Do you ever walk away from the Alliance Annual Gathering looking to continue the conversation?

This year, you’ll have the opportunity to do just that!

We are excited to announce that through the months of May and June, you’ll have the opportunity to gather to learn from and dialogue with Alliance members as we continue this work together. We are excited to bring a dynamic team of leadership to continue to engage the topics of decolonizing and engaging church leadership and partnership in a justice-oriented way.


Dialogical Preaching as a Decolonizing Practice

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

How are congregations still harmed by colonialism and whiteness embedded in the traditional, monological model and what might dialogue have to offer as an alternative? On this Zoom, we will engage a radical pedagogy rooted in dialogue by interrogating the preaching moment. Join us as we teach the ins and outs of dialogical preaching, but more importantly, open up a dialogical space for those gathered to engage and wonder together how dialogical preaching can make preachers and congregations more honest, free people–a people not automatically living into the realities of colonialism and whiteness, realities of control and oppressive power, but rather, collectively leaning into and being a part of God’s kin-dom vision in the here and now.

Molly Brummett Wudel has been fortunate to pastor Emmaus Way, a quirky, progressive, ecumenical church, in Durham, NC since 2015. When she isn’t co-pastoring, writing and thinking about dialogical preaching, or organizing, she and her spouse James attempt to keep up with their very active preschooler, George Eden. 

Rebecca Hewitt-Newson is a Baptist minister serving the ecumenical community of Emmaus Way in Durham, NC. She is passionate about nurturing intergenerational community and building solidarity through the sharing of pain and hope.

Toward a Progressive Missiology:
How to Talk about “Global Missions”
in the 21st Century

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

In recent decades progressive churches have had to reckon with the colonialist and white supremacist roots of global missions work. Reverends Ian Carr McPherson and Cathy Tamsberg will reflect together on their congregation’s decades-long search for a shared language and theological framing of its approach to missions in the 21st century, especially in light of its recent antiracist commitments. They will then facilitate conversation with attendees about how the language and theology of missions has been shifting in their contexts.

Ian Carr McPherson (they/them/theirs) is ordained in the United Church of Christ and currently serves as the Minister of Social Justice and Students at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC.

Cathy Tamsberg just completed her final term as secretary of the Alliance Board of Directors. For 17 years she served Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC as Associate Pastor, retiring in 2018. At Pullen she staffed the congregation’s partnerships in Coventry (England), Cuba, Nicaragua, the Republic of Georgia, and Zimbabwe.

The Empathic God:
Reimaging Salvation Beyond
Violence and Colonization

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Traditional interpretations of the Christian master story of salvation have focused on a violent atonement and have in turn inspired violent campaigns for salvation in the history of the church. However, a clinical perspective, based in lived human experience and the practice of spiritual care, suggests that shame rather than guilt primarily cripples the human condition and it interprets the Jesus event as God’s empathic initiative toward humanity rather than as a sacrificial and violent act of atonement. The God event in the Jesus story calls upon followers of Jesus to participate in God’s ongoing work of salvation through an empathic practice of spiritual care to supports wholeness in individuals and communities. The workshop discusses facets of an empathic praxis of care and how to become an empathic church.

Frank Woggon, PhD, BCC is the Director of Chaplaincy Services for UofL Health in Louisville, Kentucky, and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville. He was ordained as a German Baptist pastor and is endorsed by the Alliance of Baptists as a board-certified chaplain in the Association of Professional Chaplains and as an ACPE Certified Educator.

Abolishing Solitary Confinement

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The Alliance of Baptists recently endorsed the End Solitary Confinement Act (2 pager on the Act available here), which has been introduced in both houses of Congress. This workshop would provide Alliance members and congregations important information about solitary confinement in U.S. prisons and detention centers and how to take steps towards abolition of solitary.

CJ Sandley (she/they) is a Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where they focus on anti-carceral and racial injustice litigation and advocacy. They are based in Birmingham, Alabama and a member of Baptist Church of the Covenant, an Alliance partner congregation.

Cybersecurity Best Practices

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Cyberspace is particularly difficult to secure. In light of the risk and potential consequences of cyber events, this workshop will equip you to strengthen the security and resilience of your organization’s online cyberspace.

The Insurance Board is a nonprofit corporation established by the participating Conferences of the United Church of Christ. Insurance Board administers property insurance for churches and church liability insurance programs serving churches and related entities.

An Ongoing Obstacle to Partnership: Hidden Racism in the White Church

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Striving for racial justice is a cornerstone of the Alliance, but we know too well that even the most progressive churches among us continue to struggle to break completely from the supremacy of Whiteness that infects all of our systems and all of us.  Therefore, together we will seek to identify the ways that hidden racism not only persists but adapts and evolves, such that we can more effectively continue the work of repentance, repair, and reformation.

Brian Harrington, who previously served for 13 years as a solo pastor and co-pastor, now assists ministers, laypeople, and congregations in uncovering obstacles to creating justice and discovering opportunities for liberation, most recently through his work for the last two years with Doctor of Ministry students at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Deconstructing Evangelical
Military Chaplaincy

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Utilizing Megan’s specific experience as a chaplain in the Army National Guard, this workshop will consider how lack of diversity in the Chaplain Corps distracts from its primary mission to serve all and potentially harms the mental and spiritual resiliency of its servicemembers. This workshop will then explore how the Alliance, with the continuous work it already does, is poised to be an asset in challenging this “status quo” of military chaplains.

Megan Joyner is a chaplain in the District of Columbia Army National Guard who resides in Greenville, NC with her wife and three dogs; together they own a local kayak company. She currently works at the National Guard Bureau in the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office and will graduate in May from Vanderbilt University’s Doctoral of Ministry in Integrated Chaplaincy program.

So You’re Interested in an Alliance Partner Congregation: The Ins and Outs of Building Partnerships with Alliance Partners around the World

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Many churches within the Alliance family have partnership churches within our partner organizations around the world. This Zoom will discuss the ins and outs of those partnerships and how to go about establishing one with your congregation. April Baker and other Alliance leadership will be available to answer your questions about what these partnerships look like in real time.

April Baker is one of the pastors at Glendale Baptist Church in Nashville, TN and Mission and Ministry Partner Liaison for the Alliance of Baptists. She and her spouse Deborah Lynn find great joy spending time at the lake or camping and hiking in the mountains.

OutoftheBox Story Circle

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Rooted in the tradition of Godly Play, but with a scope spanning the world’s wisdom traditions and an intended audience of adults and children alike, OutoftheBox is a tool for dialogue, community-building, and spiritual reflection. This experiential workshop will offer a taste of this methodology that is already in use in churches, schools, therapeutic settings, chaplaincy, spiritual accompaniment and more. Whatever your context, you’re invited to join the circle and experience this way of wisdom & wonder, using story and play for personal and community well-being. Learn more at

Claire Helton is an ordained minister and former pastor, currently serving as a hospice chaplain in Pensacola, FL.

The Theologies That Support
the Genocide

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

This workshop will give a history of the theologies that underpin Christian and Jewish Zionism, with particular emphasis on the ways in which the liberal theological tradition have supported Zionism. Of particular note is the way in which the Civil Rights movement and MLK particularly were duped by white theologians to support the Six Day War. We are charged to examine the history of our theological traditions in order to decolonize the church and Palestine.

William T. Young IV is pastor of Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ in Washington DC, board member of Churches for Middle East Peace and Bright Stars of Bethlehem.