Companioning Conference


Saturday Conference Schedule ~ April 25, 2020

Be sure to check out the Friday Intensives on the Conference Page


8:40 am     Doors Open - Coffee, tea, and light breakfast items available. 

9:00 am     Welcome - meet in the Sanctuary

9:15 am    Keynote - Jeff Savage 

  • Companioning with Attentiveness: The Sacred Rhythm of First Voice

Hosting spiritual conversations is a holy entrustment and a vital work. How do we engage in this vocation with persistent hospitality, humility, and holy wonder? Jeff’s experience as a pastor and spiritual director has taught him that there is a sacred rhythm to companioning others faithfully, and it centers on the Divine voice as the first voice of creation. Together, with the guidance of the Spirit, we will explore the practical aspects of this rhythm in a way that engages scripture, invites conversation, and inspires practical application.


10:45 am   Breakout Session A

  • The Gift of Disagreement with Kathi Gatlin

There seem to be multiple opportunities to disagree with family, friends, and those beyond our immediate circles. These kinds of experiences can be unsettling and difficult to navigate with gentleness, strength, and integrity. Often a gift of such conversations is an invitation to our continued inner journey. Join Kathi in discovering how to hold a safe space for ourselves and others as we navigate this potentially difficult terrain.


  • Spiritual Conversations with Emerging Adults: Learning to Listen and Explore Faith Questions and Doubts with Chris Murphy

In this session, Chris will reflect on his passion to support the spiritual formation of emerging adults and what he is learning from them about growing in faith through being willing to engage doubts, questions, and fears related to God. He will share research on emerging adults from the work he is currently doing as part of his Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Direction. Chris looks forward to opening up this time for sharing insights together from everyone's life experience. He is currently a lead pastor who engages in ministry with college and grad students from George Fox University.


  • Hosting Spiritual Conversations with Self and Scripture with April Brenneman

The Reverend Dr. Serene Jones said: "in writing, we discover so much about what we think and who we are.” In this workshop we will explore hosting spiritual conversations with ourselves, each other and with scripture through writing, imagination and whole body listening. No prior writing experience necessary. Journals provided.


  • Companioning with Our Shadow: How What We Hide, Repress and Deny Holds the Keys of Connection with Others, Ourselves and God with Michael Simmons

Carl Jung coined the term "Shadow" to refer to those parts of ourselves we have tucked away from awareness or consciousness. Our shadow is neither good nor bad, but because we are unaware of what it holds it tends to wreak havoc on our lives and in our relationships. Engaging our shadow allows us to pursue relational health and integration.

12:00 pm   Catered Lunch

1:15 pm     Keynote - MaryKate Morse

  • Companioning in the Dark: Spiritual Conversations with Disrupted People

Companioning individuals who are in disruptive or hostile places requires a particular presence and courageous practices. Who are these persons? How do you hold space for them without disrupting your own inner peace? What are some helpful practices for this special form of companioning? The purpose of this presentation is to equip you to companion individuals suffering in the dark, a desperate need in today’s polarized and individualized culture.

2:45 pm     Breakout Session B

  • Dwelling in the Word: A Listening Practice with Jeff Savage

Dwelling in the Word is a way of engaging Scripture together that invites participants into active listening and spiritual conversation. In this breakout session, we will practice, and learn how to facilitate, this group process of listening to the Spirit speaking through the Sacred Word and in one another.

  • Redeeming Trauma for Spiritual Growth with Dominic Abaria

In considering the role of trauma in the lives of those we serve, it is important to be able to navigate those spiritual conversations with intentionality and care. Mr. Rogers once said, "Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable... The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.” This training will provide tools that create meaningful spiritual conversations in the wake of trauma.

  • The Arts as Spiritual Conversation with Michelle Winter

Poetry, film and the visual arts resonate with something deep in us. People love to talk about the spirituality of art and that can be a fun and interesting opening to profound conversation. God makes abundant use of metaphor when trying to help us understand His character, His Kingdom, and our relationships. There is so much untapped opportunity in starting with cultural metaphor.

  • Leveling the Playing Field: Stepping out of the Game of Posturing with Katie Skurja

Have you ever felt someone sizing you up, looking down on you, or measuring you by some unseen standard? Have you felt yourself doing that towards others? We are all guilty of this process called “posturing” – the act of placing people in a ranking system based on various measuring sticks. It is one of the greatest hindrances to real and honest conversation. In this breakout session, we will explore the dynamics of hierarchical posturing: how to recognize it, understand it, and step out of the game of it.

4:10 pm     Closing 


4:30 pm     Dismiss


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