We are here to help you help your congregation thrive.
Rev. Dr. Marjorie Funk-Pihl : In her nineteen years of parish ministry, Marj worked primarily with majority white, middle-class congregations who served neighborhoods made up of the same demographics. As she began her current call as the Director for Evangelical Mission in the Southwest California Synod, she realized that she didn’t know how to help small, monocultural congregations situated in large, multicultural neighborhoods. Marj spent four years developing, implementing, and evaluating a vitality process that helped congregations start new relationships with their multicultural neighbors. This process is Living the Resurrection. If you are curious about the research behind Living the Resurrection you can find Marj’s dissertation here .
Rev. T. Conrad Selnick : For thirty years Conrad has incorporated his broad and deep understanding of Appreciative Inquiry into his work as a consultant with congregations, diocese, manufacturers, biotech companies, and school districts. He has helped organizations develop and implement processes for strategic planning, primary leader searches, enhanced productivity, and employee coaching. Conrad has experience with large scale organizational qualitative data gathering, planning, and change management. Dr. David Cooperrider, the founder and developer of Appreciative Inquiry was one of his professors when he earned an M.S. in Organizational Development and Analysis from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. Conrad is also a retired Episcopal Priest.
Bishop Michael Girlinghouse : Unacknowledged and therefore, unresolved grief is an obstacle to change for many congregations. Before becoming Bishop of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod, Michael served for fifteen years as an adjunct instructor teaching courses in death, dying and grief first at the University of South Dakota and then at the University of Oklahoma. As a pastor, Michael has provided pastoral care to grieving people of all ages, and has worked with congregations in dealing with change, loss and grief. He has led workshops, retreats and programs on grief and loss. He is the author of Embracing God's Future without Forgetting the Past: A Conversation about Loss, Grief and Nostalgia in Congregational Life, Fortress Press, 2019 where he explores the role of nostalgia in the grief process of congregational systems.
Rev. Tom Goellrich : Team Leader for Pacifica Synod. Tom has been ordained for 30 years. He served parishes in Ohio and California and joined the Pacifica Synod staff in 2017 as DEM. A graduate of Trinity Lutheran Seminary (1990), his additional studies have been in spiritual direction (Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction, San Francisco Theological Seminary) and in the Missional Church Leadership program at Luther Seminary.