All In Conference Speakers
About our Speakers:
Jason Johnson is a husband to Emily, foster and adoptive dad, pastor, writer and speaker. He is the Director of Church Ministry Initiatives with Christian Alliance for Orphans. He is the author of ALL IN Orphan Care and The Beauty and Brokenness of Foster Care and blogs regularly at www.jasonjohnsonblog.com. Jason has a passion to encourage and inspire families no matter where they are in their foster care and adoption journey and long to see the gospel catalyze a movement of orphan care within the Church across the country and around the world. Jason lives in Texas and spends every free second he can with his family.
Wendy Stringer was adopted through CAS 46 years ago. She lives in Toronto with her husband, Kiernan, their seven kids and a big black dog. She loves growing food, bird watching, drinking strong coffee and waking up while the house is still quiet. She and her family worship at Grace West. She works for Grace Toronto Church as director of discipleship, shaping, leading, and teaching in discipleship ministry.
Belinda and Steve Lanning reside in Ottawa with their two daughters, ages 11 and 7. Their family came together through the hope of adoption, after eight years of pain, suffering, darkness, loneliness, and distance from God…also commonly referred to as ‘infertility’. Besides a busy life of activities with the girls, Belinda is a Sign Language Interpreter and president of ‘Hands & Voices’, a parent-led support and advocacy group for families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Steve is a Pipes & Drums Advisor in the military and Sound Tech & Drummer at their church while Belinda leads Children’s Church worship, both aiming to make a joyful noise to the Lord.
Michelle is a registered psychotherapist in Ottawa who specializes in adoption, trauma and attachment. She received her Master’s in counselling from Tyndale Seminary in Toronto and her BA in psychology from Redeemer University College in Ancaster. She is also a registered marriage and family therapist. Michelle works with individuals, couples and families.
The Pure and Undefiled Reflection of Foster Care and Adoption Jason Johnson
God’s heart undeniably bends towards the marginalized and vulnerable. We see this truth consistently play out in scripture from the beginning to the end. It’s the foundation of our own story of redemption - that God would pursue us - and it’s the basis of the unique privilege He has given us to care for others around us. Our call to engage in issues of adoption, foster care and orphan care are deeply rooted in God’s care of us, and in the end are pure and undefiled reflections of who He is in this world. In this session we will take a unique look at God’s heart for the vulnerable and identify particular points of application that are profound and inspiring for us all.
Reframing Foster Care and Adoption Jason Johnson
For many, the questions are no longer, “Is there a problem?” and “Does God care about this?” and “Should I do something about it?” Those questions have long been answered, and since replaced by questions like, “But why do we do this?” and “What’s it going to cost me?” and “Do I really have what it takes?” These questions, and others like them, are significantly more difficult to answer and often times require a “reframing” of our perspectives, our attitudes, our beliefs and our thinking to ensure we are answering them with clarity, encouragement and hope. In this session we will spend some time “reframing” ourselves around the unique promises of God as we continue down the journey of foster care and adoption.
Breakout Session Panels:
Featuring local adoptive parents with a wide variety of experiences and perspectives, you will hear stories of joy and heartbreak and valuable lessons learned along the way regarding adoption. This will be a highly interactive session that will provide opportunities for peer-to-peer learning. The morning and afternoon sessions will feature two different sets of panelists.
Featuring local foster parents with a wide variety of experiences and perspectives, you will hear stories of joy and heartbreak and valuable lessons learned along the way regarding fostering. This will be a highly interactive session that will provide opportunities for peer-to-peer learning. The morning and afternoon sessions will feature two different sets of panelists.
Leading & Growing an Orphan Care Ministry in Your Church Jason Johnson
This interactive experience will give you and/or your church ministry team the opportunity to learn together about how to effectively lead and expand an orphan care ministry at your church. It is uniquely designed for pastoral, staff and lay-leadership within a church. You will have the opportunity to engage with hands-on principles, practices and resources.
This workshop is for Pastors, ministry leaders, those leading existing ministries and those wanting to start new ones
Loving Well in a Broken World Wendy Stringer
At times loving the parents and extended families God sends us when we adopt and foster is complicated. Loving well, in a broken world, as broken people, is hard. Sometimes fear of uncovering our own wounds prevents our own healing and keeps us from loving others and ministering deeply, particularly in complex relationships. In this workshop we will explore how Jesus meets us in our suffering so we can love others in theirs. We will explore how Christ takes very hard things and gives them new life and beautiful meaning.
This workshop is for anyone who wrestles with their own brokenness, or wants to (or wants to want to) and desires to love their neighbour beautifully.
Infertility & Adoption: A Gospel Message of Hope in the Midst of Pain Belinda Lanning
This workshop will discuss the topic of infertility, how to survive it, and how to minister & walk alongside those on the journey.
It is for those struggling with infertility, those considering adoption in light of infertility, and those wishing to share the gospel message of hope in the midst of the suffering. Belinda and Steve will share their thoughts on infertility as well as their personal journey from infertility to adoption – a story of pain, providence, God’s timing, and a lot of kicking & screaming. There will also be a discussion on what, ‘to say or not to say’ for couples facing infertility and for those wishing to minister and journey alongside them.
Attachment and the Gospel Michelle Hogeterp
The Bible invites us to do two things: love God and love others. How can we love and care for children who come from hard places? What do we need to know about these children, in order to parent them with a focus on attachment? Participants will have an opportunity to explore the various attachment styles that vulnerable children often exhibit and specific strategies that will help a child feel safer/more secure.
This workshop is for anyone who is interested in fostering/adopting, currently fosters or has adopted or wishes to support those families who foster or adopt.