2020 Convention Workshops

Pre-convention workshops will take place each Wednesday of October and the first Wednesday in November. All sessions will be recorded and posted on YouTube.

October 7 at 7 p.m. ET

“Serving Beacons of Christ” with the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, canon to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry for evangelism, reconciliation and stewardship for creation

Bio: The author of Radical Welcome: Embracing God, The Other and the Spirit of Transformation and The Episcopal Way (with Eric Law), the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers has directed mission and evangelism work at General Theological Seminary and in the Diocese of Long Island. She founded The Crossing in Boston and has led a number of church-wide renewal efforts.

Recently Spellers, along with last year’s convention speaker the Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas and the Rev. Winnie Varghese, published A Letter to the Church on Breaking Free of White Supremacy.

Watch: Watch the workshop on YouTube.

October 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. ET

“Offering a Generous Welcome: How do we Invite, Greet, Orient and Incorporate during Pandemic?” with the Rev. Canon Kristin Uffelman White

Description: What does a generous welcome look like on Zoom, or from behind a mask at a distance of 6 feet? How do we invite, greet, orient and incorporate people into our congregations during pandemic? Join Canon Kristin White for a workshop using the Gather-Transform-Send model from the College for Congregational Development to guide our discussion.

Prior to the workshop: Watch Gather Transform Send: The Core Purpose of a Congregation, a video from the College for Congregational Development.

Bio: The Rev. Kristin Uffelman White has served as canon to the ordinary for congregational development and leadership since 2018. Prior to serving on Bishop Jennifer’s staff, Canon Kristin was rector of St. Augustine’s Church in Wilmette, Illinois. She has been both a participant and a trainer of the College for Congregational Development in the Diocese of Chicago and the Diocese of Olympia, and she looks forward with great anticipation to launching the College in the Diocese of Indianapolis at Waycross in 2021.

Watch: Watch the workshop on YouTube.

“Faithfully Innovating in a Time of Deep Change” with Canon Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale and the Rev. Holly Rankin Zaher

Description: Whether in person or online, our churches dwell in neighborhoods, but how well do we really know them? The Faithful Innovation Learning Communities initiative equips congregational teams with methods for leading their congregations in a practice of creativity and experimentation in knowing their neighbors and finding out what God is already up to in their lives. Participants will learn an iterative practice of spiritual storytelling, experimentation, and reflection, all backed by deep engagement with scripture.

Prior to the workshop: Watch this episode of Some Good News with John Krasinski.


Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale serves on Bishop Jennifer’s staff as canon to the ordinary for administration and evangelism, overseeing the business operations of the diocese and helping church leaders develop a vocabulary to articulate their faith. He is an active lay member of All Saints, Indianapolis.

The Rev. Holly Rankin Zaher serves as the rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Evansville, IN. She explores the connections between fiber crafting, pop culture, and theology as she hikes and explores what it means to live life with God for the good of the world in her neighborhood. She lives with her husband, Jim, and three kids and has been involved in ministry in the Episcopal Church for over 30 years.

Watch: Watch the workshop on YouTube.

October 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. ET

“Racial Healing in the Age of Pandemics” with Dr. Catherine Meeks of the Absalom Jones Center

Description: This workshop will explore some of the challenges that must be navigated as we embrace the multiple pandemics of racial and social unrest, Covid-19 and environmental disasters. Where do we find hope and the courage to ask the questions that will help us to create a healing path to follow? We will use poetry, scripture and story to help in framing our conversation.

Prior to the workshop: Participants are encouraged to watch the move “13th” before the workshop.

Bio: Catherine Meeks, PhD, is Executive Director of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing. Prior to the center’s opening she chaired its precursor, Beloved Community: Commission for Dismantling Racism for the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. A sought-after teacher and workshop leader, Catherine brings four decades of experience to the work of transforming the dismantling racism work in Atlanta. The core of her work has been with people who have been marginalized because of economic status, race, gender or physical ability as they pursue liberation, justice and access to resources that can help lead them to health, wellness and a more abundant life. This work grows out of her understanding of her call to the vocation of teacher as well as her realization that all of humanity is one family which God desires to unite.

Join: Join the workshop via Zoom webinar.

October 28 from 7 to 9 p.m. ET

“Youth Ministry” with the Rev. Aran Walter

Description: Formation in faith happens when the Body of Christ comes together, intentionally, to form community and adopt meaningful spiritual practices. In the world of ministry amongst students (aka “youth ministry”), community can sometimes look, from the outside, like nothing more than singing songs, being goofy, playing games, etc. But, what if, even in today’s COVID reality, we can still invite students to gather together in order to practice a Way of Life so that it can be lived for the benefit of those around us and thereby partner with God’s restorative mission for the world? You’re invited to come and participate!

Prior to the workshop: Watch a brief music video and a clip from “The Truman Show” movie.

Bio: Aran Walter is a husband, dad, brother, son, friend, youth pastor, as well as a priest at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Menasha, Wisconsin. He likes rice crispy treats, social media, conversations, coffee, hearing stories, and trying to live according to the teachings of a Jewish rabbi.

Join: Join the workshop via Zoom webinar.

“Formed to Transform with the Power of Collaboration” with Melissa Rau of Forma

Description: Ever wonder why some churches are more successful than others? In this workshop, attendees will learn tips and tricks about the dos and don’ts in this pre-post-COVID world concerning formation, partnerships and collaboration, and being the Church in new and refreshing ways.

Bio: A lifelong Episcopalian, Melissa Rau serves the church in a number of different capacities, mainly as chief of staff at Bexley Seabury Seminary, the Episcopal Church Foundation’s staff liaison to Forma, coach/consultant for formation and visioning/planning, and host of the “For People” with Bishop Rob Wright podcast. She’s a mom of three, married to an Episcopal priest, and earning her MDiv from General Theological Seminary. She’s particularly fond of giraffes and the color orange.

Join: Join the workshop via Zoom webinar.

“Forming and Fostering Connection” with the Rev. Kathleen Moore of Canticle Communications

Description: Connection is at the heart of what the church has to offer a world longing for authentic relationships and supportive community. And yet, congregations can struggle to form and foster meaningful connections with others in their neighborhoods and even among themselves. In this workshop, we will talk about strategies for building and maintaining connections inside and outside congregations with an emphasis on making use of online tools for this work.

Bio: Kathleen Moore is associate priest at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and the Cathedral of St. Paul in Erie, Pennsylvania and the communications manager at Canticle Communications. Her work in Erie is focused on community ministry. Kathleen is a 2019 M.Div. graduate of Church Divinity School of the Pacific, where she won the Lawrence Kristin Mikkelson Preaching Scholarship and participated by faculty nomination in the Episcopal Preaching Foundation’s Preaching Excellence Program. She also holds a B.A. in history from Kenyon College. Before seminary, Kathleen spent two years as the social media manager for The Orvis Company and the communications minister for the Diocese of Vermont, and eight years working in the television industry in Los Angeles. She joined Canticle Communications in 2014.

Join: Join the workshop via Zoom webinar.

“Changing Landscapes – Exploring Story and Its Role in Children’s Christian Formation” with Roger Hutchison

Description: Join author and Christian Educator, Roger Hutchison, as he uses the language of “story” to explore the changing landscape of Christian formation for children. We will take a high-level view and will also explore new (old?) ways of forming disciples.

Prior to the workshop: Download the preparation activity.

Bio: Roger Hutchison is the Director of Christian Formation and Parish Life at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, a bestselling author of five books including The Very Best Day: The Way of Love for Children, and serves as the Council Chair for Forma.

Join: Join the workshop via Zoom webinar.

November 4 from 7 to 9 p.m. ET

“Weaving Your Formation into God’s Seamless Garment of Love” with Deacon Cathy Scott

Description: This workshop will synthesize the prior workshops into an individual foundation and call to embody the witness and mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis. We will accomplish this through receiving the Word and ideas of each workshop presenter, reflecting on God’s specific call to us, and responding by embodying the Word in our lives as Church.

Bio: Deacon Cathy serves at Holy Family Episcopal Church in Fishers. She is a retired attorney and clinical social worker who has been engaged in social justice issues for 40 years. She currently serves on the diocesan Commission on Ministry and the Racial Healing and Reconciliation team, is a co-facilitator of the Sacred Ground series and is former State Director of the Human Rights Campaign.

Join: Join the workshop via Zoom webinar.

© 2021 Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis