Posted March 15, 2021 in Around the Synod

Virtual gatherings for this time and the new day

that is unfolding within and among us as we move beyond the pandemic

For pastors, leaders and congregations

The Synod of the Trinity offered several spring opportunities for you to breathe, recalibrate and revision, moving ahead over what has been, and may still be, a long road. The vaccines offer a promising future even while continuing with masks and distancing.

A way forward, the promise of new wholeness – now and not yet.

As Christians, we understand that reality! It takes practice and attention to remain nimble and open to the Spirit as we go.

We trust that you may find encouragement and tools to aid your walk and leadership in these offerings.

Explore one or all three… the choice is yours.

Printable PDF available by clicking here.

The Next Right Thing: Grace-Filled Ministry in a Turbulent World (Through Improvisation)

Rev. MaryAnn McKibben Dana

This workshop will explore improvisation as a means for vibrant living, even when life and ministry don’t go according to plan. We are all improvisers, often without realizing it. The focus of our time together will not be on acting and comedy skills, but on practices for thriving in the midst of chaotic, often unpredictable lives. (Like, say, a global pandemic.) Come for a zesty blend of scripture, theology, psychology, pop culture and more, as we dream, discuss, play and build resilience together.

Recording available here

Moving Through to the Other Side

Rev. Dr. Graham Standish

Are we on the edge of renewal after a period of pandemic, polarization and perplexity? Our churches and clergy have gone through exhausting times, yet this isn’t the first time the Church has gone through tumult. The history of Christianity is one of great transformation after great turmoil. How can we guide our churches to a time of renewal out of our turmoil? This workshop explores how to turn obstacles into opportunities, a desire to reclaim the past into a call to move into the future, how to turn personal and congregational burnout into a pursuit of purpose and meaning, and how to reclaim joy in ministry and mission. 

Recording available here

From Surviving to Thriving: Designing Toward Post-Covid Ministry

Rev. MaryAnn McKibben Dana

How does the church go beyond survival mode during COVID-19 to a thriving posture as the pandemic subsides? What are we learning now that we can take with us into a faithful and creative future? How can we avoid the pitfalls of going back to “normal?” And how will we do this work sustainably, exercising care and kindness toward ourselves and others? This workshop will introduce the tools of design thinking, a helpful and humane process to help groups imagine, create and implement ministries that matter.

Recording available here


About the Speakers

Rev. MaryAnn McKibben Dana

MaryAnn is a writer, pastor, speaker and ministry coach living in Virginia. She is author of “God, Improv and the Art of Living” and 2012’s “Sabbath in the Suburbs,” as well as numerous essays and articles. She was profiled on PBS’s Religion and Ethics Newsweekly for her work on “Sabbath” and was recognized by the Presbyterian Writers Guild with the 2015-16 David Steele Distinguished Writer Award. She is a sought-after speaker, preacher, conference leader and writer around issues of leadership, faith formation and congregational transformation. She served as co-chair for two years of NEXT Church, a movement within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) that seeks to call forth vital ministry for our changing cultural context.

Rev. Dr. Graham Standish

Graham serves as the executive director of Samaritan Counseling, Guidance, Consulting in Sewickley, PA. He is an internationally-known speaker and the author of eight books and numerous articles on the topic of spirituality, spiritual direction and spirituality in congregations. Graham is an adjunct professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Doctor of Ministry program and Certificate in Spiritual Formation Program, and at Tyndale Theological Seminary in Toronto, Ontario, focusing in the areas of spirituality and congregational leadership. Prior to coming to Samaritan, Graham pastored the Calvin Presbyterian Church in Zelienople, PA, for 22 years, nearly tripling its membership.