Ministers Week 2016

The Power to Bless
February 15-18

The Power to Bless as pastors and communities is the theme for this year. Join us as Barbara Lundblad, Timothy Sandoval, Sara Miles, and Peter Steinke explore the many ways we can bless. Other speakers and workshop leaders include Sandhya Jha, Mack McCarter, Katie Hays, Mike Hunter, Micah James, and Roger Wedell. Michael Bedford is our featured organist.

We look forward to seeing you at Ministers Week 2016!





The Wells Sermons

1. “Lent in the Season of Primaries” (Luke 4: 1 – 13)
2. “Jesus’ Campaign Platform” (Luke 4: 14 – 21)
3. “He’ll Never Be Elected” (Luke 4: 21 – 30)

Rev. Dr. Barbara K. Lundblad is the Joe R. Engle Professor of Preaching Emerita at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. She is a graduate of Augustana College and Yale Divinity School, and the recipient of several honorary doctorates. An ordained pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, she served for sixteen years as a pastor in Manhattan. In 2014 the Academy of Homiletics honored her with the Lifetime Achievement Award. She has preached on The Protestant Hour radio program (now Day 1) and the Chicago Evening Club television program “30 Good Minutes.” She gave the Beecher lectures at Yale Divinity School and preaches regularly at the Festival of Homiletics, the Chautauqua Institute, and in congregations across the country. She is the author of Transforming the Stone: Preaching through Resistance to Change and Marking Time: Preaching Biblical Stories in Present Tense.

The Scott Lecture

“Wisdom as Practice and the Practice of Ministry”
Dr. Timothy J. Sandoval joined the faculty of Brite after having taught 12 years at Chicago Theological Seminary. His research and teaching have focused on questions of biblical interpretation, especially Latino/a biblical hermeneutics, and the study of Israel’s wisdom literature. He is the author of The Discourse of Wealth and Poverty in the Book of Proverbs (2006) and Money and the Way of Wisdom: Insights from the Book of Proverbs (2008) as well as a number of scholarly articles. Sandoval completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Davis, and earned his MDiv degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, and the PhD in Hebrew Bible from Emory University.

The McFadin Lectures

Sara Miles is the founder and director of The Food Pantry , and serves as Director of Ministry at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco. Her books include Jesus Freak: Feeding Healing Raising the Dead and Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion. She speaks, preaches and leads workshops around the country, and her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, and on National Public Radio.

The Davis Workshop in Ministry

Church Systems and Adaptive Change
1. “Sharks, Dolphins, and Minnows in the Holy Water”
2. “Teaching Fish to Walk”

Rev. Dr. Peter Steinke is an internationally known church consultant. He has also served as a parish pastor, seminary professor, and director of a pastoral counseling center. He has written nine books, including the bestsellers, Congregational Leadership In Anxious Times and Healthy Congregations. He is working with the 222nd congregation as an interventionist, having served 8 denominations in 27 states. He has received the “Christos in Mundo” award, distinguished alumnus distinction, and the honorary doctoral degree.
Organ Recital and Hymn Sing

Organ Recital and Hymn Sing

Mr. Michael Bedford is Organist/Choirmaster Emeritus of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Before his retirement in May 2015, he served as Organist/Choirmaster and Composer-in-Residence there for twenty-five years. He holds the BMus, BMusEd and MMus degrees from Texas Christian University, and the DMA degree from the University of North Texas. His teachers include Mary Fisher Landrum, Dr. Richard J. Tappa, Dr. Emmet G. Smith and Dale Peters. In 1972-73 he studied organ at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, Germany with Michael Schneider. He has published some 200 titles of choral music for children’s, youth and adult choirs, as well as music for handbell choirs and organ. His pieces have won first prize in both the 2010 American Guild of Organists/Holtkamp Organ Composition Contest, and the 2002-04 AGO/E. C. Schirmer Choral Composition Contest. From 1994 to 2000 he served on the Board of Directors of Choristers Guild, and from 2008 to 2014 as Southwest Regional Councillor for the American Guild of Organists. His bio appeared in the 1984 Outstanding Young Men of America, the 1989 International Who’s Who in Music, and the 2015 Strathmore’s Who’s Who. Within the past ten years he has published two mystery novels.


TI. Best Ways to Support Persons with Dementia & Their Caregiver

Whether you’re a minister or a family member or a friend, caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia can be overwhelming and exhausting mentally, emotionally, spiritually, financially, and physically. This workshop will provide a better understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, the effects on the caregiver, the spiritual implications of dementia, and opportunities for the church to help an individual maintain a sense of personhood and to support the caregiver.

Jaime Cobb, CDP, is a Certified Senior Advisor and the Vice President of Community & Caregiver Education at James L. West Alzheimer’s Center. Since Jaime has been at the West Center, she has developed and implemented a comprehensive Alzheimer’s & Dementia Family Caregiver Training series and other innovative programs that focus on enhancing the quality of life for families living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in Tarrant County and the surrounding counties. Jaime is also a Master Trainer for the Stress-Busting Program for Family Caregivers™, for Second Wind Dreams Virtual Dementia Tour® and for Compassionate Touch®. In addition to her work at the West Center, Jaime serves on the United Way Health Council, the Coalition for Quality End-of-Life Care Committee and volunteers with Family Pathfinders of Tarrant County, Inc.

T2. Pastor-As-Administrator

More and more, pastors are called upon to lead in expanding roles beyond the pulpit and pastoral care. Can the minister effectively be the administrator? Can best business practices be well integrated into the life of the church in ways that are also seen as spiritual? Does this place clergy in any conflicts and how can this be resourced and resolved? Churches now look for all this in a single person. Is that possible?

Rev. Micah James is an ordained minister with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Micah serves as Associate Minister of Faith Development at First Christian Church of Edmond, OK. Rev. Mike Hunter has been involved in ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for the past 37 years and is a certified educator. While first an associate minister and later a church administrator, since 2000 Mike has served congregations as Senior Minister where he also leads in administration. Multi-staff oversight, capital campaigns and digital integration have all been hallmarks of Mike’s leadership. Both Mike and Micah are a “CCA” with the The Church Network. In February 2015, they launched AdminIsMinistry ( a free resource on church administration topics. Through AdminIsMinistry, they hope to better equip smaller congregations to do the ministry of Jesus Christ.

T3. Ministerial Preparation and Financial Well-Being

This session is part of the current project on student financial well-being at Brite Divinity School. This is one of 66 3-year projects investigating economic challenges facing future ministers funded by the Lilly Endowment across the country. Student finances and student debt are “headline” news, but not all of the news helps us to understand the realities. This workshop is a time for sharing data regarding student debt and student financial literacy collected by Brite and other seminaries, the cost of attending Brite and to hear from participants about your experiences and ideas regarding graduate theological student debt and its impact on clergy and congregations.

Rev. Dr. Roger W. Wedell is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and is the Project Manager for Brite Divinity School’s Lilly Endowment Project on Financial Well-Being. His professional experience includes serving parishes and campus ministries in Texas and California and several non-profit agencies in North Texas. He taught part-time in the TCU Department of Religion from 1983-2000. His publications have focused on worship and religion/theology and the arts. He has served on numerous boards and committees, including 7 years on the City of Dallas Ethics Advisory Commission. He has a BA in Religion from TCU, an MDiv from Brite Divinity School and a PhD from The Graduate Theological Union.

T4. Faithfully Fit Forever

A lightweight exercise class that focuses on body, mind and spirit. Here’s an opportunity to get moving after too much sitting and to learn about a program that you might want to try in your home congregation. Faithfully Fit Forever is a wellness program offered at University Christian Church that includes low impact exercise, weights, resistance bands, health information and devotions. FFF is designed for people of all ages and exercise backgrounds. It’s meant to offer participants an opportunity for healthy movement without the intimidation, inconvenience or expense of going to the gym. UCC’s 15 year old program has found a committed following, among older members in particular. With roots in the parish nursing program, FFF encourages people to exercise physically, mentally, spiritually and intellectually. The workshop session will be led by one of UCC’s regular instructors. There will be some background on how FFF got started and the opportunity for you to participate in a typical session with stretching, hand weights, and resistance bands; water and laughs will be provided.


Who Is My Neighbor?

I. “Stories from the Front Lines”

Rev. Sandhya Rani Jha serves as Director of the Oakland Peace Center, a collective of innovative non-profits working to create justice and peace in the city of Oakland and the Bay Area. The OPC is also a physical space, and the legacy project of First Christian Church of Oakland, where Sandhya pastored for seven years. Ordained in 2005 at National City Christian Church in Washington, DC, Sandhya’s passion is liberation ethics as an academic field and as a lived experience in urban communities. The daughter of a mother from Scotland and a father from India, Sandhya has been shaped by both cultures and their values. She received both an MDiv and MPP from the University of Chicago in 2005.

II. “Moving Mountains Where You Live”

Rev. Mack McCarter is founder and coordinator of Community Renewal International. Mack holds a BA degree in religion from Texas Christian University and an MDiv from Brite Divinity School. He served as a pastor for 18 years in Texas before returning to Shreveport in 1991 to begin implementing his vision for community renewal. CRI was formally organized in 1994 and under Mack’s leadership has grown into an organization which has received national and international recognition for its life-changing impact. On October 30, 2014, CRI celebrated their 20th anniversary which was attended by former President Jimmy Carter. Mack has received numerous awards including Brite’s Distinguished Minister Award for Specialized Ministry. Five times he has been invited to participate in the Clinton Global Initiative with other innovative thinkers to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges. Mack is working diligently with former Navy Secretary John Dalton on creating Community Renewal Capital Area.

III. “Structure vs. Shelter: How My Homeless Church Became the Safest Place in Town”

Rev. Dr. Katie Hays served traditional congregations of the Churches of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for two decades before launching Galileo Church in 2013. Galileo is a next-church community for sheltering spiritual refugees — those for whom “church” has become boring, irrelevant, exclusive, and even painful. Galileo is a missionary effort to Millennials, those strange and delightful humans born between 1980 and 2000 who increasingly claim “none” as their religious affiliation. In order to honor the personal and spiritual integration this generation of young adults demands, the church shouts a loud, proud welcome for LGBT+ humans and the people who love them. Katie has an MDiv from Yale Divinity School and a DMin from Princeton Theological Seminary; she’s approaching 25 years of marriage to her beloved; she’s the mom of two Millennials.