NBA at GA: 2019 Workshops

July 21-23, 2019

Join NBA staff, trustees, partners, and XPLOR alumni throughout a variety of workshops at the 2019 General Assembly. Learn more below!

Session 1: 1:30-2:50 PM

For Young Adults — Balancing Vocational Discernment and Professional Ambition

Presenters: HELM, NBA, and Panelists

Many young adults seek innovative ways to apply their faith and live their values as they engage in vocational discernment about jobs and careers. It can be a challenge to find meaningful work, establish a career, pay student loans, pursue additional education, and remain financially stable. How do vocational discernment, professional ambition, and even just keeping the bills paid all work together in living a life that honors God and is commensurate with one’s faith commitments? 

Becoming a Welcoming Church: Safe Sanctuary Protocols

Presenters: Rev. Dean Bucalos, NBA Prison and Jail Ministries, and others

Explore the restrictions applicable to those convicted of sex offenses, and how to establish protocols that make it possible to welcome them into your faith community.

Social Media and the Church

Presenter: Tim Campbell, NBA XPLOR Alum, Strategist

Social media and church are not exclusive: they are mutual partners in creatively sharing a message with opportunities that keep the church relevant. In this hands-on workshop, participants will explore the most popular social media platforms, why they are used, and brainstorm ideas and best practices on use in the church.



Session 2: 3:00-4:30 PM

Finding Common Ground within Gun Violence Conversations

Presenter: Donald V. Gaffney, author of “Common Ground: Talking About Gun Violence in America,” in publication by Westminster John Knox Press

Guns and gun violence seem to divide our country more than just about any topic. We have preppers and pacifists, and 100 million gun owners standing in the middle. This workshop will explore guns and gun violence in America from multiple perspectives, asking questions and searching for answers. We will explore stories and statistics, our history and heroes, myths, media, and more. Don Gaffney will share from his experiences researching a book on gun violence, manuscript scraps from the cutting-room floor, and reflections on its publication. Will we find common ground? Join the conversation and find out!


Session 1: 1:30-2:50 PM - Session 2: 3:00-4:30 PM

Becoming Immigrant Welcoming Congregations 

Presenters: Lori Tapia, Sharon Stanley-Rea, Tana Liu-Beers, Chung Seong Kim, directly impacted immigrant leaders, representative from an IWC congregation, and NBA Mental Health Initiative representatives

This workshop helps your congregation bring to flesh and life “On Becoming Immigrant Welcoming Congregations,” the GA-1723 Resolution passed at our last Disciples General Assembly. Part 1 will provide a context of historical exclusionary laws and current challenges such as cuts to DACA, Temporary Protected Status, family separation policies, border practices, enforcement increases, legal immigration limits, and refugee changes that frame the immigrant rights and advocacy landscape today. Those challenges will “gain a face” through the voices and stories of directly impacted communities from multiple backgrounds of Hispanic/Latinx, AAPI, and undocumented Black populations. Participants in this workshop will then review the Disciples “Immigrant Welcoming Congregation” movement, hear a testimony from an initial “IWC,” and learn how their congregation can start the process of becoming a Disciples “IWC,” too! The second half of the workshop will build upon Part 1 and answer the question, “What can I and my congregation DO?” by offering key models of immigrant community protections, healing, and relationship building needed in today’s context of racism and anti-immigrant policies and pushback. Participants will hear from leaders about meaningful practices such as centering leadership among directly impacted partners, mental health trauma care, family emergency planning, accompaniment and rapid response, networks for solidarity, and advocacy campaigns to support refugees and immigrants in this time. Participation in both workshops will help move churches towards “Immigrant Welcoming Congregation” identity.

Advocacy, Activism and Organizing for Justice – How Can My Congregation Get Involved? 

Presenters: Dietra Wise Baker, NBA Disciples Activist Peer Group, Laurie Pound Feille, and others from the justice organizing group meeting this September, which includes representatives from Disciples Justice Action Network, Disciples Center for Public Witness, Refugee and Immigration Ministries, Office of the General Minister and President, Disciples Public Presence, and Reconciliation Ministry

In an age with increased attention on justice issues, faith leaders must discern when and how to enter movement work. We will develop a common language and analysis for examining justice work. Finally join lay and clergy leaders in an interactive session to reflect on your ministry’s justice work and gain resources for your congregation to build a sustainable presence in the liberation movement.

Breaking Barriers: Talking Stories and Struggles — college students only 

A forum created specifically for current and incoming college students focused on experiences of social issues on college campuses. This is a two-part forum. Part I will entail sharing both our stories and struggles on our campuses. Part II provides resources and ministries available through our Church for action. Part II will include a panel of representative from HELM, Reconciliation Ministry, NBA, Disciples Alliance, and our college and university chaplains.


Session 2: 3:00-4:30 PM

Welcoming Abundance: Inspiring Engagement and Generosity through Storytelling

Rev. Bethany Watkins Lowery, Director of Development, Disciples Church Extension Fund and Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation; and Rev. April Lewton: April, Vice President of Development and Marketing, NBA

Disciples are involved in so many areas of ministry, but how are we telling the stories? From our sacred biblical texts to modern-day e-newsletters, sharing stories has long been an effective way to connect and engage people. This workshop will focus on ways that storytelling can help encourage engagement in your ministry and inspire generosity. We will share best practices for story-telling as a meaningful approach to stewardship and fundraising. This workshop is designed with dialogue in mind, so please come ready with questions and sharing ways that your communities are welcoming abundance.


Session 1: 1:30-2:50 PM - Session 2: 3:00-4:30 PM

Should I Start a Church or a Nonprofit? A Workshop for Ministry Entrepreneurs in Discernment 

Presenters: Pastor Terrell L. McTyer, Minister of New Church Strategies at Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation; and Larry J. Morris, III, NBA Incubate Initiative Program Associate

Join Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation and National Benevolent Association in interactive discernment exercises to discover the call to do ministry differently. The New Church Movement and Incubate Initiative collaborate to create space to explore the why, the what, and the everything in between of starting new ministries. What is social entrepreneurship? And, for that matter, what is church? Determine which is right for you.


Presenters: Jackie Bunch and Rev. Mary Lou Kegler, NBA Trustees; Rev. Marilyn Fiddmont, Rev. Dale Braxton, Rev. Denise Bell, Rev. William (Bill) Lee

As the Church seeks to live out the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18 – 20), we can only do so by first equipping God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. (Esp.4:12). #LC2 is a workshop designed to bring together lay and clergy leadership in a shared learning environment to explore the topics of shared leadership between lay and clergy, crafting a ministerial Letter of Call, conducting a productive pastoral evaluation, and creating engaging and efficient board meetings.

Mental Health: Creating an Effective Congregational Mental Health Ministry 

Presenters: Rev. Angela Whitenhill and Rev. Hector Hernandez, NBA Mental Health Initiative, and others

This workshop will offer foundational mental health education for congregational use, practical strategies for building congregational based mental health ministries, and theological formation for congregations working toward countering prejudice against mental illness in our congregations. Part 1 will explore cultural norms and stigmas that exist in our congregations about mental health challenges, offer transformative ways to address these stigmas, and discuss practical ways to engage congregational cultural to be more welcoming and inclusive of persons with mental health challenges. Part 2 will offer the practical realities of starting a congregational based ministry, strategies for success, and unique pointers as to how the church can support mental health maintenance and recovery.

Breaking Barriers: Taking Action — college students only

A forum created specifically for current and incoming college students focused on experiences of social issues on college campuses. This is a two-part forum. Part I will entail sharing both our stories and struggles on our campuses. Part II provides resources and ministries available through our Church for action. Part II will include a panel of representative from HELM, Reconciliation Ministry, NBA, Disciples Alliance, and our college and university chaplains.

Iowa Events Center

Young Adult Leadership Development: Intersections and Intersectionality

July 22, 2019

Join NBA, HELM, and Obra Hispana for dinner, Monday, July 22, at General Assembly! A panel will focus on three themes: leadership development as culturally contextual; the importance of intersectionality; and the role of service and justice work in leadership development.

Read More
Trivia letters with coffee mug

Who Wants to Be the Smartest Disciple? NBA Trivia Night at General Assembly

July 21, 2019

Join us on Sunday, July 21, for a Trivia Night after-session at General Assembly, benefiting the National Benevolent Association! Form a team to compete in trivia consisting of general knowledge, with a special round focused on Disciples and NBA.

Read More
2019 Webinar Calendar

2019 Webinar Calendar

January 1, 2019

Take a look at the webinars the National Benevolent Association will be presenting throughout 2019. Check back for additional information and registration details as we make updates throughout the year!

Read More