2020 Building Bridges Academy - annual local church leader training!
Saturday, February 8, 2020 - 8:30am to 3:00pm
Sponsored by the Miami Valley District.

Building Bridges Academy – Saturday, February 8th @ UTS, 8:30am – 3pm
Navigate 2020 with more clarity in your ministry!

Join us for our annual local church leader training!  

Its only $10 for lunch and two workshops (exception $21 additional for Conflict Resolution Workshop).

Key Note:  Change: You Are Your Own GPS - Valarie Willis

Navigating through change is never without a few detours along the way.  Discover how you approach change and strategies for guiding yourself through change.

Valarie is a member of Gaines United Methodist Church, Cincinnati, OH.  She has served as SPRC chair, Financial Secretary, Children’s church leader, Disciple Facilitator and VBS teacher.  Currently, Valarie is a lay servant and church facilitator, and chair of Membership. Valarie also teaches team building, leadership and coaches local churches.  Additionally, Valarie serves on GCFA, and on the North Central Jurisdiction’s Episcopacy Committee and leads their prayer ministry. Previously, she was President of CFA and co-lay leader for West Ohio Conference, and served on the Council of Development.

Valarie is the owner of a boutique consulting firm, specializing in leadership development and organizational development.

Valarie holds a MBA from Xavier University and a B.A. from Wilmington College. She is a member of the National Speakers Association.

  • Conflict: Ram Rod or Roll Over: Is there a better way. – Valarie Willis - Most people want to avoid conflict, so they either push too hard for what they want, or they avoid speaking up for what they need.  Recognize your conflict management style, and how to better handle conflict. (Additional $21 charge for an assessment)
  • Run the church office like a Boss!  Administrative tips to maximize your time doing paperwork.  – Terri McClain
  • Ad Board/Lead Team - An effective model in both scenarios. how you decide which is best for you.
  • Trustee – Chris Hogan (afternoon only) – Governance and the Local Church.
  • Money Talks - Join us in a conversation about best practices when it comes to budgeting and raising funds within your local church setting.  Also, we want to answer the questions you have and will leave time in the session to address them.- Roz and Callie Picardo
  • Lay Leader – Panel Format - All you need to know about being a Lay Leader - Dan Vanoli (facilitator), Sue Neves
  • Safe Sanctuaries – Wendy Lybarger
  • From Franchise to local dive - Jason Moore and Rosario Picardo for a workshop based on their forthcoming book book From Franchise to Local Dive: Multiplying Your Church by Discovering Your Contextual Flavor. This event is designed to help you multiply your ministry by learning how to perfect your winning recipe.
  • 5 Things Your Visitors Are Thinking But Won’t Ask? – Jason Moore Without really meaning to be, many churches are blind to the visitor experience. From unspoken rituals, to maze-like facilities, worship can be very intimidating for guests. Jason Moore, consultant and frequent “secret worshiper”, will guide you through the top 5 questions on the minds of visitors, and how to more effectively invite them into an experience worth returning to. Radically hospitality is within the reach of any and every church. This workshop is perfect for pastors, worship leaders, ushers, greeters and children’s ministry servants and more.
  • Special Friends – What the church looks like when everyone, regardless of abilities, is embraced as a fully functioning member of the body of Christ - Stillwater, Sue Hey & Jon Ferguson
  • Living Jesus’s Vision with Justice-Involved Women - If your 2020 vision includes ministering with vulnerable women, come sharpen your discipleship skills and discover a clear pathway for mentoring at Dayton Correctional Institution – Reba Collins (morning only)
  • Care Ministry: The Good Samaritan Model - This workshop will enhance your care ministry to those who have been a victim, witness, or knows a participant of a crime.- Reba Collins (afternoon only)
  • Partnering for Mission and Ministry –  learn from your peers and their experiences, Panel Format - Travis Qualls & Kenya.
  • Suicide Awareness & Prevention/Anxiety, Depression - Lori Reiber


  • 8:30-9am: registration
  • 9 – 9:30am: welcome, devotion, song
  • 9:30 – 10:30: keynote
  • 15 minutes break
  • 10:45 – 12:30 – session 1
  • 45 minutes for lunch
  • 1:15-3pm – session 2
Location Name: 
United Theological Seminary
Terri McClain
$10 for lunch & $21 for Conflict Resolution Workshop, if selected