URGENCY & COMPLEXITY – Biblical & Ethical Approaches to the Orphan Crisis
October 17 – 18 | Greenville, SC
We are cutting through the noise to give you the best voices out there on the issues that matter most…
Join us as we think deeply and biblically about:
Adoption ethics and practice
Family preservation and reunification
The fatherless problem in the U.S.
Indigenous, international, and domestic adoption
Foster care and orphan care practices
Our primary objective for this year’s gathering is to maximize our time together by providing important conversations with people who are key leaders, thinkers, and practitioners in the global orphan movement. We want to facilitate extended conversations that matter — conversations that uniquely address the complex spectrum of care needed for orphans globally. Every main session talk will be followed a 20 minute onstage conversation in which leaders within the evangelical orphan care and adoption movement discuss the topic and its implication for orphan care and adoption.
Each 30 minute main session talk is followed by 20-30 minutes of discussion with other key leaders within the evangelical orphan care and adoption movement.
Co-Founder of Restore Communities
Topic: “Child Catchers or The Hands and Feet of Jesus? How Everyday Christians Can Engage in the Complex World of Orphan Care & Adoption”
Panel Members Discussing Brandon’s Talk: Jason Kovacs, Jedd Medefind, and Elizabeth Styffe
Dr. Elizabeth Bartholet
Harvard Law Professor
Elizabeth Bartholet is Harvard’s Morris Wasserstein Public Interest Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Child Advocacy Program (CAP), which she founded in the fall of 2004. She teaches civil rights and family law, specializing in child welfare, adoption, and reproductive technology. Dr. Bartholet has authored numerous publications on adoption and is well-known for her writing and advocacy work in adoption and child welfare.
Topic: “Family First: International Adoption as a Human Rights Issue”
Panel Members Discussing Dr. Bartholet’s Talk: Jason Kovacs, Herbie Newell, and Jedd Medefind
Dr. John Sowers
President of The Mentoring Project
Received President’s Champion of Change Award at the White House
President of The Mentoring Project
Topic: “Balancing the Scales: Protecting and Defending the Fatherless in Our Own Communities”
President of Christian Alliance for Orphans
President of Christian Alliance for Orphans
Former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush
Topic: “Commitment Amidst Complexity”
Co-Founder of Together for Adoption
Contributing Author to Reclaiming Adoption: Missional Living Through the Rediscovering of Abba Father
Pastor of Care and Counseling at the Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, TX
Topic: “Where Do We Go from Here? The Future of the Church and the Global Orphan Crisis”
Panel Members Discussing Jason’s Talk: Jedd Medefind, Dan Cruver, and John Sowers
Co-founder of Together for Adoption
Former Professor of Theology and Bible
Editor and Primary Author of Reclaiming Adoption: Missional Living Through the Rediscovering of Abba Father
Topic: “The Gospel of Adoption as Family Reunification”
10-Minute Talks to Shape the World
More speakers than ever in 2014
10 Minutes to Shape the World. We may not usually be consciously aware of the power of our words or the words others speak, but if we stop to think about it, we know that our words can change the way others think and live. Our words have the power to create new situations. Just think of the power of “I love you”, or “I hate you”, or “I’m so very proud of you”, or “I couldn’t be more disappointed with you”. Words shape the world and how we relate to and live within it.
This recognition of the power of our words to shape the world we live in is why we are putting more speakers in front of everyone than we ever have before. You will hear from 18 different people in our main sessions this year. Six of them will speak for 30 minutes while 12 of them will speak for 10 world-shaping minutes (if you are familiar with TED Talks, you are already familiar with the format we will use). You likely will not agree with everyone, but you will feel the power of their words and the vision they cast for how we can better care for at-risk children everywhere on the globe.
Dr. Toney Parks
Pastor/Teacher, Mt. Sinai Baptist Church of Travelers Rest, SC
Dr. Parks is a 1980 Criminal Justice graduate of the University of South Carolina. He received a Masters Divinity degree from Erskine College and Theological Seminary and earned a Doctorate degree in counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary. Dr. Parks is also an Assistant Professor of Biblical Counseling & Practical Ministry at Erskine Theological Seminary and has been the pastor of the Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist church since 1991.
Chaplain of the Greenville City Police Department
President and Co-Founder of Family Outreach Community Services in Greenville, South Carolina
Served as consultant to Senator Ralph Anderson’s “Organized Gang Task Force”
Founder and President of Help One Now
Dedicates his life to seeking justice by empowering leaders and an organization’s tribes to launch global movements that do good.
CEO/Founder of Help One Now
Dr. Sharen Ford
Program Director of Adoption & Orphan Care, Focus on the FamilyThroughout her career, Dr. Sharen Ford has shown a commitment to helping children find permanent, loving homes. She was employed by the Child Welfare Division of the Colorado State Department of Human Services for 28 years where she oversaw a number of the state’s critical programs, including: the Foster Care Program; the Adoption Program; Kinship Care; Relative Guardianship Assistance Program; Recruitment and Retention of Foster and Adoptive Families; the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children; the Interstate Compact on Adoption Medical Assistance; and Child Welfare – Protective Child Care.
Dr. Susan Hillis
Senior Advisor for Global Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World-renown researcher addresses at-risk children, vulnerability and HIV, in the USA and around the world.
President, World Orphans
Scott has a passion for the local church and a high regard for the insight, knowledge, sacrifice, and faith of local pastors and leaders. World Orphans‘ mission is to equip, inspire and mobilize the church to care for orphans and vulnerable children – seeing churches engaged, children restored, and communities transformed by the Gospel of Christ.
CEO, Pure Charity
Mike currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer at Pure Charity, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering people to create tangible, measurable results through discovering, sharing, and funding projects around the world. Mike serves on the Board of Directors for Help One Now an organization working to empower local leaders for orphan care in Haiti, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Uganda, the Board of Directors of Mercy House Kenya that provides alternative options for pregnant girls living in the streets of Kenya, and he serves on the Board of Directors the Kidmia Foundation which is dedicated to restoring Ethiopian orphans through in-country adoptions. Mike is a husband of 18 years, father of 4, adoptive dad, a lover of a great story, and in need of a tremendous amount of grace.
Enjoyed a career in Hollywood in film/TV production and as a screenwriter before becoming fully immersed in adoption and foster care ministry, first through his employment at Hope for Orphans, and now through Home Forever.
Johnston is the Founder of Home Forever.
Co-Founder, The Harbor
Abandoned by his mother when he was just a month old, Alex was placed in the Russian state orphanage system. His tumultuous childhood included adoption, abuse, running away, living on the streets, and a return to the orphanage system. Since that time, Alex has earned an AS degree in Business Administration Management. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Franklin University (Columbus, OH) in 2005.
Alex is the Co-Founder of The Harbor St. Petersburg in Russia.
Senior Pastor, Bethany Community Church in Washington
Author of A Passion for the Fatherless, a book that is designed to help the church engage in God-centered orphan care ministry. Daniel is currently co-authoring a new book with Dan Cruver that is designed to further equip the church both theologically and practically to care for orphaned and vulnerable children.
Vice President of Engagement, Lifeline Children’s Services
Rick and his wife are cofounders of international orphan-hosting ministry Promise 139.
Director, Orphan Initiatives at Saddleback Church
Equipping churches in over 100 countries BSN from Biola University & Master’s in Nursing from UCLA Leads word wise network of church in the web-based Orphan Care Connection www.orphansandthechurch.com
President and CEO, Providence World
Phil is the primary editor of In Pursuit of Orphan Excellence, which frames a conversation around this question through a collaborative effort involving fifteen authors from orphan care organizations around the world, bringing to the table an often-neglected component of orphan care.
Vice President, Lifesong for Orphans
Andy has served with Lifesong for Orphans since its inception in 2002, serving as Vice President and orphan advocate, developing partnerships, growing church relationships, launching new initiatives, speaking & global advocacy. Andy also serves as a Founding Board Member of the Christian Alliance for Orphans & the Orphan Sunday campaign. Andy and Jill are adoptive parents and have 4 children – Travor, Haley, and Caleb, and Hope.
10 Minutes to Shape the World
Make sure you also check out the workshops most of our 10-minute speakers are presenting. If their 10-minute talks change the way you view various aspects of caring for at-risk children and families, imagine how much more an additional 60 minutes with them will…
Emcee | Worship Leader
Author of Orphan Justice: How to Care for Orphans Beyond Adopting Orphan care leader and advocate within denominations, national religious associations and conferences For more information, please visit www.orphanjustice.com
Many of you who have heard the Slugs and Bugs CDs, will be excited to know that Together for Adoption is hosting a Slugs and Bugs concert at Redeemer on Saturday, October 18 at 6:30pm. Randall Goodgame (former “Silly Song” writer for VEGGIETALES) will present this show specifically geared towards children 5th grade and younger and their parents (older kids will enjoy it too!) Make your plans to attend this great family night!
SUGGESTED DONATIONS ARE JUST $5 EACH OR $20 PER FAMILY.
T4A exhibitors are committed to the same objective: to maximize our time together by providing attendees important conversations with people who are key leaders, thinkers, and practitioners in the global orphan movement.
Our expert speakers and hosts will help you dive deeper into topics ranging from family preservation, orphan prevention, family reunification, adoption, foster care, orphan care and many others related to caring for vulnerable children.
If you plan on traveling by air, Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport is just 15 minutes away from our conference location. Take a day to enjoy Downtown Greenville while you’re here. Greenville is often referred to as Little Austin, TX.