An Introduction to Mission Insite

Led by John Mai
Looking to better engage your community in your church’s mission? Mission Insite is a demographic tool that the synod has made available to its congregations. It can produce reports that give information about your community’s age, lifestyle, income level, race/ethnicity, and a number of other demographics. The synod’s contract with Mission Insite expires this summer, so come learn about how you can take advantage of this tool before then!

Quilts, Kits, and So Much More: Living the Accompaniment Model in Global Community

Led by Global Companion Table of the Minneapolis Area Synod
This workshop will provide review of the Accompaniment model of global mission work and expand understanding of the partner organizations in the Minneapolis Area Synod. Participants will leave with resources for learning more about accompaniment, and utilize practical ways to enhance global mission work in their congregations.


HR Responsibilities for Church Council

Led by Janet Thompson

Among the fiduciary responsibilities for Church Councils are several relating to Human Resources. These include hiring and performance review; development and implementation of an employee handbook outlining expectations and policies; oversight of compliance with federal and state employment laws; and maintaining personnel records.
Come to this workshop to learn about best practices for Church Councils. Bring your questions and examples of good or poor practices in your congregation.

What is a Sanctuary Church?

Led by Jen Nagel and Nick Tangen
With the ELCA voting to become a Sanctuary Church at the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, many congregations are discussing what it means to be part of a sanctuary church. What are the moral/ethical implications? What are the risks? How does a church become a sanctuary congregation? What are some of the practical considerations? Pastor Jen Nagel and Nicholas Tangen from University Lutheran Church of Hope will share some of the learning they’ve done in partnership with ISAIAH and the University Area Sanctuary Coalition.

Church Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Led by members of Our Savior’s, East Bethel
Churches often face the tension of being open places of welcome while also ensuring safety and security. Come hear about Our Saviour’s East Bethel “Emergency Response Team.” Take a tour of the ERT program and see what this congregation is doing for medical emergencies, disaster readiness and potential hostile events.