Breakout Topics

BREAKOUT SESSION 1

10:00 – 10:50 AM

A Refugee’s Story – Daniel Abol Pach, God Grew Tired of Us

* Basics of Youth Mentoring – Joanne Galinowski, Family Guidance

Biblical Hospitality in the 21st Century – Rachel Walker, Safe Families for Children

* First Steps in Your Adoption Journey – Erin Brothers, OrphanCare Ministry

* Human Trafficking: Federal Investigations – Kaitlyn Weismann, Staff Operations Specialist, FBI, Pittsburgh Division

* In the Trenches: Help for Adoptive Families – Linda Prevost & Vaness Vasser-Bush, Bethany Christian Services

Intersectional Justice: How the Unborn Are Our Neighbor – Jennifer Hollenberger, MSW, LCSW, Embrace Life Ministries

BREAKOUT SESSION 2

11:20 – 12:10 PM

Affirming Life in a Post-Truth Culture – Amy Scheuring, Women’s Choice Network

Benefits of Boundaries – Laurie Johnson, NW Counseling Center

* Beyond the Bars: The Impact of Mass Incarceration on Children, Families, and Communities – Anna E. Hollis, Executive Director, Amachi Pittsburgh

* Exploring Foster Care – Khalilah Brandon, TRAC

Participating in Global Missions Panel Discussion – Becca Densmore, NW East End Mission Rep

* Refugee Resettlement – Allie Reefer, Immigrant Services and Connections at JFCS

* Youth and Today’s Drug Culture – Debra Kehoe, MsED, PA Alliance for Safe and Drug Free Children

BREAKOUT SESSION 3

2:00 – 2:50 PM

* A Frank Discussion About Mental Health – Samuel G. Johnson MA, BCC, NCC, ACS, MAC, LPC

* Building Bridges Between First Families and Foster/Adoptive Families Kelly Hughes, Foster Love Project

Discipleship Mentoring –  Seth Reichart, Urban Impact

Expanding the Definition of Neighbor –  Javi Diaz, World Vision

* Intimate Partners: The Intersectionality of Intimate Partner Violence and Sex Trafficking – Farrah Felten, LSW & Carlos E. Golfetto Ph.D., NCC, ACS, LPC, Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR)

Understanding Belief Systems of South Asians – Bill Richardson , South East Asia Prayer Center

*LSW & LCSW can receive free CEUs sponsored by Slippery Rock University for this breakout. Details available at registration table.

A Refugee’s Story
Breakout Leader: Daniel Abol Pach, God Grew Tired of Us
Daniel Abol Pach, one of the “Lost Boys” who was orphaned by the Sudan civil war will speak about his experience as a refugee, his life in Pittsburgh, and the independence of and hopes for South Sudan.

Basics of Youth Mentoring
Breakout Leader: Joanne Galinowski, Family Guidance
Youth mentoring has long been a proven intervention for youth of promise who are struggling in school, at home, and with poverty.  This session will explore the different styles of mentoring and the steps that are taken with both volunteers and youth to insure a safe and healthy match that will endure. You will also hear about the transformational benefits to the youth and mentor through building a Christ Centered relationship.

Biblical Hospitality in the 21st Century
Breakout Leader: Rachel Walker, Safe Families for Children
Do you understand what Biblical hospitality is and how God can use it to change the world? Have you ever wondered what practical difference one individual or family can make? Do you want to include and engage your entire family in service together? Come learn about Biblical hospitality, how to serve as a family, and how to put your love into action as we explore how to practice Biblical hospitality in the 21st century. Leave with practical next steps of ways you, your family, and your church can be involved in caring for children and families in crisis.

First Steps in Your Adoption Journey
Breakout Speaker:  Erin Brothers, OrphanCare Ministry
If you’ve ever considered adoption, you’re probably faced with a hundred questions. Join an adoptive mom who will share some of her own experiences to help you makes sense of this this journey. You will better understand the call to adoption, the process, each member of the adoption triad, adoption terminology, common misconceptions, and gain some ideas to help you finance your adoption.

Human Trafficking: Federal Investigations
Breakout Speaker:  Kaitlyn Weismann, Staff Operations Specialist, FBI, Pittsburgh Division
This presentation will focus on human trafficking investigations conducted at the federal level by the FBI. Topics of discussion include explanation of the federal law, indicators of human trafficking, the Western Pennsylvania Human Trafficking Coalition and its work with survivors, and several case studies.

In the Trenches: Help for Adoptive Families
Breakout Speaker:  Linda Prevost & Vaness Vasser-Bush, Bethany Christian Services
Post adoption services are free for all adoptive families in Pennsylvania regardless of where, when or how they adopted; even kinship and grandparents raising grandchildren can receive services. Come learn how to maneuver through the education system and gain insight with IEPs and 504 plans, how to deal with attachment issues and RAD, as well as what pitfalls to avoid when parenting a child with a history of trauma. Help and Hope is available!

Intersectional Justice: How the Unborn Are Our Neighbor
Breakout Speaker:  Jennifer Hollenberger, MSW, LCSW,  Embrace Life Ministries
What do the human trafficking survivor and an unborn baby have in common? They are both our neighbor created in the image of God and endowed with dignity and worth. In this session, we will unpack how abortion intersects with issues like poverty, race, adoption/foster care and human trafficking and how we can affirm life across the lifespan.

Affirming Life in a Post-Truth Culture
Breakout Leader: Amy Scheuring, Women’s Choice Network
We advocate for the vulnerable because we believe in their inherent dignity and worth, however, shifting cultural trends deeply impact these views.  In this life-affirming session, we will briefly discuss how emerging medical technologies, the post-truth culture, borderless sexuality, Post Abortion Syndrome, and the shifting cultural landscape influence how we view and value all human life.

Benefits of Boundaries
Breakout Leader:  Laurie Johnson, NW Counseling Center
Are boundaries really important or is this just a buzz word to give us an excuse to say “no”? What is the difference between self care and selfish care and why does it even matter? How does Jesus address this in His response to the religious leader’s question regarding the most important commandment in the law of Moses? Everyone that we care about benefits from our ability to understand and establish boundaries. This breakout will include an open discussion to share ideas, encourage and learn from each other.  We all can thrive with healthy boundary setting.

Beyond the Bars: The Impact of Mass Incarceration on Children, Families, and Communities
Breakout Speaker:  Anna E. Hollis, Executive Director, Amachi Pittsburgh
This presentation will highlight the broad scale impacts of parental incarceration on children, families, and communities, along with the systemic factors that perpetuate intergenerational involvement in the juvenile and/or adult criminal justice systems. Additionally, this presentation will highlight Amachi Pittsburgh’s proven, outcomes-based strategies for empowering youth and families to overcome associated challenges and to emerge as champions of social change. Hear firsthand from an Amachi family and learn about the growing movement to advance policy and systems change.

Exploring Foster Care
Breakout Leader:  Khalilah Brandon, TRAC
Have you thought about becoming a foster parent but are nervous after hearing stories about youth in foster care? Do you have the desire to help a child by providing them with a home and family? If so this training is for you! This presentation will provide the step by step process on how to become a foster parent, including strategies and techniques for picking an agency, understanding the approval process, and getting your questions answered.

Participating in Global Missions Panel Discussion
Panel Moderator:  Becca Densmore, NW East End Mission Rep
During this breakout, we will discuss how individuals and churches can participate in global missions while living locally. Our panelists will from SEAPC, PRISM and Shoulder-to-Shoulder will address the topics of prayer ministry, welcoming internationals and missionary care. Resources on these topics will also be provided. Come prepared to learn how to participate in the fulfillment of the Great Commission!

Refugee Resettlement
Breakout Speaker: Allie Reefer, Immigrant Services and Connections at JFCS
A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence. Who are the refugees in our neighborhoods? How can we as the church overcome fear and be empowered to love these very vulnerable families who are living among us?

Youth and Today’s Drug Culture
Breakout Speaker:  Debra Kehoe, MsED, PA Alliance for Safe and Drug Free Children
This session will explore modern day drug culture and its impact on youth including the progression from alcohol to heroin.  In addition, it will explain the risk factors that can potentially lead to drug experimentation and addiction.  Most parents/caregivers are looking for ways to be equipped and understand what can we do to safeguard our children.  These tools will be shared throughout the session and a Q&A will complete the session.

A Frank Discussion About Mental Health
Breakout Speaker:  Samuel G. Johnson MA, BCC, NCC, ACS, MAC, LPC
So you would like to help your neighbor right? But don’t know what to say or where to begin…This breakout session will address the desire to be a support and to be supportive for an individual or family member who is experiencing a mental health concern(s). This breakout session is led by a Licensed Professional Counselor who works primarily with trauma survivors, and who also has experienced the mental health system as a recipient of treatment. Mental Health is a part of all of our lives and we all want to be supportive and helpful, but sometimes we do not know how. This presentation will be OPEN for discussion. Bring with you your questions, concerns, and your curiosity regarding the diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care and support for individuals with mental health needs. Hopefully, together, we will demystify mental health – or at least begin that process!

Building Bridges Between First Families and Foster/Adoptive Families
Breakout Speaker:  Kelly Hughes, Foster Love Project
Adoptive moms, Kelly Hughes and Meg McKivigan will be sharing how they have navigated the complexities of building bridges with the first families of their adopted children. They will be joined by adoptees, Ashley Kelley and Matt Allen who will share how adoption has changed their life and the range of emotions they’ve experienced through their questions about their first families. No matter what your connection to foster care or adoption, this will be a valuable workshop in learning ways to navigate challenging experiences as well as the importance of these connections to kids of foster care and adoption.

Discipleship Mentoring
Breakout Speakers:  Seth Reichart, Urban Impact
Mentoring is more than just mentoring when you’re a disciple of Jesus Christ. We welcome you to come and be inspired by how one life fully surrendered to Jesus Christ can make an impact and change the world. This panel made up of mentors and mentees will focus on the transformation that takes place as they seek to strengthen their relationship with one another and journey together in their pursuit of Jesus Christ.

Expanding the Definition of Neighbor
Breakout Speaker:  Javi Diaz, World Vision
In this session we’ll talk about discipleship, and how the church is engaging around the world, by expanding their definition of neighbor. We’ll learn about practical ministry opportunities for churches to engage locally and serve globally. If you are wondering how to activate your congregation and inspire them to follow Jesus by serving the least of these, this session is for you!

Intimate Partners: The Intersectionality of Intimate Partner Violence and Sex Trafficking
Breakout Speakers:  Farrah Felten, LSW & Carlos E. Golfetto Ph.D., NCC, ACS, LPC, Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR)
This session will teach attendees how to recognize signs of romantic grooming and tactics used by traffickers to manipulate victims into the commercial sex industry, both before a relationship is established and years into a relationship. Understanding the relationship between a victim and their trafficker can help providers and other persons better identify victims and how to best provide them with support. Traffickers use specific tactics to recruit and groom victims. These strategies include using love, security, and relationships as means of control. This presentation will use case studies to teach providers and other support persons how to identify these strategies of traffickers and how to work with victims in these abusive and complicated relationships, whether they have been manipulated into a relationship with a trafficker, or their romantic partner becomes their trafficker later in the relationship.

Understanding Belief Systems of South Asians
Breakout Speaker:  Bill Richardson , South East Asia Prayer Center
Our neighborhoods are ever changing and our understanding of other cultures and belief systems need to be expanded.  This breakout session will help you to better understand the belief systems of refugees and people from South Asia. We will discuss Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. Come learn how  the church can seek to understand the cultural differences of our neighbors and how we can better love them.