Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 CFT Gathering has been cancelled, and replaced by a year-long online presentation series, The Humble Gathering.

The information below remains available for archival purposes only.

2020 CFT Gathering Workshops

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Tara J. Hannah
Tara J. Hannah

Fleshing Out a Feminist Faith

Tara J. Hannah 

Faith will ultimately call us beyond words and into action. The Fleshing Out a Feminist Faith workshop will explore how women can embody faith in their female flesh to become a greater force that moves our world.

Tara J. Hannah is the founder of YOGATHEA® and author of Pink Sunglasses and Yoga Pants: 31 Reflections on Biblical Feminism. She is a women’s clinical occupational therapist in private practice and spends her days rehabilitating pelvic floor impairments. In the evenings, she and her husband, Joe, operate an Uber, dinner, and counseling service for their four children. She prays to grow into a very old woman who doesn’t wear a bra and is still teaching yoga.

Rev. Dr. Leslie Harrison
Rev. Dr. Leslie Harrison

Hush, Somebody’s Calling Your Name

Rev. Dr. Leslie Harrison

Throughout history so many women have been hushed, told to keep their voices down, told to remain silent. But some refused. Some wrote compelling words or spoke up, naming systems of oppression and in doing so, brought women’s truth into cultural awareness. In this workshop we’ll look at the challenges involved in heeding the call to humbly name your reality, using the examples set by some courageous feminists and womanists. Sharing words and stories is a powerful act, which can often serve as the first step in the process of dismantling oppressive systems.

Rev. Dr. Leslie Harrison is a listener, a friend, and a voice for the voiceless (until they find their voice!). She is the pastor of Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Riverton, NJ, and has worked as an addictions counselor. Passionate about helping people live into their dreams and purpose, she currently works as a hospice chaplain. She realizes life is not about the quantity but the quality of those last days of life. In 2018, Rev. Harrison received her doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Eastern University. Leslie is the vice-coordinator of the CFT Executive Council.

Rev. Mary Lokers
Rev. Mary Lokers

Dinah Avenged and Vindicated

Rev. Mary Lokers

A young girl was passionate to follow God.  Due to her perception of the patriarchal system inequality demonstrated in the story of Jacob, his male children, and Dinah, a wedge distanced her from her “old white man in the sky” Divinity.  Rev. Lokers shares that after years of personal study, her eyes opened to Biblical metaphoric truths that brought healing of the great divide that separated her from the Spirit of love and light.

Rev. Mary Lokers graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Psychology and minor in Bible from Bryan College and completed Master’s level marriage, family and group counseling courses through Liberty University.  She was deeply entrenched in her fundamentalist religious belief system, but was very angry due to her perception of the patriarchal Old Testament system, specifically regarding Jacob, his sons, and the inequality shown to his daughter, Dinah.  After years of struggle, wrestling with God, personal study and personal healing, she rests in the beautiful picture of redemption of the Daughter of Zion. She has had a well rounded extensive professional career as a family systems therapist, licensed social worker, school teacher, national sales manager, wellness consultant, certified life coach, foot reflexologist, and Level II EFT practitioner.  She founded and facilitated the Indianapolis Religious Recovery group from 2014 to 2017.

Minister Jodi Newton
Minister Jodi Newton

Liturgical Dance Workshop

Minister Jodi Newton

“Let them praise [God’s] name with dancing, making melody to [God] with tambourine and lyre.” Psalm 149:3 (NSRV)

God desires, and is pleased with our praise. Often we feel as though we have no idea of an appropriate and acceptable way to praise God. Sometimes we fall into the frame of mind of “doing what others are doing.” This dance workshop will look at what the Bible says about dance, and began to find ways to incorporate it into our own lives. This workshop is designed to help you to begin to free yourself of the bondage that keeps you from expressing your praise in movement. There will be time to experiment with music and our own movement in praise. No previous dance experience is required. Even if you feel that you have no rhythm, there is room for you, and you are welcome to attend!

Jodi Newton is the Associate Minister of The Christian Church in Philadelphia, where she serves as the Minister of Congregational Life.  A retired special education teacher who worked in the Philadelphia Public Schools for 40 years, she recently graduated from Palmer Theological Seminary with a Masters in Spiritual Counseling.  Minister Jodi is a member of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women and a board member of Windows of Hope Children’s Ministry in Uganda, Africa. She enjoys arts and crafts, gardening, knitting, and writing children’s books.

Elizabeth Schrader
Elizabeth Schrader (photo Chad Rancourt)

Was the Gospel of John Changed to Suppress Mary Magdalene?

Elizabeth Schrader

In a 2017 Harvard Theological Review article,  Elizabeth Schrader argued that the text of John’s Gospel was changed at a very early stage of the text transmission – specifically the article explores whether the character Martha was added to the Lazarus story by early copyists familiar with Luke’s Gospel. The study examines photographs of the oldest surviving copy of John 11 (Papyrus 66), as well as transcriptions of over a hundred other manuscripts. This presentation, which is a summary of her HTR article, raises the question of whether John’s Gospel was altered by early copyists in order to diminish the authority and presentation of Mary Magdalene.

Elizabeth Schrader is involved in some intriguing Ph.D. research in the Religion Department at Duke University, where she is studying Early Christianity. She is especially interested in the new Testament Gospels, the Nag Hammadi corpus, Mary Magdalene, textual criticism, and feminist theory.

Elizabeth will be the Friday night musical performer.

Rev. Dr. Christy Gunter Sim Hailey
Rev. Dr. Christy Gunter Sim Hailey

The Artistic Process as a Healing Tool

Rev. Dr. Christy Gunter Sim Hailey

Psychological and emotional healing doesn’t have to come strictly from traditional forms of verbal processing. There are other methods available which can strengthen your self-confidence, increase your resilience, and help you re-connect with your body and sensory experience. The artistic process is one such method.

In this workshop you will be invited to relax and enjoy artistic play. The focus will be on letting go of judgement and learning to appreciate your own unique artistic expression. It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself an artist or not, everyone can benefit from developing an artistic practice to use as a tool for healing. Expect to learn a little bit about why various tools work with our bodies and brains to promote healing, but most of all, expect to have fun!

Rev. Dr. Christy Gunter Sim Hailey offers expert advising, training, and consulting on domestic violence, sexual assault, family violence, secondary trauma prevention, and trauma healing. Sim has earned a doctorate in Global Health and Wholeness, a Master of Divinity, and has completed more than 500 additional hours of specialized training. Her book, Survivor Care: What Religious Professionals Need to Know about Healing Trauma was published in 2019 by Wesley Foundery Books. Dr. Sim serves on multiple Crime Victims Councils in North Texas, provides expert testimony in court cases, and is listed in the Scientific Reviewer and Advisor database for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Troubadours of Divine Bliss
Troubadours of Divine Bliss

The Way of Love

Troubadours of Divine Bliss

If you are longing for greater connection, please accept this invitation to reunite with yourself, with Humanity, the Earth, and the Divine. Walk the Way of Love with us as we share with you transformative practices to guide you back into the world of connection & inspire you to accept and choose love.

Troubadours of Divine Bliss are musicians, inspirational speakers, writers, celebrants, soul guides, and retreat leaders. In 2018, they birthed Way of the Heart Woods, a Nature Preserve and Retreat Sanctuary in the Hoosier National Forest where they live in love and gratitude.

The Troubadours will be performing on Saturday night.