June Meeting

The first Communities of Calling Initiative annual meeting took place June 23-26, 2019 in Collegeville, Minnesota. See below for meeting documents.

For Tuesday, June 25: Workshop Descriptions, Presenter Information & Handouts

Workshop Session 1 – 10:45 a.m.

Learning How to Tell Our Most Life-Giving Story with Diane M. Millis

Each of us has a story that we tell ourselves about ourselves. In this workshop, we will explore the connection between the stories we tell and our thoughts, feeling, and actions in the world. We will consider together how our congregational communities can create spaces for deeply listening to one another’s stories.

Diane M. Millis, PhD, loves to help people explore their own stories as a way to discover meaning, purpose, and joy in their lives. She is a spiritual director and the author of three books, including the recently released Re-Creating a Life. Diane also served as the interview and producer of the video storytelling series Lives Explored from the Collegeville Institute Seminars. She currently teaches at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. To learn more, visit www.dianemillis.com.

Keys for Impact from One Congregation's Work with Jason Van Hunnik

In this workshop, Jason will share 7 key components from Westwood Lutheran Church’s 5+ year focus on grace and vocation. He will also share about program innovation, addressing challenges, and what they have learned from affinity groups they have developed in the realms of work and parenting.

Jason Van Hunnik is the Executive Pastor at Westwood Lutheran Church in St. Louis Park, MN where he has been serving for almost 15 years. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife Shannon and children Mira (17) and Aidan (15).

Listening in Communion: Scripture and Discernment with Jane Patterson and John Lewis

Drawing from decades of ministry with professionals from many
walks of life, this workshop introduces participants to a simple practice of group discernment in holy conversation, linking events and callings of daily life imaginatively with the scriptures. It does not require any special scriptural knowledge, but having a Bible with you is helpful.

Jane Patterson and John Lewis are both biblical scholars and co-directors of Saint Benedict’s Workshop in San Antonio, Texas. The core practice of St. Benedict’s Workshop is this practice of holy conversation.  In addition, Jane is Associate Professor of New Testament at Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas; and John is Director of the Iona Center at SSW and Lecturer in New Testament. Both Jane and John serve as consultants to the Communities of Calling Initiative.

Workshop Session 2 – 1:30 p.m.

“Be who you are and be that well”: Discerning Vocation Today with Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde

In this workshop, spiritual director Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde will take us through an examen-based discernment exercise identifying moments of knowing God’s great love. Through this creative reflection prayer practice, participants will come to a greater understanding of a classic discernment process taught by St. Ignatius of Loyola. Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on their personal, lived experiences and be introduced to a protocol for discerning vocation within a group. 

Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde is a spiritual director at Loyola Spirituality Center in St Paul, MN. Her journey companioning individuals and groups in listening for the voice of vocation is informed by her experience as a Vocation Partner to the Visitation Sisters of North Minneapolis. Prior to her training as a spiritual director, Melissa was formed by her high school English students, their stories and poetry. In this past year, she has been co- leading the Extended Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius in small groups; she is passionate about responding to Love’s call tending to the sacred stirrings of the Spirit and finding God in all things. Melissa has an M.A. from the University of St Thomas.


Designing Fail-Proof Retreats and Small Groups with Jane Leyden Cavanaugh

Retreats and small groups are wonderful ways to gather people, take a deep dive into a faith topic, and have a long-lasting impact on those who attend. Designing them is both an art AND a science. Leave this workshop, led by spiritual director and retreat facilitator Jane Leyden Cavanaugh, with tools and a deeper understanding of the do’s and don’ts of creating your next retreat or small group series.

Jane Leyden Cavanaugh has been leading interactive retreats for Youth Frontiers for over 19 years and has led hundreds of church groups through her own innovative and heart-felt retreats through her LLC, Church Beat, whose mission is to keep the heartbeat
of the church strong. 


Worship: How to Preach, Praise, and Pray about Callings with Laura Kelly Fanucci

Sunday worship remains the time and place where most people engage with our congregations. How can we weave calling into our worship through song, preaching, and prayer—whether blessing, confession, petition, or lament? We’ll explore how to bring vocation into worship throughout the calendar and church year, how to bless particular callings (from lifespan stages to diverse occupations), and share practical resources to use in your congregation’s worship.

Laura Kelly Fanucci is the Program Director of the Communities of Calling Initiative and the author of several books including To Bless Our Callings: Prayers, Poems, and Hymns to Celebrate Vocation (Wipf & Stock, 2017).