COVID-19 and EMU Learn More >

School for Leadership Training Workshops

Tuesday January 11, 2022

Workshop Session #1
11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Listening As an Act of Resistance and Healing
Presenter: Amber Bryant

Whose Agriculture is it anyway?
Presenter: Dr. David Evans, PhD

Racism, Colonization, and (Un)Natural Disasters: Understanding Causes of and Resistance to Eco-Social Oppression
Presenter: Dr. Elizabeth Korver-Glen, PhD

Through the Looking Glass of Black Bodies: Rest as Liberation
Presenter: Robert Monson

A Body You Have Prepared
Presenter: Tamice Spencer, MA

Tuesday January 11, 2022

Workshop Session #2
3:45 – 5:15 pm

The Theology of the Banana Tree
Presenter: Karla Mendoza

Standing in the gap: A look at God’s vision for economic abundance
Presenters: Lana Miller, MDiv & Evelin González, MBA

Embodied Healing
Presenters: Wanjiku J. Mwangi, MDiv & Melissa Deeken 

Engaging the church on climate solutions
Presenter: Dr. Doug Graber Neufeld, PhD

Ceremony As Protest
Presenter: Pastor Sarah Quint, BA

Wednesday January 12, 2022

Workshop Session #3
11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Forty Years of Anabaptist Eco-theology: A Bird's-Eye View
Presenter: Dr. Peter Dula, PhD

The Theology of the Banana Tree
Presenter: Karla Mendoza

Through the Looking Glass of Black Bodies: Rest as Liberation
Presenter: Robert Monson

Ceremony As Protest
Presenter: Pastor Sarah Quint

Wednesday January 12, 2022

Workshop Session #4
1:45 – 3:15 pm

Listening As an Act of Resistance and Healing
Presenter: Amber Bryant

Racism, Colonization, and (Un)Natural Disasters: Understanding Causes of and Resistance to Eco-Social Oppression
Presenter: Dr. Elizabeth Korver-Glen, PhD

Standing in the gap: A look at God’s vision for economic abundance
Presenters: Lana Miller, MDiv & Evelin González, MBA

Embodied Healing
Presenters: Wanjiku J. Mwangi, MDiv & Melissa Deeken 

A Body You Have Prepared
Presenter: Tamice Spencer, MA

Workshop Descriptions

Listening As An Act of Resistance and Healing

Presenter: Amber Bryant

This workshop will look at what it means to bear witness to someone else's story. We will discuss what it means to love mercy and act justly from a place of connection. We will also discuss how listening with humility allows us to become co-conspirators in healing and restoration instead of harmful helpers.

We will talk about historic humanitarian efforts in the US and around the world have differed when those who sought to help listened and learned the story they were entering into, and when they did not. (I will share my own story/experience with this.) We will discuss long term effects of both, and how seemingly benign white supremacist ideologies (ex. White Saviorism) can mar the lens through which we see others, usurp our intentions to do good, and leave a legacy of harm and injustice instead of healing

Whose Agriculture is it anyway?

Presenter: Dr: David Evans, PhD

Building on the work of liberation theologian, James Cone, who asked, “Whose land is it, anyway?” I will engage participants in discussion concerning the role of charity in White institutional justice work and the assumptions at work in charitable relationships with Black and Brown communities. We will explore the history and present political problem of the current occupant of the land controlling the use of land, production of agricultural goods, and access to resources. Finally, we will offer recommendations for practicing a land ethic that testifies truthfully to our philosophy of land ownership.

The workshop will address issues of race, food justice, and ecological justice. By considering basic questions like, “Whose land is it?,” “Who currently occupies the land?,” “How is the land being used?,” “Who benefits from this use?,” “What relationships are possible as a result of the current configuration?,” “How might we imagine a more just and equitable reconfiguration?,” I will provoke participants to consider practical challenges for their home context.

Racism, Colonization, and (Un)Natural Disasters: Understanding Causes of and Resistance to Eco-Social Oppression

Presenter: Dr. Elizabeth Korver-Glenn, PhD

This workshop will examine the causes of eco-social oppression-racial capitalism, colonization, and (un)natural disasters -- by focusing on two U.S. communities: Navajo/Diné Nation and Zuni Pueblo (McKinley County, New Mexico) and the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina (Robeson County, North Carolina). The workshop will also explore how these communities have resisted various eco-social oppressions and worked to heal their lands and people. Finally, workshop participants will draw on these communities’ actions and Micah 4 -- like Scriptural calls in order to generate concrete individual and collective responses to eco-social oppression in participants’ own/nearby communities.

Through the Looking Glass of Black Bodies: Rest as Liberation 

Presenter: Robert Monson

In this workshop I will explore the themes of rest as liberation. I will use elements of science fiction, fiction, and most importantly the Black body to re imagine what frameworks of rest can be in terms of society, the church, and the world. Discussions will focus on the practical aspects of liberation and rest.

A Body You Have Prepared

Presenter: Tamice Spencer, MA

This workshop explores the damaging effects of how gnosticism’s removal of the Jewish flesh of Jesus created a vacuum in the Christ identity for theological abstraction and racist imaginations. Whiteness and evangelicalism have historically filled this vacuum with abstract notions of spirituality that are weaponized against bodies that do not reinforce the fallacy of white supremacy and expose the inadequacy of abstract notions of salvation. This abstraction creates a necessity for violence that is used to kill, steal, and destroy in order to procure safety and security at the expense of others and land. Recovering the Jewishness of Jesus -- an identity that was just as much about land as ethnicity -- indigenizes the gospel and grounds it in that which cannot be abstracted. This creates our own recovery of identity and bodies rooted in place. 

Micah 4 demonstrates that recognizing a Jewish Messiah results in a recovery of our identity and the land in a way that reflects the Lord, creates equality, and leads to worship. White supremacy kills, steals from, and destroys both the oppressed and the oppressor. Celebration and recovery of identity is one way to turn weapons into plowshares. It replaces the need for violence with a safety and security that enables us to care for others and the earth, resulting an equality and sustainability that resembles heaven.

The Theology of the Banana Tree

Presenter: Karla Mendoza

This workshop will explore the themes of migration, survival and thriving in spaces not made for marginalized communities, as well as displacement due to capitalistic and imperialistic actions that have compromised the climate, economy and the livelihood of some many people who now find themselves displaced. This workshop will explore how to be able to walk in the prophetic call of Micah 4 we must remember the stranger as migration has always been a natural human experience, and to look the other way would be to compromise the call given to us by Christ.

Standing in the gap: A look at God’s vision for economic abundance

Presenters: Lana Miller, MDiv & Evelin González, MBA

God’s vision for economic flourishing in Micah 4, is an invitation to see the world as it might be, but is not yet. How does Micah articulate God’s vision for a new creation, through an economic lens? What are the present economic realities that we are living in? And, how might we live into God’s future vision in the present? In this workshop we will wrestle with these questions, explore economic injustices that have resulted from racism and find practical tools for engaging all of creation in more just and compassionate ways.

Embodied Healing

Presenters: Wanjiku J. Mwangi, MDiv & Melissa Deeken

Participants will be guided through embodied experiences to meet them in their spiritual/healing journeys as they explore/reflect on the conference theme. This workshop provides embodied experiences to help participants use self-healing modalities to learn how Spirit guides for individual, collective and ecological healing. Participants will learn and experience the space and practice of healing the individual, the collective, Creator and creation. 

Engaging the church on climate solutions

Presenter: Dr. Doug Graber Neufeld, PhD

In attempting to “move the needle” on climate issues, what works and what doesn’t? This workshop will survey an emerging landscape of promising approaches that show evidence for moving communities to action. Examples of approaches will be illustrated by drawing on what we know about knowledge, attitude and practices on creation care in the Anabaptist community. Potential solutions will draw from a variety of disciplines, and draw from global perspectives. Workshop participants will be invited to contribute their stories of climate solutions, and how they fit into an emerging picture of effective church engagement on this issue.

Ceremony As Protest

Presenter: Pastor Sarah Quint, BA

“Ceremony As Protest” highlights the use of ceremony in fostering connection and responsibility towards people and place. Ritual ceremony can be a uniquely productive tool towards combating racism and climate devastation. We will follow the continued practice of ceremony throughout cultures and time. Highlighting the Eucharist as Christ’s established ceremony, this workshop will focus on humankind’s ongoing use of ceremony as a means of connection, remembrance, and responsibility. Participants will be engaged through western educational methods as well as traditional Indigenous forms of pedagogy. The workshop presentation includes traditional storytelling and Indigenous theological perspectives of the Jesus Way. Given the nature and focus of the talk, attendees will be encouraged to participate in a communal ceremonial demonstration. Participants will walk away with the knowledge of how to incorporate non-appropriative ceremonies within their own social and ecological contexts in efforts to reengage, raise awareness of local crises, and effect change.

The global forces of white supremacy and ecological destruction have disconnected people from right relationship to God, land, and community. This crisis of disconnect allows for a lack of awareness and compassion towards local ecological harms and social injustice. Rhythms of ritual ceremony combat and counterbalance this disconnect by fostering intentional connection, which in turn instigates meaningful, contextual, engagement. Micah 4 is a model of a balanced and continuous relationship to God, people, and place. Habitual connection, found in ritual ceremonies, stimulates heightened awareness of the ways global forces are being used to steal, kill and destroy God’s intended balance for all of creation. Unbroken connection, cultivated through ceremony, permits individuals to see how human interactions are precipitating either destruction and harm or productivity and harmony.

Forty Years of Anabaptist Eco-theology: A Bird's-Eye View

Presenter: Dr. Peter Dula, PhD

Over the past few decades North American Anabaptists have been energetic contributors to the growing literature concerning the current ecological crisis and its relationship to Christian theology. This workshop will situate that Anabaptist work in relationship to wider trends in eco-theology such as stewardship, eco-justice, and eco-spirituality and ask whether those frameworks are sufficient for the challenges we face.

Presenter Bios

Listening As An Act of Resistance and Healing

Presenter: Amber Bryant, Columbus, Ohio

Amber is a Columbus, OH native and passionate pursuer of humanity in the Divine. She comes from a long line of community leaders and Civil Rights activists. She has now taken her place among them in the fight to bring justice and healing to people and systems alike. She works with local community leaders to combat gentrification, overdevelopment, and displacement in long standing communities of color, and to care for those who have been relegated to the margins of society. Today she can be found doing antiracism work with the international Inverse Podcast community, working with her local ministry to be the hands and feet of Jesus to all people, and helping in her childhood neighborhood.

Forty Years of Anabaptist Eco-theology: A Bird's-Eye View

Presenter: Dr. Peter Dula, PhD, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Peter Dula is Associate Professor of Religion and Culture at Eastern Mennonite University. He received a Ph.D from Duke University in theology and ethics in 2004. He is the author of Cavell, Companionship, and Christian Theology (Oxford, 2011). Before coming to EMU in 2006 he was the Mennonite Central Committee Iraq Program Coordinator. He has taught at Lancaster Mennonite High School and at the Meserete Kristos College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he was a Fulbright scholar in 2001-2002. He has received several grants and fellowships including, most recently, the Louisville Institute Sabbatical Grant for Researchers.

Whose Agriculture is it anyway?

Presenter: Dr: David Evans, PhD, Harrisonburg, Virginia

David Evans is Associate Professor of history and intercultural studies, Director of cross cultural programs, at Eastern Mennonite University. He received the PhD in historical studies from Drew University. In concert with his teaching and scholarship, Evans practices a local “ecolutionary” lifestyle that promotes a resilient future for the diverse peoples of the Shenandoah Valley watershed.

Racism, Colonization, and (Un)Natural Disasters: Understanding Causes of and Resistance to Eco-Social Oppression

Presenter: Dr. Elizabeth Korver-Glenn, PhD, Ancestral Tuscarora and Lumbee Lands (Raleigh, North Carolina)

Dr. Elizabeth Korver-Glenn is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of New Mexico. Elizabeth studies, writes, and teaches about racialized housing and rental markets, built environments, and neighborhood race and class inequalities--all with the aim of doing justice.

The theology of the Banana Tree

Presenter: Karla Mendoza, Toledo, Ohio

Karla Mendoza is a storyteller, author, anti-racist educator, and immigration advocate and activist. Currently she is the Communications and Development Coordinator for CreatureKind, Co-Creator and Facilitator for QUNI, and host for El Cafecito with Karla. Her work has been featured on Univision, SheLoves Magazine, Made for Pax, we are the mainstream, and the upcoming anthology Let the Black Women say Asé (2022) from The Aya Collective Media and Publishing.

Standing in the gap: A look at God’s vision for economic abundance

Presenter: Lana Miller, MDiv, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Lana Miller serves as an Everence Stewardship Consultant from the Harrisonburg, Virginia office, serving Virginia and the Capital area. She works with churches, organizations and individuals, providing education and resources on stewardship, generosity and mutual aid. Before joining Everence, she served for 5 years with Eastern Mennonite University as Undergraduate Campus Pastor and prior to that lived in Cambodia, serving with her husband as Southeast Asia Area Representatives with Mennonite Central Committee. Miller earned her Bachelor of Arts in biology, chemistry and secondary education from Goshen (Indiana) College and a Master of Divinity from Eastern Mennonite Seminary. She is an ordained pastor in Mennonite Church USA. She is always eager to be challenged and learn new things, she also enjoys good food (especially from Southeast Asia).

Presenter: Evelin González, MBA, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Evelin González serves as Financial Consultant helping individuals and churches integrate their faith and stewardship values with their financial decisions. She brings a wealth of knowledge to Everence members in Harrisonburg, with her business experience in sales, marketing, accounting, and investment in the U.S. and her native Nicaragua. She joined the Everence team in 2015, as the Branch Manager in Harrisonburg for the Everence Federal Credit Union. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in public accounting from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua and completed her MBA from Eastern Mennonite University. She and her husband own a coffee farm in Nicaragua. They love good coffee, food and conversation as they welcome people to their home.

Through the Looking Glass of Black Bodies: Rest as Liberation 

Presenter: Robert Monson, Denver, Colorado

Robert has been in involved in ministry since 2005, having taught Bible studies, led small groups, done overseas missions work, planted churches, and helped lead in non profits. Robert is a writer, author, theologian, podcaster and seminarian and proud black man who is committed to liberation and rest. Robert is the author of a devotional, “Subversive Stillness: An Antiracist Devotional for the Everyday Believer” (2020).

Embodied Healing

Presenter: Wanjiku J. Mwangi, MDiv, Kenya

Wanjiku J. Mwangi is a Teacher/Spiritual Companion. She holds an MDiv in Biblical Studies and is currently undertaking Spiritual Director certification training under the Anglican Diocese in New England, Turtle Island. Wanjiku has been providing Teaching/Spiritual Companionship for the last two decades. She is a mother of five, two precious babies with Jesus and three with her. Wanjiku is passionate about an integrated way of life -- growing every area of your life (physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual) at the same time even though not at the same rate. You can find her work at www.integratedliving.co.ke.

Presenter: Melissa Deeken, Seattle, Turtle Island

Melissa believes that healing and liberation are intricately tied to one another through subversive imagination, and that the hope of the Upside Down Kingdom is found in the wisdom at the margins. She has committed her life’s work to being an active listener and neighbor, and loves to make meaning and connection in all that has been called good.

Engaging the church on climate solutions

Presenter: Dr. Doug Graber Neufeld, PhD, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Dr. Doug Graber Neufeld is Professor of Biology and Director of the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions at Eastern Mennonite University. Doug works primarily with the Environmental Sustainability program at EMU, with a concentration in issues that relate to environmental monitoring and toxicology. He coteaches the first year "Organismal Biology" course, along with a variety of courses related to environmental issues (such as Environmental Risk and Policy, Environmental Ethics, Natural History of the Shenandoah Valley). He has a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in environmental physiology, and worked at the University of Arizona and the University of Otago (New Zealand) before coming to EMU. He served a two year term with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in Cambodia, were he worked on environmental issues through the Royal University of Agriculture and the Royal University of Phnom Penh. More recently, he served another two year term with MCC, as water & livelihoods advisor in Kenya, splitting his time between WaSH (water, sanitation and hygiene) programs in informal settlements (“slums”) of Nairobi, and water provision and conservation agriculture projects in ASAL (arid and semi-arid lands) regions of eastern Kenya. 

Ceremony As Protest

Presenter: Pastor Sarah Quint, BA, Monroe, Michigan

Pastor Sarah Quint (Mattaponi) has a BA from Lee University with post-graduate work in Indigenous theology. Her love of Jesus and Native culture has led to the pursuit of contextual ministry, expressed through traditional song and story-telling, with featured work in SheLoves Magazine and numerous podcasts. With a heart to reconcile all things to Christ, Sarah is active in her SE Michigan community through land and water protection. She is learning from the original water protectors of the Great Lakes region and participates in water activism. Sarah and a cohort of Michigan Natives assist in land rematriation efforts. She is a board member of Monroe Puente, an organization assisting immigrants in her community to connect with resources needed to flourish in life. She is a leading member of the Mattaponi Women’s Coalition, pursuing equality for female tribal members. Sarah currently is co-lead pastors at Monroe City Church in Monroe, MI.

A Body You Have Prepared

Presenter: Tamice Spencer, MA, Richmond, Virginia

Tamice Spencer is a published author, speaker, and founder of Sub:Culture Inc., a nonprofit that provides holistic support for black college students as well as educational resources, curriculum, and cohorts for those seeking to reach Black students. She worked in full-time, young adult ministry for over 15 years before transitioning into working and teaching Black religion courses at an HBCU. Tamice has coined the term “cultural archeo-pology” to describe her theological work and contributions. One who excavates treasure in places no one would dare to look for God and uses what she finds to give a defense for the hope found in the gospel of Christ. She holds a Masters of Arts in Contextual Evangelism and Leadership from Wheaton College as well as a Masters of Arts in Theology from Fuller seminary. She is a mommy to Harlym, a Hip-Hop head, and obsessed with her partner’s homemade pizza.

Text Here...
✕ CLOSE
visit graphicVisit
apply graphicApply