Wee Kirk (Small Church) Conference
Welcoming the Stranger
"I was a stranger and
you welcomed me"
Tuesday, October 14 - Thursday, October 16
Twin Rocks Friends Camp and
18705 Highway 101 North
Rockaway Beach, Oregon
Plenary Speaker – Rev. Dr. Craig Williams
Craig Williams is Director for the Presbyterian Centers for New Church Innovation, West Coast. This is a ministry of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. Prior to this he served two years in Cascades Presbytery assisting them with finding a way to promote new church development. From 1988-2007 Craig served as the organizing Pastor of Trabuco Presbyterian Church in Orange County, Southern California. Craig has helped develop resources for the denomination in beginning new churches. He has been part of the writing team for Starting New Worshiping Communities: A Discernment Process. He helped develop the new church Coaches Network for the PCUSA, a network of more than 40 coaches nationwide. Craig is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary and has his Doctor of Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary. He lives in San Clemente, CA with his family.
Craig will lead us in learning to say “yes”. We will ask not only the question, “How do we extend hospitality?”, but also, “How do we say ‘yes’ to the hospitality of others?” Too often, we simply get caught up in maintenance issues, without realizing that we are being invited by people all the time. This is partially because the culture has shifted away from the church, as we now live in a post-Christendom era.
When Jesus sent out seventy disciples on a mission in Luke 10, he encouraged them to go out, without taking many supplies. He then instructed them that if they were received by a village, they should stay there, receiving and welcoming hospitality. Jesus’ interaction with the woman at the well in John 9 is another example of receiving hospitality as
Plenary speaker: Rev. Dr. Craig Williams
we evangelize. In the same way, we need to be asking ourselves, “Who is offering to get to know you?” The answers may lead us towards a sustainable way forward, as mission becomes more important than maintenance.Our time together will conclude with a commissioning worship service on Thursday morning, which will focus on the parable of the talents. What will we do with the blessings we have been given? Will we bury them? Or we will use them to build up the kingdom?
Although Craig often works with new church development, he believes that new and existing churches can learn from one another, as the stability of existing churches merges with the innovation of new churches to forge a synthesis and partnership, which just may renew the church!
Craig’s addresses will include time to interact in small groups and as a large group, facilitating a rich time together which makes use of all of the ways in which people learn.
Conference Musician and Worship Leader – Paul Detterman
A life-long church musician and worship leader, Paul has also served as pastor of congregations in Ohio, Kansas, and Kentucky, and as Associate for Worship in the PC(USA) Office of Theology and Worship, and is currently the Executive Director of PFR and the Fellowship of Presbyterians.
Hands-on Handbells – Phyllis Tincher
If you have seen handbells, you probably have noticed that gloves are usually worn by the ringers, and no one gets to touch them. Well, this class is your chance! You will get to feel, ring, and play a song with them. No experience necessary – just a desire to have fun ringing praises to God (make a joyful noise!). We may even incorporate some easy bell parts into worship.
Small membership congregations in the changing denominational climate: an open forum – Bill Heming & Paul Detterman
Recent decisions in the PC(USA) have led some congregations to question their affiliation. Discernment related to this question can be especially challenging in the Wee Kirk. This forum aims to help leaders think through these challenges and inform leaders of many pitfalls along the way.
A Hospitable Place – Brenda Norton
In this workshop we will journey to a place where we receive God’s hospitality to us with gratitude. We’ll consider God’s hospitality through creation and the incarnation of Christ. As we receive these gifts of grace we become more hospitable to God, to our friends and family, and to those who we might call strangers. The time will include guided personal reflection, prayer and group conversation.
Oh the places you'll go...when ministry takes you where you don't want to go! – Annie Zimmerman
We will look at Jonah, chapters 1 & 2, where Jonah prays and things get worse, not better. Yet God gives him a second chance to trust His sovereignty and to live obediently, albeit uncomfortably, with fish slime in his eyes looking again at Nineveh. We hope to help you respond when you feel called to move out of your comfort zone in order to go to the stranger.
Preaching in the Small Church Context – Rich Zimmerman
Preaching in the small church provides some unique challenges. This interactive workshop will provide an opportunity to talk about addressing those unique challenges as well as possible solutions to providing effective preaching when a church is too small to afford a full-time pastor.
Our concept of preaching is formed in large part by our experiences of those pastors who address thousands every week. Yet all across the country each week, more preachers lead small communities of faith. We’ll review what makes preaching effective no matter the size of the congregation, then spend most of our time learning to capitalize on the many advantages of small church preaching. From topic and text selection to preparation strategies to sermon delivery techniques, we will look at every facet of preaching unique to small churches.
Come review and extend your knowledge of the things that will make any communicator more effective; share your ideas and learn from others who preach in similar settings.
Providing employee benefits in a small congregation – Rev. Mark T. Frey, Regional Representative – Board of Pensions
Church employees are key in the life and mission of congregations. How can you support your church employees through the provision of employee benefits? How can you do this at a time when budgets are tight and even staffing itself is a challenge? We will take a look at healthcare benefits, retirement savings and several other elements of benefits programs. As time allows we will also seek to address any other questions or concerns participants may have related to the work of the Board of Pensions and its mission.
Each morning, begin your day by joining us for a short devotional time, consisting of singing praise to God, interspersed with time for silent prayer, and scripture reading. Come, and find strength to welcome the stranger by spending time with the Lord…
Morning devotions will be led by Rev. Jim Deal, pastor of Eastmont Presbyterian Church, East Wenatchee, WA, a member of the planning team and a musician.
Craig Williams would be willing to work with you, or a small group of leaders from your church, using an assessment tool called Strengthsfinder. This tool, which would cost an additional $50 per person, would help you discover what strengths you have, and what talents and strengths you need. Gallup research proves that people succeed when they focus on what they do best. When they identify their talents and develop them into strengths, people are more productive, perform better, and are more engaged. Gallup's Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment is the first step in helping people identify their talents. Clifton StrengthsFinder results give people a way to discuss and develop their unique combination of skills, talents, and knowledge -- also known as strengths. Participants interested in this option would need to take Strenghtsfinder and send Craig the results about 30 days before the conference. He would then walk the group through the results using an interpretive tool called Core Clarity. For more information, please go to www.gallupstrengthscenter.com. Standard housing (non-deluxe) is in Cabins of the Trees. Each cabin has four bunk beds, two of which are doublewide (or queen) on the bottom bunk, providing 8 beds per cabin. A divider may be pulled in each cabin, effectively creating two cabins out of one, each with its own full bath. While the divider is not fully sound proof, couples enjoy the privacy which these 24 half-cabins afford. One of the Cabins of the Trees -- Maple -- is handicapped accessible. If staying in Cabins of the Trees, you must bring your own bedding. Deluxe housing is in Pacific Woods Lodge. The Lodge's 16 private rooms are each equipped with a queen-sized bed with a cozy duvet and a full bath. Fourteen of the rooms also have twin-sized bunks. Bed linens and bath towels are provided.
Individuals who require private rooms must register at the couple deluxe rate. Otherwise, all rooms are double occupancy, with separate beds.
Early Bird Registration by August 30
Individual - $150
Individual Deluxe - $190
Couple - $250
Couple Deluxe - $350
Since this conference is a "love gift" from caring sponsors, the fees are kept as low as possible. They include room, meals, registration materials and all plenary sessions and workshops. The conference will not be responsible for any additional personal charges. Click for more detailed housing information or scroll further down this page.
Regular Registration after August 30
Individual - $175
Individual Deluxe - $225
Couple - $300
Couple Deluxe - $400
Early Arrival Option - stay Monday night for $25 per person, with Monday dinner, Tuesday breakfast, and Tuesday lunch available for $10 per person, per meal. Deadline is September 23.
Wednesday Evening Concert
Join Phyllis Tincher, handbell soloist, and Paul Detterman, pianist, for a concert Wednesday evening following worship and plenary.