News Briefs: Covenanters Making Headlines

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Free Workshop for Town and Country Leaders

ALEXANDRIA, MN (August 23, 2011) – The Town and Country Commission will sponsor a free leadership workshop October 9-10. It will precede the Ministerial Association Retreat.

The speaker will be Mark McCloskey, professor of ministry leadership at Bethel Theological Seminary. A staff member with Campus Crusade for Christ for 24 years, McCloskey served in a variety of leadership capacities, including campus director at the University of North Dakota, area director for the upper Midwest, director of human resources, director of strategic planning, director of international student outreach, and national director for leadership development. He is a consultant and workshop leader in the areas of strategic planning, leadership development, and team building.

The conference will also feature a bonus session with Mike Brown, Northwest Conference director of church planting, on the demographic tool MissionInsite.

The commission was created to support pastors serving small town and rural churches and their congregations. Churches serving these communities often face challenges that are special and unique to their settings. About 75 of the conference’s 140 churches are in town and country settings.

The commission also conducts an annual district listening post to gather ideas and needs for local church pastors and leaders. The commission, in conjunction with a local town and country church, also has awarded a paid internship specifically focused on training a student for town and country ministry.

For more information and to register, click here and select the October workshop link, which contains a PDF that displays a registration form.

Workshop to Address Spiritual Issues Surrounding Chronic Illness

CHICAGO, IL (August 23, 2011) – An upcoming workshop at North Park University for healthcare and ministry professionals will focus on spiritual issues faced by people with chronic illness and disabilities. Different ways of communicating one’s lived reality will be considered including art, lament and narrative.

The continuing education workshop entitled “Health Within Illness: Giving Voice to Experience,” will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon October 22 at the university. The program will include:

  • Art as a Lens for Family Experience: Giving Voice without Words, led by Tim Lowly, assistant professor of art at North Park University, who has a severely disabled daughter.
  • Searching for Meaning within Illness: Giving Voice to the Body, led by Mary Chase-Ziolek, university professor of health ministries and nursing.
  • Psalms of Lament: Giving Voice to Suffering, led by Judy Swanberg, chaplain at Covenant Village of Florida

Registration is $50 before September 30, $55 after October 1. A discount rate of $35 is available to employees of Swedish Covenant Hospital, Covenant Retirement Communities and Covenant Enabling Residences. Cost is $15 for North Park University and North Park Theological Seminary students.

A web page will soon be created so people can register online. Until then, anyone interested in participating or seeking more information should email Chase-Ziolek.

Selah Church Sponsors Ride to Benefit Fire Victims

SELAH, WA (August 23, 2011) – Selah Covenant Church co-sponsored a motorcycle ride Saturday to benefit the victims of a fire that destroyed 20 homes earlier this year.

Described by one newspaper as a “war zone,” the rural community of White Swan was overrun by flames spread by 50 mph winds that gusted up to 70 mph. At times, the wind blew so hard that water from fire hoses was blown away before reaching the flames.

Yakima County firefighters said the fire, which started in a chimney last February, was the most devastating in their memory.

A barbecue and other family-friendly activities were held following the ride.

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