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The Synod of Lakes and Prairies Presents
The Art of Transitional Leadership
Learning Ministry Skills for Today’s and Tomorrow’s Church
Pastors, Staff, COMs and Congregational Leaders
October 12-16, 2020
Christ the King Retreat Center in Buffalo, Minnesota
Whether it is a change in leadership or a changing community, leading a congregation through change is both challenging and rewarding. It takes knowledge, skill, resilience and spiritual strength to navigate the waters of change in a way that leaders and congregations thrive. This training is for individuals who are considering ministry in temporary settings (as an interim, transitional or designated pastor) or are experiencing ministry in these transitional times. Materials presented will include the basics of transitional ministry and will be of value to all congregational pastors regardless of their ministry setting. Best practices in transitional ministry include ways to enter the congregation and community, how to analyze a congregation’s strength and growing edges, and how to assist a congregation in moving toward a vibrant future. This training will delve into navigating change, the pastor as a spiritual interpreter of transition, family systems, mission focus ministry, conflict mediation, and building resiliency.

Event begins at 11:00 a.m. on Monday morning and will end by 11:30 a.m. on Friday morning. Participants completing the full 30 hours of training will meet the requirements for Week I Transitional Ministry Education. (If you want a certificate of completion, you must actively participate in all sessions in their entirety.) Fees Cover: materials provided for the education, 4 nights lodging in a double room, 4 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners. Lodging on Sunday evening is available for an additional fee.
Costs: Tuition PLUS Room and Meals or
Tuition PLUS Commuter rate

Tuition is $ 450/person

Single Room and Meals in $500/person
Double Room and Meals in $425/person
Commuter rate (meals only) $220/person
Rev. Dr. SanDawna Gaulman Ashley
Rev. Dr. Deb DeMeester
+ others TBD
Rev. Ashley is the Executive Presbyter for the Minnesota Valleys Presbytery. She has served as Assistant Stated Clerk, Manager for Call Process Support and Teaching Elders Ministries in the Office of the General Assembly. In her work, she provided training, consultation, coaching, and resources for presbyteries in support of congregations, COMs, call seekers and calling organizations. Additionally, her experience includes serving as the denomination’s Associate for Leadership Development with direct responsibility for equipping adaptive pastors, working with committees and assisting call seekers in vocational discernment. As the Associate for Gender and Racial Justice, Rev. Ashley, facilitated ministries and programs at all levels of the church that assisted the PC(USA) in becoming an inclusive, diverse, and racially just denomination. Her pastoral service includes serving as senior pastor and solo pastor of congregations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Illinois. She has served as faculty for Transitional Ministry Training for five years. SanDawna holds degrees from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Doctor of Ministry (DMIN) with a concentration in leadership development and congregational transformation, Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary Masters of Divinity in the Psychology of Religion and Pastoral Care (MDIV) and Georgia State University Bachelor of Social Work (BSW).
Rev. DeMeester is Director of Leadership Development for the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. In this work, Deb provides training in presbyteries on a number of topics, facilitates strategic conversations, and supports committees that support congregations and pastors.  She directs Synod School each year and provides resourcing to the Transforming Communities: Vital Leaders Committee.  Prior to being called to the Synod, Deb was Director of the Masters Program for Public Safety Leaders (both in person and online programs) and taught regularly in the doctoral program for Leadership Development at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis.  Her pastoral service includes serving congregations of all sizes as an installed pastor, interim pastor, and stated supply, all in Minnesota.  Deb’s education includes BA in political science from Westminster College, MA in College Student Services, Bowling Green State University, M.Div. from Yale Divinity School, and Ed.D. from the University of St. Thomas in Educational Leadership.

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