HOT TOPICS SPECIAL SESSION THUR 7:00-8:30PM - add on either family or ministry option - Extra fee for this session - can be purchased by itself


  1. HELP - Laurisa Ballew - Maybe the greatest offender on the list of "four letter words" that we are not to say. In a can-do culture how to we put stigma and expectations aside and move this word off of the do not say list and into everyday use?

  2. Who is your Tribe? - Jonathan McGuire - We all know about the importance of self-care on our physical and emotional health but what about community care? Studies show it is just as important for our health. Isolation is something that many caregivers struggle with. It becomes difficult to get out, spend time with friends, and can even be difficult to go to church. How do we overcome the roadblocks to developing that true sense of community that we long for? In this time, we will explore the need we all have for community and you will be equipped with practical tools for finding your tribe.

  3. Finding Hope, Fulfilling Dreams - Stephen Shumaker - Shepherds College (SC) is a fully accredited, post-secondary program for students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Throughout the three year program, SC equips students to reach independence through the development of vocational, social, and life skills. Students choose from one of three specialty majors: Culinary Arts, Horticulture or Technology. SC offers a safe, supported and structured environment for students to develop socially, physically and spiritually as students transition through three phases of on campus living including dorms, houses and apartments. SC has served students from 31 states and 7 foreign countries.

  4. Surviving Civilian Assault: How to Prepare for and Respond to Insensitive and Judgemental Comments from People Outside the Special Needs Community - Becky Davidson - One of the most difficult challenges for special-needs parents is facing the harsh words that can come at the hands of people who just don’t get it. It is not uncommon that parents in the disability community experience heartbreaking confrontations from “civilians” who do not understand our life. Becky Davidson shares how to deal with these encounters, including how to prepare a response in advance so that you have a ready answer.

  5. They Do Remember: The Impact of Early Trauma on Children - Jolene Philo - The early, invasive medical procedures and hospitalizations that keep many infants and young children alive can cause trauma that may lead to PTSD in later life. This hot topic explains how parents can reduce the impact of medical trauma in very young children, how to recognize signs of unresolved trauma in older children, and how to access the effective treatment they need to live mentally healthy lives.


  1. Seasoned with Joy - Joanna French - Special Needs ministry has highs and lows, just like any other ministry. In this talk you will hear one Pastors journey through leading a special needs ministry and how even in the challenging times, you will see how God seasons this ministry with joy.

  2. A Sibling's Perspective - Caitlyn Kroll - As a sibling to a brother with autism and cognitive impairments, I will be shedding light on a topic that is rarely addressed- the thoughts and feelings siblings wrestle with in their growing up years. Often times parents have a difficult time finding the balance with their child with disabilities and their other children. This Ted talk will speak into those feelings the siblings experience.

  3. Building a Nurturing Community - Beth Castile - It's important to have a special needs ministry so children, youth and adults with all abilities can learn and worship. But can your church do more? There's value in building a nurturing community to support the whole family. And, how can we share God's love with others in the community that have special needs?

  4. 5 Attributes of the Mental Health Literate Church - Steve Grcevich - Recent research from Clemson University demonstrates that families of children and teens with mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder are significantly less likely than their neighbors to never attend church. In this talk, Dr. Grcevich will outline some basic steps every church can take to minister more effectively with individuals and families impacted by mental illness.

  5. Hopehood: I Am An Economy - Jarell Roach - We are living economies, designed to inspire hope throughout our lifetime and beyond from the inside out. The HOPEHOOD is a world-wide call to action to use the "things" from above in order impact our Earth below. Be truly inspired through narratives of struggle, success, innovation, and love among communities of people instilling hope around the world.


Non-violent crisis intervention training - cpi - Tue-Wed Oct 22-23, 9:00am-5:00pm

Two day training and certification for non-violent crisis intervention (CPI). Through this training, you will learn the skills to safely respond to various levels of risk behavior while balancing the responsibilities of care. This training includes verbal disengagements as well as physical holds and disengagements. This would be a great training for all of our church ministry network partners to consider. Space is extremely limited and there is an extra fee for this course.