IEC2015logo horizontal


Session Descriptions



Thursday June 25  Not part of the Gathering but a recommended pre-Gathering activity! CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS.
7:00pm-9:00 pm Concert to End Homelessness, a benefit for St. Stephen's Human Sevices
Featuring David Haas, Fr. Jan Michael Joncas, and Marty Haugen
St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 4030 Pilot Knob Road, Eagan, MN 55122 (we will have a bus from Concordia)

Thursday June 25

10:00am-5:00pm Registration Open [Pearson Commons]


Friday June 26 Pre-Gathering

7:30am-8:30am Welcome Coffee and Rolls [Buenger Education Center]

8:30am-10:00am Catholic Social Teaching: We Speak and Act for Dignity and Justice [Buenger Education Center]
There are many reasons to do good, or provide charity. The richness of Catholic Social Teaching is grounded in the dignity and humanity of all persons and our responsibility for the common welfare and creation. Join Sarah Spengeman, Policy Education Manager at NETWORK Lobby for Justice, to learn and discuss our Catholic heritage and teachings and the "preferential option for the poor" which calls us to follow Jesus not through charity alone but in solidarity with our poor neighbors. Sarah will present a concise explanation of key elements of Catholic Social Teaching with plenty of time to answer questions and share experiences.

After this session, we will depart campus to volunteer in your choice of service or learning opportunities. A box lunch or simple meal will be provided. Transportation to nearby locations will be by public transportation, in solidarity with the people we serve. Transportation to more distant locations will be by car or chartered bus, in order to be most practical with our time. A small portion of the fee for the pre-gathering will cover transportation and lunch, while the remainder will be donated to the volunteer sites to help defray their time and costs for our visits.

10:00am-11:15am Transportation (cars, buses)

11:15am-2:15pm Social Justice Involvement [various locations--see below]
Take action by serving our neighbors in a way that uses your skills or suits your passion, humor, or extroversion. Read these as listed in alphabetical order, or from the bottom, or randomly! If you have questions, please first contact us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 612-767-4533 before contacting the agencies directly. You will be accompanied by a host from the Gathering, so you won't be alone. Listen for the breath of Jesus in the words of the people you meet. Enjoy your time and know that your service is appreciated almost as much as your care and respect for others. CHOOSE ONE:

      #SJ01 Ascension Place: agency needs (maximum 6 volunteers)
Ascension Place, 1803 Bryant Avenue North, Minneapolis MN
Supportive and Transitional Housing for women with mission to provide women in crisis or transition with a stable environment and opportunity to explore options for their future. Activity would not likely include contact with residents, but would be some type of project to fill agency needs, such as painting, yard work, spruce-up the family room, etc. It will include a brief orientation about background, history and needs of clients.

      #SJ02 Cabrini Partnership: picnic with residents (maximum 6 volunteers)
Cabrini Partnership, at Brook Commons, 919 12th Avenue SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Cabrini Partnership is part of Project for Pride in Living (PPL), a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering low-income people to become self-reliant through integrated services: housing, employment training, support service and education. The activity is to picnic lunch with residents with chemical dependency issues and or mental health challenges living in supportive housing at Cabrini Partnership in Northeast Minneapolis.

      #SJ03 Cookie Cart: make cookies and be interviewed by the cookie makers (maximum 25 volunteers)
Cookie Cart, 1119 West Broadway, Minneapolis MN
Cookie Cart fosters living skills, leadership, and employment skills through a small business for youth to make and sell cookies! The activity is to work alongside employees (15-17 years old). Scoop dough, make boxes, empty trays. At noon the employees interview the volunteers to get practice in selling their product.

      #SJ04 Merrick Community Services: perform chores for seniors or families, work in food shelf, or possible youth program (maximum 8 volunteers)
Merrick Community Services, 965 Payne Avenue, Suite 300, St. Paul MN
Serves 16,000 people a year in St. Paul's East Side providing food shelf, senior, employment and family and youth services in aiding individuals and families in transitioning from poverty to independence. The activity is in St. Paul with specific site dependent upon the project. This may include some chore services for seniors, families, work in food shelf, or possible youth program. 

     #SJ05 Minneapolis Crisis Nursery: make and serve lunch for at-risk toddlers (maximum 6 volunteers)
Minneapolis Crisis Nursery, 4544 4th Ave. S., Minneapolis MN
A nursery for at-risk toddlers. The activity is to make and serve lunch at 12:30pm. Bring groceries which the Gathering will provide. The agency has a video of its work with those 1 to 3 years old.

     #SJ06 The Neighborhood House: re-bag items for food and household distribution (maximum 14 volunteers)
The Neighborhood House (connected to the Wellstone Center), 179 Robie Street East, St. Paul, MN
The Neighborhood House is a settlement house established in 1897, now connected to the Wellstone Center. This is a multi-lingual, multi-cultural organization serving people to end the cycle of poverty by providing food shelf, pre-school, youth and adult education and leadership programs. The activity is to re-bag items for food and household distribution that will take about 2 hours, and then a tour and orientation on Wellstone Center services and programs.

     #SJ07 Peace House: bring your musical instrument to play with Peace House musicians (maximum 3 volunteers)
Peace House, 1816 Portland Av S, Minneapolis MN
Peace House is a mid-day drop-in center for those experiencing homelessness or spending a lot of time on the street. The activity is for you to bring your own instrument (such as keyboard, guitar, or voice) to play with Peace House's two pianists and maybe two guitarists. Jam for an hour and if wanting to play for the whole community, maybe lead a sing-along song. Have meditation and lunch with the community.

     #SJ08 Peace House: conversation with our Spanish community (maximum 6 volunteers)
Peace House, 1816 Portland Av S, Minneapolis MN
Peace House is a mid-day drop-in center for those experiencing homelessness or spending a lot of time on the street. If you have a good facility in Spanish, the activity is to visit with our Spanish community, share meditation and a meal.

     #SJ09 Peace House: basketball in the park (maximum 5 volunteers)
Peace House, 1816 Portland Av S, Minneapolis MN
Peace House is a mid-day drop-in center for those experiencing homelessness or spending a lot of time on the street. The activity is to take a group to the park and play not-too-competitive basketball. Share meditation and a meal.

     #SJ10 Project for Pride in Living: build raised garden beds or install rain gardens (maximum 8 volunteers)
Project for Pride in Living (PPL), [specific site to be determined later], Minneapolis MN
PPL is dedicated to empowering low-income people to become self-reliant through integrated services: housing, employment training, support service and education. The activity is to build raised garden beds or install rain gardens in PPL's green housing initiative in North Minneapolis.

     #SJ11 Second Harvest: pack food parcels, repack large donations (maximum 30 volunteers)
Second Harvest, 6325 Sandburg Rd., Golden Valley MN
Second Harvest receives donated food from many sources and distributes it to those who need it. The activity is to pack food parcels, and repack large donations, to be distributed to 500 locations around Minnesota such as food shelves etc.

     #SJ12 St. Stephen's Human Services: Half a Day in the Life (maximum 16 volunteers)
St. Stephen's Human Services, 2319 Nicollet Avenue S, Minneapolis MN
SSHS (originally founded and still supported by Spirit of St. Stephen's Catholic Community) has 130 employees working to end homelessness. The activity "Half a Day in the Life" is to engage with and be educated by people who have experienced homelessness and extreme poverty by taking a walk to shelters, drop-in centers, and other services to learn about them. Participants will hear personal life-stories, as well as how larger systemic issues such as racism and economic oppression impact people. Participants will reflect the day's events for a deeper understanding of issues of homelessness and why and how they occur, with ways in which they may become more engaged in working to end homelessness. You may encounter viewpoints or situations that are challenging or discomforting. Not all views will reflect the philosophy or practices of St. Stephen's Human Services, but are nonetheless an important part of the A Day in the Life experience. We ask that all participants attend with an inquisitive mind and open heart. [This activity will most likely end later in the afternoon, but in time for you to attend dinner.]

     #SJ13 Women's Advocates, Inc.: bag food/household items, and tour facility and education on needs of battered women/families (maximum 6 volunteers)
Women's Advocates, Inc. 588 Grand Avenue, St. Paul MN
This was the first shelter in the nation for battered women and their children, established in 1974. Provides safe shelter, personalized support, education and aftercare services to over 1,000 battered women and children per year. The activity would not include direct contact with residents or children. You will bag and prepare food/household items for clients, and tour the facility and learn about the needs of battered women/families.

2:15pm-3:30pm (approximately) Transportation (cars, buses) [meet at the Registration Area in Pearson Commons]

3:30pm (approximately)  Arrival at Concordia


Friday June 26 Gathering Day 1

3:00pm-7:00pm Registration Open [Pearson Commons]

3:00pm-7:00pm Commercial Exhibits [Buenger Education Center]

4:00pm-6:00pm Information Tables [Library Technology Center, room 216]

5:30pm-6:30pm Light Supper [dining room/cafeteria]

6:30pm-7:00pm Opening Welcome and Blessing [Buetow Music Center auditorium]

7:00pm-8:30pm Opening Plenary Session - Jamie L. Manson: “You Give them Something to Eat”: Living the Prophetic Call to be Eucharist for One Another [Buetow Music Center auditorium]
Pope Francis has captivated the world with his humility, passion for the poor, and desire to be among the people. But in some ways, the popularity of the pope has distracted us from the vital conversation about the empowerment of the laity. In this opening address, Jamie Manson will highlight how the gospel narratives and the Catholic theological tradition support the practice of Intentional Eucharist Communities. She will explore the ways in which the Catholic understanding of the sacred and the fundamental belief that "God is everywhere" should empower us as laypeople to be a sacramental presence to all people and all of creation.

8:30pm-10:00pm Welcome Reception [dining room/cafeteria]

Saturday June 27 Gathering Day 2

7:00am-9:00am Coffee [dining room/cafeteria]

7:00am-1:30pm Registration Open [Pearson Commons]

7:00am-7:00pm Commercial Exhibits [Buenger Education Center]

8:00am-6:00pm Information Tables [Library Technology Center, room 216]

8:00am-7:00pm Faith Stories (click here to learn more and sign up for a slot) [Meyer Hall, room TBD]

7:30am-8:30am Centering Prayer, or Laughter Yoga , or Music Prayer 

Centering Prayer: Cathy Edwards [room LTC 219]
Start the Day...Quietly.   Centering Prayer is the opening of mind and heart—our whole being—to God, the Ultimate Mystery, beyond thoughts, words and emotions. It is the prayer of silence.
"It is a question of allowing our ordinary thoughts to recede into the background and to float along the river of consciousness without our noticing them . . . We are like someone sitting on the bank of a river and watching the boats go by.. . . the capacity to disregard thoughts as they go by will develop, and a deeper kind of attention will emerge." ~Fr. Thomas Keating OCSO, Open Mind, Open Heart

Laughter Yoga: Sarah Routman [band room]
Let Your Laughter Take Wings!  In this special Prayer-ful Laughter session, Sarah will help us jump-start our day with meaningful laughter-filled prayer.  We laugh for the health of it. No prescription necessary! Participants will hear about the practice of Laughter Yoga interspersed with laughter exercises.  We’ll begin with ‘smile push-ups’ and end with a special laughter meditation. The laughter exercises have been created specifically for the IEC Gathering.  Guaranteed to energize the group and add a giggle to the day! Laughter really is a prayer.  Note: No yoga mat or special clothes required.  Please, come as you are.

Music as Prayer: Sara Thomsen [room MH 318]

7:30-8:45am Breakfast - “Speed Dating” tables for each IEC community [dining room/cafeteria]
Several of the breakfast tables will be identified for a particular IEC community with a representative from that community present. Sit down with any IEC that interests you to ‘meet and greet’ to talk about how other communities work. The representatives will make a 3-5 minute presentation, then facilitate 10-12 minute of discussion. Every 15 minutes, a moderator at the front of the room will announce it's time to move, so you can change tables every 15 minutes.

9:00am -10:30am Breakout Sessions 1*

#1A The Words We Say: We Say What We Mean [room LTC 213]
How do we express our faith and proclaim scripture with authenticity and openness to diversity. Learn about the traditional structure of prayers, the use of spontaneous prayer, the importance of inclusive language, inclusive participation, finding and writing prayers and canons for liturgies.
[Liturgy] Dolly Pomerleau, Maureen Fiedler

#1B IECs: Why Stay Affiliated With a Global Church? [room LTC 218-219]
Jim Moudry will present the relation between spirituality, religion, and an institutional sacramental church.  The vision is one of unity in relational diversity.  Jim, Mary Beth, and Roy will discuss with the participants this vision of church and strategies for reform.  Catholic Coalition for Church Reform/Council of the Baptized, a Minnesota non-profit, working in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, is a growing community of Catholics committed to institutional reform within the universal Roman Catholic Church. Materials on how CCCR/Council of the Baptized has worked at reform in this archdiocese will be available.
[Organization, Theology] Roy Bourgeois, Jim Moudry, Mary Beth Stein

#1C Collective Voices: Sung Prayer at Liturgy [room LTC 217]
Thanks to Vatican II, musical liturgy is normative, an equal partner in the prayer of the Body of Christ.  But what if your faith community is small or seems to lack talent or wants to sing but does not know how to begin?  This session will share ideas, best practices, resources and more than a few songs to help your community answer questions of where, why, and how to incorporate music into your prayer.
[Liturgy] Sara Thomsen, Marilaurice Hemlock

#1E We are Many People: Nurturing Diversity and Fostering Everyone’s Gifts [band room]
Many IECs have grown up to make community in circumstances that did not fit easily into a local parish model.  Nurturing different gifts more fully has provided energy for forming and continuing these communities.  To what extent do communities need to be homogenous in order to work, or can the joy of Christ be contagious with diversity?  What experiences can be shared among these communities and with the wider Church about recognizing what feels like exclusion and welcoming a diversity of people into communities that better nourish their many different gifts?"
[Liturgy, Organization] Chris Egbulem, Jane Via , Jeannine Gramick, Hillary Howes, Michael Tegeder, Spiritus Christi Church (invited)

#1F Who Writes the Check? Business Models for an Accountable IEC [room MH 315]
We have a responsibility to our communities and our government to operate efficiently and openly. Come learn about ways to organize legally as church or non-profit, manage finances, insurance, taxes, and space. We will have lots of sample handouts.
[Organization] Henry Bromelkamp, Jim Fifield, Communitas (invited), John Mooney, Spiritus Christi Church (invited)
View/print session slides
View/print session handouts

#1G Two Visions: Research Reveals the Political realities of a Changing Church [room MH 321]
In his 1991 book Culture Wars, James Davison Hunter wrote about the two distinct visions of the good society, one grounded in strict orthodoxy based on an inerrant bible which contains all the rules needed to achieve a heavenly reward; the second vision derives more from the enlightenment and a faith and reason approach to life; scientific research is appreciated, and truth is sought out, not all repackaged. Explore how his visions are now found not only in our politics but also in the Roman Catholic Church, with what implications.
[Organization] William D’Antonio

#1H Communities Outside the Hierarchy: Exodus to the Promised Land? [room LTC 214-215]
Some IECs aren't or don't consider themselves part of the formal structure of the Roman Catholic Church. Some were formed independently, others went through some type of separation and journey to their current status. Come hear from a panel of people who will share their story and answer questions about the feelings and meaning, not only the facts, of their IEC's independence.
[Organization] Charles Clark, Ed Flahavan, Jeffrey Ford, Julie Powell-Mohr

10:30am-11:00am Break (on your own)

11:00am-12:30pm: Saturday Plenary Session: Roger Haight: Meals With Jesus Along the Way: A Theological Spirituality for IECs [Buetow Music Center auditorium]
This talk begins with the story of the emergence of the Eucharist as a ritual meal. It describes what went on during it. It then suggests that Eucharistic celebration today should reconnect with the earliest disciples and points out various ways in which what we do today is analogous to the original Christian communities on the way.
View/print session slides

12:30pm-1:30pm Lunch: Sandwich Tables [dining room/cafeteria]

Saturday 1:30pm-3:00pm Breakout Sessions 2*

#2A Breaking Open the Word: Two Experiences Living the Gospel – the Preacher’s Voice [room LTC 218-219]
Preachers are called forth by their faith communities. Based on the impact of that call on liturgical preachers, Patricia and Fred Baumer will discuss fundamental principles for those called to preach on human life through the Scriptural lens. Maureen Fiedler will offer another way of breaking open the Word through a guided discussion or dialogue in which the Spirit may or may not surprise you. Both models can enrich our worship and our journey.
[Liturgy] Fred and Patricia Baumer; Maureen Fiedler
View/print session handout
View/print session leader bios

#2B Songs for Celebrating the Liturgy of Life [room MH 318]
An interactive session where participants will join in singing songs written by Miriam Therese Winter and will hear some of the stories behind them.
[Liturgy] Miriam Therese Winter

#2C Tasting the Reign of God: The Meal Ministry of Jesus [room LTC 214-215]
Learn about the first Eucharist and practice of it in early church. Explore meal customs in the first century, asking who ate what with whom; when and how they did so and what it meant to them; examine the meals associated with Jesus, posing the same questions. Jesus' meal ministry founds and critiques contemporary Christian worship. Sharing the Lord's Table at Eucharist exemplifies and challenges Christian life.
[Theology] Fr. Jan Michael Joncas

#2D Where’s the bread? Let’s set the Table [room LTC 213]
For powerful prayer, we need to have everything in its place. Come hear and talk with a panel about ideas and best practices on how to organize setup, worship aids, bulletins, linens, vessels, bread, stewardship, sound, lighting environment, and space.
[Liturgy, Organization] Maureen Mancuso, Gloria Mog, Jane Via, Mary Antonia Wilmes

#2E Go Forth, Feed My Sheep: From Food Shelves to the White House [band room] 
Look at social justice two ways, restorative and distributive. What does “Love your neighbor” really look like? Discuss the pros, cons, and ‘how to’ of political activism and learn why an IEC can tackle problems that regular parishes might not.
[Theology] Jamie L. Manson, Sara Spengeman, Pat Schaffer, John Veldhuis

#2F Young Souls, Young Hearts, Young Minds: Children’s Education [room LTC 217]
What is it that small communities transmit to their children, and to the broader Church and to society?  Come dialogue with a panel that includes young people who have grown up in small communities as well as community members familiar with programs directed toward the education and initiation of younger members.  The panel's reflection will include how worship and service environments have helped shaped the growth and experience of the younger members of the community.
[Organization] Clyde Christofferson, Chris Egbulem, Henry Egbulem, Erica Sherwood, Sharon Powell

#2G A Song is Somewhere to Begin [room MH 321]
Come join in singing simple and compelling songs from around the world, songs of justice and peace, songs of hope and longing, songs of ritual and celebration. Singing opens the heart, re-enchants the spirit, deepens prayer. Come reclaim the joy of singing as a human birthright. No previous singing or music reading experience required. Whether you are a music leader, or a music lover, come plant a new song in your heart. Songs sung with intention, like seeds planted with care, can take root in an individual or community and flower into unexpected fruits: simple joy, healing balm, increased sensitivity, awe and wonder, a re-enchanted and revitalized spirit, a grounding and centeredness, a deepening of compassion.
[Liturgy] Sara Thomsen

#2H Women in Liturgy and Ritual [room MH 315]
Women have played a unique role in liturgy in our IECs and in small faith groups of women. Learn about both models - where women are fully integrated into liturgy and where the liturgy is led by and for women. It’s more than just doing what the guys did.
[Liturgy] Diann Neu

3:00pm-3:30pm Break (on your own)

Saturday 3:30pm-5:00pm Breakout Sessions 3*

#3A Primacy of Conscience, IEC Perspective [band room] 
We know, we really know what is what, what is right and what isn’t. So then, what to do and how to do it? We will identify everyday conscience calls, learn to recognize them, and discuss how to listen to our consciences, and hear what they are telling us.
[Theology] Roy Bourgeois, Dolly Pomerleau

#3B Transition: Building Bridges to a Better Church [room LTC 214-215]
Pope Francis may be bridge builder ("pontifex") in chief these days, and for that we should be grateful.  But building bridges that reach out in the service of Christ to people not adequately served by the Church has been a challenge for a long time and continues to be a challenge.  To what extent are IECs on the boundaries, building bridges on behalf of the Church or demonstrating the need for the institutional Church to build bridges?  Come hear Sr. Jeannine Gramick talk with canon lawyer Jim Coriden about the possibilities and limits of building bridges to a better Church."
[Theology] Jim Coriden, Sr. Jeannine Gramick

#3C Celebrating Together: Sacraments, Funerals, and Feasts, Oh My! [room LTC 213]
Special times and events in the lives of community members offer a unique opportunity to honor and celebrate the sacred journey we are on together.
Representatives from three IEC communities (NOVA, Spirit of St. Stephen’s, and Des Moines Intentional Eucharistic Community) will share their experiences with planning and executing distinctive liturgies, blessings, receptions, etc. for a variety of important life events. 
[Liturgy] Mona Gude, Gloria Mog, Marilaurice Hemlock
View/print session slides.

#3D Nuts and Bolts of Making It Work: Models, Decision Making, and Governance of IECs [room MH 318]
IECs come in various shapes and sizes. This session will explore different IEC models, how group decisions are made, the way various IECs operate and are governed, and perspectives on how being "intentional" fits into all of this.
[Organization] Steve Gude, Trudy Conrad, John Mooney, Maureen Mancuso
View/print session slides

#3E “Gathering” vs “Being Sent”: Living the Gospel, Stages of IEC Development [room MH 321]
Rev. Dr. Bernard Lee has long reminded us that it is not enough to gather, that is, for example, at Mass regularly. If we only gather, and that is all we do for the next six plus days, we are not living the Gospel. Pope Francis has been striving to help us see more clearly the need to be sent, and the multiple ways in which and by which we can be sent.
[Theology] Bill D’Antonio

#3F Twenty-first Century Parchment: Technology That Binds Us [room MH 315]
We are the church and we live in modern times. Just as we use technology to communicate, pay, share, and research in our families and workplace, we can use the same tools for our faith communities.  Come learn and share about web sites, social media, advertising, email groups, voicemail, online meetings (even liturgy), e-contributions, and other ways that we gather two or more.
[Organization] Henry Bromelkamp, Ken Chaison (invited), Martha Turner
View/print session slides

#3G The Future of IECs [room LTC 218-219]
Where are we now? Where are we going?
After many, many years with many different IECs, patterns have emerged and complexities have been simplified. Hear about the paths taken and discuss the path of your IEC with others.
[Organization, Theology] Ted Keating

#3H Actualizing the Francis Revolution In IECs: How to Activate and Mobilize an IEC [room LTC 217]
The session will focus on the tools advocated by Francis: dialogue and "walking with" those who are 'other'. Learn how those elements are foundational to building true community. Francis is inspiring us not to defer, not to wait, but to act to share this Good News.
[Theology, Organization] Janet Hauter

5:00pm-5:30pm Break (on your own)

5:30pm-7:30pm Supper: tables by topic, with facilitators beginning 6:00pm [dining room/cafeteria]

7:30pm-10:00pm Hangout [room LTC 218]

                         Sing along with Sara Thomsen [band room]

8:00pm-9:30pm Film "Romero" [room LTC 214]


Dignity-Twin Cities invites you to a wine/cheese reception for LGBTQ and allied friends:
Saturday, June 27, 7:30pm at the home of Jeanne and David Cornish. (821 Fairmount Ave St Paul) 
Need transportation? Call Art at 651-278-6630 to make arrangements for a ride from Concordia. 


Sunday June 28 Gathering Day 3

7:30am-8:30am Centering Prayer: Cathy Edwards [room LTC 219]

7:45am-9:00am Breakfast - tables by topic [dining room/cafeteria]

9:15am-10:45am Closing Plenary Session - Miriam Therese Winter: Resurrecting Jesus: eucharist with a small “e” [Buetow Music Center auditorium]
Let’s do what Jesus did. Celebrate the liturgy of life. Unleash the transformative power of eucharist with a small “e.” Proclaim the good and liberating news that through the spirit of the living God, we are all one.

10:45am-11:00am Break 

11:00am-12:30pm Closing Liturgy: Collective Voices  [Buetow Music Center auditorium]

12:30pm Adjourn


*Breakout sessions are located in the Library Technology Center (LTC) and Meyer Hall (MH)