2020 Re.Formation Event

Growing Disciples, Walking Together, & Serving God’s World 

October 26-28, 2020 – online 

As members of the Nebraska Synod, we declare that we are Growing Disciples, Walking Together, Serving God’s World.

In that declaration, we find our encouragement, asking ourselves:

-How have I been Growing as a Disciple?
-Who has been Walking Together with me?
-Can I recognize that I’m not just working, but Serving God’s World?

Register now for the annual leadership gathering of Nebraska Synod Ministry Leaders for learning, worship and connections. 


Monday – October 26 

10:00     Welcome! Bishop Brian Maas
10:15     Worship – Worship Leader – Rev. Dr. Sarah Cordray 
               Homily – Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
11:00     Break 
11:15     Communities Called Out in Christ– Rev. Dr. Katherine A. Shaner           
12:15     Announcements - Lunch on your own 
1:00       Announcements & Storytelling 
1:15       Mission Impossible: The Promise of God in Challenging Times– Rev. Louise Johnson
2:15       Break
2:35       Afternoon announcements & Storytelling                    
2:45       Workshops – All workshops will be recorded and posted on the Synod website 
             + We Are God’s Answer to Our Prayers– Rev. Dr. Rick Carlson

             + Community Organizing 101 for Church Leaders – Tyler Darnell,Synod Evanglist 

             + Embodied Spiritual Practices: Honoring, Savoring & Living the Human/Divine Connection – Carol Olson, Spiritual Director 

             + Congregational Vocation – Bishop Brian Maas 

             + Facing Grief Caused by Covid-19 and Other Losses – Dr. Don Eisenhauer, MCC 

             + Want Healthy Ministers? Foster Congregational EQ – Julene Lesher. RN, BSN, ILCSN 

             + Spiritual Direction available during the workshops – Pastors Ellen Stelzle & Kat Montira, Spiritual Directors, Seeking the Spirit Within Coordinators 

3:45        Announcements & Prayer                                                    

Monday  Evening 

7:00        Prayer and Meditative Drawing – Diane Harpster, Spiritual Director 
7:00        Racism, Awareness, Reconciliation, Engagement – RARE Committee 
9:00        Evening Prayer –Deacon Kathy Paisley, Spiritual Director  


Tuesday – October 27 

9:30       Early Bird 20 Minute Devotion – Pastor Amalia Spruth-Janssen
10:00     Morning announcements & prayer                                                       
10:15     Communities Called Out in Christcontinued – Rev. Dr. Katherine A. Shaner 
11:15     Break 
11:30     Time with the Bishop – Bishop Brian Maas                 
12:15     Announcements & lunch on your own  

              Lunch option –Open 12 Step Gathering –Pastor Otto Schultz,LADC
              This is an Open 12 Step Meeting for people in recovery and for people who are just  curious about how 12 Step groups work as a spiritual program. 

1:00       Afternoon announcements & Storytelling 
1:15       Panel Discussion with Rev. Louise Johnson, Rev. Dr. Katherine Shaner and Bishop Brian Maas with Pastor Paula Lawhead moderator 
2:15       Break  
2:35       Workshops – All workshops will be recorded & posted on the Synod web page 
              + We Are God’s Answer to Our Prayers– Rev. Dr. Rick Carlson 

              + Ask, Don’t Tell: The Art of Holy Listening and Powerful Questioning –Jamie Duprey, Level 1 & Level 2 ICF Life Coach

              + The FAITH5™: Faith Formation Every Week at Church and Every Night in Every Home –Pastor Breen Sipes, Deacon Kristen Johnson & Vicar Emily Dalen

              +Maintaining Relational Health in Times of Tension and Crisis –Rev. Dr. Roger Kruger    

              + We are not alone! – Carolyn Grice, MDiv, Ed.D.

              +Practical Discipleship In Impractical Ways - Bishop Patricia Davenport, Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod

              + Spiritual Direction available during the workshops – See registration – Pastors Ellen Stelzle & Pastor Kat Montira, Spiritual Directors, Seeking the Spirit Within Coordinators 

3:45       Announcements & prayer 

Tuesday Evening 

7:00       Life in the Parsonage – Debbie Maas, MA LMHP – Spouses & partners welcome
7:00       Single Ministry Living Solo – Pastor Heidi Wallace 
9:00       Evening Prayer – Pastors Ellen Stelzle & Kat Montira, Spiritual Directors, Seeking the Spirit Within 


Wednesday – October 28

 9:30       Early Bird 20 Minute Devotion– Kathy Miller, Spiritual Director, PMA Student 
10:00      Announcements & prayer 
10:15      Mission Impossible: The Promise of God in Challenging Times continued – Rev. Louise Johnson 
11:30      Worship continues with Thanksgiving of Baptism, Renewal of Call and Installation of Cluster Deans 
12:30      Go in peace                   


*We are online so we encourage you to invite retired rostered leaders, PMAs, roster leader candidates, PMA students, and rostered leaders who may now be serving in other synods.

Keynote Speakers

Katherine A. Shaner

Keynote Description:  Communities Called Out in Christ

 What is church? Does the gospel call us out into the world or ask us to separate from it? Does the gospel call us to assemble multiple voices in our spaces or be obedient to one? Does the gospel call us to create something permanent or to abandon security? Does the gospel call us to take risks in faith or center ourselves in certainty? For biblical writers, the answer to all of these is yes! These keynotes will explore the world of the communities to which Paul wrote, with a simple question in mind: Whose voices are missing from the way we understand church both ancient and contemporary? The communities to which Paul wrote did not know how to be church in the world—so they innovated for the sake of the gospel. Paul’s letters give us a glimpse into this innovation. Yet so often we imagine wayward people in need of a strong leader (Paul) who will tell them what to do to be more faithful, more loving, more grateful. But what if we were to imagine each of these churches as faithful, innovative, grace-filled and engaged intheir local communities rather than separate from them. These keynotes will explore what it meant to be church in the first century and what we might learn about being church in the 21st century.


Louise N. Johnson

Keynote Description:  

You’ve been working hard. For years, of course, but particularly in the past few months. In March, you set a pace to be maintained for 8-10 weeks – daily devotions, every-member check-ins, suspended meetings and budgets. “Surely we will be past the danger of the virus by June,” we thought. Months later, we know that we are in this for the long haul. We are struggling to keep the pace, weary of doing work that is so draining, dealing with our own personal struggles, and doing ministry in a deeply divided, highly politicized culture. Not to mention the fact that many of our churches were challenged before the reality of the past six months. So what now? Many of us are stuck in patterns of overwork, caught in the tyranny of the immediate and the important. How do we get off the hamster wheel and step into the moment before us, which also holds some extraordinary potential for what the church could be? “Impossible,” you think to yourself, “I have no idea where to even begin.” The beginning is discipleship, leaning into the power and promise of God and recognizing that “impossible” work is God’s specialty. It is also the work Jesus sends the disciples out to do in Matthew 10:5-15. What does it mean to step into the power, promise, and calling of God to do “impossible” work and how do we do it? These sessions will reflect on leadership and discipleship and how the church that God calls together becomes the sent church for the sake of the new world emerging all around us. 


Links & Downloads

Workshop Information

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Storytelling Links