Earl Lectures 2011: Workshops

Registration for the Earl Lectures and Leadership Conference allows participants to take advantage not only of the free keynote Lectures but also of a full slate of workshops linking faith to economic justice and practice. Choosing to take part in the workshops will allow participants to go into this year's Earl Lectures topic, Our Daily Bread: Faith, Work, and the Economy, in greater detail, leaving them with a more thorough understanding of the connection between the life of faith and the workings of the economy in their communities.

Full registrants for the Earl Lectures and Leadership Conference may choose two workshops, one Tuesday and one Wednesday; those choosing a one-day registration may choose one workshop. If you choose a two-part workshop that runs both Tuesday and Wednesday, please plan to attend both sessions.

Two-Part Workshops

Tuesday, January 25 and Wednesday, January 26
2:45-5:00 pm both days

  • Sermons to Sound Bites: Faith-Based Messages on Immigration
    Part I with Rev. Debbie Lee and Charlene Tschirhart
    Part II with Isabel Alegria, and Jon Rodney of California Immigration Policy Center
    This is a two-part workshop for clergy, faith leaders, and activists who would like to be "media experts" for news stories concerning religion, faith and social/economic justice.
    In session 1, participants will explore the theological framework and spiritual grounding from all the major religions that undergird accompaniment and solidarity with immigrants. We will learn and discuss what faith messages and practices have had transformative effects on congregations and how we can extend this into the public square.
    In session 2, participants will learn to frame issues in a way that is compelling to the general public, get the ABC's on how to reduce their words into a sound bite that is "catchy" and that news outlets like to print or broadcast. They will gain effective tips on how to get the media to cover their events and have the opportunity to practice their new skills.
  • Poverty Truth Commissions: A Tool for Grassroots Social Change and Community Spiritual Renewal with Rev. Dr. Gabriella Lettini of Starr King School for the Ministry
    This workshop is a two-part series that will give participants a thorough introduction to poverty truth commissions as tools for transformative justice that can be used in communities large and small. Truth commissions have been used to report on human rights abuses and systemic injustices and to foster justice and healing for whole societies. Grassroots Poverty Truth Commissions lift up the silenced and invisible voices of those most directly affected by poverty, offering them an official forum to testify to their experiences and perspectives and witness to their ongoing anti-poverty activism. The hearings create accountability in the audience and encourage follow-up processes to promote non-polarizing dialogues and generate a vision for change and healing. The workshop will offer specific examples of Poverty Truth Commissions and Poverty Scholarship, highlighting the theological and ethical implications of such work.
  • Faith-Rooted Organizing: A New Response to the Age-Old Problem of Poverty with Rev. Alexia Salvatierra of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE)
    Organizing is bringing people together to create change. Faith-rooted organizing is a new method, building on the traditions of organizing in the life of Gandhi, the civil rights movement, and the sanctuary movement, all of which approach organizing in a way that is guided and shaped by the participants' faith traditions. Faith-rooted organizing is designed to enable people of faith to contribute our unique gifts to the broader movement for social and economic justice. It is a 21st-century alternative to Alinsky-based methods and strategies. This will be a theoretical and experiential introduction to the concepts and practices of faith-rooted organizing. Participants should attend both days. They will be connected with the networks of faith leaders around the country practicing the model and will also learn about further training opportunities.

Tuesday Workshops

Tuesday, January 25
2:45-5:00 pm

  • Cooperative Enterprises as a Model for Community Well-Being and Creation of Healthy, Dignified Jobs with Hilary Abell of Women's Action to Gain Economic Security (WAGES).
    This workshop will present an overview of the international and national cooperative movements and showcase the work of WAGES (Women's Action to Gain Economic Security) in developing green cleaning cooperatives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Participants will learn about the seven cooperative principles that underlie cooperatives around the globe and how they are being applied in the WAGES cooperatives. The five co-ops in WAGES' network provide a decent income with benefits and leadership opportunities for nearly 100 immigrant women, with impact studies that show a median increase of 70% in family incomes. Let's strategize together about how congregations can support cooperative enterprises like these in the interest of creating stronger communities.
  • Leaps and Bounds: A Dynamic One Woman Showcase of Sabbath Economics and Ecological Justice with Tevyn East of the Affording Hope Project.
    See this magical performance and find yourself laughing, humming and crying; and wanting to understand more about how our faith can inform our vision of the Judeo-Christian story that will move us to action,” suggests Dennis J. Parker, the Campus Minister at Portland State University. In this workshop, participants will sink into themselves while witnessing the performance of Leaps and Bounds. Post-show dialogue will deepen their experience and catalyze soulful action. Weaving biblical and personal narrative, dance, music, and economic theory, Leaps and Bounds addresses the driving factors of our economic and ecological crises while awakening the imagination to a new way of living with and relating to Earth.
  • Preaching Justice: From the Gut, With Heart with Rev. Anne Howard of the Beatitudes Society
    Preachers, whether they are long in the pulpit or fresh from seminary, can be heard to say “I can’t preach about that (workers' rights, living wage, tax reform, health care reform, fill-in-the-blank) in my congregation; that’s way too controversial! The pews would empty.” And faithful church-goers say “Yes, I want to connect my faith with the issues of the day, but don’t tell me what to do with my wallet.” So what’s a preacher to do? Preaching justice can be transformative and liberating for all of us, whether we find our place in the pulpit or the pew. In this session workshop participants will experience a brief sample of The Beatitudes Society’s Prophetic Preaching Workshop “Shaping Sermons to Nurture Justice,” which explores prophetic preaching as the practice of listening coupled with the practice of prayer.This workshop is full! Registration for this workshop is closed.
  • The Word on the Street: Offering Radical Hospitality to the Homeless, with Rev. Linda Kelly-Baker of Side by Side with the Homeless
    “Uh oh! There’s a homeless person. He’s dirty and he scares me. What should I do? Do I look away? What if I make eye contact? Should I say hello? What does he want? Should I try to help him? Maybe I better cross the street...just to be on the safe side.” This workshop will offer practical advice to use and share when meeting the homeless stranger. Participants will gain a clearer understanding of the diversity within the homeless community and gain tools in how to relate appropriately to people on the street. Street smarts will be addressed and a list of resources for individual and small group use in your setting will be offered. Through hands-on exercises and reflection we will explore how our faith and natural compassion can make a difference to someone on the street and open our own hearts. Participants will gain a deeper and broader understanding of chronic homelessness and the challenges it brings, learn and practice basic companioning skills, learn how to address safety and security issues, and take home a bibliography of resources and referrals for further study and small group experiences.
  • The Redemptive Power of Microfinance with Terry Provance of Oikocredit
    Come learn about the redemptive power of microcredit, which changes lives and creates hope in a more meaningful, concrete way. Billions of people around the world lack access to basic financial services. Without credit or savings, they have little hope of improving their living conditions. That’s where microfinance comes in. Access to available credit empowers those in need to invest in themselves and create their own path out of poverty. With even the smallest of loans, they can create income-generating businesses, send their children to school, buy medicine and nutritious food, or fix a leaky roof. Microcredit helps poor people (mostly women, who are the most reliable borrowers) to maintain economic vitality, to take a step up, to build self-respect and to provide for their children. This workshop provides an introduction to the principles and practice of microcredit, through use of the video “Credit Comes From Credo.” 
  • Reentry: Understanding the Implications of Returning from Prison to the Communities Where We Live, Work and Worship with Rev. Eugene Williams of Regional Congregations & Neighborhood Organizations Training Center (RCNO)

    This workshop will help participants understand the social, political, public health and public safety implications of communities receiving large numbers of persons being released from prison and jail. Government and citizens expect faith based organizations to respond, but these organizations have varying response capacities. This workshop will introduce participants to the impacts of reentry on their communities and to some of the strategies used in dealing with the resultant challenges.

Wednesday Workshops

Wednesday, January 26
2:45-5:00 pm

  • Sharing What You've Learned Here with Folks Back Home with Michael Bausch of Summit Congregational Church in Dubuque, Iowa

    Through the use of a projector, computer, and simple, free software, it is possible to share high-impact visuals in sermons and educational forums with your congregation. Learn how to quickly, simply, and effectively communicate your experiences and learning at this year's Earl Lectures with your church. This workshop will demonstrate how easy it is develop memorable visual presentations with the latest inexpensive (or free!) technology. If your church already has access to basic technology (a laptop and projector), you'll go home with a sermon and/or presentation focused on your 2011 Earl Lecture experience.

  • Organizing for Justice: Tools for Effectiveness with Thursday's keynote speaker, Kim Bobo of Interfaith Worker Justice

    Ms. Kim Bobo will provide a “crash course” in community organizing to help people of faith think and work strategically and not just tactically on issues of social justice. The session will offer practical tools for groups to choose issues, develop strategies and design tactics that help you win real issues and build your organization.

  • Insight Never Liberated Anyone: Why we Need Power to Get Anything Done with Anna Eng of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) and Dr. Julie Roberts-Fronk
    A conversation about why power is so important to the public mission of the congregation. We will discuss concrete strategies for building powerful congregational life both inside and outside the building walls and hear how ordinary religious people have been part of influencing social and economic policy in their own local communities through broad-based community organizing. 
  • Exploring a Theology and Household Practices of Sabbath Economics with Ched Myers of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries

    Myers, author of The Biblical Vision of Sabbath Economics, has been educating and organizing around “economic readings of the bible and biblical readings of the economy” for 15 years. This workshop will review the salient points of the Bible’s alternative economic cosmology, and then focus on the Sabbath Economics “Household Covenant” developed by Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries. Participants will discuss suggestions about how to deal with surplus capital, their ecological footprint, consumer culture and other practical matters of living economic justice.This workshop is full! Registration for this workshop is closed.

  • Basic Steps Necessary For The Development of a Comprehensive Inter-Cultural Ministry In An Urban Setting with Rev. Clarence Johnson.

Description coming soon.

Workshop Leaders


Hilary AbellHilary Abell will lead a workshop on "Cooperative Enterprises as a Model for Community Well-Being and Creation of Healthy, Dignified Jobs" at this year's Earl Lectures. As Executive Director of WAGES since 2003, Hilary Abell has led the development of new WAGES cooperatives in the East Bay and San Francisco, with plans for further expansion throughout the Bay Area, and beyond, in the years ahead. Hilary’s previous work covered a range of issues including fair trade, environmental health, women’s health, and immigrant rights. Her visits with fair trade farmers in Latin America inspired her commitment to cooperative models, environmental sustainability, and collective endeavors that give us space to dream. In 2010, Hilary was selected as an Innovator-In-Residence with the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED).

AlegriaIsabel Alegria will lead "Sermons to Sound Bites: Faith-Based Messages on Immigration", a two-part workshop.Isabel Alegria is currently Communications Director with the California Immigrant Policy Center. Formerly, she worked with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund on MALDEF’s Census 2000 program. Isabel pursued a broadcasting career for more than 20 years, working most recently as a Reporter for National Public Radio, based in San Francisco. Formerly, she worked at radio station KPBS-FM in San Diego and at KXCR in El Paso, Texas. She was the co-founder of the Latin American News Service from El Paso, Texas. Isabel is a graduate of Stanford University in Communications.

Bausch, MichaelDr. Michael Bausch, D.Min., will lead "Sharing What You've Learned Here With the Folks Back Home". Michael teaches the use of digital media arts in worship and education. He has taught at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, and summer sessions and online courses at PSR. He is currently minister at Summit Congregational UCC of Dubuque, Iowa, and a lecturer in Hebrew Scriptures at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, where he makes his residence. His publications include Silver Screen, Sacred Story: Using Multimedia in Worship.

Kim BoboKim Bobo is a keynote speaker at this year's Lectures and will also lead a workshop. She is the Executive Director and founder of Interfaith Worker Justice,
the nation's largest network of people of faith engaging in local and national actions to improve wages, benefits and conditions for workers, especially those in the low-wage economy. She was named one of Utne Reader's "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World" in 2009. Prior to Interfaith Worker Justice, Kim was a trainer for the Midwest Academy, and Director of Organizing for Bread for the World. She writes a column for the online magazine Religion Dispatches. She is co-author of Organizing for Social Change, the best-selling organizing manual in the country, and the author of Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid - And What We Can Do About It, the first and only book to document the wage theft crisis in the nation and propose practical solutions for addressing it.

 Anna EngAnna Eng will lead "Insight Never Liberated Anyone: Why we Need Power to Get Anything Done". She is the Lead Organizer for the Bay Area IAF (Industrial Areas Foundation) in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and has extensive experience organizing in communities throughout the state of California. The Industrial Areas Foundation is the oldest and largest community organizing and leadership development network in the country.


tevynTevyn East will present the workshop "Leaps and Bounds: A Dynamic One Woman Showcase of Sabbath Economics and Ecological Justice." Artistic Director and Performer for the Affording Hope Project, Tevyn is touring the country for the second time, presenting Leaps and Bounds in churches, colleges, and seminaries. With a background of 7 years in collaborative professional dance projects, Tevyn integrates her explosive talent with a deep faith, passion for justice, and intelligent social analysis. Leaps and Bounds is born out of her experience at Church of the Saviour’s “Discipleship Year.” The performance material was developed in partnership with Ched Myers and PSR student, Carl Magruder. Through Leaps and Bounds, Tevyn offers a dynamic opportunity for faith communities to challenge and reframe their economic and ecological assumptions.


Anne HowardRev. Anne Howard will lead "Preaching Justice: From the Gut, With Heart". She is Executive Director of The Beatitudes Society, a new organization building a national network for progressive Christian seminarians. A seasoned and accomplished preacher, she is now Preacher-in-Residence at Trinity, and is the author of Claiming the Beatitudes: Nine Stories from a New Generation. She is a member of the Board of Faith in Public Life. She also serves on the Advisory Board of God Complex Radio and the Advisory Board of the Capps Center for Ethics, Religion and Public Life at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Linda Kelly-BakerRev. Linda Kelly-Baker, M.S., M.Div.,will lead "The Word on the Street: Offering Radical Hospitality to the Homeless". Linda is a United Methodist pastor. Linda founded Side-By-Side Ministries, a listening ministry with the homeless, in 2001. Linda and her volunteers provide compassionate listening, spiritual direction, morning prayer, retreats, weddings, and memorial services for the homeless community; and immersion experiences, workshops and preaching for interested church people. Information about Side-By-Side can be found at www.sidebysidewiththehomeless.org

Rev. Dr. Julie Roberts-Fronk is a Disciples of Christ pastor serving First Christian Church Pomona and a long-time leader of One-LA IAF, a broad-based community organizing effort in Los Angeles County. She will co-lead the workshop Insight Never Liberated Anyone: Why we Need Power to Get Anything Done


Clarence Johnson

Rev. Clarence Johnson will lead the workshop Basic Steps Necessary For The Development of a Comprehensive Inter-Cultural Ministry In An Urban Setting. Rev. Clarence Johnson is a fourth-generation member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He earned his Masters of Divinity degree from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. From 1972-1977 he was the first director of Black Ministry for the Department of Ministry Division of Homeland Ministries of CC (DOC). After serving as pastor in Jackson, MS in 1982 he served Mills Grove Christian Church (DOC) in Oakland from 1982 until 1986. He returned there as transitional minister in February 2006 and on July 22, 2007 was named senior minister/pastor. His clergy memberships include: Pastors of Oakland, Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, and African-American/Korean-American Fellowship of Churches. He is currently the Chair of the Board of directors of Christian Church Homes of Northern CA and was also recently elected as Moderator of the Christian Church Northern CA-Nevada (CCN-N).

LeeRev. Deborah Lee will lead "Sermons to Sound Bites: Faith-Based Messages on Immigration", a two-part workshop. Rev. Deboran Lee is the Project Director of the Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights, part of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice-California. She is a United Church of Christ minister and has worked in the field of faith and social justice as an educator and organizer for over 20 years, addressing issues of race, gender, anti-militarism and immigration. Formerly, she worked as the Program Director for the PANA Institute at PSR (2000-2009) and the training director for the Center for Ethics and Economic Policy.

Gabriella LettiniRev. Dr. Gabriella Lettini will lead the two day workshop on Poverty Truth Commissions. She is a graduate of the Waldensian Theological Seminary in Rome, Italy and has a Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary in New York. Lettini is currently Associate Professor of Theological Ethics and Aurelia Henry Reinhardt Director of Studies in Public Ministry at Starr King School for the Ministry. She was a key organizer of the first Bay Area Poverty Truth Commission and the Truth Commission on Conscience in War.

Ched MyersChed Myers will lead a workshop on "Exploring a Theology and Household Practices of Sabbath Economics." A biblical scholar and popular educator, Ched is an author, organizer and advocate who has for 30 years been challenging and supporting Christians to engage in peace and justice work and radical discipleship. Ched believes that "today we need to animate a new generation of ecumenical leadership committed both to the gospel and to social change." To this end, he works with Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries to build capacity for biblical literacy, church renewal and faith-based witness for justice.For more about Sabbath Economics, see here; for Ched's website, click here.

Provance, TerryTerry Provance will lead "The Redemptive Power of Microfinance". He is Executive Director of Oikocredit-USA. Oikocredit, the world’s largest international microcredit fund with $650 million invested, supports projects in 71 countries through 550 microcredit banks and 250 cooperatives to help alleviate poverty for millions who live on less than $2 a day.  All of its capital and 40,000 investors come primarily from religious institutions. 

Jon Rodney will lead "Sermons to Sound Bites: Faith-Based Messages on Immigration", a two-part workshop. Johm Rodney is the Communications Project Coordinator at the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC), where he uses his passion for language to lift up the voices of immigrant communities in the media. Before joining CIPC in September 2010, he was Communications Manager at the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy where he developed messaging and generated ongoing media coverage of many immigrant related issues in the region. Jon has previously worked as a labor organizer. Jon is a graduate of UC Berkeley in Spanish and Literature, and speaks both Spanish and Arabic.

Alexia SalvatierraRev. Alexia Salvatierra will lead worship at this year's Lectures and will also present a workshop on "Faith-Rooted Organizing – a New Response to the Age-Old Problem of Poverty." She is executive director of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice of California (CLUE-CA). CLUE-CA is a statewide alliance of interfaith organizations and religious leaders who respond together to the crises of working poverty by joining low-wage workers in their struggle for a living wage, health insurance, fair working conditions and a voice in the decisions that affect them. CLUE-CA’s mission is to build a faith-based movement for economic justice throughout California. It is one of the coordinating agencies of the national New Sanctuary Movement, in which congregations accompany and support immigrant workers and their families facing deportation.

TscirhartCharlene Tschirhart is with the Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights. For over 40 years she has directed development efforts, public relations and communications activities with faith based communities working for social justice.



 Eugene WilliamsRev. Eugene Williams will lead "Reentry: Understanding the Implications of Returning from Prison to the Communities Where We Live, Work and Worship". He is CEO and National Director of the Regional Congregations and Neighborhood Organizations Training Center. He is nationally recognized as a leader in the faith-based organizing movement and for his leadership in community development. He is concerned with making the connections between theology and community development and revitalization meaningful to a broad cross section of people. His writings have appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Tribune, the Philadelphia Daily News, the Los Angeles Times and the Hartford Courant. He is founding editor of Organizing Magazine, the only national publication dedicated to the topic of community revitalization through faith-based organizing.