Full workshop listings

Core workshops | Elective workshops

Song Leaders workshop 2017

Core workshops

ALW 801 – Reading the Bible as a Community

An Anabaptist approach to scripture involves reading the Bible together as an interpretive community, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In this workshop we will encounter the Bible together by reading specific texts and considering several different ways to interpret these texts both in light of the Anabaptist-Christian tradition, and in light of our 21st century Canadian context.

ALW 802 – Engaging the Global History of Anabaptism

Who were the 16th century Anabaptists and what did they believe, and why do people living 500 years later insist on calling themselves Anabaptist? In this workshop we will meet a number of leaders of the early Anabaptist movement, we will learn about some of the things that both accelerated and threatened this movement, and we will examine several contemporary case studies from around the world in which Anabaptism has been growing and changing.

ALW 803 – Exploring Anabaptist Theology

Anabaptist theology is Christian theology, and yet it is worth looking at some of the reasons why Anabaptist beliefs are distinctive. In this workshop, we will sample the work of several Anabaptist theologians and we will look at some ways of harnessing theology for the good of the church and for the betterment of the wider world.

ALW 804 – Doing Church within Canada’s Cultural Mosaic

Canadians are very diverse in terms of their cultural backgrounds and faith traditions. As Christians, how can we maintain our distinctive identity and vocation even while encountering and working collaboratively with people from quite different faith traditions? In this workshop we will learn about the spirituality and the everyday practices of living in an intercultural world.

ALW 805 – Following Jesus Together while having Very Different Beliefs

Christians sometimes joke about how a congregation of 100 members can hold 200 opinions about any given issue. The difficult reality is that church communities have split apart because of differences of opinion and differences of lifestyle. Rather than trying to hold onto a “centre that cannot hold”, can we find a way of living faithfully with diversity? Together we will search the Christian tradition for helpful examples of understanding diversity, and we will explore the relationship between embracing closely-held beliefs and embracing difference.

ALW 806 – Praying and Cultivating Spiritual Practices

There are many kinds of prayer, many approaches to spiritual formation, and many different traditions that Christians follow for drawing close to God. In this workshop we will put some of these different traditions into practice – from the quiet to the loud, from sitting to walking, from words to images – and we will look at the meaning of spiritual growth both for individuals and for congregations.

ALW 807 – Walking the Talk of the Gospel of Peace

Although Anabaptist churches have been identified as “peace churches”, the gospel of peace is shared by all Christians. What did Jesus say about peace? How is Christian peacemaking relevant in today’s world of terrorism and violence? What is the difference between pacifism and nonviolence? How should Christians deal with conflict? In this workshop we will explore these questions, and we will learn about different ways that Christians choose to walk the talk of peacemaking.


Elective workshops

ALW 810 – Taking Care of Ourselves

There is so much work to do, so many church programs to start and maintain, and so many ways to follow Jesus. Will Christian faith lead us to burn-out? This workshop begins with the age-old tradition of Sabbath and then invites participants into a number of other specific strategies for taking care of ourselves – physically, emotionally, and spiritually – and building personal and congregational resilience. 

ALW 820 – Doing Christian Ministry in Urban and Rural Settings

Both the city and the countryside are places of exciting, dynamic, and complicated possibilities for Christians. Doing Christian ministry in urban and rural settings can involve collaborating with social service agencies, local governments, and other faith groups. Living faithfully can involve everything from changing our farming practices to creating intentional urban communities to bringing city folks and country folks together. Join this workshop for some personal stories and some practical theology.

ALW 830 – Participating in Worship as Congregants and Leaders

How does Anabaptist worship look the same or different than other Christian worship? Why should a worship service contain specific components such as “Call to Worship” or “Confession” or “Praise”? Is there a uniquely Anabaptist way to worship? This workshop is for two kinds of people: (1) those who attend worship services and want to better understand their experience, and (2) those who plan and lead worship services and want to enrich their planning and leading.

ALW 840 – School for Laypeople

This one-day workshop amounts to a party for the “person in the pew” – a celebration of the role of laypeople in the church. Join us if you have ever asked yourself one of these questions: What should I do when a sermon is hard to follow? Am I supposed to volunteer to teach Sunday School? Does my opinion matter when it comes to congregational decision-making? What if I don’t know whether I’m a tenor or a bass? Where can I get help when I’m asked to be a worship leader? On a Sunday morning, is it bad if I look forward to coffee hour more than the worship service?

ALW 850 – MCEC School for Ministers (2016 theme: Worship)

For almost 40 years, the MCEC School for Ministers has been a place of learning, networking, and mutual support for ministers and other church leaders from the Mennonite tradition. During three days each February, participants gather at Conrad Grebel University College to worship, attend workshops, listen to guest speakers, and enjoy one another’s company. The theme changes every year, but the good fellowship and the atmosphere of discovery do not change. 

ALW 860 – Pastors, Chaplains, and Congregational Leaders Seminar

Every January, this one-day event offers a stimulating and educational experience for pastors, chaplains, and other congregational leaders. Past topics have included young adults and the church, Christian approaches to aging, faithful funeral practices, offering as a form of worship, and ministering to families in a culture of busyness. In addition to in-session input, this event includes times of worship and fellowship.

ALW 870 – Figuring out Leadership Transitions

For a relay race to work properly, runners not only have to be able to run well, they also have to be good at passing the baton to the next runner. What are some best practices for “passing the baton” in the context of the church? How can we negotiate the dynamics of leadership transition when it involves older generations and younger generations, or when it seems to be complicated by cultural differences? This workshop offers a constructive, Anabaptist approach to these questions.

ALW 880 – Learning about… (your own locally-designed workshop)

The Anabaptist Learning Workshop is ready to design additional workshops in local contexts, according to specific needs. Contact us with your ideas for one of these customized workshops! Topics could include teen culture, faith and ecology, an Anabaptist approach to church finances, Christian feminism, and many more.

ALW 890 – Train-the-Trainer Workshop

This workshop provides encouragement, curricular guidance, and team-building experience for instructors in the Anabaptist Learning Workshop. Topics include participatory workshop design, effective facilitation techniques, adult learning styles, and Christian spiritual formation for educators.

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