Cookie Settings

The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia Faith Formation Team presents:

A Mini-Conference for Faith Formation Leaders 

Saturday, March 13, 9:00 am-4:00 pm


Better Together | KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:


Jeff Chu ~ is an ecumenical church leader, journalist, and the author of the acclaimed book, Does Jesus Really Love Me? A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America. His book “captures spiritual snapshots” of Christian America: from the fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church, to the pioneering Episcopalian bishop Mary Glasspool—who proclaims a message of liberation and divine love. The book earned the cover of the New York Times Book Review where it was described as a “fascinating, thoughtful, and important book [that] deserves to be widely read.”  A graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, Jeff is now co-host of the annual Evolving Faith Conference which drew over 7,000 people to its virtual iteration in 2020. You also may have heard Jeff in conversation with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry on the Way of Love podcast last May discussing “Rest and Restoration.”

After Jeff’s initial remarks, he will be joined in conversation by Tina Francis Mutungu, Trinity Episcopal, Seattle.


Iyabo Onipede ~ is a community builder who works with organizations that are ready to eliminate racism, dismantle oppressive systems and grow successful communities of belonging. Shaped by her biracial and multicultural immigrant background, Iyabo’s number one priority is dissolving the harm that Black, as well as Non-Black people experience as a result of racism and white supremacist culture. Iyabo graduated from Goucher College, Georgetown University Law School (J.D.) and Candler School of Theology at Emory University (M.Div.). She currently serves as the co-director of the nonprofit organization, Compassionate Atlanta.

After Iyabo’s initial remarks, she will be joined in conversation by Michael Perera, host of the podcast Cathedral Conversations at Saint Mark’s, Seattle.



Rev. Tura Foster Gillespie, Founder of Teaching Cultural Rev. Terry Kyllo, on the Practice of Authentic Allyship Fabrícia Lima on Contemplative Creativity Tina Francis Mutungu in conversation with Jeff Chu Michael Perera in conversation with Iyabo Onipede Christine Sine, founder of  Godspace

Workshops by tracks include:

Faith Formation for ADULTS

  • The Blessing of Wonder with Christine Sine
  • Holy Week at Home: Ideas for Online Faith Formation
  • Bound Together Virtually: What is God Up To in All This?
  • In or Out? What Are 20s & 30s Looking For, and Can They Find It In the Episcopal Church?

Faith Formation and SOCIAL JUSTICE

  • Who are Circles of Color? Hosted by Circles of Color, Ethnic Ministries
  • The Practice of Authentic Allyship with the Rev. Terry Kyllo
  • Meaningful Movies as a Tool for Community Outreach & Social Justice
  • Responding to the Crisis: Churches & Ministries Go the Extra Mile During the Pandemic

Faith Formation through MUSIC, ARTS & LITURGY

  • Encountering the Holy in Worship: The Creative Work of Crafting Liturgy
  • Multi-Age & Intergenerational Music-Making
  • Contemplative Creativity: Mindfulness and Connection Through Art with Fabrícia Lima
  • Musicians’ Jam Session – Plan for the Closing Service in Real-Time

Faith Formation for CHILDREN & FAMILIES

  • Maximizing Your Virtual Presence: Ideas and Resources for Children’s and Families Ministries
  • Teaching Cultural Compassion: Using Secular Children’s Books for Better Representation in Christian Education with Rev. Tura Foster Gillespie
  • Wondering in Wilderness: A Faith Formation Experience for All Ages

Faith Formation for YOUTH

  • Emotional Intelligence As a Tool for Youth Ministry Leaders
  • Lamenting the Loss of “Normal” Youth Programs: Creating a Sacred Space to Process and Express Grief
  • A Youth Perspective: Listening to Our Teens and Attuning Programs to Meet Their Needs

Better Together | SCHEDULE:

  • 9:00 – Welcome/Music/Collect for the Day
  • 9:30 – Keynote & Conversation with Jeff Chu
  • 10:20 – Break
  • 10:30 – Workshop Breakout #1
  • 11:30 – Workshop Breakout #2
  • 12:30 – Break for Lunch
  • 1:00 – Affinity Groups Meet: BIPoC and LGBTQ+
  • 1:30 – Keynote and Conversation with Iyabo Onipede
  • 2:20 – Break
  • 2:30 – Workshop Breakout #3
  • 3:30 – Closing Service
  • 4:00 – Adjourn


Session 1 – 10:30 a.m.

Workshop Title Presenters Description
Maximizing Your Virtual Presence: Ideas and Resources for Children’s and Families Ministries Rev. Josh Hosler & Sarah Hosler, Good Shepherd, Federal Way

Naomi Woodrum, Epiphany, Seattle

Dr. Jason Anderson, St. Michael’s, Issaquah

Curated and moderated by Kelly Moody, St. Michael’s, Issaquah

Plumb the diocesan hive mind about welcoming and incorporating children and families in community life through videos, podcasts, websites, and newsletters. You’ll connect with those who are willing to share lessons learned, and consider how showcasing your ministry online could engage children and families in faith at home post-pandemic. 
Lamenting the Loss of “Normal” Youth Programs: Creating a Sacred Space to Process and Express Grief Bill Tubbs, Camp Huston

Rt. Rev. Brian Prior, Assisting Bishop

Curated by Alex Flannagan, Diocesan Youth Ministry Coordinator

Gather as our panel shares their experience and stories of how the pandemic has impacted their work in youth ministry. Then we’ll provide a framework and tools to take with you to implement in your own life in youth ministry (and beyond!).
The Blessing of Wonder Christine Sine, author of  The Gift of Wonder: Creative Practices for Delighting in God and founder and facilitator of the blog Godspace

Curated and moderated by Sue Dimmitt, Holy Cross, Redmond

Abraham Heschel says “Awareness of the divine begins with wonder” The wonder of God’s presence is everywhere. Explore its power to bring joy, healing and stress relief through creative practices like wonder walks, laughter, and play, that renew and transform. Stir your imagination and create your own wonder pathway.
Who Are Circles of Color? Rev. Jo Beecher

Rev. Canon Jerry Shigaki

Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton, Trinity, Everett

Curated and moderated by Katya Nemec

In this workshop, members of Circles of Color talk about who they are, how they got started, and what they do. They will also tell folks how to get involved and open the workshop to questions participants may have about Circles of Color. 
Holy Week at Home: Ideas for Online Faith Formation Rev. Samuel Torvend, Christ Church, Tacoma

Rev. Rich Weyls, St. Andrew’s, Seattle

Curated and moderated by Josh deLacy, St. Luke’s, Renton

Let’s discuss the best ways to provide online faith formation during this at-home Holy Week—from preparation to Triduum to reflection. We will show how celebrating at home, can incorporate creativity, physical activity, and all the senses to allow each service to become a formational experience as well as an expression of faith.
Encountering the Sacred in Worship: The Creative Work of Crafting Liturgy Kim Cockroft, Grace, Bainbridge Island

Rev. Kevin Pearson, St. Luke’s, Renton

Curated and moderated by Ann Strickland

In our time together, we will explore the creative, collaborative work of crafting liturgy for a variety of different settings, from seasonal celebrations to smaller-scale gatherings.  After sharing some stories of our experience with creating liturgy and examples from around the world, we will invite you to write the liturgy for our closing plenary.


Session 2 – 11:30 a.m.

Workshop Title Presenters Description
Teaching Cultural Compassion: Using Secular Children’s Books for Better Representation in Christian Education Rev. Tura Foster Gillespie, founder of Children of color are still grossly underrepresented in children’s picture books. So how do we show kids that God loves ALL of them? Tura will outline ways to connect secular picture books with good representation to the faith formation of our youngest disciples.
Emotional Intelligence As A Tool For Youth Ministry Leaders Alex Flannagan, Diocesan Youth Ministry Coordinator

Rosa Gibson, Friends of the Children, Seattle Seattle Service Corps 2018-19

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognize emotions, to discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and to adjust emotions to adapt to environments. We’ll provide an overview of EI and discuss its application in youth ministry work.
Bound Together Virtually: What is God Up To in All This? Sister D. Bracher, St. James, Kent

Rev. Lindsay Ross-Hunt, St. Paul’s, Bellingham;

Dean Steve Thomason, Saint Mark’s Cathedral

Curated and moderated by Rev. Cristi Chapman

Nurturing the spiritual life is always important, and the pandemic has only heightened the deep desire for connection and growth. Join us to reflect about faith formation and how the pandemic has transformed the spiritual life of church members. Panelists will share their observations, surprises, and hopes for the future with plenty of time for your questions and observations, too! 
The Practice of Authentic Allyship Rev. Terry Kyllo, Director of Neighbors in Faith When human rights are at risk, people need to stand together. But how do we stand with each other in a way that truly puts people who are vulnerable first? Pastor Terry Kyllo will share what he has learned in the practice of authentic allyship, what it is not, and some key skills and awarenesses for your work as an authentic ally.
Multi-Age & Intergenerational Music-Making Multi-Age Team from Church of the Apostles: Rev. Ivar Hillesland and Staff

Multi-Age Team from Grace, Bainbridge: Hannah Kruse, Rev. Wren Blessing & Ann Strickland

How do we create opportunities for folks of all ages to make and create music together? What are the ways to do this in person and in our online setting? Our presenters will share their personal experience of intergenerational and multi-age music-making from a leadership and participant perspective, and we will experience musical offerings from children, young adults and elders.
Meaningful Movies as a Tool for Community Outreach & Social Justice Anne Miller, Manager, Meaningful Movies Project Learn how social justice documentary film and facilitated discussion can be used to bring people together and educate people in our larger communities; as well as advocate for positive change. Trailers from films that were shown at Meaningful Movies events will be previewed and discussed.


Session 3 – 2:30 p.m.

Workshop Title Presenters Description
Wondering in Wilderness: A Faith Formation Experience for All Ages Rev. Emily Tanis-Likkel, UCC, St. John the Baptist, West Seattle

Rev. Kay Flores, Godly Play Trainer, St. Timothy, Chehalis

Wade into this experiential and immersive workshop to nourish both your ministry and your soul. Discover how digital tools can be utilized to make virtual storytelling more immediate and compelling. This interactive session includes tactile prayer, story, art and wondering. Peek behind the curtain to see how virtual faith formation comes together.
Virtual Youth Programs: A Live Demo Debbie Danioth

Nicole Silvernale

Curated and moderated by Alex Flannagan, Diocesan Youth Ministry Coordinator

Join folks from the Diocese of Olympia’s Youth Night for games, worship, and tips for running engaging virtual youth programs. Overwhelmed by Zoom? Looking to freshen up your list of activities? You’ve come to the right place. We’ll be holding space for workshop participants to offer their ideas and successes as well.
In or Out?  What are 20s and 30s Looking for, and Can They Find it in the Episcopal Church? Jad Baaklini, Epiphany, Seattle

Katie Sue Eichner, Holy Cross, Redmond

Emily Meeks, Saint Mark’s Cathedral

Curated and moderated by Josh deLacy, St. Luke’s, Renton

In a fast and furious game of In or Out, the panelists will reveal their young adult experience of the Episcopal Church. The questions will then flow the other way in a moderated group discussion about young adult presence in the church. The workshop will balance between (1) supporting 20s and 30s in church leadership and (2) engaging older adults who want to establish or expand a young adult presence in their own congregation.
Contemplative Creativity:  Mindfulness and Connection Through Art Fabrícia Lima, Contemplative Artist & Spiritual Director

Sylvia Sepulveda, Christ Church, Anacortes

This interfaith practice unifies spiritual direction, contemplation, and art-making to provide healing, transformative experiences, and personal growth. We emphasize process, not product; being, not doing. Lessons explore ideas that center and expand awareness and insight.
Responding to the Crisis: Churches & Ministries Go the Extra Mile During the Pandemic Round-table featuring: Chaplains on the Harbor, Edible Hope, La Iglesia Episcopal de la Resurrección, Mission to Seafarers, and the Refugee Resettlement Office The pandemic has exacerbated joblessness, food insecurity and homelessness. Hear from Diocesan churches and ministries that have had to pivot with inventive responses to meet the needs of their communities in this unprecedented time. Get insight into the role your church can play in alleviating suffering in your community.
Musicians’ Jam Session – Plan for the Closing Service in Real-Time Hosted by Ann Strickland Dear instrumentalists and singers: You’re invited to participate in some music making! We’ll practice Legacy by Terry Garthwaite and you’ll have the option to sing/play a verse for our closing service, live on Zoom. Also, please bring a song to share during the remaining time of session. Be sure to create a document you can screen share and we’ll all sing along!

Better Together | REGISTRATION:

  • $25/person includes a gift book
  • Musicians & Workshop Presenters attend for free
  • Scholarships readily available – e-mail for the promo code

Better Together | MINISTRY PARTNERS:

Proceeds from registration and any additional donations will be directed to the following ministry partners:

> Chaplains on the Harbor/Harbor Roots Farm

> Edible Hope

> La Iglesia Episcopal de la Resurrección

> Mission to Seafarers

> Refugee Resettlement Office

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of Diocesan ministry partners. If your organization is interested in being a Better Together ministry partner in 2022, please write

Thank you…

Many thanks to Fabrícia Lima for lending her image to the background of the Better Together banner. Fabrícia guides the Contemplative Creativity offering at Christ Episcopal Church, Anacortes and is co-offering, with Sylvia Sepulveda, a workshop on Contemplative Creativity at Better Together.