april, 2022

25apr(apr 25)5:00 pm28(apr 28)11:00 amThe 2022 Ministers' Convocation - West Coast

Event Details

April 25-28, 2022

Zephyr Point Presbyterian Conference Center
660 Highway 50
Zephyr Cove, NV 89448

Speaker:   Rev. Jim Burklo who is the Senior Associate Dean, Office of Religious and Spiritual Life at the University of Southern California. Prior to that position, Jim was an adjunct professor of public policy at the USC School of Social Work. Before USC, he pastored at Sausalito Presbyterian Church, College Heights United Church of Christ in San Mateo, and was also the ecumenical Protestant campus minister at Stanford University. An alumnus of the Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies, Jim received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Riverside and his M.Div from San Francisco Theological Seminary. He is the author of six published books on progressive Christianity.

He is an honorary advisor and frequent writing contributor to ProgressiveChristianity.org, and is a member of the board of ProgressiveChristianity.org.  He is the founder of Souljourning.org, providing interfaith resources for nurturing the natural spirituality of people aged 0-21.  He formerly served as a parish pastor, campus minister, and organizer/executive director of a ministry for people experiencing homelessness.  He lives with his wife Roberta in Ojai, CA; together they are blessed with three children and four grandchildren.

Topic:  Tenderly Calling: Beginner’s Mind for Christianity

Background:  For a long time, many of us in “mainline” Protestant churches have been so busy telling people what we aren’t that we sometimes have lost sight of who we are.  We have been so busy de-identifying ourselves from fundamentalism that we were at risk of losing a positive Christian identity and message.   But today, most young adults in America have only a vague idea of what Christianity is about – despite, and partly because of, tremendous efforts to evangelize them.  While some have been turned off by the outdated theology and regressive social values of churches and by the scandalous behavior of Christian leaders, even more are simply indifferent to it for lack of exposure.  Millions of young adults have little to un-learn because they learned so little about Christianity in the first place.  Christian leaders need to have “beginner’s mind” in order to preach to beginners!  Our message used to be: “We aren’t that kind of Christians, and here’s how we are different.”  Now our message needs to be: “We are Christians, and here’s what our faith is about.”  And we need to be able to express it succinctly.  Jim Burklo will lead us in an exploration of fresh ways to express and practice the Christian faith for our time, focusing particularly on a renewal of its contemplative tradition.  Much of his presentation is reflected in his latest book, “TENDERLY CALLING: An Invitation to the Way of Jesus”, which is recommended for reading prior to the retreat.


  1. Presentation by Jim Burklo:  TENDERLY CALLING: An Invitation to the Way of Jesus.  (20 min, then Q and A for 20 min.
  2. Small groups:  come up with three-sentence “elevator speeches” inviting “beginners” to the way of Jesus. 20 min.
  3. Whole group report from small groups – 20 min.
  4. Wrap-up:  Jim Burklo, 15 min
  5. Presentation by Jim Burklo:  CHRISTIAN CONTEMPLATION: New Manifestations of Old Practices. (20 min, then Q and A for 10 min.)
  6. Practice sessions with whole group:  Mindfulness (15 min practice, 10 min feedback), Lectio Divina/Contemplatio (15 min practice, 10 min feedback), Adoration of the Sacrament (10 min practice, 5 min feedback)
  7. Presentation by Jim Burklo: EXODUS and GENESIS:  Offering Spiritual Home to Exvangelicals (The View from Campus…)  (20 min, Q and A, 20 min)
  8. Small groups:  How can we change our congregational life to be truly welcoming of exvangelicals?  30 min
  9. Whole group report – 30 min

Travel: Travel can be arranged through the Reno Airport with a shuttle to one of the Southside Casinos and then a pick-up from the Conference center. If you are traveling by car, we would invite you to carpool with others in your area. And if anyone is able pick others up from the airport, please let Rev. Ian Macdonald, West Coast Convocation Coordinator.

Costs: Conference costs include lodging and 8 meals only
$252.50 for sharing a double room of 2 queen beds, bath ensuite, etc.
$525.00 for single room if you prefer not to share
Rooms are spacious and very comfortable; they include bedding and towels, but you will need to bring your own bath supplies.

Contact Rev. Ian Macdonald for additional information.

Register here 


Every year, the NACCC hosts the Ministers’ Convocation.  This gathering for clergy is designed to provide continuing education, spiritual reflection and rest. It usually begins on the second Monday after Easter, a perfect time for clergy to renew themselves.  Many churches set aside money to send their pastor to this event, knowing that the spiritual rest their pastor gains benefits the church.


Scholarships of up to $500 are available through the Minister’s Assistance and Enrichment Fund.  Requests for assistance may be made to the Executive Director of the NACCC no later than 30 days before the date of the Convocation.


Financial assistance up to $800 is available for registration and travel expenses to attend a NACCC Convocation.  The Howard Conn Endowment was established by Judge James and Leanne Rogers in memory of the Rev. Howard Conn, retired minister of the Plymouth Church in Minneapolis, MN. The Endowment’s explicit use is to support ministers travel expenses to attend Educational opportunities, such as Convocation.

Rev. Conn was a preacher, lecturer, ecumenist, and writer. One of his favorite topics was the enduring significance of the Congregational Way of life. Ministers receiving these funds will share Reverend Conn’s belief that: “We think that God is too great to care what denominational labels we wear, but that God does desire that we join hands with all who love him/her in an effort to hasten the day of the Kingdom.”  -Reverend Howard Conn

To receive financial assistance a minister is required to fill out the application form and return it to the NACCC office on or before March 31st.  See application for more details.


25 (Monday) 5:00 pm - 28 (Thursday) 11:00 am


National Association of Congregational Christian Churches ​800-262-1620 8473 S. Howell Avenue, PO Box 288, Oak Creek, WI 53154

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