Ontario Marriage and Family Conference Logo

April 28-29, 2017

Toronto, ON | Rexdale Alliance Church

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Elective Workshop Descriptions

Day 1

Day 2
DAY 1

Friday, April 28

Elective workshops 1.
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Building and sustaining a local church marriage ministry
Neil & Sharol Josephson

Most churches have a donut hole in their marriage ministry. We do pre-marital classes and then we respond as well as we can when couples come to us in crisis but in between there is very little. This workshop will explore how to address that gap – which is truly a great opportunity – without blowing the budget.

Four strengths of every great family
Jim & Lynne Jackson

In this workshop, you’ll learn a framework of four timeless biblical principles you can build into your ministry to parents and families, principles that will help build strong relationships and anchor families in God’s grace and truth against the storms of life or the strong currents of cultural influence. Parents consistently report that these four principles stick with them for years and change the course of their family forever.

Elective workshops 2.
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Discipline that connects with your child’s heart
Jim & Lynne Jackson

What kids learn when they are disciplined will last a lifetime. But well-intentioned parents miss their kids’ hearts during discipline. It happens all the time. Instead of building the wisdom and respect they hope for, parents inadvertently build discouragement and resentment, which drives their kids to misbehave more. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Participate in this workshop for yourself or to deepen your resources to serve the parents in your church…or for both reasons.

Guiding Cohabitating Couples toward Oneness in God
Natasha Benevides

Living together before or even in place of marriage is a growing trend not only ‘out there’ in society, but amongst churchgoers as well. In this workshop, Natasha will provide marriage ministry leaders and volunteers with insight as to how to engage those in cohabitating relationships while maintaining biblical values.

Marriage and family ministry in multicultural Canada

This session will be a facilitated conversation among a diverse panel of pastors and leaders from Ontario with lots of time for questions and interaction with those choosing to attend this elective. Come with your questions and your experiences to share.

Stepfamily Ministry
Mike & Karen Woodard

If our churches are going to grow and if our churches are going to reach real Canadians today, we are going to have to think through ministry to, with and for stepfamilies. In this workshop, Mike and Karen will suggest some steps for embracing stepfamilies and explore with the group how the local church can be a place of help and hope for stepfamilies.

DAY 2

Elective workshops 1.
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Discipline that connects with your child’s heart
Jim & Lynne Jackson

What kids learn when they are disciplined will last a lifetime. But well-intentioned parents miss their kids’ hearts during discipline. It happens all the time. Instead of building the wisdom and respect they hope for, parents inadvertently build discouragement and resentment, which drives their kids to misbehave more. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

HIS NEEDS/HER NEEDS: Our Different Needs and Natures
Ron & Anne Mainse

In this workshop we will identify the 4 Deepest Needs we all share… needs that cannot be met by a spouse but only by God. Then we will consider the Top 3 Needs of a Husband and the Top 3 Needs of a Wife, and how each spouse can lovingly respond to those needs.

Marriage mentoring Part I
Brad & Sylvia Thompson

Marriage Mentoring is the single best tool to grow strong marriages generation after generation. After the three hour training (you need to sign up for this topic in all three elective slots) you will be grounded in the concepts of mentoring and fully trained to be a marriage mentor and start a marriage mentoring initiative in your church. For more info on the conversation-based mentoring strategy you will be trained in, you can check out marriagementoringinitiative.com.

Media. Faith. Culture. Parents 101
Brett Ullman

Growing up, you didn’t have the Internet, your friends didn’t cut themselves and text messaging wasn’t even on the radar. How can we help guide our children to live Godly lives amidst this kind of cultural climate?

Brett Ullman discusses, from a parent’s perspective, sensitive topics affecting today’s young people including cutting, suicide, substance abuse, sex and violence. Bringing hope and an awareness to today’s parents, Brett sheds light on how with increased knowledge of youth trends, adults can be more discerning in their parenting strategies and better able to anticipate the needs of their children as they navigate the often challenging waters of adolescence.

Stepfamily Marriage, Take Two
Mike & Karen Woodard

Lights, camera, action… your marriage, Season two. A new leading lady or man, but the scenes don’t seem quite right. Do you want help writing a new script? Come and explore some simple, but refreshing strategies for making a marriage that will become a smash for years to come.

Twice as Tight
Kendall & Tamara Schmitke

In this workshop, the Schmitkes will share their heart for adoption and touch on themes like building confidence in your adopted child, integrating with your bio kids, the importance of unity in the decision to adopt, how to speak about your child’s bio family and more.

Elective workshops 2.
11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Marriage Life Guard: Reaching your community through marriage and family ministry
Mike & Karen Woodard

Couples just like swimmers get themselves into dangerous waters. You want to help. Couples all across Canada are stepping up to bring help and hope to others in the pool. Come and be introduced to some useful resources to provide encouragement and practical help couples in your life and community.

Marriage Mentoring Part II
Brad & Sylvia Thompson

This is the second hour in the three hour mentor training (see description under Elective Workshop 1)

Together for Good
Neil & Sharol Josephson

Your marriage is intended to be for good…for a lifetime, for your good, for your children’s good, for your community’s good, for our country’s good and for God’s good. In this workshop, we will not only talk about how good marriage can be we will talk honestly about why it is often so difficult and what we can do to stay together for good.

Understanding your sensitive or intense child
Jim & Lynne Jackson

Do you ever shake your head and wonder what in the world drives your child to do some of the things he or she does? About 15-20% of children have difficulty processing the sensations and experiences of everyday life. When this is the case, these overwhelmed kids often take out their stress on those around them. Understanding what’s going on in your child’s brain and body gives essential insight about how to help. You’ll learn practical strategies to calm kids’ bodies, focus their brains, and encourage their hearts!

The Walking Wounded
Brett Ullman

Life is good … until its not. Dark clouds come in all shapes and sizes and leave us asking where do we turn? Some of us struggle with mental health: anxiety, depression etc. Some of our struggles come from coping with tough situations in life by Self Injuring: eating disorders, suicide, self harm and drug and alcohol use.

When we are surrounded by these heightened emotions and feelings life becomes one that is isolated from others and we begin to be full of questions instead of answers and we do not know what will work, or where to turn. How do we begin our journey towards hope, healing, redemption, rescue, and a restoration to wholeness? Where and when does our journey back to life begin again? As a Follower of the Way (A Christian) What about our faith? How does our faith fit into our healing journey?

This talk has no cliches, no Christianese and does not put forward promises of false hope. Brett Ullman in The Walking Wounded begins to address how to walk back towards healing and away from our emotions, feelings and thoughts and that are keeping us paralyzed in life. No shame, fear, or hiding is required as we are safe to journey towards healing together. There is Hope for the Walking Wounded.

Elective workshops 3.
1:15 PM – 2:15 PM

KNOW YOUR REAL ENEMY: And It’s NOT Your Spouse!
Ron & Anne Mainse

Every marriage is under attack. In this session we look at the subtle and not-so-subtle ways a spiritual battle is raging in your home, identify some of the “wedges” the enemy drives between a husband and a wife to create distance, and give practical tools to stay strong in the face of these attacks. Your marriage is worth fighting for!

THE MAN TALK
Brett Ullman

The Man Talk is what it sounds like – a discussion about what it’s like to be a Man today. It’s a real talk, a meat and potatoes approach to issues pressing us from all sides:

  • Being the best Father I can be
  • What it’s like to be a Husband and a Servant
  • Christian men and sex
  • How to lead my family – spiritually
  • Everybody needs a good talk at some point. And, this is one for you. Everyone’s welcome at the man talk – ladies, no jeering.

Marriage Mentoring Part III
Brad & Sylvia Thompson

This is the third hour in the three hour mentor training (see description under Elective Workshop 1)

Parenting: The Stepfamily Two Step
Mike & Karen Woodard

You knew blending your families was going to be a bit complicated but now toes are getting stepped on, and the dance floor has some unexpected obstacles that are hard to avoid! Parenting, step parenting, co-parenting… feels more like a mosh pit than the Two Step. In this workshop, we will consider some new moves to navigate life as a step family and help unravel the complexities of step parenting.

Preparing your teen for college
Anton Lim

We don’t need to be afraid of what will happen to our children’s faith when they head to university or college…but we do need to help prepare them for it. A veteran of campus ministry will offer you wisdom and tools for the task.

Siblings: From Bickering to Bonding
Jim & Lynne Jackson

“Now say you’re sorry!” may make a parent feel back in control after a sibling skirmish, but it most likely teaches kids to lie to get out of trouble. By facilitating joyful connection and true reconciliation you can help your children become devoted friends and allies! Learn to prepare your kids with the skills and values they’ll need to become grace-filled spouses, parents, friends, coworkers, and members of the body of Christ.

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