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SESSION 1 THUR 10:15-11:30AM M=MINISTRY; F=FAMILY; P=PROFESSIONAL

  1. Starting a Special Needs Ministry in Any Sized Church - 3 hour workshop - Part 1 - M; Doc Hunsley - Has God called you or your church to start a Special Needs Ministry, but you don't know where to begin? Whether you are a small church or a large one, this workshop will answer the questions of how, what, and why. You will fill your toolbox with how to deal with different types of behaviors, how to recruit and train volunteers, understand the different classroom environments as well as curriculum options available, engaging and partnering with church staff and community organizations, how to help your ministry to become outward focused, and helping your church become an inclusive place for those with special needs. You will receive all the information you need and more! After this workshop you will realize that YOU can do special needs ministry at your church! 3 hour workshop divided into 2 parts.

  2. Everyone Can do Something About Problem Behavior - M/F/P; Tiffany Crow - You are only scratching the surface of special needs ministry if you limit your outreach to those that are well behaved. Come learn how you can include everyone into your ministry. Participants will gain a knowledge of: behavior in the environment and how to change it to change behavior, steps to manage small yet persistent misbehavior as well as steps to manage significant behaviors.

  3. Building Family Connectedness: Special Strengths Amidst Special Challenges - F; Lisa & Larry Jamieson - Special-needs families matter to God! Fighting for thriving relationships is one of our highest callings and brings benefits for our family as well as the community around us. This workshop is for the special needs family who wants to strengthen their home team, increase the fun, experience more peace and find deeper satisfaction together.

  4. Going from Surviving to Thriving - F; Shelly Roberts - As a special needs family, sometimes it feels you are literally just keeping everyone alive and racing from point A to point B all day long. There's a better way though. It's completely possible to not only survive, but rather THRIVE as a family. Shelly will share been there - done that strategies, as well as help you see the big picture as you lead your family along your own journey.

  5. Disability Etiquette - M/P; Judy Redlich - We cover basic disability etiquette and how to put it into practice. This is a fun, eye-opening hands-on workshop!

  6. How to Make Disability Ministry FUN... for you! - M; Amy Kendall - Do you ever feel burned out, exhausted and frustrated? Do you feel like you are on an island all alone? Is it not “fun” anymore? We will look at ways to keep you energized and passionate so your ministry stays fun! We will discuss how to get “off the island”, introduce disabilities ministry into the body of the church and how to get involved in the disabilities community. There are a multitude of avenues to make the most of disabilities ministry and to keep it exciting and fun.

  7. Direct to Family Ministry - M; Mary Tutterow - The benefits and blessings of meeting families where they are with the healing message of the gospel.

  8. The Many Impacts of ADHD Upon Spiritual Development - F/M; Steve Grcevich - ADHD affects approximately one in ten children and one in twenty adults in the U.S. Children and teens with ADHD and members of their immediate families are significantly less likely to ever set foot in a church. In this workshop of interest to ministry leaders, family members and professionals, Dr. Stephen Grcevich will discuss the differences in brain functioning seen in persons with ADHD, explain how the condition impacts participation in worship services, Christian education and other common church activities, identify common pitfalls to spiritual development, share useful strategies for including persons with ADHD into church programming and provide practical ideas family members can use to promote spiritual growth in their child, spouse or loved one with ADHD.

  9. Decoding the Language of Special Needs World: Avoiding pitfalls, triggers, and communication - M/P; Becky Davidson - In this workshop, Becky Davidson will help you understand the triggers that can make communication with special needs parents challenging. She will provide you with practical advice from the vantage point of a special needs parent who is also a ministry leader. She will coach you about potential pitfalls, sharing how you might avoid them or dig your way out if you find yourself trapped in an awkward conversation.

 

SESSION 2 THUR 11:45-1:00PM M=MINISTRY; F=FAMILY; P=PROFESSIONAL

  1. Starting a Special Needs Ministry in Any Sized Church - 3 hour workshop - Part 2 - M; Doc Hunsley - Has God called you or your church to start a Special Needs Ministry, but you don't know where to begin? Whether you are a small church or a large one, this workshop will answer the questions of how, what, and why. You will fill your toolbox with how to deal with different types of behaviors, how to recruit and train volunteers, understand the different classroom environments as well as curriculum options available, engaging and partnering with church staff and community organizations, how to help your ministry to become outward focused, and helping your church become an inclusive place for those with special needs. You will receive all the information you need and more! After this workshop you will realize that YOU can do special needs ministry at your church! 3 hour workshop divided into 2 parts.

  2. How to have Difficult Conversations with Grace and Truth - F/M/P; Susan Pannell - Great conversations can lead to equally great personal relationships, the key is managing the tension between grace and truth. Let's talk about how to balance grace and truth in our communication.

  3. Supporting Special Needs Siblings - F/M; Sandra Peoples - Do you wonder how to help the typical kids in your family focus on the blessings of being a special-needs sibling? Sandra is a special-needs sibling raising a special-needs sibling, and in this session she'll share the phases siblings go through and how to encourage them through each stage.

  4. You are More than... - F; John Fellageller & Sarah Broady - In this session, Sarah and John will explore all of the ways in which special needs parents have been compromised in their capacities as an advocate for their child because they were reduced to the role of "just a parent." Looking at experiences with doctors, therapists and education professionals, they will give instances of challenging times in their own lives and provide tools in which to heal those memories.

  5. Catalyst for Change - F/P; Cassidi Jobe - Parents are often times our own best problem solvers. Join two moms who saw a problem and pooled their assets, resources and strategies to approach the challenges that employment of people with disabilities pose. We will discuss the journey toward our solution as well as the actual tools to get there!

  6. Room To Breathe: Starting, Sustaining and Supporting Community/Support Groups for Parents of Children with Special Needs in Your Church - M; Bronwyn Murphy - Authentic and safe community/support groups in your church can serve as accepting and affirming communities for parents facing the unique multi-faceted challenges of parenting a child with special needs. Creating and sustaining such groups provide families a starting place to access valuable resources and a consistent community championing transformative hope. This session will provide practical steps on recruiting and training support group leaders, facilitating groups, growing group membership, and supporting members.

  7. Thriving in a Small Church - M; Kim Thorpe - Creating and maintaining a special needs ministry in a small church is easier than you think! In this breakout, Kim will give practical steps for churches (of any size) to build and maintain a special needs ministry that will be attractive to families and serve them well.

  8. Creating and Leading a Worship Service With and For the Special Needs Community - M; Whitney Peper - Creating a worship service for and with the Special Needs Community is done not to exclude anyone from worship, but is about creating an environment where those with Special Needs and their families, can come and worship God in safe environment designed for their needs and abilities. This workshop will go over creation and implantation of such a service, how to appropriately advertise, examine the different elements of such a service, look at pit falls to avoid, and will include printed material, pictures and videos of our service, Courage. This workshop will also include information on how to integrate current ministries and Special Needs programs into a service.

  9. Services without Walls - P; Stephanie Thorne; Melba Wright; & Jenni Bryan - The discussion will include what services should families and professionals expect from their providers in our community; what is the reality of services & how to get what is needed for your loved one; when and how to access services (transitional ages); and what can we do as providers to provide the non-traditional services.

  10. Strategically Coming Alongside Special Needs Families - M; Becky Davidson - In this workshop Becky Davidson provides simple, specific, and practical ways to support the special needs families in your community. This workshop includes practical tips and tools for how to move from a “one size fits all” approach to meeting families where they are and acknowledging their unique needs. This plan incorporates community members in a way that enriches both the special needs community and the people who serve them.


 

SESSION 3 THUR 2:15-3:30PM M=MINISTRY; F=FAMILY; P=PROFESSIONAL

  1. Theology of Disability Ministry - M; Doc Hunsley - Why does disability ministry exist? Should every church really have a disability ministry? Does God really call every church to have a disability ministry? In this workshop we dig into the Bible to see the theology of disability and learn what God has to say about every church having a disability ministry!

  2. The Pathway from Isolation to Embrace - M; Ryan Wolfe - The number one issue facing the disability community is the problem of isolation. What is the solution? Ultimately, it is being embraced by Jesus. How does that happen? It happens through the local church. There is a well-defined pathway from isolation to embrace. It is a two way street for both individuals affected by disability and the local church. Each stop on the pathway is met by roadblocks. Roadblocks can permanently stop the individuals and the church from reaching the final stage of embrace if they are not overcome. Find out how to help individuals move from isolation to embrace today!

  3. What the Families You Serve Really Need - M/P; Shelly Roberts - Somewhere in the midst of all the diagnosis, medications, and insurance codes are children, parents, and caregivers who need what you can offer them. Learn practical points that you can apply to your sessions, which will help steer the way to a positive direction for everyone. You have the potential of making a tremendous impact on the families you strive to serve - learn what they need most to make the biggest difference.

  4. Learning to Live Well in Spite of a Mental Health Diagnosis - F/M/P; Bradley Hoefs - Is it possible to live a full and rich faith-filled life in spite of a mental health challenge or diagnosis? Yes! Individuals and their family members can find hope!

  5. Navigating the Transition to Adulthood: Spiritual and Practical Pitfalls to Avoid - F; Melanie Gomez - It sounds simple enough, one day you have a teen with special needs and the next you have an adult. But in this workshop Melanie Gomez will point out six very real and dangerous pitfalls that you will encounter as you make that transition. Be equipped with Biblical strategies to not only survive, but overcome successfully all the emotional, spiritual and logistical challenges that can occur as your child becomes an adult.

  6. The Effects of Stress on Caregivers and What they Can Do About It - F; Jolene Philo - This workshop examines how continual stress affects the physical and mental health of caregivers, explains why managing caregiving stress is crucial, and offers simple strategies from caregiving parents who have learned to manage and lower their stress levels. The workshop is based on survey feedback from over 1,400 caregiving parents and interviews with many of the family members who completed the survey.

  7. Hidden Disabilities in Your Sunday School Classroom - M; Beth Golik - Statistically speaking, if you have kids in your Sunday School classrooms, then you have some kids with hidden disabilities. In this interactive workshop, we'll take a look at some of the most common hidden disabilities and mental health conditions that you can expect to encounter in children's ministry. You will learn teaching strategies so that your volunteers feel empowered and equipped to better serve all types of learners within your existing Sunday morning program.

  8. Events for Every Person: How to Make Your Event Inclusive - M; Christine Pierce - Events for Every Person will equip you and your church to make current events inclusive to the special needs community and give you ideas on new events that will reach beyond your church walls.

  9. Planting Seeds for Better Nutrition with Special Needs Students and Tower Gardens - F/P; Kristie Vogelsberg - Attendees will begin by briefly looking at the startling trends in the health and well-being of our children and families. We will discover that food is not merely fuel, but medicine. We will discuss nutrition tools, including aeroponic Tower Gardens. Towers are an innovative, multi-sensory way to engage with fresh produce at home or in the classroom, as both a STEM and project-based learning tool!