Workshop 1

Thursday, January 9 – 2:45 to 3:45 p.m.

Running For Our Lives

with Robb Ryerse
Room 152

Robb will be sharing stories and lessons from my grassroots 2018 congressional campaign.

Catholic Voters are Critical

with Patrick Carolan, Michael Terrien, and Allyson McKinney
Room 147

The Catholic vote is critical to the 2020 election especially in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Iowa, Ohio and Wisconsin. Those 5 states voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012. They flipped and voted for Trump in 2016. If Clinton had received the same percentage of the Catholic vote that Obama received she would be president today. This workshop will talk about how to reach out to moderate Catholics and what messages resonate.

Revolution of Values

with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
Fellowship Hall

How the religious right taught America to misread the Bible and how we can learn to read it again for the common good.

The Listening Effect

with Christine Gilman
Room 149

A feet-on-the ground interactive workshop to manage listening and speaking that transform conflict to connection.

Workshop 2

Thursday, January 9 – 4:15 to 5:15 p.m.

O Ye of Liberal Faith: Pastoral Politics in the Public Square

with Stephany Spaulding
Room 152

This session is a conversation on Rev. Dr. Stephany Rose Spaulding’s experiences running as an African American Baptist pastor and professor in Colorado Springs. In this talk she chronicles the challenges of faith and identity from multiple sides of the political sphere.

Social Media and Reaching the Christian Left

with Mark Sandlin and Charles Toy
Room 149

Founder and Co-founder of The Christian Left discuss the history of their online efforts (focusing on Facebook) to unite progressive Christians politically and provide a counter-voice to The Christian Right. The discussion will include the topics of best practices, the importance of wide inclusiveness, handling trolls, as well as others. The presentation will conclude with an open Q&A session.

Organizing Evangelicals For Justice

with Troy Jackson
Room 147

Troy will share his experiences leading the AMOS Project in Cincinnati, which effectively worked with Crossroads Church to launch and implement Undivided, a racial justice journey that has had over 5000 participants in the last four years. Hundreds from Crossroads in 2016 got politically engaged, working to pass a tax increase to generate $15,000,000 every year for high quality preschool for children who need it most.

The Truth About Christianity and Abortion

with Christina Forrester
Fellowship Hall

A Biblical, ethical and historical look at the church position on abortion, destroying the “pro-life” vs. “pro-choice” argument, and how one-issue voters are persuaded.

Workshop 3

Friday, January 10 – 10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

From Reverend to Representative: Discerning a Call to Political Leadership

with Lindsay James
Fellowship Hall

How do committed Christians reconcile the call to discipleship with the call to serve the common good? In this session, Iowa State Representative Lindsay James will share her journey from evangelical mega church pastor to elected office. Participants will have the opportunity to share and reflect on their own experiences navigating commitments to faith and political life.

America’s Unholy Ghosts: The Racist Roots of Our Faith and Politics

with Joel Goza
Room 147

Martin Luther King Jr. called Christians within our nation to examine “the roots of ideational race hate.” America’s Unholy Ghosts does just that by examining how the American ideologies historically harmonized radical racial and economic inequalities with Democratic and Christian convictions. The session closes by exploring how we can reclaim a radical vision for the common good.

Race, Faith, and Hope for America

with Michael Waters
Room 152

Embodying Solidarity in the Age of Trump

with Linda Midgett and Larycia Hawkins
Room 149

In 2015, Dr. Larycia Hawkins set off a global firestorm when she, a devout Christian and tenured professor of political science at Wheaton College, wore a hijab in solidarity with Muslim women. Linda Midgett, an Emmy-award-winning writer and producer, began filming with Dr. Hawkins in the middle of the controversy. The resulting documentary, “Same God,” has won awards and is currently being broadcast on PBS stations nationwide. The themes explored in the film (Islamophobia, religious freedom, race, evangelicals and political power) are even more salient now than four years ago. Led by Dr. Hawkins and Linda Midgett, this workshop will utilize clips from the film to explore “What does it mean to “embody solidarity” in the age of Trump … and what are the costs?”

Empowered: A Mindful Yoga Workshop for the Activist

with Shelley Pagitt

You are here, at this Voters Summit with VCG, which means you have some fire burning in you to create change for the Common Good! Tap into your fire-power and learn how to direct it with intention without burning yourself and others around you. Through movement and stillness, we will focus mind, breath and body to build our collective fire. Please join us for a balancing yoga class for beginners to the well-practiced. Comfortable clothes and a yoga mat are great, but neither are necessary.

Workshop 4

Friday, January 10 – 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

From Pastor to Politician

with Bryan Berghoef
Room 147

Lessons learned running as a Democratic candidate of faith in a conservative district.

Avoiding Compassion Fatigue

with John Pavlovitz
Room 152

Join Pastor/Author John Pavlovitz for a time of authentic conversation on how to be safely burdened with the pain and problems of this world, and what to do when you’ve exhausted your resources.

Impolite Women

with Katie Paris and Amy Sullivan
Fellowship Hall

Suburban, evangelical, and mainline women are rejecting what they’ve been told and becoming emboldened. Join two women of the Midwest—Katie Paris and Amy Sullivan—for a conversation about embracing both change and the discomfort that can follow.

What Are Candidates Looking For in Faith Voters?

with Mike McCurry
Room 149

Do candidates for president care about folks in the faith advocacy community? How can we give them a reason to believe they should? Explore ideas and examples in this workshop.


Friday, January 10 – 4:45 to 5:30 p.m.

How to Be a Common Good Candidate

with Katie Paris
Main Room

Join Katie Paris for a sneak peak at Vote Common Good’s message training for candidates and how it can help you better connect with your community and neighbors.

Talking about Faith in a Welcoming Way

with Rob Sand
Room 147

The New York Times describes newly elected State Auditor Rob Sand as a “next-generation oracle of rural Iowa” whose message is “flecked with references to the Bible and his Christian faith” while his demeanor is “charming . . . earnest . . . gregarious . . .and disarming.” He will share his own story about faith and politics, while then dissecting it to offer points about how each of us can share our own more effectively. He’ll also discuss how he handles what many wrongly perceive as a one-dimensional issue in the Bible: reproductive choice.

How to Lead a Church in a Political Age

with Jacqui Lewis
Room 152

Dietrich Bonhoeffer Helps Us Meet the Challenges of Our Time

with Rob Schenck
Fellowship Hall

The brave, young Nazi-era German pastor, theologian and Christian ethicist shows us how we can maintain a conscience during times of uncertainty and still act courageously for the common good.

The Death Penalty & Presidential Politics

with Abraham Bonowitz
Room 149

President Trump uses the death penalty as a hot-button issue with his base, yet support for capital punishment is down even among conservatives. This session will help you convey up-to-date information about the issue so that voters you are talking to can make an informed decision regarding capital punishment and their favorite candidate.

Workshop 5

Saturday, January 11 – 10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Being Political

with Sarah Trone Garriott
Room 152

Theology, scripture, and history to inform faith-based political engagement. Sarah Trone Garriott is an ordained ELCA Lutheran Pastor serving in a non-profit ministry setting and a candidate for IA State Senate.

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Issues

with Ari Fleisig
Room 149

As caucus day approaches, the ACLU Rights for All campaign is dedicated to educating voters about important civil rights and civil liberties issues. Come join us and learn how to have meaningful conversations with voters about these issues on caucus day. We’ll go over strategies for making healthy connections on immigrant rights, voting rights, reproductive justice, and criminal justice reform.