Providing gospel-centered resources to mobilize the church for global orphan care.


Who will be at NatCon 2013 - Breakout Speakers

Over the next several weeks, I’ll be blogging about some excellent under-the-radar breakout sessions you should consider attending at our upcoming October 4-5 conference at Southern Seminary in Louisville. In each post of this series I’ll highlight a few breakout sessions offered in each breakout session time-slot. Everyone of these breakouts will provide you with valuable information, insight, and take-aways (you’ll find our full breakout listing here).

Session One Breakout Highlights

Caring for Families Facing Attachment Disorders (Dr. Timothy Jones, SBTS) - If you or someone in your church has adopted an older child, you’re likely to have heard terms such as “Reactive Attachment Disorder.” So what is RAD? How can church leaders help families dealing with these issues? And how does the gospel apply in these circumstances? Dr. Timothy Paul Jones has both studied these issues and walked this road personally as a parent of multiple children diagnosed with RAD and adopted as older children.

Expanding the Story: How to End the Orphan Crisis (Elizabeth Styffe, Saddleback Church) – How to grow an orphan care ministry locally and globally, getting more people out of the pews caring for orphans in ways that make a lasting difference in the life of a child. From a church who had zero orphan care ministry to one that has been in 194 countries and sent 20,000 volunteer Believers into the field, learn from the mistakes. Learn how to stop medicating the crisis and end it wherever you are.

Families in Crisis: Addressing the Unique Challenges of Struggling Adoptive Families (Dr. Jon Bergeron, Director of Hope for Orphans Family Care) – Dr. Bergeron discusses why difficulties in adoption are the norm and how early supportive intervention by the church can make all the difference. This session will provide an overview of the magnitude of challenges facing a child and a family after an adoption takes place and will discuss the need for a support network around that family that is best provided by their church family. Loving the “difficult” to love is our job as the body of Christ, and is often how we shine brightest. Churches need to actively move toward these families when times get tough and continue to love them even when things don’t seem to be working out.

The Theology of Adoption=Reconciliation (Dennae Pierre, Writer, Speaker, Foster-Care Trainer, Arizona 1.27) - In this workshop, Dennae will unpack how the theology of adoption should drive a fervor within us to see broken families made whole. We will talk about the local needs of foster children and challenge us to look at the role the church must play in family preservation. She will challenge us to look at sociological and systemic injustices that can be addressed in order to prevent broken families and explain ways the church can begin to engage in society in such a way that leads to families being reconciled: both to each other and to Christ.

Session Two Breakout Highlights

Adopting Transracially  and the Theology of Adoption (Vermon Pierre, Lead Pastor of Roosevelt Community Church, NatCon General Session Speaker) –  Transracial adoption brings with it many important questions and often unforeseen challenges. How should we think about the issue of race? How might this influence (or not influence) how I raise my children and interact with other people as a transracial family? In this workshop we’ll answer these questions and more through the lens of the gospel story of our adoption by God through Jesus.

Adoption Process for the State of Kentucky Foster Care System (Diane Underwood) - This workshop will explain how to get approved as a foster or adoptive parent in Kentucky. Diane Underwood will answer your questions about the process such as where do I begin? What do I do if I see a child on a website and want to be considered as an adoptive parent for that child? I have been told that these older children do not want to be adopted, why are you recruiting for them? What is adoption subsidy? Is there training available to help me parent a child from foster care? Join us and become familiar with not only the Heart Gallery, but the general outline of how the adoption process works in the state of Kentucky.

Becoming an Adoption-Friendly Church: 20 Ways to Look After Orphans (Paul Golden, Baptist Bible Seminary) - How does your church “look after orphans in their distress” (James 1:27)? Included in this session are insights on how you can lead your church in orphan care ministries. The session will give you some specific ideas on how to become an “adoption-friendly” church. Will you help your church become an adoption-friendly church?

“HELP! Our Adoption Isn’t Going According to Plan!” (Kim de Blecourt) - Whether domestic or international, the adoption process is seldom smooth. How can we best cope when the process is filled with unforeseen delays and difficulties? The author of “Until We All Come Home” explores this topic, using her personal adoption story as an example. This confidential setting will enable attendees to share their adoption journeys and participate in group prayer.

The Unique Educational and Spiritual Needs of Adopted Children (Donna Thoennes and Laila Bechtle) - We all want to nurture the children God has brought to us through adoption. We’ll consider their unique needs and how we might help them flourish.

Part 2 in the series will highlight breakouts from Breakout Sessions 3 and 4.

Early-Bird Deadline 2013

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