Called Together in Mission
People of the Spirit 

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Troy Troftgruben, assistant professor,

Wartburg Theological Seminary 

Date: Saturday, March 14th, 2015, 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Location: First Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids, IA

Conference at a Glance: We are people of the Spirit! Join members of the Southeastern Iowa Synod for Called Together in Mission. This year CTIM is excited to welcome Dr. Troy Troftgruben, assistant professor at Wartburg Theological Seminary as the keynote speaker. Troy will engage and inspire conference participants to action around the topic of what it means to be people of the Spirit.

 This year’s Workshops:

Starting with the Spirit: Doing Lutheran Theology in Spirit-Centered Ways – Traditional Lutheran theology has often focused on Second Article (Jesus-focused) ideas, for good reason. But the result is an undervaluing of the Spirit’s place in our theology. In this conversation we will focus on the Third Article (on the Spirit) of the Apostles’ Creed, Luther’s explanation of it, and a theology that prioritizes the Spirit while yet being distinctively Lutheran. 

Toward a Deeper Understanding of Sacramental Practices – The use of The Means of Grace – What does it mean to come to the font? To the table? To these places where we are promised the gift of the Holy Spirit. How do our practices differ from congregation to congregation? Join Southeastern Iowa Synod Bishop Michael Burk for conversation about the use of The Means of Grace and the promise of the Spirit.

Lutheran Identity and Vocation – What role does the Holy Spirit play in your daily life, in the job you choose, and how you relate to your family? Master of divinity student Brian Middleswarth will help you discover Martin Luther’s wisdom of the work of the Holy Spirit in your day-to-day life as a Lutheran.  

Intentional Conversation – How do you listen for the Holy Spirit? Clark Olson-Smith, pastor/redeveloper, is a leader in teaching and facilitating deep listening among those in our congregations and communities. He will give you tools and a framework for inspiring your congregation to engage in a campaign of listening. Where is the Spirit leading you? Your congregation? In conversation with one another, you may discover that the Spirit is leading you into surprising adventures of faith.

Spirit Led Youth – Most youth are juggling five different schedules: practices, rehearsals, a study session, a game, a social life. In the midst of this chaos, where do our youth find the Spirit at work? This session will explore this question and open up discussion on how to better equip our youth to have an impact in their own community.

Peace Not Walls – In our baptismal vows we promise to work for peace and justice in the world. Peace Not Walls, a campaign of the ELCA, responds to the Spirit in many ways: by going to accompany the Palestinian people under occupation, by telling their story, and by acting in speaking, writing, and advocacy on their behalf. Our workshop will share some stories of how the people of God are working in Palestine and Israel in connection with this call of the Spirit. We will help you to become informed so you too can become an advocate for those who live in the land where Jesus walked.

Transforming Your Church Community – Is your church following where God is leading you? Pastor Erika Uthe shares the story of the Spirit’s movement at St. John’s in Ely that transformed the small rural congregation into a dynamic growing ministry reaching out to those in need. Discover how your church can strengthen its mission and follow the Spirit’s lead regardless of where God has planted you.

Answering the Spirit’s Call Online – Do you think the Holy Spirit can speak to the world through the use of social media and online platforms? If so, what is the best way to use these online tools to share how the Spirit is calling your congregation into the world? Join us in a lively discussion of how congregations can use social media and online communication to respond to the ways the Spirit is moving your congregation.

Art and Worship – Discovering new avenues to bring out others hidden talents and gifts can add a new element to the worship service. Art is a great, fun, and friendly way for people to express their faith. Congregational made art installments, collaborative writings, youth art projects, incorporating special art into celebrations and making new traditions are some ideas that will be shared. Join Jill Edwards, a creative at heart, to discover that everyone has the ability to make an artful celebration for worship. 

Personal Spirituality – What is a “spiritual person” supposed to look like? Does he or she wake up at dawn and read the Bible and pray three hours every day? Director of Spiritual Transformation, Marcie Watson, de-bunks the modern myths of what makes a person spiritual, and uncovers some fun and exciting new practices that you and your church can do to connect more deeply with God.  

Building Faith Practices – Baptism is the beginning of our faith journey as we come from the baptismal waters to live a new life as children of God. Marked with the cross of Christ and sealed by the Spirit, we receive a new identity as followers of Jesus, and the story of Jesus becomes our story. Learn how to use the five-fold response to God’s covenant with us, as stated in Affirmation of Baptism, as a way to build faith practices in your congregation. 

Sharing Faith Through Art – Have you ever been stopped in your tracks by a painting or stained glass window that caught your eye? Cyndee Buck, a leader of Artistic Expression for the 2015 Detroit Youth Gathering, will teach us the potential impact of artwork that visually reflects the emotion of the crucifixion and visually shares the meaning of God’s Words from the Bible. You will learn how to engage people’s hearts, build community, and reach out to people through Christian art.

UN Commission on the Status of Women – Women and girls are change agents in their local communities helping to break the cycle of poverty and hunger everywhere, every day. Fresh off the plane from New York City, Minda Davison, Director for Communications, will share about her experience at the United Nations 59th Commission on the Status of Women. Minda is part of the ELCA young adult cohort that participated in the event as part of The Lutheran World Federation’s official delegation, and will share highlights from the event and information about how we can work together toward equality for all people.

Conversation with the Bishop – Join Southeastern Iowa Synod Bishop Michael Burk for a time of conversation about being led by the Spirit. This includes the opportunity to talk about happenings within this synod and throughout the ELCA.

A New Creation – Around the Wheel – The Wholeness Wheel is increasingly used by ELCA individuals and organizations as a tool for living well. In this workshop you will have an opportunity to reflect – privately or in conversation with another – how this wheel can lead you into deeper understanding of wellness. You will take with you new and unique ways to enrich your own spiritual well-being and ways to invite others into an understanding that wellness is multi-dimensional – made up of spiritual, vocational, intellectual, emotional, physical, social, and financial dimensions of well-being.

Hunger in the Heartland and Beyond – Join Pastor Paul Ostrem and members of the Commission for Church in Society for a viewing and discussion of “Hunger in the Heartland.” This new documentary and companion resource guide is a Iowa-produced resource by TS Media in association with the Coalition in Support of Hungry Children. This inspirational documentary and resource guide packed with action possibilities will assist congregations and communities in strategizing about how to respond locally to the needs of people suffering from hunger.

Story of Service – What stories get told through service experiences? Explore biblical stories of service and practices that make room for recognizing and honoring others’ stories. When service and mission experiences are thought of as more than projects and trips, service can become a lifelong spiritual practice and way of life.

 Listening to the Spirit, Listening to One Another (Bible Study) – We are interested in listening for the Spirit’s voice, but what does that look like in practice? In this study we’ll consider how face-to-face dialogue is a way of listening to the Holy Spirit. Not only beneficial on an interpersonal level, listening is an undervalued spiritual practice for communal discernment.

The Spirit of Truth, Making the Separation Endurable (Bible Study) – What is the role of the Holy Spirit in and among us? In this study we will look deeper into the Spirit’s role in sin, righteousness, and judgment. We will consider together the ways in which the Spirit guides us in truth and glorifies God.

With Sighs too Deep for Words (Bible Study) – How can we have confidence in what we cannot see? We will discuss Paul’s description of hope and weakness, waiting and redemption. This text assures us that we are God’s people, living in the promise of hope – in the promise of the Holy Spirit interceding for us even when we cannot see hope.

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