We were delighted once again to be able to host the WMI Conference and W. Don McClure lecture both in-person and online on Oct. 7-8, 2022, on the theme Missional Leadership in a Time of Disruption. The conference kicked off with a powerful and challenging lecture by the Rev. Eugene Cho, from Bread for the World on "Doing Justice and the Whole Gospel." This was followed on Saturday by different workshops related to the theme, lunch conversation, and plenary discussion on leadership in a time of disruption. We were immensely grateful to all those who participated and to the sponsors whose financial contribution allowed us to offer the conference free. You can listen and watch the opening lecture, the conversation with Cho, the plenary discussion, and the workshop presentations below.
1. Being Leaders of Disruption – The Rev. Paul Roberts, Senior Pastor, Eastminster Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh
This session will cover how the Church can be disruptive in regard to race. It will give practical ways to intentionally become a racially reconciling Church. Topics will include intentionality, relocation, redistribution, and reconciliation. Listen and watch the presentation by clicking here.
2. The Gift of Disruption: Recalibrating Your Church’s Mission - The Rev. Dr. Hunter Farrell, WMI Director, and The Rev. Bala Khyllep, WMI Associate Director
The disruptions we’ve experienced have paused churches from fully participating in God’s mission as they used to. Yet these disruptions have exposed some of the paternalistic assumptions present in so much mission work today. Through this workshop, participants will look at tools to help their congregation recalibrate its mission engagement in the way of Jesus. This workshop will be based on their recently published book, Freeing Congregational Mission: A Practical Vision for Companionship, Cultural Humility, and Co-Development, by IVP Academic, 2022. Listen and watch the presentation by clicking here.
3. Leading Through Disruption - Rose Schrott Taylor, Interim Associate Editor, The Presbyterian Outlook
Through this workshop participants will be able to listen, learn, and engage with local congregational mission leaders from different denominations (The Rev. Dave Carver, pastor of First United Presbyterian Church of Crafton Heights; The Rev. Brenda Henry, pastor of Pittsburgh Lutheran United Ministries; The Rev. Bryce Goff, missions pastor Allegheny Center Alliance Church; and Edward Debruce, associate minister Shiloh Community Missionary Baptist Church) who will share their experience of leading their churches in mission during this time of disruption. Listen and watch the panel by clicking here.
4. Resources for Relevant Missions Leadership - Dr. Dan Bouchelle, President, Mission Resource Network
In a world that is changing faster than our perception of it, how can churches discern clear callings and set appropriate and effective visions to join what God is doing now to advance his kingdom? Listen and watch the presentation in part 1 by clicking here and part 2 by clicking here.
5. Mission and Resistance: Toward the Renewal of our Missional Imagination – Dr. Scott Hagley, Associate Professor of Missiology, PTS, and Dr. Victor Aguilan, Professor of Church and Society, Silliman University Divinity School, Philippines
Learning from the Theology of Struggle in the Philippines and other ways in which churches and theologians have learned to participate in the struggle for a more just and trustworthy world, this seminar considers the ways participation in the struggle for justice can reshape and refine our missional imagination for our congregations. Listen and watch the presentation by clicking here.
6. Advocacy Matters – Engaging your Church – Heather Taylor, Managing Director, Bread for the World, and The Rev. Eugene Cho, President/CEO, Bread for the World
What values and theology guide engagement in politics? For Eugene Cho, this is an aspect of seeking the whole gospel and building the Kingdom. Eugene will share what it means to live out values using real-world examples of faith-based advocacy. Second, what can we do, during a time of crisis, to take action? We will invite participants to take action and make their voices heard through an Offering of Letters to Congress, and help shape our government's response to hunger, poverty, and malnutrition. Listen and watch the presentation by clicking here.
7. Short-Term Missions Disrupted: A Review - Simeon Rodgers (M.Div. Student), Kacy Howard (PTS Grad), Rudeene Jackson (PTS Grad), Jason Dauer (PTS Grad), and Hannah Ostlund (M.Div. Student)
Join a group of PTS seminarians who will discuss their experiences of disruption while on trips with WMI. The conversation will include sharing of lessons learned with a focus on how these experiences help point toward a new framework for engaging short-term mission through disruption. Listen and watch the panel by clicking here.