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Presentation Summaries

Kelsey Myers

The global definition of “mental health” has been a moving target at best. Health seems like a fixed point rather than an on-going dynamic process. This has created opportunity for deep shame and pain at worst. What we know for sure is that health and flourishing in all aspects of human life requires connected relationship with other humans.  Kelsey will help us explore what it means to thrive, by attending to the most basic relational needs found in each of us. Using her practical skill and with some audience engagement she discusses how the field of Interpersonal Neurobiology informs the healing of people and communities and steps we can all take to engage in the work of true integration and solidarity.

Byron List

"Elementary Integration" - What conditions create the ideal state for a student’s brain to absorb ideas and to fashion those ideas into something meaningful and enduring? Over nearly thirty years, Byron List and his fellow educators at Rivendell School have aspired to create classroom environments in which each child’s heart, soul, mind, body, and relationships will thrive. Byron weaves together his own journey and the journeys of the students' lives he has shaped into a redemptive story that invites us all to grow, learn, and heal.

Dan Rogers

Drawing on his academic study and experience in leadership in the Coast Guard, Dan will address leadership for Christians in any number of contexts. Dan says, “Christians are sometimes called to leadership, and rarely does a chart accompany the assignment. Many leadership books and guides give tips and tricks that are helpful in “deep water”, but Christians are often called to the shallows—people in crisis, extremis, and need. This session explores how to approach the rocks and shoals that accompany any call to leadership by exploring the teachings of scripture to bring us to the safe harbor of being known.”

Keynote

We long for a world of goodness and beauty. Moreover, we have been made to create and steward that very beauty and goodness in every domain of life that we occupy. Connections is a gathering of people who are hungry and thirsty for the Kingdom of God, and who are curious about how that can be realized in every moment of life—whether we are farmers, economists, parents, educators, carpenters, software engineers or pastors—as we explore the intersecting worlds of interpersonal neurobiology and Christian spiritual formation. This Keynote address will invite you to do the meaningful work of integration—along with others who, albeit may be walking very different vocational paths—that leads to joy and flourishing wherever your footfall lands. 

Dennae Pierre

Spiritual community is an ideal place to discover belonging, become known, and know others, yet often the opposite is experienced. Many have expressed the disappointments of shallow community, pressures to conform identities to religious norms, and the pain of judgment, exclusion, and loneliness within the church. Dennae Pierre has served pastors and church leaders by developing relational networks that foster spiritual depth and empowers churches to engage in the work of justice, peacemaking, and reconciliation. Dennae will talk about how this work has helped her discover how a vulnerability, relational depth, and authentic community can empower both inner & communal healing and facilitate needed cultural changes in Christian community.