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Melinda has found so much joy and honor in helping people step out of shame and darkness, and into light and freedom. Her position as a Licensed Professional Counselor as well as a Certified Christian Sex Therapist provides her with opportunities to walk with couples and individuals to do just that. It has become a passion for her to speak into this topic that is often considered taboo, and to bring clarity to what “healthy sexuality” is. She hopes that sharing truth about sexuality will allow others to enter into healthier, deeper, more meaningful and freeing relationships. When she’s not in the counseling office or teaching about sexuality, Melinda is found at home with her handsome husband and two, young, towheaded boys (ages 3 and 4) looking for the next big (and likely, dirty) adventure.
Modern parenting has become a very tough job. Parents are faced with big issues to navigate with their children these days and we can often feel unsure of how to even start the conversations. Sexuality is no exception. Instilling healthy sexuality in our kids may be one of the greatest gifts we can offer, particularly when they are faced with such conflicting messages that can leave them feeling shamed, confused, or directionless. It can be challenging to know the best way to talk about this topic with our kids when we aren’t even completely sure what “healthy” sexuality is, nor what our own values/hangups/wounds are on the subject. Talking about sex can often be incredibly uncomfortable when we don’t feel prepared. Let’s begin to explore the conversation together so that you may feel more empowered and equipped to do so with your children.
Healthy sexuality is a challenging topic to understand or qualify, let alone to speak openly about. In this breakout session, we will begin to clarify the myths around sex and sexuality in an effort to replace them with a healthier, more accurate perspective. Come be part of a conversation that aims to bring you more grace and freedom around this complex topic in hopes that you can start an ongoing dialogue with yourself, God, and your spouse.
Terra is passionate about peeling away the layers that keep us from living loved and experiencing the fullness of grace. She has been married to her best friend and business partner, Jeff, for 18 years and is a “soccer & volleyball” mom to two girls. Jeff and Terra were both in full-time pastoral ministry for a total of ten years prior to co-founding Living Wholehearted, LLC in 2011, a counseling and consulting organization in Tualatin, Oregon, as well as the Lodge & Retreat in Sherwood, Oregon. As Clinical Director, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor, Terra has met with clients in private practice for fifteen years in addition to writing, speaking, and leading retreats around the nation. Inspired by her own girls and sharpened by twenty years in ministry, leadership, and mental health, she founded Courageous Girls, LLC and published her first book, InCourage: Being Daughters Rooted in Grace. She is writing her second book, Shrinking the Gap, with her husband Jeff on leadership and trauma. In her “spare” time, you will find Terra napping, folding laundry, collecting eggs from her 15 chickens and 1 duck, or drinking a hemp caramel vanilla latte as she reads the same sentence over and over in a book she planned to read three years ago. Learn more at: www.livingwholehearted.com and www.mycourageousgirls.com
I am Loved
God made each of us with unique wirings, stories, and purposes. He uses every ounce of our stories and He even uses our humanity. Discover some of the vital ingredients in a grace-filled life, where being who you are and trusting God with the consequences of His design can set us free from shame, burn-out, comparison, and discontentment in all areas in our lives. Utilizing the insight of the Core Values Index, neurobiology, and clinical wisdom, Terra will help us explore how to step into freedom as we grow in valuing our contributions, accepting our limitations, and trusting the rest to God.
I am Rooted
Brittany is a communicator and writer for Trueface, helping to spread the gospel of grace to the younger generations. She has a diverse background of zookeeping, journalism, conservation, and living abroad, and is passionate about helping people live more alive in their identity in Christ and having the courage to be vulnerable. She daily struggles with both of these, but loves talking with others on the journey and sharing what she’s learned, as well as mentoring younger women as they begin to brave living out of who they really are.
In a world where we have thousands of friends and followers, why are authentic, fulfilling relationships so elusive? Millennials are lonelier and more anxious than previous generations, despite being more connected and available than ever before. As a millennial herself, Brittany will be talking about the difference between vulnerability and transparency, and how understanding our identity in Christ can give us the courage to have authentic relationships.
I was born in Oregon and raised in an American/Hispanic community. Every Sunday I watched my father pastor and teach at our local Hispanic Baptist Church. I also accompanied my mother to her worship rehearsals and only dreamed of the day I would have the chance to do that same thing. At the age of 9, I moved to Mexico City with both my parents. I could not stop singing where ever I went. I wasn’t the biggest fan of big crowds, but that changed when I turned fifteen and began to get more involved in performing at my high school. After my seventeenth birthday, I moved with my dad to Cancun, where we helped to start a small missionary Church. By the second Sunday, I was already participating in the worship group and became one of the youngest worship leaders on our team. From that moment, my doubts flew away and knew that God had given me a specific reason to serve. Currently at the age of 19, I have moved back to Oregon and have become a student at Portland Community College where I am pursuing my major in Music Performance and Creative Writing. Aspiring to make a change in people’s hearts, I continue to serve God at Rolling Hills Community Church by worshiping in both English and Spanish. “Let’s put our headphones on and hear He who speaks to us. So all can sing His words like lyrics to a beautiful song.”
Maryann has a passion for helping people with mental health challenges. She has worked in school districts and non-profits to help those who are challenged by it. Her interests stem from her own journey with PTSD that resulted from her twin sister suffering lifelong disabilities as a result of contracting encephalitis at three years old. Participating in worship and playing bass has played a huge role in Maryann’s healing process while strengthening her relationship with The Lord. She has been playing bass for 13 years and has been blessed to play at over a dozen churches in the PDX area and occasionally with her family band. Daughter on keys, son on drums and husband Mike on electric guitar.
We should expect that Christian churches and God’s people — including pastors, priests, youth workers, and lay ministers — are safe. Unfortunately, for many women, the church and its people have inflicted emotional, physical and sexual harm, resulting in wounds and confusion regarding one’s connection with God and the church. The effects can be long-lasting, and can include difficulties worshiping, relaxing in places of worship, and having uncomfortable feelings related to pursuing a spiritual journey. Come learn about what spiritual abuse is, how to detect if it’s happening in your spiritual circle, and how to begin to heal from abuses that have happened in the past.
Julie is the co-founder of the non-profit Joy of It. She is also a wife, mom, and recovering control freak who is fueled by coffee and energized by music. Julie’s heartbeat is to help others foster authentic, genuine relationships. Out of this passion for real friendships, she co-founded Friendzy, a friendship curriculum for students K-8. When we learn friendship, we learn it for life.
Today’s world is divided. Comparison, judgement, loneliness, and anxiety seem commonplace. New data shows that half of all Americans feel lonely. Yet, as humans we crave connection with each other; we desire to be known, to be seen, and to be loved. Unity is God’s design. He designed us for relationship and for friendship, and calls us into unity with each other. It’s His mandate, but it is not easy. How can we be authentic and real with our friends, and overcome thoughts of comparison and competition that bombard us? How can we feel free and open to be fully God’s daughters with one another? The struggle is real—and the solution is to BE real, as we will more thoroughly discuss in this workshop.
Art making for Cindy is a personal, process-oriented experience that unlocks creativity and emotion. She finds it can also bring new understanding and acceptance of one’s life experiences. With a B.S. in drawing/painting/printmaking from Portland State University, and minors in graphic design and art history, her courses of study influenced her interest in both the ancient art culture and contemporary artists of the 20th century. “There has always been a clear direction in my art – create and explore the endless possibilities of form and the essential elements of what art is and can be.” See more at cindygeffel.com.
One mark leads to another. A new technique grows to a series. Creativity multiplies; words, colors, and textures collide. Old paintings and prints on paper combine as a collage. Line is drawn with an oil stick or pencil. All begin as a question, an abstract feeling, an intuitive idea, or even as a response to words written or sung. Like our lives, canvas paintings are scraped, adding texture. An image emerges. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10
Come explore and create a personal piece of art representative of what the “Master Artist” is creating of your life. Through a unique art making process, there will be time for spiritual introspection, painting, and collaging to create an abstract visual depiction of your journey thus far. No art experience is required.
Dr. Keffer is a regular cohost of the nationally syndicated radio talk show New Life Live! with an audience of more than two million people each week. For nearly twenty years, she has been working as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and currently has a private practice in Newport Beach, California. Dr. Sheri Keffer is a keynote speaker and author of the new book Intimate Deception: Healing the Wounds of Sexual Betrayal where she unpacks how betrayal affects the mind, body, spirit, and sexuality. She holds a doctorate in marriage and family therapy and a master’s degree in theology, both from Fuller Theological Seminary.
Dr. Keffer’s Sessions:
Roshana is passionate about supporting growth in children and families through the thrilling and expressive experience of play. Roshana and her husband have been married for almost 10 years, and together they are enjoying the joys and challenges of parenting a preschooler and a toddler. As a counselor with Living Wholehearted, LLC, Roshana works primarily with children, adolescents, women, and families who are dealing with a variety of issues including anxiety, depression, ADHD, adjustment difficulties, relational conflicts, and trauma. Prior to becoming a counselor, Roshana was an elementary school teacher for several years, and she still enjoys exercising her teaching skills by leading parenting workshops for caregivers and groups for children and teens. Roshana loves cooking, sunshine, and breaking up the monotony of the daily routine with spontaneous and playful activities or day trips that invite new adventures. She considers it a tremendous privilege to have the opportunity to walk alongside the individuals and families she meets for a season of life and help nurture lasting change.
Sarah focuses on helping children, teens, and families find freedom from bondages that keep them from living their richest lives. What she often finds beneath the anxiety, depression, addiction, defiant behavior, or fill in the blank, is often a soul that craves to be seen, known, and connected in safe relationships. Her aim is to help give individuals or parents the awareness and tools to progressively step into a life that fosters those deep longings. Sarah and her family live in the Portland area. She enjoys running, a good charcuterie board, and mostly spending time with loved ones.
God created people to experience emotions, and as children grow, they are faced with the challenge of learning how to handle big feelings. This workshop is designed to help caregivers explore their own feelings as well as how to respond to children and teens with understanding and empathy when they’re feeling overwhelmed with emotions.
Sheri serves many women and men as a spiritual director, spiritual direction supervisor, and contemplative retreat leader, primarily in the Portland Metro area. Along with her own ministry, she works alongside the team of SoulFormation. Sheri’s ministry is fueled by her passionate heart for people who are searching for deeper connection with God, particularly in times of stress, transition, and loss. She enjoys speaking at women’s retreats and provides opportunities for group spiritual direction as a trained director for the Exercises of St. Ignatius. Sheri and her husband, Scott, are parents to three adult children, and grandparents to seven precious “littles.” They live in Happy Valley, Oregon and attend church at New Hope Community Church where Sheri serves on the elder board.
What does it look like to tend to your soul in the midst of loss, disorientation, trauma, or grief? Is it possible to get under the waterline of a turbulent sea down to where God meets us in the calm and quiet? In this session you will learn practical steps to position yourself to receive God’s loving care in such times.
As a mom of three grown daughters and a grandma to three granddaughters (and a grandson), Kathy is accustomed to being surrounded by women. Kathy is married to Bill Towne, Senior Pastor of Rolling Hills Community Church, and loves to teach the Word wherever she can! As a pastor’s wife, Kathy has ministered to junior high and high school girls, as well as adult women over the years. She is also Founder of Divine Threads, a ministry that reaches out to disenfranchised women. Kathy is passionate about helping girls and women of all ages to connect with their identity in Christ. In an environment that screams out dangerous messages to women and girls, we need a voice louder than our culture telling us the truth of who we are. Kathy truly believes that raising girls to live “InCourage” can change our culture, one girl at a time.
I am Known
Along with her three adult daughters, Bekah McGuire, Carly Mountz, and Kelsey Severson, Kathy will share openly and honestly about bringing up girls. Raising daughters is challenging, to say the least. With a goal of authenticity, each of these four women will share her perspective and experience about what she feels really matters, and about the most important aspects of raising girls – from preschool all the way to high school and beyond. This dynamic group of women will send you home with helpful tools and ideas to put into practice as well as save plenty of time to candidly answer your questions.
Aimee worked alongside Terra Mattson to develop and launch the Courageous Girls website and online curriculum in 2018. A wife, mom, teacher, writer, editor, and champion of grassroots movements, Aimee has spent two decades working with youth in many capacities and has a heart to help build strong and resilient individuals as well as stable and healthy families. After ten years in a public middle school classroom, Aimee made a decision to teach from home and develop a freelance writing business while nurturing her own two young girls. Since then, she has found her passion in supporting local organizations by helping build strong networks and deepening relationships within the community. She is currently editing additional curriculum and content for Courageous Girls groups (www.mycourageousgirls.com). When she is not participating in Courageous Girls gatherings with her own two groups, she enjoys sharing CG with other moms and with local church groups who want to learn more about the heart of CG. Aimee is driven by her calling to share God’s hope with others, lead boldly and develop authentic relationships.
This panel is made up of moms from a variety of Courageous Girls groups who are ready to answer real, practical and philosophical questions about creating, building, nurturing and sustaining Courageous Girls groups. Understanding the heart of CG is what makes this more than just another club or group; it’s about committing to the relationship with your own daughters and other women to practice through life circumstances and cultural shifts, all while allowing God to transform both moms and daughters for His mighty impact on the world around us. Whether you are a veteran CG mama here to be encouraged by the growing network around you, or a curious new mama just wanting to learn a little more about why CG is worth investing in with your daughter(s), you are welcome to come join in the discussion.
Tristen is a Licensed Professional Counselor and mentor. As a counselor, her passion is to help people heal from past trauma and abuse. As a mentor, her passion is to guide people into their unique passions, talents, and strengths. Tristen has 13 years of professional experience and currently works at her own private practice. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Bible & theology from Multnomah University and a master’s degree in counseling from George Fox University. Tristen lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, Jon, and their two young boys.
So often we dismiss, ignore, or are ruled by our emotions for a variety of reasons. Tristen will be talking about the value of emotions, as well as how God designs and uses them to heal us and deepen our walk with Him and others. She will also address how to navigate challenging feelings with wisdom, providing tangible tools for moving through, rather than around, our emotions in order to meet our deeper needs.
Trained as an educator, Jocelyn Stein has long been passionate about the process of “knowing.” Above all, she is interested in knowing God and making Him known. So much more than mere knowledge acquisition, the process of knowing God can be the most invasive, transformative, and dynamic journey imaginable. It involves periods of unknowing, unmaking, testing, rebuilding, restoring, and redeeming.This kind of transformation doesn’t happen, however, without a willingness to invest in the ride. Jocelyn delights in helping people make this investment. Her career has taken her from the classroom to the church and to higher education, in a variety of capacities. Throughout her life, she has been writing devotionals and bible studies for friends, family, small groups, and ministries; no other “job” has given her more joy. You can find more about her work at www.jocelyn-stein.com.
The Bible tells us that we are jars of clay carrying a beautiful treasure, which is the good news of Jesus Christ. That treasure is like a light, shining in the darkness. The hammering of this world, however, can make those jars feel cracked, and sin and pain can distort our view of God and ourselves. The treasure can start to feel rather small, and our view of ourselves sinks with it. When we’re brave enough to admit that our perception feels fractured, there is an opportunity for light to start pouring through, but we must begin with a restored image of God before we can feel restoration ourselves. In this session, Bible teacher Jocelyn Stein will focus on the hope that can be found in this restoration process.
Judy is a former youth director, children’s ministry director and leader in women’s ministry. Currently, she serves as a mentor to women leading in ministry and is the Director of the Women’s Youth Network. Judy is a leader coach for youth staff at her church and teaches New Foundations courses. Judy taught at Multnomah University for 18 years and was chair of the educational ministries degree program. She also served with Abide Ministries for six years. She recently earned her doctorate in educational studies and spiritual formation. A native Oregonian, she loves the northwest. Together with her husband of 30 years, Randy, she has one grown daughter who is pursuing her doctorate in Biblical studies.
Julia Glanz holds a B.A. in Bible & theology, and a B.A. in educational ministry from Multnomah University, as well as a M.A. in Old Testament & Hebrew from Multnomah Biblical Seminary. Her continued research is focused on the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament, and specifically the book of Ecclesiastes. Additionally, she has been on staff at Rolling Hills Community Church as a part of the Family Ministry Team for three years and is passionate about teaching the Bible to kids and students.
When life is hard, our response is a choice. We can grit our teeth, suck it up, or respond with a number of other solutions. With determination, we can push harder, but we risk becoming brittle, rigid, and unyielding, truly making things worse for ourselves. When we do this, we miss out on the grace and presence of Christ in our lives. Join us as we explore the question, “How do we find God in the waiting room?” Learn how to let go of your own agenda and expectations so that you can open up to what God has right in front of you. Come process how to practice staying present to God and to the person you were made to be instead of living life banking on a future goal/plan.
Connie a storyteller. She believes in the power of story and is passionate about communicating the transforming work of the Gospel in a variety of life’s contexts through her writing and speaking. She has worked in public education, the non-profit sector and extensively in the local church. She currently works at Joy Of It as their Content Developer & Curriculum Writer and serves on the preaching and teaching team at Alongsiders Church in Portland, OR. She is continuing to grow as a leader through her graduate studies at Wheaton College (MA in leadership and evangelism) in collaboration with Propel Women. Connie’s writing can be found at www.conniearmerding.com.
Many women struggle with ongoing feelings of doubt related to their abilities, accomplishments and qualifications – fearing they do not belong in their current context and will somehow be exposed as a fraud. This type of “imposter syndrome” can cripple women, limiting them from fulfilling the unique call on their life. Whether you are a business leader, entrepreneur, doctor, mom, coach, pastor or teacher, this workshop will equip you with scripture-based strategies for silencing the voice that stifles your God-given influence as a woman who was created to lead. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:10).
Bo Stern is a speaker, writer, and the founder of She.ology, an organization that empowers women to live out their place in the story of God. She is the author of three books that focus on growth-through-suffering, a message developed and refined during her husband’s four-year battle with ALS. Her story and writing has been featured in countless publications worldwide, including the Huffington Post, Focus on the Family and NBC News. Bo believes God is always good, coffee always works, and life always wins. Learn more about Bo on her website at www.bostern.com.
Life is beautiful…until it isn’t. Jesus promised, “In the world, you will have trouble,” but often when trouble hits, we are unprepared for the fallout and find ourselves questioning His reality or goodness. Over the past few years, I’ve become convinced that one of the most important things we can do for our children is to give them a good, solid, battle-ready theology. This workshop will provide a template to use in good times and bad, to prepare and strengthen our daughters when they face sorrow, disappointment or loss.
Dr. Michelle Watson is a woman whose contagious love for the Lord has been birthed out of a story of redemption. As a former pastor’s kid, Michelle lived much of her life trying to hold it all together until the age of 29 when she finally began to deal with the abuse in her past that left her with unanswered questions about the character of God. Now, whether she’s in her counseling office, writing books, hosting her radio program (The Dad Whisperer), leading dads of daughters in The Abba Project, or speaking nationally, she is passionate about letting it be known that Jesus’ truth has led to healing of the lies that once held her in bondage. She lives to inspire others to join her in the process of being honest about their deepest pain so that Abba Father God’s powerful healing love can reach down into those wounds and restore the years the locusts have eaten, leading to a restoration of identity as sons and daughters of the Most High God. Learn more about Dr. Watson at her website: drmichellewatson.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/drmichellewatson or follow her on Twitter: @mwatsonphd.
I have yet to meet a daughter who hasn’t craved her dad’s approval, support, love, tenderness, grace, and on the list goes. I’ve also met many women who have profound father wounds or father voids, leading to unmet longings, restlessness, struggles with identity, and/or poor choices that are often fueled from those hurt places inside. If we want to be women who have a positive influence on the world around us, it is vital that we look honestly at the ways we have been shaped and impacted by our past, which then allows us to bring our brokenness to the only Healer who creates beauty from ashes.
My healing journey was a long and winding road, yet one that I am grateful for because it has led me to a deeper understanding of what real unconditional love from my Abba Father looks and feels like. In this breakout session I will be sharing some of my own story, coupled with providing an opportunity for you to listen and hear from your Abba Father God as the Spirit whispers His truth into your ears and hearts. It is my joy and privilege to share this time together as we look at our relationship with our earthly father and consider the ways that this paternal dynamic impacts our relationship with our Heavenly Father because He truly is a good, good Father whose heart is always (and I mean always) turned toward each of us!
Katherine Wolf is survivor and storyteller, advocate and evangelist. In 2008, at the age of 26, she nearly died from a catastrophic brainstem stroke. Her own survival and recovery, not to mention those of her marriage and family, is nothing short of miraculous. Katherine and her husband, Jay, are in full-time ministry together through HOPE HEALS, leveraging their story to encourage those with broken bodies, broken brains, and broken hearts. Engaging both faith-based and secular communities, they seek to bridge the gap between those disabled on the outside and those disabled on the inside with the hope that Jesus brings, healing to the deepest pain we all carry. They co-authored their first book, HOPE HEALS, published by Zondervan in April 2016. They currently reside in Atlanta, Georgia with their two sons, James and John. Learn more at www.hopeheals.com
Come to this personalized session where author Katheryn Wolf will share stories of hope in the midst of a life altering tragedy. Her perspective has given her a unique lens as she mothers her two children and navigates life. Katherine is also one of our keynote speakers, coming all the way from Atlanta, Georgia to share with us. This breakout session is a special gift you will not want to miss!
I am Courageous
Annie Schilperoort is married to Kevin, with whom she raises three boys. She has a background in foster care and adoption advocacy. As a musician, Annie is so grateful that worship allows her to help facilitate a deeper connection between others and God, through song. Annie is a Certified Life Coach and loves getting to walk alongside women as they seek to know God, live freely, & pursue their dreams.
Lunch Menu (Choose your option during ticket checkout)
TURKEY & CHEDDAR SANDWICH Turkey and cheddar with tomato & lettuce on multigrain bread
TURKEY & CHEDDAR SANDWICH (GF) Turkey and cheddar with tomato, lettuce on gluten-free bread
CAPRESE SANDWICH Mozzarella, tomato, basil, herb aioli, salt and pepper on ciabatta bread
CAPRESE SANDWICH (GF) Mozzarella, tomato, basil, herb aioli, salt and pepper on gluten-free bread
WILLAMETTE VALLEY SALAD (GF & DF) Mixed greens, romaine, hazelnuts, apples, and grapes with raspberry vinaigrette and blue cheese crumbles served on the side
Sarah is a Licensed Professional Christian Counselor in Portland, Oregon. She is passionate about partnering with God’s intentional design of the human body’s own physiological and neurological systems to help clients heal and see significant changes that can not be achieved through “talk-therapy” alone. Her treatment plans incorporate various biblical curriculum along with trauma-informed, brain-based therapies. Sarah’s work focuses on a spectrum of individuals who have been exposed to trauma including prostituted individuals, church leaders and everything in between. She has worked with trafficked youth in Cambodia, does EMDR, and leads various trainings on trauma for local organizations.
This discussion will explore theological and clinical understandings of God’s design for marriage, singleness, and sexuality. We will examine the challenges that lie in the tension between our culture’s ‘status quo’ of sexuality, and our call as followers of Jesus.
Christy spends her days as a married mama to a family of four young girls. She and her husband enjoy country living with their brood of little women. Christy classically educates their children from home and enjoys being involved with various women’s worship ministries in the greater Portland area. She has many varied passions, from a heart for working with the inner city and homeless population to a deep enjoyment of God’s creation. In her free time, you’ll find her reading classic literature, studying nature with her girls, hiking and mountain biking with her family, and ever-seeking to attain the true rest that only ensues from hour by hour surrender in even the mundane responsibilities of life.
Ebony Clarke is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) who has 20 years of experience working in both publicly funded and non-profit mental and behavioral health arenas including services and supports, leadership, organizational development, people management, equity and inclusion. Ms. Clarke has been attending Rolling’s Hills Community Church for 10 years and volunteers as an elementary and middle school small group leader. Currently, she functions in the capacity of Interim Director for Multnomah County Mental Health and Addictions Services Division, and has served as the Deputy for the past four years. Ms. Clarke joined Multnomah County’s Mental Health and Addiction Services Division 2010, stepping-in as the Senior Manager of Direct Clinical Services. Before joining the county, Ms. Clarke worked as a Service Director of Child and Family Services at Lifeworks NW. In that role, she oversaw child and family outpatient mental health, prevention, and culturally-specific adult mental health and addiction services. In April 2013, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber appointed Ms. Clarke to the Oregon State Board of Licensed Social Workers, where she currently serves as the Chair. She also volunteers as a co-chair on the Lake Oswego School District board-appointed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Ms. Clarke’s mission is to build and support a continuum of care that yields equitable and quality services to promote individual, family and community wellbeing. During her off time, Ms. Clarke enjoys spending time with her husband of 16 years, Matt, and their two sons Matteo and Miles, ages 12 and 7.
This breakout session focuses on unity through the lens of the Christian faith. We will explore how brokenness plays out through judgement and discrimination while highlighting how we, as God’s image bearers, can experience forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation. God has given us a set of biblical tools and a roadmap to be unified in the body of Christ.
Joy is the co-founder of a non profit called Joy of It that exists to create space for real and authentic connections across racial, generational, and gender divides. In a world where unkind words, hate, and bullying are common place, Joy of It publishes friendship curriculum for faith-based and public schools, teaching kids k-8th grade how to be good friends. Beyond this work, Joy is a runner, foodie, and momma of two ‘almost’ adult boys, who is learning the art of saying “no.” Joy spent the first 25 years of her life avoiding people with estrogen (aka: women); the Lord has spent the last 20 years restoring and redeeming those relationships. In her free time, you will find her working on a graduate degree in Biblical Theology.
We need each other. Life is better together. As women we desire deep and authentic relationships. Yet, our deepest wounds come from people. God designed us for relationships; he hardwired us for community. Join the conversation as we consider how to navigate relationship wounds and experience hope and healing in community.
Shannon is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Oregon. She is a graduate of Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon and is the founder of Pristine Counseling, LLC. She works with families, children and adults in the areas of divorce after care, abuse, and trauma. She has been a part of Living Wholehearted, been an adjunct professor at Multnomah University, and worked with best-selling authors of Love and Respect. She feels blessed everyday for the opportunity to be raising her two boys alongside her caring husband near the Columbia River Gorge.
Helping our daughters build identity on lasting truth, in the tween to high school years and beyond, means helping them answer these questions: Who am I? Why am I here? Am I loved? These are some of the questions and cries of every girl’s heart as she seeks to find purpose, meaning, and identity. Come participate in this session and be encouraged in ways you can strategically aid yourself and your daughter with answers to the deep cries of her heart. Main topics covered in this breakout session will include: How to build a solid foundation for identity; common pitfalls that lead to cracked, false or confused identities; and how to use art and strategic imagery to reinforce positive biblical messages of identity in your everyday life.
A mother of one daughter and four boys, Santine knows the ins and outs of raising up men. Growing up in the Netherlands in a challenging family situation herself, she determined to create a nurturing, yet disciplined environment for her own family by placing God at the center. Right after completing her degree as a psychiatric nurse, Santine gave up her career path to follow her husband’s career to the U.S. Away from family and friends, Santine’s first five years in the U.S. were marked by the uncertainties of learning a new language and culture, and giving birth to four boys! Santine was a stay-at-home mom for the next 18 years, dedicated to raising her children from playing and fighting toddlers to responsible young men and women, ready for life. Currently, Santine works in the medical field as a medication technician. In her free time, she loves to run and do all sorts of classes at the local YMCA.
Raising up Godly boys in today’s society is both challenging and rewarding. In this session, Santine will share her experiences of raising four boys through the different phases of their growing years. She will discuss the keys to recognize during each phase of development and how to adapt as a mom so that they grow into young men who love God and others well.
Rhonda has been a women’s pastor for 20 years. Together, she and her husband, Mark, have been long time staff at Rolling Hills Community Church in Tualatin, Oregon. She has also been a mom for 28 years and connecting with her daughters is one of her greatest joys. Her hope is to inspire women of all ages to understand the freedom and peace that comes from knowing Jesus Christ personally. With her real, approachable personality, Rhonda has a great ability to connect with women from all seasons of life and a gift of getting to the heart of the matter. When she is not leading women, her kitchen at home is her happy place.
Jaelyn (27), is married to her husband Josh and is a mom of two young boys. She has a love for Jesus, coffee and helping people get healthy — physically, emotionally and spiritually. Jaelyn has a passion for personal development and leads the charge in helping others do the same. Jaelyn is an extrovert with a laugh that comes right from her toes, and does anything she sets her mind to.
Lexie (26) is the second child, but only by 16 months. She is a motion graphics designer, a superhero movie buff and loves anything artistic. She has a dry sense of humor and impeccable comedic timing. Her heart for Jesus and her compassion and care for others pushes her to do things that are out of her comfort zone as an introvert.
A wise person once said, “You are never done being a parent.” We live in a world of helicopter parents and adult children who struggle with a failure to launch. How can we, as mothers, support and come alongside our adult children throughout their lives, no matter what challenges they face? Rhonda and her two adult daughters, Jaelyn and Lexi, will share parts of their real life journey with authenticity as they explore practical ways mothers and daughters can have real relationships with healthy boundaries.
Rebekah earned her master’s of science in professional counseling from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. Since graduation, she has had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings including community mental health, addiction recovery, a therapy school, and both private and group practices.Her own healing journey led her to become involved with a local non-profit, Mending the Soul, where she now serves as the Princess Lost & Found Program Director. She currently offers domestic and global training, consultation, and support for mentors, church leaders, and non-profit agencies working with survivors of complex trauma, and individuals coming out of “the life” of the sex industry. Currently, Rebekah works as a licensed professional counselor at Western Psychological & Counseling Center in Tigard, Oregon. She specializes in trauma-related issues including all forms of abuse, addictions, PTSD, and other related disorders. Time outside the office is spent with her husband, three children, and German shepherd.Most weekends you can find her in the outdoors of the great Pacific Northwest, hiking, gardening, and going to the beach with her family.
A singer, songwriter, and Director of Worship at Journey Church, Olivia has spent the past 16 years sharing music as a meaningful way to communicate around the Northwest. She has a massive sweet tooth, enjoys summer more than any other season, and can tell you the story line of every Little House On the Prairie episode just by looking at the title. The places most sacred to Olivia are cuddling on the couch with her husband and their three girls, playing her childhood piano when the house is quiet, hearing people’sstories of resiliency, and cheering on athletes at a track meet. Gratitude for her faith and community combine with a love for storytelling in her soulful albums and songs, available on iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon, and Spotify.
Dr. Engblom-Deglmann has been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for over 15 years and has a private practice specializing in emotionally focused therapy with couples and families. She has worked as a therapist in residential treatment centers for adolescents, in a women’s shelter, and as an attachment therapist with children in foster care. She is a professor and the program director of the Marriage, Couple and Family Therapy graduate program at George Fox University, where she teaches therapists-in-training the skills needed to work with couples. In addition to teaching and conducting private counseling services, she enjoys coaching Girls on the Run for 3rd-5th grade girls, presents nationally and internationally, and publishes on topics including marriage, divorce, remarriage, attachment, ambiguous loss and infertility. Dr. Engblom-Deglmann is married to her supportive husband, Adam, and they have a creative and independent six year old daughter.
If you do an honest evaluation of the health of your marriage, most of us can admit there’s an area that could use a bit more attention. In the busy-ness of life, many couples can begin to feel distant and out of touch with one another. Work schedules, kids’ sports and activity schedules, cooking, cleaning, fixing, care taking — the next thing you know, you and your partner fall down on the couch at the end of the day, binging on your latest Netflix addiction, and have no time or energy to connect with one another. This workshop will explore seven key pillars in developing and maintaining an emotionally connected, healthy marriage, and help create a vision of a loving and lasting intimate relationship.
Megan is a wife, mom, educator, and unexpected voyager of secondary infertility. Creating and writing are like taking a deep breath for her, and have granted deeply relational experiences by reaching others through life’s yuck along with the fun. Megan is a contributing author to Mothers in Waiting: Healing and Hope for Those with Empty Arms and a blogger at Mothering the Toddling, where she shares about her journey through secondary infertility and motherhood shenanigans.
Trudging through infertility is often lonely and draining — physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Join Megan as she shares about her experience through secondary infertility and finding hope in who God is and who He says we are.
Marina loves people and exercise, and believes health is an absolute gift! Faith, family, friends, and fitness are the four cornerstones of her life. She married her college sweetheart over 25 years ago and is the proud mama of two ‘almost’ grown-ups, McKenzie and Sawyer. Although she earned a teaching degree in her college years, she found her calling in teaching fitness to adults. In her 20th year as a group fitness instructor, she’s also the Group Fitness Director at Bay Club Portland, and a Master Educator for Stages Indoor Cycling. One of her consistent messages is: “Everything worth having is hard work!” This is true in marriage, raising kids, eating healthy, being fit, and having a vegetable garden! Hobbies include laughing with friends and family, encouraging others, bargain shopping, home decorating, spending time alone with Jesus, and eating chips and salsa.
Since we know that we are made in God’s image and that He knit us together in our mother’s womb, it’s easy to be totally satisfied with how we look, right? Hmmm…for most of us, that is far from truth. In this session, we’ll discuss some of the ‘roadblocks’ to finding contentment with our bodies, and dive into what healthy thinking might look like in this area of our lives. Using God’s words & personal experiences, we’ll endeavor to leave with a better understanding and WAY more gratitude for exactly who we are – inside and out!
Dr. Valerius is a Child Psychologist and the Director of Sundstrom Clinical Services, which specializes in treating children and families across the lifespan. She completed her undergraduate degree at Wheaton College in Illinois and received her doctorate in psychology from the University of Cincinnati. She has presented at national training workshops for the American Psychological Association and is a frequent speaker at schools and churches across the northwest. As a mom of three, she uses humor and real-world examples to create a supportive and hopeful context to explore the parenting challenges we all face. As a speaker, families have been touched and empowered by her message that ALL families can thrive, and that part of our joy lies in embracing our imperfections and grace for one another.
We all want kids who will thrive in life–kids who enjoy healthy activities and relationships, kids who can push through tough times, and kids who are flexible and grateful. We know that we were made for a Life of Abundance, so why are so many kids anxious and overwhelmed, or angry and ungrateful? The shifts in our instant-tech culture have changed many of our parenting tasks and have complicated the task of growing up. In this fun and practical class, Dr. Kristin Valerius will help us identify the impacts of our tech culture, learn healthy habits for navigating through it, and better understand how we can help kids grow true identity beyond their digital selves.
KathyGrace, born female, lived as a man for 11 years of her life. 27 years ago, she came out of that lifestyle and reclaimed her birth name. Hers is a story of freedom and redemption through her relationship with Jesus. She is currently the Women’s Ministry Leader at Portland Fellowship where she facilitates discussion group, co-leads a small group, mentors and teaches with the Taking Back Ground program. She is also Chairwoman of the Portland Fellowship Board of Directors. In her spare time, you will find her riding her bicycle, gardening or hanging out with friends.
Maybe you or someone you know struggles with gender identity or same sex attraction (SSA)? Do you wonder what the roots of the struggle could be or if it is even changeable? Come and discover how you were created on purpose, for a purpose and the healing possibilities in following Jesus.
Karen’s wit, warmth and wisdom has made her a popular speaker on Christian living, marriage and parenting. She and her husband, Rich, recently celebrated 40 years of marriage. They have devoted most of those years to helping others learn how to build and sustain healthy marriages through teaching marriage classes, mentoring engaged couples and young marrieds. Karen is also passionate about children. After their two daughters were grown, Karen spent several years as a nanny and daycare provider. For the last 21 years she has taught preschool, touching the lives of hundreds of children. Drawing from those experiences, she brings insight, creative solutions and humor to encourage parents and help them create loving and peaceful homes and families.
Preschoolers can be funny, frustrating, lovable and yet crazy-making—often all on the same day! Come explore some of the reasons behind their behaviors and learn fun and practical ways you can helpyour little ones (and their parents!) have a more peace-filled and joyful home.
Teresa works in private practice as a family and child therapist. Throughout her workday, she invites young people into a safe place that acknowledges their big feelings and kindles hope and courage for a more joyful tomorrow. She also works with caregivers, preparing them to become key partners in a child’s journey to recover and rediscover her true value and worth. In 2015, Teresa entered the mental health field as a way to offer her story back to God, watching him reveal how he intended to use her story of loss, for good (Gen. 50:20). Before becoming a therapist, Teresa worked for over a decade as an art teacher with middle and high school students. She also worked as a spiritual director and partnered with college women in theirspiritual journey. Teresa holds master’s degrees from George Fox in spiritual formation and in marriage, couples, and family counseling with emphases in trauma and child play therapy. She and her husband live in Sherwood, Oregon. They have four grown children and two grandchildren. In her spare time, Teresa enjoys being outdoors—riding, walking or playing, especially with her yellow lab or her grandchildren.
Disturbing experiences and brokenness can be found all around us — creeping into our families and communities. In this workshop, we will explore how abusive and traumatic situations can overwhelm a child’s ability to cope, and alter their whole being on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. We will imagine a child’s big feelings, invisible wounds, and misunderstood behaviors that come from overwhelm and trauma. In addition, we will unpack how hope fuels the courage needed for the healing journey. Considering practical ways that we, as caring adults, can walk beside young people through the rebuilding process, we will explore how to provide safety and security, offer connection and understanding, and help children see their innate gifts and strengths—all while they begin to believe a new truth. Whether you are a parent, provider, or simply want to invest in those in your sphere, come join us and learn how to help a young one reclaim her whole being.
Stephanie is a wife, mom to two active teens, and a lifelong learner. She has an extensive background in marriage and family therapy and is one year away from completing her master’s of divinity from Multnomah Seminary, with an emphasis in spiritual formation. Stephanie is actively involved teaching youth, working with prayer ministries at her church, and mentoring at 5 Rock Ranch, a refuge for abused and homeless men and women seeking healing and restoration.
Most parents find themselves asking the questions, “Am I enough?” or “Do I have what it takes to raise my kids successfully?” What if the honest answer was, NO? In this interactive session, we will discover why that answer is actually good news, and how facing our deepest fears in parenting is the key to unlocking our greatest strength.
Steph Zaganiacz (Za-gine-yicks) is originally from Wisconsin. She grew up in the town of Sheboygan and attended college in St. Paul, MN, studying youth & family ministry. Steph moved to Wilsonville, Oregon in June of 2013 to become the High School Girls Director at Rolling Hills Community Church. A year after she moved her life out west, Steph met her husband, David, and they were married in 2015. A few of her favorite things include the color orange, dark chocolate, and making people laugh. Steph and her husband enjoy being outside and adventuring together. She is terribly afraid of heights, which is why she goes rock climbing with her husband — to face her fear. She enjoys leading people of all ages into worship and is so grateful for all of the opportunities God has given her to worship Him throughout the years. She is also genuinely excited for what He has planned for the future.
A one-time executive coach, Stefanie now spends her days “in the weeds of parenting” raising four littles under 7 years old and partnering in ministry with her husband Mike, a pastor at Mountain Park Church. She also assists one of the principals at Patrick Lencioni’s Table Group. Stefanie is passionate about supporting others to build healthy relationships, especially in the arenas of marriage and parenting. She claims no expertise apart from practice, prayer, and the abundant grace of God in the hard times!
We are living in a crazy time to raise kids who have a healthy grasp on sexuality. Mainstream culture tells them that anything goes and Christian culture still tends to make sexuality feel yucky and shameful. As if that dichotomy wasn’t confusing enough, we as parents struggle to engage in “The Talk” with our kids because we just don’t know what to say, or possibly because we have too much of our own unresolved sexual baggage to feel like adequate educators. What if we reclaimed the conversation? What if we could talk about sex in a way that honors God’s intent for our sexuality, even if we don’t have everything resolved personally? Let’s start to have this conversation with each other so we’re better equipped to have it with our precious littles in this time when it’s so critical to do so!
Texas-born and NW raised, Joi Hailey grew up with a love for music as she listened to her mom practice for worship rehearsals, and looked forward to the day when she could join her mom on stage. In high school, Joi was given the opportunity to sing at her church where she led worship for high school gatherings and sang on the Sunday worship team. As her music journey continued, she participated in the Northwest Community Gospel Chorus, performing annually with the Oregon Symphony. Joi eventually became one of their featured soloists. Upon graduating from Portland State University, Joi continued leading worship at various churches around the Portland Metro area with her husband, Daniel Hailey III, a session and stage drummer. Along with leading worship at bible studies, churches, and retreats, Joi serves as the associate worship pastor at Rolling Hills Community Church and periodically sings at Jimmy Maks, the landmark Portland jazz club. She is currently working on an album with a single to be released in early spring. As a wife and a mother of two, Joi strives to worship God on and off the stage. She believes worship is more than just something we do on a Sunday morning, but something we do continually in our daily lives.
A Portland native, Jessica has spent all of her life singing. Her passion is conveying the power of the Gospel through music, and worshiping with everything in her. She has been leading worship over the course of 10 years and is currently a worship leader at Rolling Hills Community Church. She lives in West Linn, Oregon along with her husband, AJ, and their three kids.
Through extensive training and advanced clinical experience as a pelvic floor specialist since 2002, Jessica’s practice has evolved into treating all types of patients, including urologic, gynecologic, obstetric, and colorectal conditions. The breadth of her practice includes treating men, women, and children for pelvic rehabilitation through collaboration with multiple medical providers. She is blessed and honored to be able to speak about pelvic pain and sexual health.
Seeing women struggling with painful intercourse is unfortunately commonplace in Jessica’s profession. Women are often left with no answers and have seen a multitude of providers before coming to therapy. In daily practice, she sees the combination of her advanced orthopedic training and breadth of knowledge on pelvic floor health bring answers and improved outcomes to so many patients when looked at as a whole person. There is often a common thread between one’s own beliefs and knowledge of sexuality, pelvic anatomy, and basic biologic processes of urination, defecation, and sexual vitality. This session will dive into how we can foster positive relationships, create safe spaces for knowledge-sharing conversations about sexuality, intimacy, and knowing our bodies.
Felicia is passionate about empowering and encouraging women to embrace all that God has intended them to be. As a Licensed Professional Counselor at Living Wholehearted in Tualatin, Oregon, Felicia finds great joy in walking alongside women who are healing from relational trauma. Felicia’s favorite relationships are with her two daughters (ages 26 and 29). In her spare time, she will most likely be found multi-tasking — connecting with friends while riding her bike.
Women often care so intensely for others that they lose sight of themselves. Jesus said to love others as you love yourself. What does this really mean? Learning and implementing boundaries in relationships is fundamental to the healing process for everyone in any relationship. It’s essential in creating healthy relationships that will stand the test of time. Come discover the kind of love that gives life and breeds wholeness.
Dr. Drea Olmstead grew up in the Seattle area. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles earning a degree in biology. She married her husband, John, after graduation and moved back to Seattle to attend medical school at the University of Washington. In 1994, she completed her Ob/Gyn residency at OHSU and has been in practice with Women’s Healthcare Associates in Tualatin, Oregon ever since. She has two children in college. Dr. Olmstead has been the volunteer Medical Director for Pregnancy Resource Center since 2009, and serves on both Young Life and YoungLives committees. In addition, she has led surgical mission teams to Central America since 2008. Her other interests include running, traveling, cooking, and spending quality time with friends and family.
Why is my sex drive so low? How do I know if my hormones are okay? Why is sex uncomfortable?We will explore these, and other related questions, as we navigate the issues of libido, hormones and sexual intimacy.
Ashley was born and raised in a little town in Virginia and moved to Portland in 2007 to attend seminary at Multnomah University. After graduating with a M.A. in pastoral studies/chaplaincy, she moved to Tallahassee, Florida to begin a two year stint with The Navigators. In 2012 the Lord graciously provided for her to return to Portland to begin working as the Student Leadership Coordinator and adjunct professor at Multnomah University, while getting another master’s degree in education. Ashley currently works as the Equipping Manager. She believes that discipleship is not only an essential part of our relationship with Jesus, but is also essential in the process of becoming astute, kind citizens who are committed to engaging relationally and lovingly with present social realities. Her greatest desire is to be an accurate reflection of the grace and love of Jesus Christ to everyone she encounters.
The institution of “christendom” has long made women feel like singleness is a disorder in need of correction that only marriage can provide. This workshop will launch us into discussion on what it means to be single and satisfied; unlocking and using our talents for the sake of the kingdom.
Amy is a speaker coach at Distinction Communication, Inc, a company she co-owns with her father. In addition to coaching business professionals, Amy is also a TEDx speaker coach for TEDxPortland. Her (accidental) passion project, the Don’t Give Up Movement, started in 2017 by staking 20 encouraging yard signs around her home town of Newberg, Oregon. The movement has now spread to 50 states, 20 countries and can be found in 10 languages. Amy’s greatest thrill is leading teams to one of her favorite places on earth: Kigali, Rwanda (and yes, she brings yard signs in her luggage).
We live in a unique time of having a staggering amount of information accessible at our finger tips, which is great for finding YouTube videos on how to keep house plants alive, but exhausting and fatiguing when we’re constantly exposed to suffering in the world around us. In May 2017, Amy learned of the suffering in her community, specifically suicide rates, and felt compelled to take action. What started as staking 20 encouraging yard signs in her town grew into a movement of love and hope that spread globally. In this session, Amy will share the journey of accidentally starting this global movement, the life lessons she learned from it, and how all of us can claim the title of Agents of Hope in a world desperate for it.
Amy is a single mom of two girls, one in junior high and one in high school. Being a single mom doesn’t define her but the experience of divorce, and its aftermath, led her more fully into the embrace of God. A real estate agent by profession, Amy found herself in the midst of God’s own “fixer upper” process, turning her broken home into a healing house for herself and her girls.
Amy’s passion is to encourage women who are facing the reality of divorce and single parenting by sharing her story as she trusts God to equip broken-hearted women with a message of healing, hope and restoration. This breakout is designed both for the mom who finds herself in a similar situation as well as for other women within her circle who are supporting and walking alongside her journey.