'Open Arms' conference set for April

An “Open Arms” Leadership Conference, focusing on starting congregations with childcare ministries, will be held April 30-May 2 at Christ the Shepherd Lutheran Church in Alpharetta, Ga., site of the Synod’s first “church-planting-with-childcare” model.

This year’s conference, sponsored by the Open Arms Institute, Loveland, Colo., will feature two learning tracks — one for those who are interested in starting a congregation with a childcare facility, and one for leaders of existing Open Arms ministries.

Dr. Shirley Morgenthaler will speak on “Early Childhood Education — An Open Door for the Church.”  Morgenthaler, chair of the Teacher Education Department at Concordia University, River Forest, Ill., also will lead sessions for childcare directors.  Other speakers include Dr. Robert Scudieri, associate executive director of the national mission team with LCMS World Mission, and Dennis Klussman, vice president of the Lutheran Church Extension Fund for the Missouri District.

Conference sessions will address church planting, quality in Christian childcare and financial issues.  Separate workshops will be available for pastors, childcare directors, board chairpersons and district executives.

Participants will review the new Open Arms Directors Guide, Financial Procedures Manual and Personnel Manual.  Open Arms member ministries will receive copies of the manuals.

Registration by the April 7 deadline is $155 for those representing a member ministry of the Open Arms Institute, and $185 for non-members.  After that date, registration is $195 for Open Arms members and $235 for non-members.  The registration fee includes four meals and a banquet.

For more information, or to register, contact Martin Barlau, executive director of the Open Arms Institute, at (970) 667-3249 or openarmsinstitute@msn.com.  Or visit the Open Arms Web site at Open Arms Institute (click on “Conferences”).

Posted Feb. 13, 2004

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