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Diocesan Convention this year will begin with morning Resource Roundup Workshops offering practical information for clergy, lay leaders and congregations. The workshops will be held in two sessions, at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 30, and last about 45 minutes. After a break for lunch, convention will convene at 12:30 p.m.

The workshops will look ahead to the springtime Ministry Fair, returning to Campbell Hall on Saturday, March 16.

The workshop schedule and full descriptions will be listed on the convention website diocesanconvention.com. Workshops and presenters are:

Raising Money From Small Events

Presenter: The Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija
Have you ever considered raising money from the friends of your congregants? Did you know that small events are an excellent way to energize potential major gift donors for the mission and work of your church? This training will teach you how to create small dinners that will directly help you fill your pipeline with major gifts prospects. These small events will help you get your best prospects in the room, qualify those prospects and gather information about them. They are often very inexpensive to run and will help you raise more money. Lebrija is chief development officer for the Diocese of Los Angeles.

Social Enterprise for Sustainable Churches

Presenter: The Rev. Canon Jaime Edwards-Acton
Social Enterprise, as defined by Betsy Densmore, founder of the Academies for Social Entrepreneurship, is a venture that advances a social mission through entrepreneurial earned income strategies (“purpose over profit”). Earned income can come from the sale of products and/or services, or a strategic alliance between a for-profit company and a for-benefit organization. If the idea of creating ministries and churches (of any size) that are more impactful and sustainable is something that interests you, come and explore the possibilities and opportunities that social enterprise has to offer. Edwards-Acton is rector of St. Stephen’s Church, Hollywood; executive director of Hope in Hollywood; and convenor of Episcopal Enterprises.

Fresh Start: Empowering, Enriching, Enlivening

Presenters: The Rev. Canon Joanna Satorius, the Ven. Charleen Crean and the Rev. Tom Quijada-Discavage
Is it your time to be a change maker? The ultimate goal of FreshStart is centered around organic conversations engaged by leaders listening for the prompting of the Spirit for the rekindling of healthy church life. The current program has four parts: New to Cure, Newly Ordained, Deacons, and Lay Leaders. Diocesan leadership expects the first three groups to participate in FreshStart as part of their desire to promote and sustain a healthy system. The hope is that FreshStart for Lay Leaders also will become a place of sharing and growth for all who feel called to walk the journey with all God’s people. Presenters are the staff of the diocese’s Formation and Transition Ministry office. Crean is also archdeacon of the diocese.

Group Spiritual Direction

Presenter: The Rev. Elizabeth I. Rechter
In this introduction to group spiritual direction, participants — limited to 12 per session — will start with a time of silence or a short meditation. Each person then in turn will be invited to share for five minutes about what is on their heart. Following each sharing the group will pray silently for the individual who presented. The purpose of these groups is not counseling or therapy, but to help participants become more aware of God in their lives today, in the companionship of others, and to engage in prayer for one another. Rechter is an experienced teacher and retreat leader. Formerly rector of St. Mary’s Church, Laguna Beach, she currently is executive director of Stillpoint: the Center for Christian Spirituality.

Keeping the Faith from Cradle to Grave

Presenter: The Very Rev. Sylvia Sweeney
In the 1970s Christian educator John Westerhoff wrote Will Our Children Have Faith? a description of the developmental journey of coming to faith. That book sought to answer the question of what the church needed to do to make it possible to pass on the Christian faith to the next generation. This workshop offers a 21st-century adaptation of Westerhoff’s assertions that can help us imagine how to create communities that actively nurture our faith and that of our children and grandchildren from cradle to grave. Sweeney is dean of Bloy House (Episcopal Theological School at Claremont) and author of numerous books and articles on liturgy, preaching, and Christian education.

Church Finances 101

Presenter: The Rev. Michele Racusin
Have you ever wondered … how confidential is a discretionary fund? Why are there separate funds for flowers and organs, and can they be used to pay the electric bill? What’s up with church payroll taxes, housing allowances and SECA? Let’s face it, church accounting is unique. In a 35-year career as a CPA, Racusin has seen a lot — the good, the bad, and just about everything in between — at every level of church finance, from parish to the wider church. In two 45-minute workshops she will reveal the mysteries of church accounting for treasurers, vestries, clergy, and other inquiring minds. Racusin is chief financial officer of the diocese.

EN Staff