Assembly Logo

166th Regional Assembly
of the
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Georgia

November 13th - 14th, 2015

First Christian Church of Atlanta

Enjoy photos of the 166th Regional Assembly – November 13-14, 2015.

Friday


Saturday Morning:


Saturday Afternoon:

 

Exhibits:


 

Reports and Budget presented at the Assembly

Keynote Speaker

Frank A. Thomas, PhD, currently serves Frank A. Thomasas the Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Homiletics and Director of the Academy of Preaching and Celebration at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana. An updated version of They Like to Never Quit Praisin’ God: The Role of Celebration In Preaching was released in August 2013, and it is considered by many to   be a homiletic classic.

For many years, Thomas has also taught preaching to Doctoral and Masters level students at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois, and at Memphis Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tennessee. He is the CEO of Hope For Life International, Inc., which formerly published The African American Pulpit. Thomas was inducted into the prestigious Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers of Morehouse College in April 2003. Thomas also serves as a member of the International Board of Societas Homiletica, an international society of teachers of preaching.

Thomas is the author of American Dream 2.0: A Christian Way Out of the Great Recession, released by Abingdon Press in August 2012. He also co-edited Preaching With Sacred Fire: An Anthology of African American Sermons, 1750 to the Present with Martha Simmons, published by W. W. Norton & Company in 2010. Thomas is also the author of several other books on subjects from matters of prayer to spiritual maturity.

Thomas served with distinction as the senior pastor for two remarkable congregations: New Faith Baptist Church of Matteson, Illinois, and Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church of Memphis, Tennessee, for eighteen years and thirteen years, respectively.

Thomas holds a PhD in Communications (Rhetoric) from the University of Memphis, a Doctor of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary, Doctor of Ministry degrees from Chicago Theological Seminary and United Theological Seminary, a Master of Divinity from Chicago Theological Seminary, and a Master of Arts in African-Caribbean Studies from Northeastern Illinois University.

Thomas’ most recent book, “The Choice: Living Your Passion Inside Out”, published by Hope For Life International Press October 2013, explains and explores the spiritual and coaching process  to  live your passion from the inside out. Thomas is a nationally and internationally sought after keynote speaker and lecturer. Thomas and his wife have two adult children.

Dr. Thomas’ website is: www.drfrankathomas.com

Workshops

For more information on each workshops taht what were held at the Assembly, roll your mouse over the Workshop Title.

FIRST SESSION

WORKSHOP A
WORKSHOP A
Boomers and Busters, Generation Xers and Millennials – differences between these groups bring with them challenges to how we “do church.” There are also differences in learning, relationships, respect and responsibility that impact our becoming God’s beloved community to each and every generation. How do we share and celebrate our perspectives on the journey together? Workshop leaders will share ways to answer this and other questions you may have.
SCRIPTURE: “All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD, and all your faithful bless you. They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom, and tell of your power, to make known to all people your mighty deeds, the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and your dominion endures throughout all generations.” Psalm 145:10-13 NRSV.
“Celebrating the Intergenerational Beloved Community”

WORKSHOP B
WORKSHOP B
As caregivers grow in number among our communities of faith, understanding the special needs of those who lovingly care for others is essential. Renewal and restoration in the midst of these hard times may be the greatest challenges they face. Where can we get the insight, the resources and help strengthen them and ourselves? This workshop provides answers.
SCRIPTURE: “But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 NRSV.
“Renewal of Strength: Caregivers Resources for in God’s Beloved Community”

WORKSHOP C
WORKSHOP C
Race has become America’s national obsession. Race includes issues of class, gender, and citizenship. “We need to begin with a frank acknowledgement of the basic humanness and Americanness of each of us …if we go down, we go down together” (Cornell West). The hope of our political, social and moral future may be in the people of God moving as one body to become the voice calling in the wilderness for repentance and forgiveness that will lead to the beloved community. What steps do we take to bring this hope to our world? Workshop leaders will lead us in answering this and other pressing questions about race and how it matters.
SCRIPTURE: “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth….” Acts 17:26 (NIV).
“Becoming the Beloved Community through Repentance and Forgiveness”

WORKSHOP D
WORKSHOP D
Open and Affirming (ONA) is an official designation of congregations and other settings in American Protestant religion affirming the full inclusion of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) in the church’s life and ministry. Come hear how a local Disciples congregation took this process on and how it strengthened their ministry.
SCRIPTURE: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female; for all of you are one in Christ.” Galatians 3:28 NRSV
“The Journey to the Open & Affirming Congregation in God’s Beloved Community”

WORKSHOP E
WORKSHOP E
Discover how your church operations can be safer. Safe church policies help protect the vulnerable, especially children. We become God’s beloved community through: building and sustaining communities of faith that lead to deepening trust and faith in Jesus Christ and with each other. We become God’s beloved community as we help by offering education and training in the prevention of sexual exploitation, childhood abuse and harassment. The workshop will provide you with recommendations, project plans for safety improvement and online resources.
SCRIPTURE: “But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them that those who love your name may rejoice in you.” Psalm 5:11 NIV.
“Protecting the Vulnerable in God’s Beloved Community”

WORKSHOP F
WORKSHOP F
“The parables of Jesus sometimes are meant to work on us like an annoying pebble in our shoe. We keep taking off the shoe, shaking it upside down, putting the shoe back on, only to discover that the pebble is still there. The parables just keep working at us, never simply confirming our sense 0f rightness or righteousness.” (Michael Jinkins Blog) Let the parables work on us in our becoming God’s beloved community.
SCRIPTURE: “The reason I speak to them in parables is that, seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand…But blessed are your eyes for they see and your ears, for they hear.” Matthew 13:13 and 16 NRSV.
“Seeing and Hearing: Parables for the Beloved Community”

SECOND SESSION

WORKSHOP G
WORKSHOP G
Congregational vitality is a journey of life, energy, passion, discovery, and hope. It is a result of the living God breathing new life into the heart of a congregation. Vitality is nothing less than a spiritual awakening in Christ. It is not about sustaining and maintaining; it’s about thriving, growing, and depending on God to lead us deeper in Christ and further in mission. This workshop will stir you to soar above the mundane and see the possibilities as God’s sees them for your church and community.
SCRIPTURE: “he has made us competent ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” 2 Corinthians 3:6 NIV.
“Soaring With Possibilities in God’s Beloved Community”

WORKSHOP H
WORKSHOP H
Young adults don’t feel obligated to attend church like previous generations. In fact many of these folks never have attended church. Yet they long for reverence and worship. How do we attract them to enter our worship spaces and experience the table?
SCRIPTURE: “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another…” Hebrews 10:22-25 NIV.
“A Place at the Table for Under 40’s in God’s Beloved Community”

WORKSHOP I
WORKSHOP I
How do we do what is good and not harm those we are trying to help? As Disciples, we believe that all people are made in the image of God, which means that we all, regardless of our situation in life, possess God-given skills, experiences, and resources with which to serve God. Join us as we explore a different model of faith-based charity based upon an ethic of relationship-building and empowerment.
SCRIPTURE: “O mortal what is good, and what does the Lord require of you? Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8.
“From Our Doorsteps to the Ends of the Earth… A Different Model of Charity in God’s Beloved Community”

WORKSHOP J
WORKSHOP J
“Healing the Suffering: Mental Health in the Church and God’s Beloved Community” DESCRIPTION: Just as Jesus healed people struggling with mental, emotional, and physical ailments we are reaching out to our sisters and brothers who seek healing. We need help tackling the challenges of ministering to persons with mental illness and their families. Are you seeking ideas for creating caring environments within the beloved community? This panel discussion may answer your questions.
SCRIPTURE: “Then people came out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus they found the man from whom the demons had gone sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind.” Luke 8:35 NRSV.
“Healing the Suffering: Mental Health in the Church and God’s Beloved Community”

WORKSHOP K
WORKSHOP K
Stewardship comes from the concept that all we have and all that we are comes from God, who has gifted us with talents and abilities, through which we relate to others, earn a living and interact in our daily life. It is about the faithful management of all of the resources and gifts that come into our lives, including but not limited to the care of the earth; the observance of Sabbath; care for ourselves; care for the Gospel; and the care for our material goods and possessions. We become the beloved community when the values of God permeate every life and situation. How do we live into this?
SCRIPTURE: "When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat." But he answered them. "You give them something to eat." They said to him, "Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?" (Mark 6:35-37 NRSV)
"Living into Stewardship in our Beloved Community”

WORKSHOP L
WORKSHOP L
Conflict is a normal, and even healthy, part of relationships. After all, two people can’t be expected to agree on everything at all times. The same is true for families and congregations. Since relationship conflicts are inevitable, learning to deal with them in a healthy way is crucial. When conflict is mismanaged, it can harm the relationship. But when handled in a respectful and positive way, conflict provides an opportunity for growth, ultimately strengthening the bond between people. By learning the skills you need for successful conflict resolution, you can keep your personal and professional relationships strong and growing. Ground rules for conflict keep feelings in check and remind us that relationships are most important of all. This workshop provides you with resources and skills to engage in positive conflict resolution and becoming God’s beloved community.
SCRIPTURE: “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment…Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift” Matthew 5:22-24.
“Fair Fighting Ground Rules within God’s Beloved Community”