Plenary and Workshop Synopses

EMCC 2022


Loving God, your neighbor, yourself and your enemy


Plenary Synopses

Harry Hoffmann: Loving God

Since being interrogated and deported in 2018 from the Asian host nation he was serving in for over 20 years, Harry lost his home, ministry, staff and a lot more. ‘Loving God’ takes different forms of expression in a crisis. Harry will present five of these expressions and warns member care practitioners to ‘do no harm’.

Mihai Lundell: Loving Your Neighbor

The second greatest command that Jesus gave us was to love our neighbor as ourselves. In this plenary we will look at how failing to understand and follow this simple, yet utterly complex command has led to a world of conflict, and especially in our context, a fractured Europe. We will briefly look at how the definition and physical makeup of “our neighbor” has changed dramatically over the past 25 years in Europe and how globalization has led to new challenges in reaching out and loving our neighbors. Moreover, we will be challenged in this plenary to look closely at the neighbor that is hard for each of us to recognize and love before touching upon practical methods and examples of how to love our neighbor in a very multicultural Europe.

Christine Schuppener: Loving Yourself

Love myself in the midst of very challenging situations? How can this be done? What possibilities do I have? We find interesting references to this in the Bible. There are also inspiring examples in church history. We often wish to find an inner resting place in the midst of chaos and challenges of life. Loving Yourself is an important key to this.

Anne Reitsema: Loving Your Enemy

“It’s by our love for each other they will know we are his disciples”. This is easy to say and hard to live 24/7 in high stress team settings. Everyone is created in God’s image. How do we draw that image out of others? How do we help each other be better, especially those we might consider an enemy? We don’t have the luxury of writing each other off. We are called to love everyone, including our enemies. We don’t do this in our own strength!

Workshop Synopses


Alex Galloway: Loving God in times of suffering
How do we come alongside workers struggling with deep, overwhelming suffering? This interactive and experiential workshop will help us more clearly articulate a healthy theology of suffering for ourselves so we can more genuinely and confidently be God’s instruments of Hope and Peace. We will focus on tools to address our own suffering as a means of “comforting those with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

Alex Galloway: Loving ourselves in a world of conflict
How to attend to and recover from the ravages of caregiving. In this interactive and experiential workshop, we will take a closer look at the effects caring for workers has had on our mind, heart, body and soul; and then discover ways to address burnout, recover from vicarious traumatization and live with more freedom and resiliency. 

Anne Reitsema: Conflict resolution and forgiving your enemy
How do we draw God’s image out of each other? Why is forgiveness so important and how do we give and receive it? What is our inner narrative? The role of trust building and a secure base in dealing with conflict. 

Christian Quartier: Loving your family – parents/children/TCKs when conflicts arise
The aim of this workshop is to tackle causes that bring conflict, tension and sometimes emotional, relational, and spiritual separation and distress in families. And to discuss ways families can love one another, believe in one another, and bless one another.  

Christian Quartier: The impact of a crisis and our duty of care
The aim of this workshop is to reflect and discuss the impact of a critical incident happening to the field personnel on mission partners like home/sending office staff; Crisis Management Teams; sending church and partners; Ex-field staff. And to reflect on and discuss the duty of care (responsibilities, possibilities, and limitations) we have as organization and member care personnel. We will be looking at different cases and reflect on what could / could not be our responsibilities as organizations, member care personnel in this growing field.

Christine Schuppener: Loving yourself too little
Those who love themselves too little are more likely to break down in the face of great challenges. In this workshop, we will look at seven resilience factors. They are called bamboo factors. Bamboo is very strong and can withstand great storms. It bends a lot but does not break. Together we will discover what this can mean for you and how you can apply that in everyday life.

Egbert and Susan: Loving spiritual direction
In Romans 12 we are invited to fix our attention on God so that we’ll be changed from the inside out. (MSG) But how do we fix our attention on God in the chaotic and divisive world we find ourselves in today where so many things are calling for and demanding our time and attention? And how do the workers we accompany? How can we – and they – be still and know that He is God? Spiritual direction is one way to cultivate deep knowing of God. It is an ancient form of pastoral care, where one believer accompanies another, to examine the substance, nature and actual experience of the God-human relationship. It is often said that in spiritual direction we are dusting for the fingerprints of God in another’s life. Now more than ever God’s people are hungry for deeper intimacy with the Triune God and long to hear His voice more clearly. In this experiential workshop, we will slow down and look more closely at what spiritual direction is and why it is an effective means of pastoral care for global workers.

Harry Hoffmann: Loving God in the midst of crisis
Betrayed, falsely accused, forgotten, used and manipulated… a typical missionary biography. Much like mine. Plus, I was interrogated and deported. Much like Joseph’s biography in Genesis 37. Plus he was imprisoned. I will visualize Joseph’s life for you, his many crises, what he learned and how he got out of each of them. I want you to find yourself in his story line. I want you to place the people you care for into his story line. And together we learn what good member care and ‘Loving God’ means in each phase of Josephs, your and my story.

Harry Hoffmann: Loving Nationals
In a time of crises many cross cultural workers can or must go home to safety but their colleagues/friends/co-workers’ “Nationals” must stay, as it is their passport country. Should they stay to be with their national friends and believers? Should they provide active care from afar? Or should they just “let go and let God!”? Together we will explore the various lines of responsibilities, duty of care, emotional processes and biblical examples in regards to good Member Care for nationals in times of crisis.

John Harris: Loving change
Change – chaos and change have been with us in this most uncertain of times – some embrace it, a few try to deny it, some resist it, while others endure it. No matter how we experience it there is no denying change can be both exciting as well as deeply uncomfortable. This workshop will explore the nature of change and how to navigate it more healthily and perhaps, even love it. 

John Harris: Loving creation
In a world where chaos exists, I believe we need to cultivate the practice of seeing the beauty that is in creation. This workshop will explore ways we can engage with creation through the Bible and in practice in a way that helps bring life, joy and a smile.  

Maria Techow: Screening and assessment – getting to know the candidates
In this workshop we will have a look at the why and how we make a psychological screening of personality for missionary candidates. Why is it important to have a closer look at a candidates personality and skills before sending him or her to the mission field? What kind of aspects do we look at? What other external aspects do we take into consideration? How do we assess? How can a psychological screening be used before entering the mission field, during the time in mission, and in preparation for reentry? What about the ethical issues? The workshop is for everyone in member care working with recruitment and screening.

Marion Knell: Loving Refugees – Culturally Informed Care
We are all familiar with the Biblical injunction to love the alien and the stranger (Deut.19:24; Matt. 25:34-36). But what is the refugee’s love deficit? What does culturally informed member care look like? And how can we best support those ministering among refugees? This workshop will be interactive with case studies and tools.

Maryann Richard: Navigating Retirement in a World of Chaos & Calm
Retirement is a time of significant change for the us and those we are closely connected to. Christians are divorcing – how can we prevent ourselves from being in this sad statistic? We’ll think through our strengths, weaknesses, expectations, and ability to cope & work with change, control & lack of control and disappointment. This transition period often activates stuck areas of our life that need dealing with so that we can live more kindly with ourselves & others and move more in-tune with God. 

Mihai Lundell: Loving the marginalized
In this workshop we will first look at the changing face of Europe today and discuss who are the marginalized in our ministry contexts while answering the questions of why certain groups are marginalized and why ministry to them can be difficult.  Second, we will discuss why those ministering to the marginalized are so often burnt out, suffering from fatigue, frustration and loneliness. As Member Care providers, we will have group interaction where we share tools and resources for coming alongside those ministering to the marginalized.

Mihai Lundell and Amrei Wehmeyer: Loving your single teammates
We will look at the perceptions, assumptions and challenges of singles and marrieds working together in multi-situational teams. Biblically based, research driven, story-rich, practical and interactive workshop that identifies challenges facing married and single persons working together. As we look at organizational weaknesses and team dynamics, leaders and member care practitioners can learn what some of the differences are between single and married people’s perspectives on policies and practices that at times can seem biased.

Rafael Năstase: Loving Gypsies in times of chaos
Roma (Gypsy) people are for nearly eight hundred years on the European continent. Chaos, ignorance, hate, and misunderstanding were familiar parts of the Gypsies history. Roma people experienced exile, nomadism, slavery, and mass extermination. Now, over ten to fourteen million are living in Europe, experiencing over seventy years of ongoing spiritual, social and intellectual transformations. In this workshop Rafael will present a personal (as Roma-native) perspective on Christian approach to understanding and dealing with Romani people in Europe.

Rafael Năstase: Loving your international team
Challenges and opportunities in multicultural teams. We are living in a global village. The face of mission has changed and mission teams are more “colourful”. This is so exciting and so challenging at the same time as we bring to the same table spiritual behavior, values, customs but also burdens. We will discuss different cultural particularities and discover the key of serving in a multicultural team.

Reidun Haugen Dalseth: Loving your team member through listening, mentoring and coaching
The behavior that most clearly communicates love, care, and respect is listening. Yet, sometimes the mission worker feel that they are not really understood – or that what they share does not lead to changes. In this workshop we will look at how mentoring and coaching can be tools to promote active listening, help clarify goals, explore issues and encourage the worker to make decisions that help them move forward in their personal calling and ministry.

Sandra Menges: Dealing with a crisis – how to prepare and sustain a team through crisis’
Traumatic experiences and crises have become part of the new normal. It has also been proven that a team, prepared for crisis, deals better with the experience, the aftermath and the recovery process. This is true for disasters, catastrophes and crises. How can we prepare well for any eventuality and how can we help our team through the experience? This workshop will give you effective, practical skills that is easily implemented and passed on to others.

Sandra Menges: Loving others (incl. families) through crisis
A person/family I care for is in crisis. What can I do to help them? This is a basic question that leaves many people helpless. Learn how to give people immediate help within the first hours of a crisis. This workshop includes how children experience crisis (and what they need to be able to come through well), and how to support people whose loved ones are in crisis on the other side of the world.

Sandra Menges: Loving your partner of a different culture: Intercultural Marriage in Missions
Caring for the couples/families on the field who are married interculturally have a few extra dimensions. This will be an interactive workshop where we will name problems and find solutions together. We will look at the complete missionary life cycle from recruitment to return/retirement, including furloughs.

Sandra Menges & Rafael Năstase: How do we deal with sexuality and gender questions?
A practical workshop that will help you as a church/organisation think through what to be aware of while dealing with Member Care issues relating to sexuality and gender. We will discuss cultural, legal, biblical, ministry and practical issues around the topic.

Stefana Racorean: Loving people with a mental health disorder
Mental disorders are starting more and more to be part of the conversation, in the society and in the church. Still, at times the church fails to be a safe refuge for people dealing with the suffering resulted from such disorders due to our limited understanding of mental disorders. This workshop will present a Christian approach to understanding and dealing with mental disorders and will discuss practical ways in which we can love our neighbors suffering from mental disorders.


N.B.  Due to limited spaces, participants will need to sign up for workshops in advance in order to prevent overcrowding. Bookings will be accepted on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. If you are participating in the EMCC, you had until March 16th to register for the workshops. If you have not signed up, you can choose the workshops where space is still available when you arrive at the hotel. The lists will be at the EMCC registration desk. 


EMCC 2022 information