In today’s world, you might not spend much time around anyone who isn’t in your generation bracket. Humanity was never meant to be this way! As a pastor, I refused to create a church that catered to a “target market” because I believe that all ages and stages should gather together. In my talk, I will explain how we got here, the problems of age segregation, and how intergenerationism fights depression and changes lives through mentorship and mutual learning.
I have always been captivated by a good story. Most of the world’s shared knowledge is passed on through story, and it’s how we learn some of our biggest lessons. The problem is, we have been told some really bad stories. Because of this, when we are in the midst of struggles we feel abnormal, off track, and fearful. We have to reframe our stories! I use the hero’s journey and the story of Joseph from the Old Testament to help people plot out their own life and reimagine the purpose of the plot. Understanding the need for plot twists is life changing.
Growing up, I was always told who I was: female, fashion forward, a spiritual intellectual, a tomboy, a girly girl, etc. When I entered leadership as an adult, I didn’t feel like I fit into any category, and no one knew what to do with me. I was given a role to play that drove me to horrific burn out and personal loss. At my breaking point, I was asked the question, “Who are you?” As I shared all the ways I wasn’t a pastor, I was cut off. “Stop telling me who you aren’t and tell me who you are! Who you aren’t is not interesting, it’s who you are that is inspiring… so who are you?” That question changed my life. I love to encourage people to lean into authenticity. Who you are matters in leadership, and understanding that is the best way to inspire others and avoid burnout.
Intersection of Faith and Life
It seems that many people want to compartmentalize their faith and their life. Maybe it's because we can’t relate to the faith we see in the media, or perhaps faith feels like a private thing meant to be kept small so we don’t become “those kinds of Christians.” But in the words of Franciscan Priest Richard Rohr -- “it all belongs”. Together we will talk through the ways you can connect your world and your faith. Every breath is an invitation into something divine and sacred… and completely ordinary.
Finding Space for Others/The Invitation to God's Table
In a world where faith spaces have become known for who they don’t include, what would the world look like if faith spaces were known for how diverse and inclusive they are? As someone who has served in diverse settings with diverse beliefs, I have found that one of the only ways to engage people in transforming their bias and fear, is to invite them to eat a meal together at the table. Who would God have us eat with? What should our table look like? For those who aren’t sure how to tackle the issue of diversity and inclusion, the table is the perfect place to start. Using the traditional format of communion, we will talk about how to discuss who might be missing from your table.
Aesthetics and Design
I have always loved design. In college, although I was studying biology and psychology, I would sneak in as many art classes as I could. Once I began to work in ministry, a pattern began to appear...I would always change the physical spaces that we were meeting in. It became clear that once the space felt decluttered, open, and inviting, people began to feel less anxious, and the community dynamic began to shift. The biggest assets of many church communities are incredible, historic buildings that are desperately in need of repair. They stand like museums, untouchable and unapproachable. But the renewal of a space often leads to the renewal of a community. In my talk, I’ll explain the importance of aesthetics and design. We will talk about how to declutter your space and your message, and how to repurpose the things you already have. How can you reimagine your space?