Congregational Learning Course Archives


Author Talk with John Dorhauer


John Dorhauer, author of Beyond Resistance: The Institutional Church Meets the Postmodern World, “Zooms in” to share learnings from his book. The presentation and Q&A interaction was an informative and deeply thoughtful time prompting discussion, energy, and language for approaching what Church can mean today, and in the future.


The event was recorded, and is available for download here.

Additional resources on this topic from John Dorhauser.


Canoeing the Mountains

Wednesdays, 4/20—5/25

Although explorers Lewis and Clark were prepared to find a waterway to the Pacific Ocean, instead they found themselves facing the Rocky Mountains. You too may feel that you are leading in a context you were not expecting. If you’re going to scale the mountains of ministry, you need to leave behind the canoe and find new navigational tools.

Author of Canoeing the Mountains, Tod Bolsinger brings decades of expertise in guiding churches through uncharted territory to help you reimagine, what effective leadership looks like in our rapidly changing world.

Writing as a Spiritual Practice

Thursday, 4/7/22

A welcoming and energizing workshop that taps into the spiritual “spring of living water” welling up within us that Jesus promises to all who seek it (John 4:7-14).

  • Draw on a practice of freewriting developed in the Presbytery of Genesee Valley & at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School
  • Write in response to prompts from Scripture
  • Pause after each five-minute burst of writing to re-read what is on the page & mark what we find to be the most lively portions
  • Share (as desired) with others

Interfaith Climate Action

Rochester Area Interfaith Climate Action ( is a local interfaith organization that has gathered local resources, expertise and ideas that you can use to make your congregation, your house of worship and your individual members’ homes more energy efficient and do your part to address climate change—including a resource that gives congregations everything they need to begin to get organized and become an Earthcare Community.

Congregational Learning Day: Back to Basics

Elder/deacon training & leadership development

COURSE 1 – Called and Equipped: Training for Elders and Deacons
Get course slide presentation and resources on leadership and compassion, caregiving, & aging

COURSE 2 – Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory
See recording of this session 


Historical Roots of Racism

Presenters: Rev. Dr. Carson Mouser and Elder Mindy Shaffer

This course explores how the roots of racism began in Europe through language and social structure before slavery began in the Western Hemisphere and continued in the creation of an American Caste System that is the heart of racial inequality today. It is based in part on the books: Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson, and White Man’s Burden, by Winthrop D. Jordan.  While not “required” reading for this course, these books provide a wealth of information.

Congregational Learning Day 2021

Six FREE seminars for congregational leaders and members:

    • Called and Equipped: Training for New and Returning Elders & Deacons
    • Finance Forum – (formerly Church Treasurer Forum)
    • Essentials for Trustees, Finance and Property Elders
    • Rethinking Stewardship – New Strategies for Changing Times
    • The Cross and the Lynching Tree
    • Teaching Without Preaching

Rev. Dr. Stanley Bhasker from the First Presbyterian Church in Bath, N.Y. will lead our time of worship. He is delighted to be a part of the learning day which includes leadership from both Geneva and Genesee Valley Presbyteries. (3/6/21)


Redlining in Rochester

This presentation examines how federal policies like redlining, racially restrictive covenants, and urban renewal segregated Rochester, built wealth for its white citizens and disenfranchised people of color. It connects the past policies to the disparity and inequality we see in Rochester today and invites us to learn from and apply the activism of Rochester’s past to its present. (11/17/20)

Understanding White Fragility

This timely workshop is based on the antiracism work of Robin D’Angelo and her recently published book, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, 2018. After an introduction to her theories there will be opportunity for participants to share both their reactions and their own life experiences related to racism. (11/12/20)

Sabbath Practices and Intergenerational Faith Formation

This workshop explores the roots of the Sabbath practice philosophy and will walk through how to access and use this new, FREE curriculum for your congregation or ministry as well as discuss how these practices can strengthen your communities during this unprecedented time in our congregations and our world. (10/8/20)

Working Out Financial Issues for Churches Now and into the Future

Representatives from Cohocton and Pulteney Presbyterian Churches offer strategies to help congregations, especially smaller congregations, maneuver through financial strains and provide a sustainable financial future. (9/24/20)

Q & A session for NYS Workplace Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

The session was conducted to support pastors, clerks of session, and administrators  and answer any questions regarding the on-line training tools and administrative requirements for setting up and completing the training required by N.Y. State for each church employee, paid and unpaid.