We’re only a little more than a month away from Inclusion Fusion Live, a disability ministry conference sponsored by Key Ministry and hosted by Bay Presbyterian Church on April 20th-21st, 2018. Inclusion Fusion Live will feature over two dozen speakers and approximately forty talks, workshops and ministry intensives covering a broad array of disability related topics of interest to pastors, church leaders, staff members, ministry volunteers, family members and caregivers.
I’m especially pleased that we’ll be offering an all-day training for churches interested in developing a mental health inclusion strategy and making available five additional workshops and presentations for ministry leaders and families with interest in mental health ministry. Here’s a listing of what’s in store for Inclusion Fusion Live attendees…
Friday, April 20th – 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
DEVELOPING A MENTAL HEALTH INCLUSION STRATEGY IN YOUR CHURCH – Ministry Intensive || The National Institute of Mental Health reports that one in five U.S. children and adults have a diagnosable mental health condition, and attributes of common mental health conditions often create barriers to church attendance and engagement for persons with mental illness and their families. Participants in this intensive, led by myself, Catherine Boyle of Outside In Ministries and Jolene Philo will be introduced to a model for outreach and inclusion of children and adults with a broad range of mental health conditions into weekend worship services and other ministries and activities that serve as catalysts to spiritual growth. They will be provided with the necessary tools for crafting a mental health ministry strategy consistent with the unique mission and calling of their church.
Registration for the day-long intensive is $49 until April 6th ($69 after April 6th) and includes lunch, materials, a copy of my new book Mental Health and the Church and Key Ministry’s Mental Health Ministry Planning Tool. Interested in bringing your entire ministry team? Contact Beth Golik (firstname.lastname@example.org) about special group rates. Click here to register.
Saturday, April 21st – 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM
What Am I Supposed to Do With This Kid? Understanding How Trauma Impacts Development and How You Can Help or Hurt the Healing – Dr. Sherri McClurg || Whether at home, Sunday School School, or elsewhere, as families respond to God’s call to care for the orphan we are seeing more vulnerable children up close and personal. It doesn’t take long to realize that early childhood trauma has taken a toll on the child and traditional forms of parenting don’t have the same effect. Come learn how early childhood trauma impacts development, and strategies for helping grow and nurture a child who comes from a place of hurt, mistrust, and loss. This is a great workshop for parents, foster parents, teachers, and anyone working with kids exposed to trauma.
Editor’s note: Sherri is an outstanding child psychologist and colleague who was helped me lead our practice for the past eight years. She also serves as Executive Director of New Horizons for Children, the largest short-term orphan care ministry in North America. She’ll do a great job in helping participants understand the relationship between trauma, neglect and problematic behavior often manifested in adopted and foster children.
They Do Remember: Impact of Early Medical Trauma – Jolene Philo || This workshop provides basic information about trauma and PTSD in children. The first half of the session defines trauma and PTSD, debunks popular myths about the condition, and explains causes of trauma and PTSD risk factors. The second half of the workshop describes symptoms of PTSD and reviews effective methods of treatment. It also explores measures designed to prevent childhood trauma from becoming PTSD and provides a resource list. Parents are encouraged to participate in the question and answer period at the end.
What Can You Do to Promote Mental Health Ministry in Your Church– Catherine Boyle || In this session, attenders will come away with a template to help start a mental health ministry. The presentation includes: how to identify mental health champions in your faith family, recommended first steps to launch your ministry, important community contacts for your church and ideas for graciously handling resistance to mental health ministry.
Helping Your Child or Teen with Mental Health Issues to Grow Spiritually – Dr. Steve Grcevich || One in five kids in the U.S. meet criteria for at least one mental health disorder. Common attributes associated with ADHD, anxiety disorders, mood disorders and post-traumatic stress often present subtle, but very real barriers to church participation and spiritual maturity. In this session, we’ll help pastors, ministry leaders and parents recognize the ways in which common mental health conditions may interfere with spiritual growth and identify strategies for helping kids impacted by mental illness to become the adults God created them to be.
The Depressed Special Needs Dad: How to Support and Understand Him – Jason Hague || Fathers of autistic children often grapple for years with depression, causing immense stress on the entire family. Jason should know: he was one of them. In this session, Jason will share that journey, chronicled on his blog and the subject of his upcoming book, “Aching Joy: Following God through the Land of Unanswered Prayer.”
When my son drifted into the fog of severe autism, I went into a fog of my own, and I would still be there if it wasn’t for my church family. My pastoral staff helped me to recognize and verbalize my own disappointments and fears, and gave me space to walk through them toward joy. In the end, the power of a godly community helped me to recognize the goodness of God, and helped me to rediscover celebration. In this short session, I will encourage the body of Christ, whether pastors or laity to use their power to give hope to fathers who feel powerless.
The Friday evening and Saturday morning worship and conference sessions are being made available free to church to pastors, church leaders, ministry volunteers and families, but advance registration is required due to space limitations. Click here to register for any/all of the conference sessions you wish to attend. For an overview of the entire conference, click here. Speaker biographies may be found here. A complete list of breakout workshops and main stage panels and speakers is available here.
Please share this post with pastors, ministry leaders and family members who would want to be part of Inclusion Fusion Live!
Key Ministry is a mighty organization operating on a very modest budget. Hosting a conference for hundreds of pastors, disability ministry leaders and families, and making nearly all of the conference available for free is a very costly undertaking! Would you consider becoming a sponsor for Inclusion Fusion Live, serving as a exhibitor or making a donation to help underwrite the cost of the conference? Our team, along with the churches and families we serve very much appreciate your prayers and financial support!