Widening the Welcome:  Inclusion for All - September 23-25, 2010 - St. Louis, Missouri
2010 Conference Speakers/Presenters
Nancy C. Kehoe, RSCJ, PhD., is a clinician well known for her work with persons who have a mental illness/brain disorder, with more than 25 years of experience incorporating religious belief and spirituality and their role in treatment. She is Clinical Instructor in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at The Cambridge Health Alliance, affiliated with Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart. Her book is, “Wrestling with our Inner Angels: Faith, Mental Illness, and the Journey to Wholeness.” Her Keynote is: “Come to Me All You Who Labor and Are Heavily Burdened."
Dr. Debbie Creamer is the Assistant Professor of Theological Bibliography at Iliff School of Theology, Denver, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. She is co-chair and a founding member of the Religion and Disability Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion, and is the Associate Editor of the “Journal of Religion, Disability, and Health.” She is the author of “Disability and Christian Theology: Embodied Limits and Constructive Possibilities,” a book that encourages thought in new ways about categories like ability and disability.
Featured Leaders
The Rev. Geoffrey A. Black was elected General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ in June 2009. Prior to that, he served as Conference Minister of the UCC's New York Conference for nine years beginning in 2000. Geoffrey Black previously served as a Minister for Church Life and Leadership with the then-Office for Church Life and Leadership (currently Parish Life and Leadership), a national agency of the United Church of Christ housed at the UCC's national offices in Cleveland, Ohio. Ecumenical commitment, concern for equal justice, African-American empowerment, and community improvement have shaped Black's ministry in the church and in the communities in which he has lived.
The Rev. Craig Rennebohm is a UCC pastor who has worked for the last 23 years on the streets with individuals who are homeless and struggling with serious mental illness, substance abuse issues and PTSD. He is the author of Souls in the Hands of a Tender God, and will be leading a series of three workshops on creating caring congregations.
The Rev. Dr. Jane Fisler Hoffman is a graduate of Eden Theological Seminary and has served in the United Church of Christ as lay leader, pastor, Association Minister and most recently for 10 years as a Conference Minister in two conferences. She and her husband Milt live in Kansas City, MO and are proud parents and grandparents. From her work with hundreds of congregations and pastors, Jane has become committed to increasing awareness and action among clergy and church folks about mental illness.
The Rev. Bob Molsberry is Conference Minister for the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ. A wheelchair-user since a 1997 hit-and-run accident, Bob is the author of two books on adjusting to the culture of disability: “Blindsided by Grace: Entering the World of Disability” and “Tour de Faith: A Cyclist’s Lessons for Living.” He is former vice chair for UCC Disabilities Ministries. Bob is an avid athlete and enjoys competing in marathon and triathlon events.
Vel Garner is past Director of the Gilliam Youth Services Center and Associate Director of the Division of Youth Corrections in Denver and was responsible for all of Program and Treatment Services for the entire state of Colorado. She is a charter member of the Colorado Black Nurses organization, a founding member of N.U.R.S.E.S. of Colorado, a support group for nurses with substance abuse problems; and has published numerous health care related articles and chapters in diverse clinical books. She has a M.S. in Nursing Administration, Doctorate in Public Administration, Policy, Public Management in progress. She received the University of Colorado Lifetime Achievement in Nursing Award.
Peter Bauer, LCSW-Licensed Clinical Social Worker and LMFT-Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Chief, Department of Social work, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Fort Hood,TX.
The Rev. Dr. David Greenhaw, UCC, is serving as President and Professor of Preaching and Worship at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Greenhaw will reflect on how individual and communal memories both constrain us and empower us.
The Rev. Jeanne Ann Tyler is a co-pastor with her husband John to the folks of Saint Paul United Church of Christ. John and Jeanne have two adult sons who live in St. Paul, MN. Jeanne is a person with life-long disabilities and an acquired one within the last few years. She has chosen to understand the life-long ones as gifts and burdens. Jeanne’s interests are in theology, pastoral care and opera.
R. Jeffrey Pollock - Jeff is an attorney practicing law in Cleveland, Ohio. Jeff holds a master's degree from Harvard Divinity School and a law degree from Northeastern University. He has been active in the national and local settings of the United Church of Christ. Jeff devotes pro bono services to legal issues
relating to mental health.
The Reverend Aqueelah As-Salaam is the pastor of the First Church of North Miami Congregational UCC in North Miami Florida. She served as a Military Officer for 11 years in the United States Army. Aqueelah has a certificate in Health Care Ethics and a certificate in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD. She has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia, and she currently serves on our national UCC board for Justice and Witness.
In 1992 the Rev. Bob Dell and the Rev. Ellen Hiatt co-founded the United Church of Christ Mental Illness Network. At each General Synod recognition is given to a church or individual for ministry in mental illness. The Award is known as the Bob and Joyce Dell award. Bob now continues his ministry as Chair of “Pathways to Promise.
Chairs of the Hosting Organizations
Peggy Wolfe Dunn is the current chair of the UCC Disabilities Ministries Board, with a commitment to raising the awareness of the A2A (accessible to all) mandate through all aspects of the church. Peggy is ordained in the UCC and is the director of the Maine Conference Academy for Congregational Life and Leadership.
Alan Johnson is the current chair of the UCC Mental Illness Network, who is the chair of his church’s Mental Health Ministry and cofounder of the Interfaith Network on Mental Illness, an outreach program of National Alliance on Mental Illness-Boulder County. He worked in the national setting of the UCC from 1979-1995 and is the author of “Encounters at the Counter: What Congregations can learn about Hospitality from Business.”

Conference Planning Team

Bob Dell, Sandwich, IL
Bridget Smith, Plymouth, IN
Carol Ahrens, Freeport, IL
Carrie Bail, Williamstown, MA
Susan King Forbes, St. Louis, MO
Craig Rennebohm, Seattle, WA
Jeanne Ann Tyler, Keokuk, IA
Kirk Moore, Somonauk, IL
Michelle Hintz, Cleveland, OH
Barbara Baylor, Cleveland, OH
Vel Garner, Denver, CO
Aqueelah As-Salaam, FL
Norma Mengel, St. Paul, MN
Peggy Dunn, Bowdoinham, ME
Peter Bauer, Ft. Hood, TX
Alan Johnson, Boulder, CO
Tom Haller, St. Louis, MO

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