New for 2021!  Join us on the Second Saturday of each month for educational and spiritual growth opportunities.

Shine together as we learn together…

We will gather every second Saturday each month, online, from 10:00am to 2:00pm (Pacific) for a time of learning and growing together. Each month will focus on one of three areas:

  • congregational transformation
  • justice ministries
  • spiritual growth

Quarter One 2021 Topics and Descriptions

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The Church has been in a prolonged season of change for many years, facing the changing religious landscape of our region with moderate success, and expending internal energy on transformation processes that haven’t worked well. The Covid-19 pandemic has intensified the rate of change in our congregations and the sense of urgency within the congregation for useful, possibly significant, change.

In this workshop, you’ll learn the basics of Adaptive Change – what it is, how it works, basic definitions and trends, and how to recognize it in your congregation. You’ll also receive a list of additional resources for continued exploration of this topic. This workshop will not give you a formula to go and try in your congregation, because, as you’ll learn, adaptive change is highly contextual.

Rev. Dr. Kara Markell is pastor of Lake Washington Christian Church and chair of the Northern Lights Regional Commission on Ministry. She is also a retreat leader and has worked with pastors and lay leaders seeking to engage in the process of transformation and adaptive action in their congregation. She received her MDiv from Brite Divinity School and her DMin from Seattle University. Her doctoral work focused on the link between Ecclesiology/Congregational identity and a congregation’s ability to engage in adaptive change.

Winter Talk is a conversation on the Christian Doctrine of Discovery (DOD).  Together we will spend time considering the DOD’s impact on Northern Light Disciples and our structure and theology. Winter talk is a space of accountability to the Native American voice and how that voice is heard when exploring the past, understanding the present, and visioning the future.

Jon Ghahate (Laguna & Zuni Pueblo), the Museum Cultural Educator at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, will lead us through an Indigenous understanding of the DOD.  Born and raised on both the Laguna & Zuni Pueblos Jon is a parent, educator, and Vietnam Era Veteran.  Jon’s work is to “give a voice of resilience and authenticity for those who have come before us and our future generations of Pueblo peoples.”

Alongside Jon is Nathan Hill who is pastor of University Christian Church of Hyattsville, Maryland.  Nathan is originally from southwest Oklahoma, the son of a public educator and a nurse.  Nathan is also a Core Anti-Racism trainer for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  Currently working on a Doctor of Ministry from Phillips Theological Seminary, Nathan will help us understand the DOD’s impact on our lives and the church.

“We give thanks to you, O Beloved, for You are kind;
your steadfast love endures forever!
— Psalm 118:1, from Psalms for Praying by Nan C. Merrill

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.
And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome the good.”
— Maya Angelou

By March 2021 we will have lived in the midst of a pandemic for one year. Is it possible to sustain, or even recover, a sense of gratefulness in such a time as this?

Over the course of this Lenten retreat we will explore the promise and practice of gratefulness through poetry, prayer, conversation, and various forms of meditation.

Laurie Rudel is a retired pastor and artist who now serves as faculty for and on board of the Grünewald Guild, an online learning and retreat center dedicated to the practice of art, faith, and community near Leavenworth, WA. She also serves on the board of the University Christian Church Legacy Foundation. Before the pandemic she and her beloved wife, Barb, sang at the bedside of hospice patients with the Seattle Threshold Singers. They live in Lake Forest Park, WA under a canopy of tall fir trees. 

Since 1970, April 22 has been designated “Earth Day”, a day for focusing on the health of our planet. Our own denomination has embodied our commitment to earth care by designating the third Sunday of April “EArth Care Sunday.” Our Second Saturday to Shine in April will focus on  learning more about the Church’s call to creation care.

Rev. Carol Devine, Minister of Green Chalice, will be with us in the morning to share the theology behind the Green Chalice movement and its programs.  In the afternoon we will be joined by members of Northern Lights Region Churches who have joined the program to talk about their own process and work related to their Green Chalice commitment.

Join us in this opportunity to educate and activate yourself and your congregation to become more “green”.

Rev. Carol L. Devine is an ordained minister and the co-founder and minister for Green Chalice, the creation care ministry for the denomination. She has pastored two Kentucky congregations and is currently working in Admissions at Lexington Theological Seminary. Carol has three young adult children and she loves to do yoga, garden, hike, cycle, cook, dance, and read. 

Do you often hear yourself or others within the congregation saying, “it’s the way we’ve always done it”? or ” we tried that once before, it didn’t work”? or ” we can’t because the by-laws won’t allow it”, “we don’t have a quorum”, “no one wants to serve”, “we are tired.”  Are your by-laws holding you down? You know it’s time to revise them, maybe you’ve known for years. But the truth is most people don’t have the energy. It sounds and feels like a daunting task and so you simply continue to maintain the status quo until you arrive at a place where it is impossible.

Most people groan at the thought of by-laws revision. It just feels tedious and labored and well…boring. So, we put it off another year or do a cursory look and change a few words here and there maybe add a line or two. We rarely touch the core of the structure even if that structure no longer serves the needs of the congregation. In fact, it often impedes the congregation.

In this retreat we will explore a process for identifying and dismantling the institutional structure that prevents a congregation from fully transforming into who and what God is calling in the present context. We will use tools for analyzing by-laws through historical, cultural, legal and spiritual lenses in order to identify the heart of who our congregation is now so that our congregations may move forward with a new, lean, strong foundation. Honoring the past, living the present while fully embracing the future.

Please feel free to bring your congregation’s by-laws and history. This will be fun…. I promise.

Rev. Dr. Amy LaCroix has served as the pastor of First Christian Church in Olympia, Wa. for the past 10 years. Before migrating to the Pacific Northwest, she lived in Indianapolis, In. where she served as part of the ministerial staff at First Congregational UCC and Allisonville Christian Church where she helped to create and lead worship services designed for church weary people.  She has been a lifelong member of the Disciples of Christ. She is the daughter of two Disciples clergy. She received her MDiv from Christian Theological Seminary and her DMin from Claremont School of Theology. She attended Hope Academy’s Church Planter School and is a certified Intentional Interim Ministry from Interim Ministry Network. Amy’s passion and calling in ministry have been grounded in transformation and change. Her dissertation from Claremont was entitled: Dismantling Institution: Transforming Congregations.

This online retreat is shaped for those who haven’t ever used a labyrinth before, as well as those who currently use labyrinths in their spiritual practice. We will spend a bit of time getting to know labyrinths in the context of the Christian tradition, take some time for engaging our own finger labyrinths as a devotional, contemplative experience, and being prepared to step out at mid-day to do our own walking labyrinth project outside.

You will be provided access to an online resource map to see if there is a labyrinth you can use for mid-day solo time, or how to engage the sidewalk outside your home in a similar way. For those who are less mobile, you’ll learn ideas for using your finger labyrinth on your own as a way to spend some solo time during the mid-day.

The afternoon session will begin with a second finger labyrinth exercise, then move to check-in and reflect on mid-day solo time. Following, we will spend time according to group interest. Some ideas may include: how to build your own labyrinth, how to use a labyrinth as a space of sanctuary, ideas for bringing labyrinth practice into your congregational and/or other institutional life, and/or more.

You’ll want to make sure you have the finger labyrinth provided by the regional office, some color tools (pens, pencils, crayons, other), appropriate clothing for mid-day outdoors if you choose, and an engaging spirit to enjoy the day.

The Rev. Warren Lynn is a Disciples Pastor who has served congregations in Texas, Illinois, Washington and Montana. For the last eighteen years he has been on staff at Disciples Home Missions, a General Ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  Warren has used labyrinths in personal spiritual practice for around 30 years. Since 2000, he has also been teaching others how to incorporate labyrinth-work into their own spiritual life.  A Certified Advanced Labyrinth Facilitator through Veriditas, Warren also previously served on The Veriditas Council, to provide training and leadership to other labyrinth facilitators [].  He has consulted with many congregations and other organizations, helping them establish their own active labyrinth ministries. Warren is a ritual and liturgy creator for labyrinth experiences, and builder of labyrinths across North America []. Warren was a founding leader for Global Healing Response [], an organized plan since 2004, using the labyrinth and labyrinth community for unified healing, and to promote mindful engagement around times and experiences of emergency, crisis or disaster.


Fee structure is a *suggested donation of $10.00/person/session or $25/congregation/session with 3 or more participants registered at the same time.

*The Second Saturdays planning team is committed to sharing these opportunities with all who want to participate, cost should not determine your ability to attend.  Please observe the registration rate but if it is cost prohibitive, do not hesitate to donate only what you’re able to afford.

Registration for each session will be closed at the end of business the day before the session.  This will help us ensure that all those who register for the course will be able to receive the Zoom access information in time for the event.

Each event begins at 10:00am and will conclude at 2:00pm (Pacific)

Live Event Registration


Sessions will be recorded and made available after the event, free to those who registered and at a cost of $5.00 each for those who prefer to participate by watching the recording(s).

Recording Only Purchase