Ignite 2019 Afternoon Breakout Sessions:

Between the fallout of the sexual revolution, the rise of the feminist movement, and a culture that increasingly affirms sexuality as both identity and a currency to exchange, it is no wonder that many disciples of Jesus are left wondering about how to engage this ever-changing conversation. In this lab session we will look at what the Scriptures say about God’s design for sexuality, and how the Gospel intersects it all. We’ll take time to honestly engage the questions culture is asking and reflect on how we meaningfully participate in the conversation.

Bethany Allen is the Pastor of Women at Bridgetown Church in downtown Portland. She has a deep passion to see women defined by who they were created to be: image- bearers of God. Compelled by her affection for the scriptures and her desire to be an effective learner in order to be an effective teacher, Bethany works hard counseling women, developing curriculum, and planning alongside Bridgetown’s pastoral team. A southern belle by birth, Bethany moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2007. She earned a Master of Arts in Specialized Ministry with a focus in Pastoral Care to Women from Western Seminary in 2011.

Come explore the wonderful mystery of living united in a diverse and often divided world.  We will spend time examining what God’s word says about diversity and unity and then engage in an authentic panel discussion about the real life joys and pains of living united despite differences.  Our panel members are Godly women from many walks of life who bring a wealth of wisdom and experience to share.

Marie Dezellem finds deep joy in teaching God’s Word, especially to women and youth. She recently completed a Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies from Western Seminary and also holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministries from George Fox University.  Marie works as an ER nurse and serves the youth at Yamhill Christian Church.  In the past, she has been a program director at a Christian camp and a youth pastor.  She enjoys reading, gardening, snuggling with her cat, sipping chai tea, and travelling with her husband James.

Often times as Christians, we can feel pressure to be “happy” or “doing great” and fear that if we are struggling, people will look down on us or it will sour our witness.  On the contrary, the Bible teaches us the value of authenticity in our feelings before God and others.  God created us to feel a full range of emotions!  Come and explore how to freely feel in authenticity and how to work through those feelings in a God-honoring way.

Nicole Larson is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and serves as the Director of Care and Counseling at River West Church.  She is a wife and mother of 2 precious kids and she loves her family passionately.  Nicole has also studied Biblical and Theological Studies for the last 2 years at Western Seminary and she has a passion for integrating faith and the truth of the Bible with an understanding of mental health.  She loves seeing Jesus at work in peoples’ lives and considers it a humble privilege to walk beside others on their journey toward healing, growth, and thriving.

In days that are filled full, but leave you worn out, the Lord extends His means for thriving in the midst of this age.  In this workshop, we will approach an ancient path and learn how to develop eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit would speak to the church.

Jody Mayhew has been a director of women’s ministries for over 30 years. As a teacher, she has carried her message of intimacy with God and a passion for His presence to four continents. As women’s representative for International Renewal Ministries, Jody facilitates Prayer Summits worldwide. She is founder of Abide Ministries which calls women to deeper relationship with the Lord and into active ministry. At home in Portland, Oregon, Jody teaches Bible studies, serves a traditional congregation, and coaches a community of house churches. The Mayhews have been married for 46 years and have three grown children and five grandchildren.

Women grow best-emotionally and spiritually-within the context of relationships. Whether you are just beginning your journey with Jesus or whether you have known Him all your life, this breakout will help you learn how to come alongside others through a life-changing journey of discipleship. Together, we will discover the keys to developing fruitful and meaningful friendships based on the foundational truths of scripture taught by the greatest friend of all – Jesus Christ, our Savior, Lord, and Friend.

Connie’s love for Jesus and her faithful ministry to women makes her an attractive servant in God’s family of followers. She uses her passion for the Word of God and the gifts He’s given her, to bring joy, fun, and a sincere welcoming presence to audiences as a speaker, leader, and emcee for countless events. Connie has served women for over 30 years as a speaker, a leader in women’s ministries, and a volunteer for a variety of organizations including the NW Southern Baptist Women’s Summit, IGNITE – Western Seminary’s Conference for Women, and Apple of His Eye Charity. Connie and her husband Jim have been married for 41 years; together they have two children and six grandchildren. 

Jesus loves the poor and marginalized, but do we?  Can we learn to love as deeply as Christ loves, even when we’re uncomfortable?  Can we learn to honestly assess our own biases/prejudices to become more compassionate and generous?  We’ll look at what scripture says about God’s heart for the broken and the joy of serving the broken hearted.

Georgene Rice has been a talk show host with KPDQ radio for more than 28 years and has traveled internationally as a station correspondent.  In 2004 Georgene served as chief spokesperson and debater for the Defense of Marriage Coalition which amended Oregon’s Constitution.  She has lectured on University campuses and is a frequent speaker and worship leader at Christian conferences and retreats.  Georgene has served on several Boards and regularly volunteers.  A musician, Georgene and husband Dan have traveled the world teaching and performing Gospel music.

God invites us into the process of getting comfortable with our stories, so they are a force for His good purposes. God move us from places of feeling powerless, where the enemy wants us, to being power filled by Him. Your story is tied to the Greater story and so is ours. Let’s start a conversation rooted in Scripture on how to steward our seasons of life.

Joy and Julie are co-founders of Joy of It, a non-profit that exists to create spaces for real relationships to flourish.  They work on a projects that help the Christian community collaborate, to accomplish more, and reflect Jesus best together. Joy of It co-labors with organizations like Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Lifeway, and churches and nonprofits across the city.

Joy is a runner, foodie, and momma of two teen boys, who is learning the art of saying “no.” Joy spent the first 25 years of her life avoiding people with estrogen (aka women).  And 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 from Western Seminary.

Julie is a coffee drinker, mom, music lover, and recovering control freak. She has a heart for authentic, genuine and real friendships. Julie is willing to spend hours wrestling through the good, bad, and ugly parts of life with other women.  Out of this passion for real friendships, she co-founded Friendzy, a friendship program for 3rd-5th grade girls. She believes when girls learn friendship, they learn it for life.  And this goes for us as women too!

Have you always wanted to write? To share your story? To inspire or challenge others?  Do you feel God is calling you to explore co-authoring with Him?  You might not have any definite direction for your writing yet, but do you want to know more? If so, this session is the place to ask your questions, get practical suggestions, and find the encouragement you need to take the next step.  From scribbling your thoughts in a journal to laying out chapters for a book, Poppy, a multi-published author and blogger, will help you begin—or cheer you on to write more!

Poppy Smith is a former Bible Study Fellowship Teacher, has a Masters in Spiritual Formation and Direction, and loves to teach the Word. Her passion is helping women thrive spiritually, emotionally, and personally through her ministry of speaking wherever God leads, writing spiritually motivating books, and spending time supporting women as a spiritual director. She currently writes a twice-monthly blog, THRIVE, that is regularly read by 1,000 women across the globe. Her website can be found at: www.poppysmith.com

Teamwork in your relationships- in your marriage, immediate and extended family, church and community- is very important.  Come and learn about the practical principles in developing teamwork and what can be done when conflict arises and relationships are broken.  Resources will be given so you can assess how healthy your relationships are and some guidelines for making a change.

 Joyce Wachsmuth has retired after 32 years as Director of Women’s Ministries at Greater Portland Bible Church. She continues to serve as an associate pastor and a conference and retreat speaker, as she has for 25 years. Joyce and her husband, Doug, have been married for 50 years and Marriage Mentors for over 30 years. They enjoy being with their children and their eight grandchildren.

As a mom, is your life really making a difference for God’s Kingdom? Come learn how to help your whole family live their best lives with a sense of daily missional adventure, as you discover truths about-       

  • Your Unique Family
  • Your Parenting Lens
  • Your Family Mission Field

We’ll also brainstorm ways to move from “fear & control” in parenting to “freedom and faith,” freeing you to fully engage in the places where you’ve been called.  

Jami York is a people person who also enjoys a run all by herself!  Connecting with others at a heart level makes her come alive whether via food, fun or fellowship. One of her favorite pastimes is laughing and adventuring with her family – her husband of 18 years, Matt, and their three daughters (Adison – 13, Preslee – 11 & Ruby – 7)… and their 3 year old Lab, Vivian. 

Jami was in Corporate Leadership Development for ten years managing teams, then spent several years raising up little ones before God opened doors for her current role as Director of Women’s Ministry at River West Church in Lake Oswego.  In this position, Jami loves to help women pursue Christ, serves on the teaching team for River West Women’s Bible Study and directs the Sprouts ministry, a gathering of moms with little ones.