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The Colossian Forum Annual Conference  
Gather | Practice | Witness: A Journey toward Hope

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Thursday, September 12
 

5:30pm

Back to God Ministries Meet & Greet
If you are unsure if you should attend this event, please email mlawrence@colossianforum.org.

Thursday September 12, 2019 5:30pm - 6:30pm
President's Dining

5:30pm

Registration
Thursday September 12, 2019 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Lobby

5:30pm

Welcome Reception
Thursday September 12, 2019 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Fireside Room

7:00pm

Welcome & Keynote 1
Speaker
avatar for Dr. Robert Chao Romero

Dr. Robert Chao Romero

Professor of Chicano/Latino Studies, UCLA
Dr. Robert Chao Romero has been a professor of Chicano/Latino Studies at UCLA since 2005. Together with his wife Erica, Robert serves as co-chair of the Matthew 25 Movement in Southern California (https://www.matthew25socal.org). He earned his Ph.D. in Latin American history from UCLA and J.D. from U.C. Berkeley, and is also a pastor and attorney. Robert's current book project is entitled, The Brown Church: Towards a Latina/o Christian Social Justice History and Identity (forthcoming Intervarsity Press Academic, 2020). His first book, The Chinese in... Read More →
avatar for Rev. Michael Gulker

Rev. Michael Gulker

President, The Colossian Forum
A native of West Michigan, Michael studied philosophy and theology at Calvin College, received his MDiv from Duke in 2005 and is an ordained Mennonite pastor. Michael and his wife Jodie have two children. Before helping to launch The Colossian Forum in 2011, Michael served for five... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Rob Barrett

Dr. Rob Barrett

Director of Forums & Scholarship, The Colossian Forum
Rob holds two PhDs—one in Applied Physics from Stanford University and the other in Theology from Durham University in England. He worked as a research scientist at IBM, a professor of Old Testament and Hebrew in England, and as a postdoctoral researcher of Old Testament in Göttingen... Read More →


Thursday September 12, 2019 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Great Hall
 
Friday, September 13
 

7:00am

Breakfast
Friday September 13, 2019 7:00am - 8:30am
Hotel Breakfast Area

7:45am

Keynote/Workshop Speaker Breakfast Meeting
This is a meeting for all keynote and workshop speakers to quickly check-in with TCF and each other while eating breakfast. Please feel free to grab food in the breakfast area, then head to the President's Dining Room for a short meeting lead by Chris De Vos.

Thank you, presenters!

Speaker
avatar for Rev. Chris De Vos

Rev. Chris De Vos

Manager of Church Partnerships & Care, The Colossian Forum
Chris has strong threads of reconciliation and unity woven into his life, and fully believes that it's possible to collaborate across differences. He graduated from Calvin College and Calvin Seminary and completed a Doctor of Ministry degree at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary... Read More →


Friday September 13, 2019 7:45am - 8:15am
President's Dining

8:30am

Keynote 2
Speaker
avatar for Dr. Ruth Haley Barton

Dr. Ruth Haley Barton

President/CEO, Transforming Center
Ruth Haley Barton (Doctor of Divinity, Northern Theological Seminary) is founder of the Transforming Center (www.transformingcenter.org), a ministry dedicated to strengthening the souls of clergy, Christian leaders and the congregations and organizations they serve. A sought-after speaker, retreat leader and trained spiritual director (Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation), she is the author of numerous books... Read More →
avatar for Rev. Michael Gulker

Rev. Michael Gulker

President, The Colossian Forum
A native of West Michigan, Michael studied philosophy and theology at Calvin College, received his MDiv from Duke in 2005 and is an ordained Mennonite pastor. Michael and his wife Jodie have two children. Before helping to launch The Colossian Forum in 2011, Michael served for five... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Rob Barrett

Dr. Rob Barrett

Director of Forums & Scholarship, The Colossian Forum
Rob holds two PhDs—one in Applied Physics from Stanford University and the other in Theology from Durham University in England. He worked as a research scientist at IBM, a professor of Old Testament and Hebrew in England, and as a postdoctoral researcher of Old Testament in Göttingen... Read More →


Friday September 13, 2019 8:30am - 10:15am
Great Hall

10:15am

Break
Friday September 13, 2019 10:15am - 10:30am
Fireside Room

10:30am

Beyond Good Intentions: The Practices of Calm Presence
When it comes to the challenging work of engaging difficult issues within Christian unity, good intentions are not enough. We need robust practices that help us to keep our balance emotionally while we work things out. In this workshop, we will explore—and actually practice—the skills of being a calm presence, expressing our own point of view and staying connected with those who see things differently.

Speaker
avatar for Trisha Taylor, MA LPC

Trisha Taylor, MA LPC

Partner, The Leader's Journey
Trisha Taylor is an ordained minister, counselor, author and consultant from Houston, Texas. In more than 25 years of ministry, she has been a co-founder of Faithwalking, Missional Marriage, Ridder Church Renewal and is a co-author of two books, Learning Change and The Leader's... Read More →


Friday September 13, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm
Maple/White Pine Room

10:30am

Gender as a Source of Delight and Division: A New Colossian Way Series
Speaker
avatar for Dr. Jenell Paris

Dr. Jenell Paris

Professor of Anthropology, Messiah College
Jenell Paris received her Ph.D. in anthropology from American University, Washington, DC and is Professor of Anthropology at Messiah College, Mechanicsburg, PA. Her recent books include The End of Sexual Identity: Why Sex is Too Important to Define Who We Are(IVP, 2011); The Good... Read More →


Friday September 13, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm
Willow East

10:30am

Keynote 2: Deeper Dive
Speaker
avatar for Dr. Ruth Haley Barton

Dr. Ruth Haley Barton

President/CEO, Transforming Center
Ruth Haley Barton (Doctor of Divinity, Northern Theological Seminary) is founder of the Transforming Center (www.transformingcenter.org), a ministry dedicated to strengthening the souls of clergy, Christian leaders and the congregations and organizations they serve. A sought-after speaker, retreat leader and trained spiritual director (Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation), she is the author of numerous books... Read More →


Friday September 13, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm
Willow West

10:30am

Reimagining Disagreement through Dialogic Questioning
One premise of The Colossian Way is that engaging—rather than avoiding—conflict provides a productive context for practicing forbearance, patience, kindness, and love. But surfacing conflict can be risky and challenging. Based on a close study of one TCW group, this workshop discusses the communication patterns through which the group avoided conflicts. The workshop reports the findings of the study, which found that a central challenge facing TCW participants is imagining communication in the face of conflict outside of debate. The workshop will offer dialogic communication as an alternative communication practice for productively engaging conflict and will discuss dialogic questioning as one practice that can help Christians productively engage divisive issues in the church.

Speaker
avatar for Dr. Stacey Wieland

Dr. Stacey Wieland

Associate Professor of Communication, Calvin College
Dr. Stacey Wieland earned her PhD from the University of Colorado, Boulder. A specialist in organizational communication, her qualitative research focuses on identity, culture, and discourse. She has published in journals such as Communication Monographs, Management Communication... Read More →


Friday September 13, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm
Board Room

10:30am

The Colossian Way: Talking about Politics
Even when we find ourselves deeply divided over politics, The Colossian Way proclaims our hope for unity in Christ. This hope for unity flies in the face of what we find in the political news, social media, and many face-to-face interactions. There’s a reason conventional wisdom says talking about politics will only drive us further apart. Moreover, some of us have to admit that, when we talk about politics, we’re tempted away from deep, loving truthfulness about the facts, the arguments, our political opponents, and ourselves. In this workshop, we will reflect on our current situation of political division, preview a new Colossian Way series on Political Talk, and seek God’s wisdom for using our political talk redemptively.

Speaker
avatar for Dr. Rob Barrett

Dr. Rob Barrett

Director of Forums & Scholarship, The Colossian Forum
Rob holds two PhDs—one in Applied Physics from Stanford University and the other in Theology from Durham University in England. He worked as a research scientist at IBM, a professor of Old Testament and Hebrew in England, and as a postdoctoral researcher of Old Testament in Göttingen... Read More →


Friday September 13, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm
Hickory

12:00pm

Lunch
Friday September 13, 2019 12:00pm - 1:45pm
Great Hall

2:00pm

The Colossian Way: Talking about Politics
Even when we find ourselves deeply divided over politics, The Colossian Way proclaims our hope for unity in Christ. This hope for unity flies in the face of what we find in the political news, social media, and many face-to-face interactions. There’s a reason conventional wisdom says talking about politics will only drive us further apart. Moreover, some of us have to admit that, when we talk about politics, we’re tempted away from deep, loving truthfulness about the facts, the arguments, our political opponents, and ourselves. In this workshop, we will reflect on our current situation of political division, preview a new Colossian Way series on Political Talk, and seek God’s wisdom for using our political talk redemptively.

Speaker
avatar for Dr. Rob Barrett

Dr. Rob Barrett

Director of Forums & Scholarship, The Colossian Forum
Rob holds two PhDs—one in Applied Physics from Stanford University and the other in Theology from Durham University in England. He worked as a research scientist at IBM, a professor of Old Testament and Hebrew in England, and as a postdoctoral researcher of Old Testament in Göttingen... Read More →


Friday September 13, 2019 2:00pm - 2:30pm
Hickory

2:00pm

Basic Components of The Colossian Way
The Colossian Forum’s mission is to help Christians transform conflicts into opportunities for spiritual formation and witness. Central to that work of transformation is a ten-session, small group process called The Colossian Way. The aim of The Colossian Way is to increase the capacity of participants to engage messy problems with the character of Christ. This workshop will explore the conceptual framework and practical components of The Colossian Way as a Christian practice. Participants will learn the design of the curriculum, experience some exercises included in the group process and come away with ideas about implementing The Colossian Way in a local church or school setting.

Speaker
avatar for Rev. Chris De Vos

Rev. Chris De Vos

Manager of Church Partnerships & Care, The Colossian Forum
Chris has strong threads of reconciliation and unity woven into his life, and fully believes that it's possible to collaborate across differences. He graduated from Calvin College and Calvin Seminary and completed a Doctor of Ministry degree at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary... Read More →



Friday September 13, 2019 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Maple/White Pine Room

2:00pm

Keynote 1: Deeper Dive
Speaker
avatar for Dr. Robert Chao Romero

Dr. Robert Chao Romero

Professor of Chicano/Latino Studies, UCLA
Dr. Robert Chao Romero has been a professor of Chicano/Latino Studies at UCLA since 2005. Together with his wife Erica, Robert serves as co-chair of the Matthew 25 Movement in Southern California (https://www.matthew25socal.org). He earned his Ph.D. in Latin American history from UCLA and J.D. from U.C. Berkeley, and is also a pastor and attorney. Robert's current book project is entitled, The Brown Church: Towards a Latina/o Christian Social Justice History and Identity (forthcoming Intervarsity Press Academic, 2020). His first book, The Chinese in... Read More →


Friday September 13, 2019 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Willow West

2:00pm

Living Faith in Polarized and Uncertain Times: Lessons from Northern Ireland
Speaker
avatar for Dr. Joseph Liechty

Dr. Joseph Liechty

Professor of Peace, Justice & Conflict Studies, Goshen College
Joe Liechty is a professor of Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies at Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana, and belongs to Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship. He earned his Ph.D. in Irish History from National University of Ireland. Joe has had several years of involvement with The Colossian... Read More →


Friday September 13, 2019 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Willow East

2:00pm

Reimagining Disagreement through Dialogic Questioning
One premise of The Colossian Way is that engaging—rather than avoiding—conflict provides a productive context for practicing forbearance, patience, kindness, and love. But surfacing conflict can be risky and challenging. Based on a close study of one TCW group, this workshop discusses the communication patterns through which the group avoided conflicts. The workshop reports the findings of the study, which found that a central challenge facing TCW participants is imagining communication in the face of conflict outside of debate. The workshop will offer dialogic communication as an alternative communication practice for productively engaging conflict and will discuss dialogic questioning as one practice that can help Christians productively engage divisive issues in the church.

Speaker
avatar for Dr. Stacey Wieland

Dr. Stacey Wieland

Associate Professor of Communication, Calvin College
Dr. Stacey Wieland earned her PhD from the University of Colorado, Boulder. A specialist in organizational communication, her qualitative research focuses on identity, culture, and discourse. She has published in journals such as Communication Monographs, Management Communication... Read More →


Friday September 13, 2019 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Board Room

3:30pm

Refreshments & Fellowship
Take some time to fellowship, discuss, and meet new friends!
The following rooms are available for use: Hickory Room, Willow West, and Board Room.

Friday September 13, 2019 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Fireside Room

4:00pm

CRC Pastor Presentation
If you are unsure if you should attend this event, please email mlawrence@colossianforum.org to confirm.

Speaker
avatar for Rev. Chris De Vos

Rev. Chris De Vos

Manager of Church Partnerships & Care, The Colossian Forum
Chris has strong threads of reconciliation and unity woven into his life, and fully believes that it's possible to collaborate across differences. He graduated from Calvin College and Calvin Seminary and completed a Doctor of Ministry degree at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary... Read More →


Friday September 13, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Maple/White Pine Room

4:00pm

Back to God Ministries TCW Overview
If you are unsure if you should attend, please email mlawrence@colossianforum.org. 

Friday September 13, 2019 4:00pm - 5:15pm
President's Dining

7:00pm

Community Event: Continuing the Conversation
Come hear the story of community leader Tru Pettigrew and former police chief Tony Godwin, who entered a conversation following the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO around racial tensions in their own community of Cary, NC. Hear how they learned to love each other across difference, brought healing to their community and continue to work for justice and peace. We invite you to experience an example of hope that serves as witness to God’s kingdom.

Admission is free. No registration required. No transportation provided.
Co-hosted by First Christian Reformed Church, Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church, True Light Baptist Church, and The Colossian Forum

 
Saturday, September 14
 

7:00am

Breakfast
Saturday September 14, 2019 7:00am - 8:30am
Hotel Breakfast Area

8:30am

Keynote 3
Speaker
avatar for Dr. Bungishabaku Katho

Dr. Bungishabaku Katho

Biblical Studies Professor, Shalom University
Dr. Bungishabaku Katho is the founder and director of the Jeremiah Center for Faith and Society (JCFS), an organization started in 2017. The JCFS aims to build a just and peaceful society in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Center seeks to gather leaders to articulate and promote... Read More →
avatar for Rev. Michael Gulker

Rev. Michael Gulker

President, The Colossian Forum
A native of West Michigan, Michael studied philosophy and theology at Calvin College, received his MDiv from Duke in 2005 and is an ordained Mennonite pastor. Michael and his wife Jodie have two children. Before helping to launch The Colossian Forum in 2011, Michael served for five... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Rob Barrett

Dr. Rob Barrett

Director of Forums & Scholarship, The Colossian Forum
Rob holds two PhDs—one in Applied Physics from Stanford University and the other in Theology from Durham University in England. He worked as a research scientist at IBM, a professor of Old Testament and Hebrew in England, and as a postdoctoral researcher of Old Testament in Göttingen... Read More →


Saturday September 14, 2019 8:30am - 10:15am
Great Hall

10:15am

Break
Saturday September 14, 2019 10:15am - 10:30am
Fireside Room

10:30am

Basic Components of The Colossian Way
The Colossian Forum’s mission is to help Christians transform conflicts into opportunities for spiritual formation and witness. Central to that work of transformation is a ten-session, small group process called The Colossian Way. The aim of The Colossian Way is to increase the capacity of participants to engage messy problems with the character of Christ. This workshop will explore the conceptual framework and practical components of The Colossian Way as a Christian practice. Participants will learn the design of the curriculum, experience some exercises included in the group process and come away with ideas about implementing The Colossian Way in a local church or school setting.

Speaker
avatar for Rev. Chris De Vos

Rev. Chris De Vos

Manager of Church Partnerships & Care, The Colossian Forum
Chris has strong threads of reconciliation and unity woven into his life, and fully believes that it's possible to collaborate across differences. He graduated from Calvin College and Calvin Seminary and completed a Doctor of Ministry degree at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary... Read More →



Saturday September 14, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm
Board Room

10:30am

Beyond Good Intentions: The Practices of Calm Presence
When it comes to the challenging work of engaging difficult issues within Christian unity, good intentions are not enough. We need robust practices that help us to keep our balance emotionally while we work things out. In this workshop, we will explore—and actually practice—the skills of being a calm presence, expressing our own point of view and staying connected with those who see things differently.

Speaker
avatar for Trisha Taylor, MA LPC

Trisha Taylor, MA LPC

Partner, The Leader's Journey
Trisha Taylor is an ordained minister, counselor, author and consultant from Houston, Texas. In more than 25 years of ministry, she has been a co-founder of Faithwalking, Missional Marriage, Ridder Church Renewal and is a co-author of two books, Learning Change and The Leader's... Read More →


Saturday September 14, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm
Willow East

10:30am

Gender as a Source of Delight and Division: A New Colossian Way Series
Speaker
avatar for Dr. Jenell Paris

Dr. Jenell Paris

Professor of Anthropology, Messiah College
Jenell Paris received her Ph.D. in anthropology from American University, Washington, DC and is Professor of Anthropology at Messiah College, Mechanicsburg, PA. Her recent books include The End of Sexual Identity: Why Sex is Too Important to Define Who We Are(IVP, 2011); The Good... Read More →


Saturday September 14, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm
Hickory

10:30am

Keynote 3: Deeper Dive
Speaker
avatar for Dr. Bungishabaku Katho

Dr. Bungishabaku Katho

Biblical Studies Professor, Shalom University
Dr. Bungishabaku Katho is the founder and director of the Jeremiah Center for Faith and Society (JCFS), an organization started in 2017. The JCFS aims to build a just and peaceful society in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Center seeks to gather leaders to articulate and promote... Read More →


Saturday September 14, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm
Willow West

10:30am

Living Faith in Polarized and Uncertain Times: Lessons from Northern Ireland
Speaker
avatar for Dr. Joseph Liechty

Dr. Joseph Liechty

Professor of Peace, Justice & Conflict Studies, Goshen College
Joe Liechty is a professor of Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies at Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana, and belongs to Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship. He earned his Ph.D. in Irish History from National University of Ireland. Joe has had several years of involvement with The Colossian... Read More →


Saturday September 14, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm
Maple/White Pine Room

12:10pm

Closing Session & Commission
Speaker
avatar for Rev. Michael Gulker

Rev. Michael Gulker

President, The Colossian Forum
A native of West Michigan, Michael studied philosophy and theology at Calvin College, received his MDiv from Duke in 2005 and is an ordained Mennonite pastor. Michael and his wife Jodie have two children. Before helping to launch The Colossian Forum in 2011, Michael served for five... Read More →


Saturday September 14, 2019 12:10pm - 12:45pm
Great Hall

12:45pm

Boxed Lunch To Go
Saturday September 14, 2019 12:45pm - 1:30pm
Fireside Room