Saturday Breakout Sessions

Saturday Break-out Sessions

(Please pre-select the session you are likely to attend; this helps with planning for session leaders. Click HERE for the survey to select your choice.)
Following the 10:00 am plenary session, setting the foundation of our discussions about collaborative ministry, participants will have a choice to attend one of the following break-out sessions:

1. Wisconsin Un/Leaded
This session will present information about the aging infrastructure of public water systems and the negative health effects of lead consumption, especially for children and women of child-bearing age. Healthy habits will be discussed to reduce the chances of lead exposure at home.
  • Stephen Hawkins is an ABC minister, who recently returned from serving in the Peace Corps, and is now the Program Director for the Interfaith Earth Network, a program of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee.
  • Kirsten Shead and Brenda Coley are Co-Executive Directors of Milwaukee Water Commons, a cross-city community water network that fosters stewardship, connection, collaboration, and leadership on behalf of Milwaukee’s waters.
2. Moving Toward a Shared Vision: Keeping Milwaukee’s Older Adult Immigrants and Refugees Healthy and in Their Homes
A strong community works together to honor and care for all its elders. Learn how the Milwaukee Christian Center and Hayat Pharmacy have accomplished this within Milwaukee’s refugee and immigrant communities by rooting their work in building relationships, listening, leveraging one another’s assets, experimenting, and reflecting.
  • Song Xiong-Buck: MCC’s Senior Program Manager has a passion for empowering Milwaukee’s immigrant and refugee populations to lead full lives and has worked as a teacher and nonprofit leader supporting youth, adult, and older adult immigrants and refugees across Milwaukee for 15+ years.
  • Baker Al-Qudsi: VP of Marketing and Business Development at Hayat Pharmacy and local entrepreneur, is an experienced business and marketing communications professional with experience in negotiating,
    consulting, communication, and closing skills. In his free time he has initiated several start-ups, including MiButler – an on-demand delivery service established in 2014.

3. Starting From Scratch: Stone Soup’s focus on community
It doesn’t take a great plan to be in place to start something new.  Focusing on relationships can be the key.

  • Tony Penton: one of the founders of Stone Soup, a weekly community shared meal which now serves about 50 people.
  • Kelly Kracht: a Stone Soup community member who has become a key part of our volunteer team over the past year.

4. End Child Poverty: Working Together for Audacious Goals
In the End Childhood Poverty initiative, four state-wide partners (two faith-based and two secular) have joined together to lead a call for a commitment to cut childhood poverty and associated racial disparities in half in ten years. Local churches can learn how to join with their neighbors to make an impact in their regions.

  • Peter Bakken: Public Policy Coordinator for the Wisconsin Council of Churches, supporting faith-based advocacy on poverty, hunger, immigration, environmental stewardship, and other issues;
  • Dawn Ankney: Organizer for Congregations United to Serve Humanity (CUSH) in Kenosha, an affiliate of the WISDOM network.
5. Clergy Compensation and Taxes: Steadfast on the Journey to Financial Security
Participants to gain an understanding of the unique circumstances in clergy compensation and taxes, including just basis for salary, SECA taxes, withholding taxes, housing allowances, and reimbursed expenses.
  • Paul Weers: A certified financial planner having served MMBB for ten years.

6. Refugees in Milwaukee: What is being done and how you, too, can be involved.
Of the 1003 refugees that came to Wisconsin last year, 705 live in Milwaukee. Learn how one collaborative initiative of local churches are meeting their needs in Jesus’ name.

  • Gary Alexander: has 13 years of experience as an overseas missionary and is now serving alongside a local collaboration of churches to serve the international population of Southside Milwaukee.
  • Karen Alexander: has served for 8 years in Tajikistan, Central Asia, and is now excited about this ministry venture in the local community.
7. Sustaining Effective Collaborations for Significant Mission Impact
There are principles of effective collaboration that when consistently practiced deepen the level of mission impact in all the societal and community issues we are called to address. We will present these principles along with guidance on how to immediately put them into action.
  • Rev. Muriel L. Johnson: Area Minister, American Baptist Great Rivers Region. Muriel brings maturity, energy, and a deep commitment to God and American Baptist life that keeps her hopeful about the best possibilities for congregations and communities.
  • Rev. Lisa Harris-Lee: National Director of Mission Engagement, American Baptist Home Mission Societies. Lisa’s ministry passion has always been bringing people closer to God and to each other and nurturing collaborations among American Baptist partners in her ministry within ABHMS.
8. Raising Awareness and Decreasing Mental Illness Stigma In and Through the Faith Community
Attendees will be introduced to basic principles to raise awareness and decrease mental illness stigma in general and the journey to do this specifically in and through a local congregation.
  • Rev. Walter Lanier is in his seventh year as pastor of Progressive Baptist Church and is actively involved in areas of mental health, social justice, urban education, and community health.Brenda Wesley is a long-term community educator in the area of mental illness and a writer and playwright with a production called ‘Pieces: In Our Own Voice’ that raise awareness about mental illness.

9. Unity and Diversity in the Body: Autism Awareness
This session will introduce you to Our TreASures, Inc. and their efforts to bring Autism Awareness to communities, support to families affected with Autism Spectrum Disorders and inspiration and empowerment through the gospel. As we review 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, we are reminded that each of us is created, gifted and purposed to be a part of the Body, but only together do we become the Body of Christ.

  • Scott and Cathy Muro are parents of 3 wonderful sons, with two on the Autism Spectrum.  With no luck in finding a support group that met their needs early in their journey, they founded Our TreASures in 2009 to connect families affected by Autism for support, guidance and to share and learn from real life experiences. In addition to support groups, Our TreASures has worked in collaboration with others to incorporate
    education and ministry to their mission.
10. Intentional Faith Based Interventions: The Police and The Church.
The local church can partner with the local police department in an effort to heal the city.  Let’s discuss how we can begin collaborating together to impact violent crime in areas of our city, spurred on by intentional faith based interventions to yield lasting remedies to deep rooted issues.
  • Captain Willy O. Murphy is a 22 year veteran of the City of Milwaukee Police Department and currently the Captain of Police for District #7.
  • Rev. Terry Toney is the Coordinator of the Sherman Park Police & Residence Listening Circles.
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