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This event is a collaboration of Healthy Congregations with

Methodist Theological School in Ohio (MTSO).

Registration has closed. If you are still interested in tickets, please email

Guest speakers, Tod Bolsinger, author of Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory and Peter Steinke, author of Uproar: Calm Leadership in Anxious Times

Thursday, May 28, 5:30-9p (EDT)

Friday, May 29, 9a-12p (EDT)

Please join us online via Zoom

This event is open to the public.



Louise Arner Boyd (1887-1972) was an American explorer and writer.  She led expeditions to Greenland and was the first woman to fly over the North Pole. She gained international notoriety for her exploits, hunting, and intrepid nature. She was dubbed by newspapers around the world, as “The Girl Who Tamed the Arctic”. 


It is with the spirit of her statement “The real work of an expedition begins when you return” that we gather for this conference. 


“Navigating the Rapids” was originally scheduled as an onsite conference focusing on the dynamics of challenge and change in our denominational and natural world.  We offer to you in this revamped, focused and online format an opportunity to respond to the uproar and responsibilities of leaders in communities of faith in an era of COVID-19 and rapid change in our economic, health and leadership worlds.


Explorers and adventurers of every century have faced the reality of finding something on their journeys that was unexpected and demanded a response that was quick, thoughtful and undergirded in principles. 


Join us for observation, challenge, and application along our current expedition and return.

WORKSHOPS (Three to choose from):

Tod Bolsinger - "Hewing Stones of Hope: Leadership Skills for Forging Adaptive Capacity”

This workshop will explore the four key skills necessary for leaders to bring adaptive change and, at the same time, develop the long-term capacity of the organization toward ongoing wise adaptability. 

Peter Steinke - "The Next Chapter"

Rowman and Littlefield Publishers have asked Peter to add a chapter to UPROAR: Calm Leadership in Anxious Times dealing including responses to Covid - 19 for the second edition. Each participant will receive a copy of the chapter and have a chance for questions and responses.

Emlyn Ott - "For Such a Time as This"

Workshop participants will be engaged in thinking about current applications of Bowen theory in the midst of the whirlwind combination of denominational challenges, economic implications, and health crises.

Real Work of an Expedition---.bmp

Tod Bolsinger is the Vice-President for Vocation and Formation and Assistant Professor of Practical Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. For seventeen years, he was the Senior Pastor of San Clemente Presbyterian Church in San Clemente, California, after serving for ten years at First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood. He earned a Ph.D. in Theology and Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author of two books, including the Christianity Today Award of Merit recipient, It Takes a Church to Raise a Christian: How the community of God transforms lives. He speaks, consults and is an executive coach for corporate, non-profit, educational and church organizations in transformational leadership.

Peter Steinke: Uproar: Calm Leadership in Anxious Times helps leaders understand the powerful impact that emotional processes have on the people they lead. Peter Steinke draws on decades of work on system conflict and personal experiences to share real stories of challenges leaders have faced and how understanding the power of emotions has dramatically influenced their success. In this book, readers will observe important leadership characteristics such as separating oneself from the surrounding anxiety, making decisions based on principle and not instinct, taking responsibility for one’s own emotional being, staying connected to others including those who disagree with you, being a non-anxious presence, focusing on emotional processes rather than the symptoms they produce, knowing people naturally influence one another, and recognizing leader and follower as complements. As Steinke suggests, being anxious causes you to lose perspective, and leaders do their best thinking when they are not overly stressed and can think about options, doing their best work when they work on themselves. So where are you in your leadership journey? 




Thursday May 28 (5:30 – 9:00p EDT)

5:30-6:15p       Introduction to Bowen Theory (optional) with Dana Runested & Fulgence Nyengele
6:30-7:00p       Opening Welcome
7:00-7:45p       Keynote #1 - Tod Bolsinger

                         "Hope and the Mountain of Despair: Resilience for Change Leaders" 
7:45-8:00p       Break
8:00-8:15p       Time of Response from Peter Steinke and Emlyn Ott
8:15-8:45p       Question & Answer with Tod Bolsinger, Peter Steinke, and Emlyn Ott
8:45-9:00p       Evening Benediction

Friday May 29 (9:00a – 12:00p EDT)

    9:00–9:10a    Opening Prayer and Welcome
    9:10–9:50a    Keynote #2 - Peter Steinke 

                          “Bowen Theory and Brain Functioning”
  9:50–10:05a    Time of Response from Tod Bolsinger and Emlyn Ott
10:05–10:15a    Break
10:15–11:00a    Workshops (choose one of three offered) - Tod Bolsinger, Peter Steinke, or Emlyn Ott
11:00–11:15a    Spiritual/Meditative Movement
11:15–11:45a    Final Thoughts - Emlyn Ott - "Engaging the Whirlwind" 
11:45–12:00p    Closing Blessing and Sending Forth



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