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Equipping the Saints: Leadership Training Day

A Cooperative Effort by the Educational Ministries of Elizabeth, Monmouth and New Brunswick Presbyteries and of Princeton Theological Seminary as a ministry of the Synod of the Northeast, PC(USA)

Saturday, January 11, 2014
8:30 am - 3:00 pm
Stuart Hall
Princeton Theological Seminary

Snow Date: Saturday, January 25, 2014 at Princeton Theological Seminary

Course Description

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Equipping the Saints is a day of workshops, worship, resources and fellowship planned especially to support and equip church members in their ministries. This day is for new and ongoing church officers, pastors, worship leaders, educators, and any interested others. Equipping the Saints is organized by the educational ministries of Elizabeth, Monmouth and New Brunswick Presbyteries, in partnership with Princeton Theological Seminary, and as a ministry of the Synod of the Northeast. Workshops are led - almost exclusively - by volunteers. This program is free and open to the public.

Program Agenda

Saturday, January 11, 2014  

AGAIN in 2014:   Worship will be held following the morning workshop and before lunch. There will be a two-hour session in the morning, worship, lunch session with Resource Fair, then a two-hour afternoon session. The schedule for the day is as follows:

7:30 - 9:00 am Registration and Coffee in Stuart Hall 
9:00 - 11:00 am Morning Workshop
11:10 - 11:30 am  Worship (Miller Chapel)
11:30 am - 1:00 pm Lunch  / Resource Fair (Mackay)
1:00 - 3:00 pm Afternoon Workshop 
3:00 pm End of Program

 

Morning Workshops - 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

I Refuse To Lead A Dying Church: Based on the book by Paul Nixon, this workshop will explore six critical choices church leaders must make, in order to respond to God¹s call to lead healthy, growing spiritual movements. The choices are: life over death; community over isolation; fun over drudgery: bold over mild: frontier over fortress; now rather than later. Come, explore how these choices may inform your leadership and spark transformative practices in the life and ministry of your congregation. Leader: Rev. Cheryl D. Galan, Transitional Leader, Elizabeth Presbytery

Elder as Spiritual Leader: The role of ruling elder in a congregation is expanding in the PC(USA) today. Elders should expect that a call to leadership in the church will not only demand their time and energy in service to the maintenance of worship, education and mission programs, but it will challenge them to grow in their faith. This workshop will explore the demands of adaptive leadership in the church, the sacredness of the call to leadership, and the expectations and possibilities of spiritual growth as an elder (both while actively serving on the session and once rotating off the board). Leader: Rev. Wendy Bailey, Regional Executive Presbyter, Monmouth & New Brunswick Presbyteries

Structuring Terms of Call– Save Money, Save Taxes and the New 2015 Medical Dues Model: Tools You Can Use: Sessions and Teaching Elders need to annually review the terms of call (G-2.0804). This can be confusing! Learn how to structure terms of call to be more effective. We’ll cover the basics and go in-depth, exploring Flexible Spending Arrangements and other Section 125 plans to permit qualified medical expenses to be paid with pretax dollars (and their potential savings of thousands of dollars) as well as considering if your church is eligible for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit (hint: it most likely is!). We'll also look toward the new 2015 Medical Dues Model, and share an overview of resources the Board will provide. Leader: Revs. Raymond Bonwell & Allison Seed, Board of Pensions Representatives

Ready for the Next Time: Congregational Disaster Planning for Local Churches Churches played crucial roles in their communities following Superstorm Sandy; equally so in communities of human-made disasters like the school shootings in Newton, Connecticut. Congregations with plans in place can be ready to act to preserve, protect, and sustain lives, and serve crucial restoration and recovery functions in their communities. Come and learn how a little getting ready will go a long way! Leaders: Skip Winters, Elizabeth Presbytery Disaster Planning & Response Team; Red Cross Representative

Resources for the Future: Discovering the Genesis Center & Get a Head Start on VBS: The Genesis Center is a new resource and service center for the future. Online and connected, The Genesis Center aims to serve churches and clients by helping them find the resources they need for every occasion including curriculum, leadership, worship, devotions and more! Join us to learn more about how The Genesis Center can be an invaluable asset to your church and ministry, and get hands-on with The Genesis Center's resources and information for a jump start workshop on Vacation Bible School for 2014! Leaders: Emily Allen, Genesis Center Curator, Monmouth Presbytery; Patty Williams, Christian Education Consultant, Monmouth Presbytery

Welcoming People Affected By Mental Illness: Some of the biggest barriers to working with people affected by mental illness are our own perceptions, stereotypes and fears. This workshop will help participants identify and process these barriers. It will also present different scenarios of encountering people with this disability in church. A starting resource list will be provided. Leaders: Walter DeGunya, Seminary Intern, and Ann Renee Hansard, M.Div., Plainsboro Presbyterian Church

Deacons/Caring Ministers 101: An Introduction to the Work of the Deacon in the PCUSA: This workshop will focus on learning about the exciting responsibilities of the deaconate with possibilities for other caring ministries. Exercises, case studies and role-playing will help participants explore the varied ministries of the deaconate/caring ministries and strengthen their skills in listening and caring, and being a non-anxious presence in an anxious environment. Learn various creative opportunities that deacons/caring ministers have to faithfully demonstrate their faith beyond the walls of the church. Leader: Rev. Kathryn Mustaro, Flemington & Deacons' Moderator Jamie Evans, Flemington

Treasurers' Roundtable: Best practices and resources for church treasurers and finance committees. Leader: Nancy Tindall, Treasurer, Monmouth Presbytery; Dave Bomgaars, Treasurer, Elizabeth Presbytery

Best Practices in Supporting, Encouraging and Evaluating Church Staff and Pastors: One of the most valuable assets any congregation possesses is its staff. Church staffs and pastors are healthiest when a culture of support, positive communication and constructive evaluation exists. How do congregations develop this culture? What are best practices for church personnel committees in encouraging a healthy culture, and practices to support it - especially prior to any situation of conflict that may arise? How does the congregation evaluate and provide feedback to the pastor? And what role does the pastor have in creating a healthy staff culture? Participants will explore these questions and more in a workshop meant to equip church personnel committees as well as pastors, who will also be invited to share their experiences in supporting and managing staff. Leader: Rev. Jeffrey Vamos, Lawrenceville, with Sarah Jane Kennedy and Pat Schaeffer

Re-Thinking Confirmation: A presentation and conversation regarding Confirmation in the Church: Is your church looking for a new way of teaching Confirmation? Are you seeking new ways to engage your Confirmands with the church? Would you like to see parents become more involved in their adolescent’s faith development? Would you like to hear about a program that will engage your youth’s entire being – heart, mind, body, soul? Would you like to learn about a program that integrates the best research in theology, sociology, psychology, and pedagogy? Free resources for preparing your own confirmation program will be provided. Your feedback will be welcomed! Leader: Joshua Noah, Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministries, Trinity/East Brunswick

Becoming a Disciple-Making Congregation Learn about the disciple making process. The Great Commission doesn't happen by accident. Leader: Rev. Jake Kim, Director of Alumni Relations, PTS

From Death to Resurrection: The Old Testament Lectionary Texts for Lent 2014: This workshop will involve a study of the six Old Testament texts from the Revised Common Lectionary for Lent 2014. These Lenten texts feature six key turning points in the larger story of God and God’s people in the Old Testament centered on the theme of death and resurrection. Join us for this Lenten journey through the Old Testament. Leader: The Rev. Dr. Dennis Olson, Charles T. Haley Professor of Old Testament Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Glory to God: A Guide to Resources in the New PC (USA) Hymnal for Musicians: In this interactive workshop, participants will be making lots of music together as we look at the treasure of new responses, hymns, choruses, and chants in the hymnal to introduce to your congregations. We’ll also explore creative ways to utilize the hymnal for choirs and praise ensembles of any size. Choir members and directors, praise team leaders, soloists, instrumentalists, and all who make a joyful noise Sunday after Sunday are welcome. Leader: Noel Werner is the Director of Music at Nassau Presbyterian Church, Princeton.

When the Time Comes: What You Need to Know About End-of-Life Issues for Yourself and Your Loved Ones: Learn about personal and legal choices you can make now that will communicate your wishes to those who love you as you face health and aging issues; discuss how to care for others facing difficult medical choices or a final illness; and find out about how hospice can make a final illness a time of grace, dignity, and greater quality of life for individuals and their famillies. Leaders: Mary Ellen DuPree Leonard & Donna Hollenbach, Community, Sand Hills, and Dawn Neglia, Miller/Monmouth Junction

Latino/as = Intercultural: Reto Pastoral a la Iglesia Hispana/Latina Este taller desarrollará la temática del reto intercultural de las congregaciones que sirven intencionalmente a comunidades de ascendencia iberoamericana, y como la interculturalidad es un reto y un instrumento pastoral, evangelístico y social refrendado por las Escrituras y el pensamiento cristiano. Este plenario está abierto anciano/as docentes y gobernantes, diácona/os y otro/as líderes congregacionales interesado/as en fomentar sus capacidades y habilidades de liderazgo cristianos y congregacional Líder: Rev. Dr. Amaury Tañón-Santos, Director de Programas, Seminario de Princeton

Afternoon Workshops - 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

I Refuse To Lead A Dying Church: Based on the book by Paul Nixon, this workshop will explore six critical choices church leaders must make, in order to respond to God¹s call to lead healthy, growing spiritual movements. The choices are: life over death; community over isolation; fun over drudgery: bold over mild: frontier over fortress; now rather than later. Come, explore how these choices may inform your leadership and spark transformative practices in the life and ministry of your congregation. Leader: Rev. Cheryl D. Galan, Transitional Leader, Elizabeth Presbytery

Elder as Spiritual Leader: The role of ruling elder in a congregation is expanding in the church today. Elders should expect that a call to leadership in the church will not only demand their time and energy in service to the maintenance of worship, education and mission programs, but it will challenge them to grow in their faith. This workshop will explore the demands of adaptive leadership in the church, the sacredness of the call to leadership, and the expectations and possibilities of spiritual growth as an elder (both while actively serving on the session and once rotating off the board). Leader: Rev. Wendy Bailey, Regional Executive Presbyter, Monmouth & New Brunswick Presbyteries

Structuring Terms of Call– Save Money, Save Taxes and the New 2015 Medical Dues Model: Tools You Can Use: Sessions and Teaching Elders need to annually review the terms of call (G-2.0804). This can be confusing! Learn how to structure terms of call to be more effective. We’ll cover the basics and go in-depth, exploring Flexible Spending Arrangements and other Section 125 plans to permit qualified medical expenses to be paid with pretax dollars (and their potential savings of thousands of dollars) as well as considering if your church is eligible for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit (hint: it most likely is!). We'll also look toward the new 2015 Medical Dues Model, and share an overview of resources the Board will provide. Leader: Revs. Raymond Bonwell & Allison Seed, Board of Pensions Representatives

Ready for the Next Time: Congregational Disaster Planning for Local Churches: Churches played crucial roles in their communities following Superstorm Sandy; equally so in communities of human-made disasters like the school shootings in Newton, Connecticut. Congregations with plans in place can be ready to act to preserve, protect, and sustain lives, and serve crucial restoration and recovery functions in their communities. Come and learn how a little getting ready will go a long way! Leaders:  Skip Winters, Elizabeth Presbytery Disaster Planning & Response Team; Red Cross Representative

Resources for the Future: Discovering the Genesis Center & Get a Head Start on VBS: The Genesis Center is a new resource and service center for the future. Online and connected, The Genesis Center aims to serve churches and clients by helping them find the resources they need for every occasion including curriculum, leadership, worship, devotions and more! Join us to learn more about how The Genesis Center can be an invaluable asset to your church and ministry, and get hands-on with The Genesis Center's resources and information for a jump start workshop on Vacation Bible School for 2014! Leaders: Emily Allen, Genesis Center Curator, Monmouth Presbytery; Patty Williams, Christian Education Consultant, Monmouth Presbytery

Treasurers' Roundtable: Best practices and resources for church treasurers and finance committees. Leader: Nancy Tindall, Treasurer, Monmouth Presbytery; Dave Bomgaars, Treasurer, Elizabeth Presbytery

Planting Seeds: Using Mass Media to Tell Your Church's Story: Congregations are full of exciting and vital ministries, but often have trouble telling the communities that surround their churches about these ministries and inviting people to engage in them. In this workshop, participants will be able to learn basic methods for using mass media to tell their churches' stories to their neighbors and friends. Topics that will be covered include the definition of news, following the news cycle, writing for mass media, managing congregations' expectations of coverage, and the theological underpinnings of "mass evangelism." As possible, participants should bring a lap-top computer--or old fashioned legal pad--and a calendar or listing of their congregations' events for February 2014. Leader: Rev. Will Shurley, Titusville

Elders 101: So Now I’m a Ruling Elder, Now What?: "Like shepherds, tend the flock of God among you. Watch over it." (1 Peter 5:2a) Let’s take the description of an Elder’s responsibilities off the page and talk about what really goes on in the session meeting! Although this workshop is for new elders, experienced session members are welcome for a "brush-up" and to find out what changes the new Book of Order may have brought about. We’ll lay some ground rules for peaceful productive meetings and learn how this term may be the most satisfying 3 years of your life! Leader: Rev. Robin Lostetter, Bordentown

What's Outside the Church's Door? Understanding Your Church's Neighborhood Community through PERCEPT: Learn how the excellent demographic tool PERCEPT can benefit your congregation's ministry. New Brunswick Presbytery churches, your PERCEPT data is available at no cost through a grant from the Urban Mission Cabinet--come find out how to access and use it! Leaders: Rev. Karen Hernandez-Granzen, Westminster Trenton, Elder Jim Reeder, Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville, and Elder David Breyer, Westminster Trenton

Training/Orientation for Session Clerks: The Clerk of Session has three basic and very important responsibilities in the life of the local congregation. First, the Clerk is the keeper of the congregation’s story. In the Minutes, the Clerk formulates and manages the collective memory of the Body of Christ in a particular time and place. This is not just done for posterity, but to express a church’s living identity. We will discuss strategies for keeping effective Minutes and records. Second, the Clerk, along with the moderator, oversees the process and procedures of the session and congregation, ensuring good order and organization. We will discuss the basics of Presbyterian polity and effective organizational principles and practices. Finally, the Clerk helps the church keep the teachings of Jesus about inclusiveness, which the Presbyterian Church has historically embraced. Our system works best when there is a healthy and broad participation in decision-making. We will discuss ways within our system to be open to the many different voices in a congregation. Join us for a lively conversation on the work of the Session Clerk. Leader: Rev. Paul Rack, Tinton Falls & Stated Clerk, Elizabeth Presbytery

Glory to God: A Guide to the New PC(USA) Hymnal for Pastors & Worship Planners: This workshop will address two areas of interest for pastors and others who have primary responsibility for choosing congregational song. First, we’ll explore the resources available in the new hymnal and from the denomination that will assist you in choosing hymns, praise choruses, and other congregational song appropriate for each Sunday, including resources that will help you listen to less familiar songs in the absence of a musician. Next, we’ll sing through the wealth of material in the new hymnal that covers the ministry of Jesus and the season of Lent. Leader: Noel Werner is the Director of Music at Nassau Presbyterian Church, Princeton.

Grant-writing 101: Introduction to Basic Principles of Grant Writing: Learn about grant writing in general and what is available through various sources including public and denominational funds and other specifics according to group interests. Leader: Rev. Dr. N. Scott Cupp, Pastor 1st Presbyterian Church of Matawan (Monmouth); Former Associate Executive for Church Development in the Synod of the Northeast

Young Adult/Youth Coffee House in Main Lounge: High school and college-aged youth are invited to share in hopes and dreams for the future of the church through conversation with other young Presbyterians and youth/young adult leaders; hear information about opportunities for learning, service and discipleship. Leaders: Joshua Noah, Director of Children's, Youth and Family Ministries, Trinity/East Brunswick, & Chanon Ross, Interim Director, PTS Institute for Youth Ministry Trinity/East Brunswick

Deacons/Caring Ministers 101: An Introduction to the Work of the Deacon in the PCUSA: This workshop will focus on learning about the exciting responsibilities of the deaconate with possibilities for other caring ministries. Exercises, case studies and role playing will help participants explore the varied ministries of the deaconate/caring ministries and strengthen their skills in listening and caring, and being a non-anxious presence in an anxious environment. Learn various creative opportunities that deacons/caring ministers have to faithfully demonstrate their faith beyond the walls of the church. Leaders: Rev. Kathryn Mustaro, Flemington & Deacons' Moderator Jamie Evans, Flemington

Electa/os para Discernir y Dirigir: Anciano/as Gobernantes 101: Este taller servirá como espacio para entender las responsabilidades de aquello/as líderes electa/os por sus congregaciones para el ministerio de presbítero/a gobernante. El Libro de Orden (PCUSA) establece las responsabilidades de la/os anciana/os gobernantes, y es importante considerar lo que las bases bíblicas, teológicas, y sociales del llamamiento y ejercicio a este ministerio. Este taller será preparado pensando particularmente en anciana/os gobernantes recién electos, y para aquello/as que deseen atemperar sus ministerios a la nueva constitución de la Iglesia Presbiteriana, EE.UU.A.  Líder: Rvda. Carmen Rosario, Ministra Jubilada, Presbiterio de la Ciudad de Nueva York

Diaconía 101: Koinonia, Pastoral y Alcance:  Este taller se desarrollará como preámbulo al ministerio diaconal según lo describe la tradición teológica reformada. Siendo el cuerpo de líderes llamados a animar el compañerismo congregacional y el alcance a la comunidad, este taller proveerá comprensión y entendimiento sobre la amplitud de la diaconía cristiana. Líder: por anunciarse

1001 Comunidades de Adoración: Latino/as en el Movimiento de Renovación Denominacional “1001 Worshipping Communities” es una de las iniciativas de renovación congregacional y misional de la Iglesia Presbiteriana, EE.UU.A. La comunidad latina de la iglesia ha sido y continuará siendo fundamental en este llamado a la renovación de la misión de la iglesia a nivel local, regional y nacional. Este taller proveerá una presentación de la iniciativa, y bases de acción contextuales que animen el ministerio de congregaciones hispanas.  Líder: Rvdo. Carlos E. Rivera, Evangelista “Tres Iglesias Presbiterianas”, Presbiterios de New Brunswick, Monmouth y West Jersey

Registration Information

There are several ways to register.

  • Online by clicking here.
  • By fax or mail, using this registration form.
  • Fax to 609-497-0709 (PTS Continuing Education)
  • Mail to:
    Equipping the Saints Registration
    Continuing Education
    Princeton Theological Seminary
    20 Library Place
    Princeton , NJ 08542
  • For Group Registration: please complete this registration form and return it by email, fax, or mail (see details above). 
  • Para matricularse en el ofrecimiento en español y remitir el pago del almuerzo con cheque, por favor, descargue esta hoja de matrícula. Para matrículas en grupo, por favor, descargue el siguiente documento

If you experience any difficulties in registering for this event, please call 609.497.7990.

Registration FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

When does registration close?
Registration closes at noon on Thursday, January 9, 2014.

How do I buy lunch?
You may buy lunch for $10.00. Lunch reservation and payment must be made by noon on Wednesday, January 8, 2014. If you register online, you will be required to pay for lunch by credit card; if you wish to pay by check, please register using this registration form and mail in your registration with your lunch check by January 4, 2014. You will receive a lunch ticket when you check-in on the morning of the event.

May I bring my own lunch?
Yes. Please know that anyone bringing lunch is welcome to eat in the Mackay Campus Center. For the safety of those with severe food allergies, Princeton Theological Seminary has a strict policy of no food allowed in Stuart Hall or any classrooms.

May I change my workshop choices?
Yes. Changes to existing registrations may be made until noon on Thursday, January 9, 2014. Change your mind at the last minute? We will do our best to accommodate your workshop choices on the day of the event. Please know that some classes may be full due to room capacity limits.

Are walk-in participants welcome?
Yes. If you have not registered by noon on Thursday, please come anyway, and bring your lunch! Please check the webpage for workshop cancellations and schedule changes. Register for workshops in the basement of Stuart Hall beginning at 7:30 a.m. and receive up-to-date information on workshop offerings at that time. Please know that some workshops may be full due to room capacity limits.

Will workshops change or be cancelled?
It can happen. Because most workshops are led by volunteers, we give leaders the option of canceling due to low enrollment. Please note the following:

  • Cancellation of workshops due to low enrollment will be determined by the end of the day Monday, January 6, 2014.
  • If your selection is cancelled, you will be notified via email on the morning of Wedensday, January 8, 2014. At that time, you may go back into the registration system and select another workshop until noon on Thursday, January 9th. You are welcome to select another workshop on the day of the event, but please know that some workshops may be closed due to room capacity limitations.
  • Every effort will be made to keep workshop offerings current on the website; please check for any updates.

What happens if the event is cancelled due to the weather?
Should the weather be inclement, all participants will be notified by email and updated information will be available on the website. For those who cannot access email or the internet, the outgoing message at 609-497-7990 will be updated to note the cancellation.

For campus map and directions, please click here.

If you have any questions, please email us at coned@ptsem.edu or call 609-497-7990.