Conference Workshops

Who Is My Neighbor: Race in the Bible and in the neighborhood

For many of us in the Church, matters of racism and justice have not been significant concerns. But our neighborhoods are changing and we are discovering the need to be in relationship with people whose ethnic and racial backgrounds are much different than our own. The murder of George Floyd has brought to the attention of our nation that justice and daily concerns for personal safety are very different for people of color than for whites. Our workshop will be a journey through the Bible considering people of faith including our spiritual ancestor who was “a wandering Aramean,”  a black Cushite who saved the life of the prophet Jeremiah, a black African baptized by Phillip the Evangelist, and the efforts of the Apostle Paul to help Jews and Gentiles find unity in Jesus Christ.
Bruce Rosenberger, Presenter
Bruce Rosenberger is a member of the Living Peace Church of the Brethren in Columbus, Ohio, and is also a member of the pastoral team of the Living Stream Church of the Brethren, a congregation that exists exclusively online. He has served as pastor of the Owl Creek and the Center congregations in the Northern Ohio District and was pastor of the Greenville congregation in the Southern Ohio/Kentucky District for twenty years. 

Caring About Climate--Responding to Denial and Despair

Many people are either in denial about climate change or so anxious about it that they are frozen in despair. How can the church help people engage in climate justice? What are ways we can help each other advocate for change?

Douglas Kaufman, Presenter
Douglas Kaufman is director of pastoral ecology at the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions, an Anabaptist response to climate justice. He is pastor of Benton Mennonite Church, Goshen, IN and a recent graduate of the University of Toronto, studying ecological theology.


Jesus in the Neighborhood

Come hear the story of how a Church of the Brethren congregation and a Brethren in Christ church plant have come together to embody Jesus amongst the people of a beleaguered but beautiful neighgorhood on the east side of Daytin. Ohio. Learn what has worked fo rus and what has not. Take away ideas you may want to try as your own congregation embodies Jesus in its neighborhood. 
Susan Liller, Presenter
Susan Liller is Associate Pastor at East Dayton Fellowship in the inner city of Dayton, Ohio. 
She is a 2020 Graduate of Bethany Theological Seminary and a life-long member of the Church of the Brethren.  East Dayton Fellowship is a combined ministry of the Church of the Brethren and the Brethren in Christ denominations.
Zach Spidel - a minister of both the COB and BIC churches - has been ministering on Dayton's east side for the last ten years. Before that he was a student at Messiah College and Princeton Theological seminary and he is currently in the fifth year of a PhD program in theology at the University of Dayton. He is a happy husband and father and, most of all, a grateful follower of Jesus Christ.