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. 

Tentative Schedule

Monday – 10:00-4:00 

10:00     Welcome by Bishop Brian Maas and intro to our Re.Formation Event
10:15     Worship – Homily by Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton                                                                             
11:00     Break 
11:15     Keynote – Rev. Dr. Katherine A. Shaner                                                                                                                                                       
12:15     Announcements & Lunch on your own 
1:00       Storytelling Time                                                                                                                                      
1:15       Keynote- Rev. Louise Johnson                                                                                                                                                 
2:15        Break (20 minutes) 
2:35        Announcements & Storytelling Time                                                                                                                                                       
2:45        Workshops 
               Spiritual Direction available during Workshops                                                                                                                                
3:45        Closing announcements & Prayer                                                    
4:00        Wrap 

Monday  Evening – 7:00-9:30  pm 

7:00        Zentangle- A spiritual practice with Diane Harpster                                                                                                  
7:00        RARE – Racism, Awareness, Reconciliation and Engagement by the Nebraska Synod RARE Team                                          
9:00        Evening prayer                                                                                             

Tuesday 9:30 - 

9:30       Early Bird Morning Spiritual Practice (20 Minutes)                                                                                                       
10:00     Welcome & the day’s announcements                                                           
              Opening prayer                    
10:15     Keynote- Rev. Dr. Katherine A. Shaner                                                                                                                                                
11:15     break 
11:30     Time with the Bishop Bishop Brian Maas                 
12:15     Announcements, grace & lunch on your own  
              12 Step Gathering 
1:00       Afternoon Announcements & Storytelling Time                                                                                                                                                 
1:15       Panel Discussion with Rev. Louise Johnson, Bishop Brian Maas and Rev Dr. Katherine Shaner         
              What are you seeing? Where are we going?                                                 
2:15       Break  
2:35       Workshops 
              Spiritual Direction available during the workshop sessions
3:45       Announcements & Prayer                                                                                                                           
4:00       Wrap 

Tuesday Evening 7:00-9:30pm

7:00       Life in the parsonage – Debbie Maas– Spouses invite to join the conversation 
7:00       Single Ministry Living Solo - Pastor Heidi Wallace 
*There will be chat rooms and a bulletin board available to participants to encourage interaction beyond the scheduled event time
9:00       Evening prayer                                                                                             

Wednesday - 10-12:00 

10:00     Announcements & Morning Prayer 
10:15     Keynote  – Rev Louise Johnson 
11:15     Let's Wrap It Up!                                                                                                                                                                                  
11:30     Closing Worship with Installation of Cluster Deans                                                                                     
12:00     Thank you – Go in peace                   

*We are online so we encourage you to invite retired rostered leaders and PMAs, roster leader candidates, and PMA students and church friends who may now be serving in other synods. Registration is live at the link below. Additional details will be added as plans are finalized. An email with the link for each day of the event will be sent early each morning for your convenience. 

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. 


Bishop Brian Maas

Title: Congregational Vocation

Description:  Lutherans speak often of the vocations of the baptized, but as communities of Christ, congregations have vocations too. What does that mean? What is your congregation’s vocation? How can you help your congregation identify and articulate it? These are questions at the core of a coming Thriving Congregations effort of the Nebraska Synod, the basis for a Lilly Foundation grant proposal. Learn how it can take flesh and bring energy where you serve.


Links & Downloads

Workshop Information

Check back for workshop information.

Storytelling Links