Three distinctly different learning opportunities are available in the next few months through the Synod of the Covenant as it comes alongside presbyteries supporting congregational vitality.

Two of the programs – a class about “Healthy Conflict, Healthy Church” on September 29 and a training for the Commission on Ministry and the Commission on the Preparation for Ministry on October 13 – will be presented by LeaderWise.

The third program is a monthly online conversation coordinated by the Synod to help preachers strengthen their preaching skills.


Monthly Conversations about Preaching

The next monthly conversation about preaching will be from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, September 1, with the Rev. Dr. Anna Carter Florence, homiletics professor at Columbia Seminary focused on “What Poets Can Teach Preachers about Surviving, Thriving and Talking about What We Do.” Learn more about Carter Florence and her planned presentation here, and find registration information here.

Other dates, topics and presenters for the preaching skills conversations include:  

  • October 6 – “The Peoples’ Sermon: Preaching as a Ministry of the Whole Congregation” facilitated by the Rev. Dr. Shauna Hannan, homiletics professor at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.
  • November 3 – “Exploring the Themes of Advent 2021” facilitated by the Rev. Dr. Chip Hardwick, interim executive of the Synod of the Covenant .
  • December 1 – “From/ To: Preaching that Accords with Covenant and Commission” facilitated by the Rev. Dr. Timothy Matthew Slemmons, professor of homiletics and worship at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary.

Click here to find more details about these topics and facilitators, and to register for any – or all – of the conversations.  (Scroll down the page to find recordings from previous sessions.)

Healthy Conflict, Healthy Church

Conflict abounds in churches today. That’s not the problem since no significant change happens without conflict. The problem arises in people’s inability to engage in healthy conflict.

For this program, each participant will take the TKI (Thomas-Killman Conflict Mode Instrument) assessment then attend an online workshop led by a LeaderWise staff person from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, September 29.

Participants will explore the difference between healthy and dysfunctional conflict, different conflict styles, and more.

Cost for the workshop will be covered by the participating presbyteries and the Synod but the assessment costs $35 per person. 

Learn more about the class here, and register here by Wednesday, September 8.

Training for the Commissions on Ministry and Commission

Serving on the Commission on Ministry or the Commission on the Preparation for Ministry is a leadership challenge requiring lots of faithfulness, patience and skill.

Changes made to The Book of Order in 2011 gave presbyteries more freedom to tailor their mission and ministry to fit their own contexts and challenges but also resulted in less clarity about the overall process. This worship will provide an overview of the work done by these vital committees, including what is and is not mandated by The Book of Order.

The online program – scheduled from 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, October 13 – is intended for both teaching and ruling elders who serve on the commissions.  The program is free to participants as the costs are covered by the participating presbyteries and the Synod.

Learn more about the class here, and register here by Wednesday, October 6.