Conference to Focus on Creating Effective Family Ministry Programs

May 11, 1999

WACO, Texas -- The Baylor University School of Social Work, George W. Truett Theological Seminary and Buckner Baptist Benevolences will sponsor a conference that will show church leaders and staff from faith-based agencies how to reach beyond their doors to families and individuals in their community. The "Hand in Hand: Family, Church, Community" inaugural conference will be held Thursday and Friday, May 20-21, on the Baylor campus.

The conference will open at 9:45 a.m. Thursday with a lecture by Kenneth Hall, president and CEO of Buckner Baptist Benevolences. Hall will discuss "Inside/Outside: The Church in Social Ministry." Also Thursday at 11:15 a.m., Search Institute president Gene Roehlkelpartain will speak on "Strengthening Communities for Kids: The Challenge and Opportunity for Congregations."

On Friday at 9:30 a.m., Brad Wigger, assistant professor of Christian education at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary and director of The Center for Congregations and Family Ministries, will discuss "Parenting Face to Face." The Friday luncheon lecture, "Chosen," will feature John Mulder, president and professor of historical theology at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

In addition to the lectures, the conference will feature practical, how-to workshops on a variety of topics, including ministry to senior adults, caring for a congregation's ill and bereaved, the spiritual life of children, ministry to Hispanic families and marriage enrichment.

"I hope participants will go home fired up and ready to take a look at what they're doing with families and look at their communities in ways that they can be reaching families," said Dr. Diana Garland, professor of social work and director of the Baylor Center for Family and Community Ministry. "One of the things congregations can say to people and families who feel like they are alone is 'We'll help you find roots and a place where people wrap community around you.'"

For more information on the conference, call Garland at (254) 710-1199 or visit the Center for Family and Community Ministries website at www.baylor.edu/~CFCM .

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