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Seattle-Tacoma District Gathering

January 27, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 3:30 pm


With Keynoter Jason Byassee

Rev. Dr. Jason Byassee
Jason Byassee is a Professor of Biblical Hermeneutics at Vancouver School of Theology. Previously, he was senior pastor of Boone United Methodist Church in the Western North Carolina Conference. He serves as a contributing editor to Christian Century, and is the author of Trinity: The God We Don’t Know, The Gifts of the Small Church, Reading Augustine: A Guide to Confessions, An Introduction to the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, and Praise Seeking Understanding: Reading the Psalms with Augustine.  (Eerdmans, 2007). He has also co-authored the upcoming Faithful and Fractured with Dr. Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell.  Dr. Byassee will also meet with SPRC’s to talk about this book about clergy mental health.
Other workshops will include an SPRC training, and sessions on Urban Discipleship, Urban Strategies for Families, Community Organizing, Contemplative Prayer, Earth Justice, and Interfaith Partnerships.  Pastor John Helmiere will also give a teaching on Table Turning Theology. Lunch from Panera will be provided.

Registration Fee: $20

Register on Eventbrite HERE


Seattle-Tacoma District Gathering Schedule
January 27, 2018  9:00 AM-3:30 PM
Kent UMC
8 AM                     Registration
9 AM                     Worship
                              Keynote:  Jason Byassee
10:45 AM              Break
11 AM                   Practicum:  John Helmiere – Table Turning Theology & Practice
12 PM                   LUNCH
1 PM                     Workshops
  • Urban Discipleship — Nathan Hollifield (Fircrest & Create Commons)
  • Urban Strategy for Families — Angelina Goldwell & Chris Knight (Olympia First)
    • The main takeaways we hope people will have are:
      • Family ministry happens in community with the whole church and the larger community
      • Any strategy for families must be multifaceted and require consistent investment (not necessarily financial but time investment) of a whole team.
      • Any strategies implement for family ministry must be contextually appropriate and be driven by the people who show up (aka stop planning for imaginary people, build on the assets you already have).
      • To form lifelong disciples youth and families must be empowered to direct their faith journey with the support of church programs.
  • Intro to Community Organizing — Joey Ager (Church Council Greater Seattle)
    • Between the Second World War and today, participation in civic institutions, including churches, has decreased 80% in American society. This represents a cataclysmic reversal of our social fabric that leaves most members of our neighborhoods isolated, unknown and under pressure. This trend, alongside the rise of massive income inequality and the suburbanization of poverty, has turned the field of ministry of most of our churches upside down.
    • Who is my neighbor? What are their concerns? What does it mean to love them? What does the future of our congregations look like in the context of this changed social reality?
    • We will spend time together during this workshop discussing an approach to these questions rooted in the methodology of faith-based community organizing.
  • Interfaith Partnerships  — Nancy Ferree-Clark & Sandy Shinbo (Federal Way)
    • Learn how the members of Federal Way UMC have built interfaith relationships with nearby faith communities through shared activities such as service projects, an interfaith women’s reading group, and visiting each other’s worship services.
  • SPRC – with Jason Byassee  with Tacoma DS Cara Scriven
    • From his book “Faithful and Fractured”

An overview:  Clergy suffer from certain health issues at a rate higher than the general population. Why are pastors in such poor health? And what can be done to help them step into the abundant life God desires for them?

Although anecdotal observations about poor clergy health abound, concrete data from multiple sources supporting this claim hasn’t been made accessible–until now. Duke’s Clergy Health Initiative (CHI), a major, decade-long research project, provides a true picture of the clergy health crisis over time and demonstrates that improving the health of pastors is possible. Bringing together the best in social science and medical research, this book quantifies the poor health of clergy with theological engagement. Although the study focused on United Methodist ministers, the authors interpret CHI’s groundbreaking data for a broad ecumenical readership. In addition to physical health, the book examines mental health and spiritual well-being, and suggests that increasing positive mental health may prevent future physical and mental health problems for clergy. Concrete suggestions tailored to clergy are woven throughout the book.

  • Creating Contemplative Community — Andy Lang
    • As many of us experience disillusionment in the Church yet feel called by tradition, social networks, and our own personal histories to remain a part of it, there is a need for transformative change. In this workshop, we’ll explore how to move beyond disillusionment using contemplative practices and how to create and foster authentic community within our own contexts. Participants will walk away with concrete examples of how to start a contemplative community, as well as access to further resources, training opportunities, and coaching.
  • Working Towards Earth Justice — Jessie Dye (Senior Campaign Strategist of Earth Ministry)
    • Will share how faith communities have been part of the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy and how local churches can be involved in the just transition toward sustainable energy resources.
2:45 PM                Organizing a New District            Cara & Rich
3:30 PM                Blessing


Questions? Please email seadist@pnwumc.org


January 27, 2018
9:00 am - 3:30 pm
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Rhondalei Gabuat


Kent United Methodist Church
11010 248th St. SE
Kent, WA 98030 United States
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(253) 852-3900

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