Rev. Dr. Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi serves as the Director of the Center for Analytics, Research and Data (CARD) in the United Church of Christ’s national setting. The mission of CARD is to gather and provide data and research for ministry transformation, with a vision that empowers and champions innovation and change for a just world for all. She conducts research in the areas of congregational vitality, ministerial excellence, and young adult spirituality and works ecumenically with researchers to create vitality metrics for congregations.
In addition to earning a Master of Divinity degree from Iliff School of Theology, she holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Research and Policy from the University of Colorado and has served as adjunct faculty at both alma maters. She has also taught courses for the Center for Progressive Renewal and been a faculty member of the Council for Health and Human Services (CHHSM) leadership development program, the Nollau Institute. On a national scale, Kristina serves as steering committee co-chair of the Faith Communities Today (FACT) Survey Project, the longest-running survey of congregational life in the United States; and in 2016, she authored a report on the state of young adults in American congregations.
Prior to her current role, Kristina served as an interim national staff person for Christian Education and Faith Formation, helping to transition this ministry within the UCC. She has also served as a college director of multicultural affairs, hospital chaplain, youth ministries coordinator, and local church pastor. Most recently, Kristina and a few other colleagues in the national setting completed a mission planning guide for congregations based on the UCC’s popular “Be the Church” banner, which she will share more about during her workshop. Kristina and her spouse Ali live in Aurora, Colorado.
Be the Church: A Mission Planning Guide for Congregations
Above and beyond developing different programs and activities for the sake of attracting members or increasing tithes, congregations today are called into new ways of being and doing that must seek first to answer the question, “For what deeper purpose?” In other words, what role in God’s mission are you being called to enact and embody as a unique member of Christ’s beloved community? This workshop will introduce participants to a new tool for discernment, mission planning, and assessment based on the UCC’s “Be the Church” framework that will assist congregations in living out their particular missional purpose and direction. Presented by Rev. Dr. Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi.
Mission Trips within the United States
You do not need to go out of the country to find people in need of construction, clean-up, painting, and more. Members of St. Paul UCC in Belleville travel locally and regionally to bring mission through their church and through other organizations or directly to the people in need. Presented by Roger Harris, Belleville St. Paul UCC.
Ecuador Partnership - Mission in Action
Several church groups from Illinois South Conference have traveled to Ecuador to help with Habitat Builds. Find out the dollars you need to participate and the life-changing experiences you will receive. Presented by Lee-Alison Wilson, Belleville St. Paul UCC and Rev. John Holst, Marion Zion UCC.
Finding Mission in Your Own Community
Whether it is working at the local food pantry, finding a local resident in need, or working with your city to provide a project to complete, there is always a place where your community will appreciate a helping hand(s). Presented by Rev. Katie-Jo Bielke
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Community meals can serve as a way to encourage a mission of feeding the hungry and present a social time for the members and prospective members of your church. Grant writing to support your community meal will be discussed. Presented by a panel of Dana Callahan, Collinsville St. John's Evangelical UCC; Sandy Ritter, Belleville St. Paul UCC; Carol Meeks, Edwardsville St. Paul UCC.
Carry Out or Delivery?
Many youth do not have enough to eat on week days, weekends and/or through the summer. Churches can run programs to handle this problem without embarrassment to the children. Let's make sure no one is left hungry. Presented by a panel of Laurie Crelly, Brighton St. John UCC; Missy Loyet, Highland Evangelical UCC; and Carol Shanks, Cahokia Bethel UCC.
2018 Workshops Continued
How Does Your Garden Grow?
America has garden fever and faith communities are getting involved. Gardens are springing up in church parking lots, vacant lots that have stood empty for years, and even on rooftops. The most common motivation for faith-based community gardens is the opportunity to provide locally grown, healthy food to those in need. Others are motivated by the desire to heal our earth. A community garden is not just a place to grow food. It is a way to express our faith and interact with God and God's creation. It's a mission of education as well as feeding those in need. Presented by Margie Lindhorst, Pastor Norma Patterson and Milton Jones.
Shelter in Times of Trouble
There are times when a person with a broken heart, a battered body, and/or no possessions to his/her name needs a place to lay down for the night to refresh. The church can help their brothers and sisters in need. Find out how your church can be a part of the healing process. Presented by Pastor Cory Hartz and members of Belleville Trinity UCC
Setting a Healthy Table for All
This workshop will look at how churches can start, engage and be a part of the Healthy Eating for All Movement. Come and learn about what is healthy eating for all and its impact on the health and wellness of the individuals and communities, how churches can engage and support healthy food choices for those with limited incomes and rely on food pantry foods, and ways in which the healthy food movement can reach young adults in service. Presented by Rev. Donna Pupillo, Deaconess Nurse Ministries.
The Story - Making Disciples
The "greatest story every told" is more than just a cliche. God goes to great lengths to rescue lost and hurting people. That is what The Story is all about: the story of the Bible, God’s great love affair with humanity. Do the people in your congregation actually know The Story? Can they see how it all fits together? Would you like for your congregation to see themselves as a living part of The Story? This workshop will introduce you to Zondervan's book The Story, and share with you one church's experience with it. Presented by Rev. Earl Crecelius, Freeburg St. Paul's UCC.
Growing Church Membership With Older Adult Ministries
Discuss effective ministry models, learn the power of purpose and the unique gifts older adults bring to the multi-generational church through exploration of biblical perspectives, and discovery of cultural myths about aging. Share your own experiences, perspectives and ideas about older adults, for developing intentional programs. Presented by Jan Aerie, MS, gerontologist, family counselor, former UCC national staff member.
The Mission of Being an Open & Affirming Congregation
Becoming an Open & Affirming congregation can be a joyful mission outreach experience for your congregation. This workshop will discuss why an intentional welcome to the LGBTQ community is important and what the first steps are for starting an Open & Affirming process. The more you reach beyond your walls, the more you find we are all really the same. Come join the discussion. Presented by Dr. Jill Baker, ISC Vice-Moderator