2018 ESR Leadership Conference

Playing with Fire: The Experience of Ministry as an Entrepreneur 

August 17-19, 2018

Featuring eight entrepreneurial ministers from ESR's Entrepreneurial Ministry Certificate Program

Click here for online registration

Click here for PDF brochure

Entrepreneurial success looks easy. An innovative idea addresses an obvious need or injustice, and positive results spill out like coins from a slot machine. Great plans come together with minimal effort and mistakes. Charisma and ingenuity create a winning combination. But in most cases success does not occur instantly, and in fact, usually results after a series of trials by fire.

Entrepreneurs and innovators dream of new solutions to generational problems and current conundrums. An increasing number of individuals find themselves called to minister and serve in contexts without ready-made organizational support. Often their dreams languish simply because there is no clear path forward.

As ministry, entrepreneurial efforts are never merely about bringing innovative ideas to life. They arise from a sense that the Divine is nudging us to offer our gifts and service via new forms and avenues. They seek to serve God and humankind in ways that transform and improve our lives together.

With each innovative idea energy surges eager for action, yet testing the idea before moving too quickly is wise. What is my motivation? What value would this ministry serve? What issue do I hope to address and have I correctly perceived it? Like many business ventures, we seldom get it completely right the first time! Good ideas benefit from further research. Even Divine leadings benefit from testing!

How does one move from leading toward action? How does the Divine participate in the process? Can entrepreneurship and ministry be yoked without losing the integrity of either? This year’s leadership conference features eight entrepreneurial ministers who have lived with these questions and more as they completed ESR’s Entrepreneurial Ministry Certificate Program. They are eager to share their experiences as a resource to others who are interested in acting on their leadings to ministry.

This conference is designed especially for...

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Intrapreneurs
  • Ministers, especially non-traditional ones
  • Business Professionals
  • Students
  • Life-long learners and kindred spirits


  • Find affirmation for your calling
  • Build supportive relationships
  • Experience fresh energy and new resolve
  • Learn practical ideas to benefit your work
  • Contribute to a body of shared knowledge


  • Hear teaching that stirs the mind and resonates with the soul
  • Participate in rich workshops led by skilled presenters
  • Engage in small group conversations with interested peers



How Does One Find Clarity? with Summer Cushman


Who are you and what is your work in the world? Whether you’re trying to create and launch something new or working on an already established project you must be clear about these questions. We live in a noisy world. Clarity is the vehicle that allows us to cut through the noise. With clarity we know when to say yes and when to say no. We can see the direction we need to go. Clarity allows us to be true to that of God within. In this workshop we’ll explore how to find it, feel it, claim it, enact it.

Summer Cushman is a Quaker minister, visual artist, viniyoga teacher, and yoga therapist. She teaches meditative yoga classes, works with people one-on-one, and teaches a yearlong immersion course based in the ancient texts of yoga both online and in-person. She publishes the Yoga Church Sunday Sermons—a free weekly sermon delivered to your inbox. And will begin offering an annual Yoga Church retreat in 2019. In all her work, Summer is teaching the science of transformation with the ultimate goal of helping people identify the habits that lead to their suffering and—through the mechanism of awareness—learn to transform them.

Divine Thresholds: Fired up with Faith in our Leadership and Ministry with Jaimie Mudd

You well know the sense of coming to the very edge of new forms of ministry and innovation within your work or ministry. Sometimes we sense the fire within our leading but choosing to step into this leading seems too strange and challenging. Sometimes our communities call to us, fired up with a sense of urgency, but we do not embrace the opportunity of that call. This workshop prepares you for these moments and will equip you to embrace these threshold moments and the process of refinement that occurs when you are walking in faith through the fire.

Come prepared to share the fire in your leadership, bring a current fiery issue or leadership opportunity that you would like work with during the workshop. We will use poetry, storytelling, journaling and expressive arts during this workshop. (This workshop is in two parts; participants should register for both.)

Jaimie Mudd owns Watershed Ways providing spiritual nurture, life and business coaching. She also offers services for organization design, community development, coalition building and strategic planning in the nonprofit and public sector. Over these past ten years she has led Circle of Trust, Friends Couple Enrichment and other retreats for faith communities. She has been leading workshops on Communal Discernment with Friends Meetings. Now in her 27th year as a Convinced Friend, and a member of Pima Friends Meeting in Tucson, Arizona, she brings a disciplined Christian practice to 21st century faith communities and has a deep wellspring of faith, tradition and creativity that informs her life and work.

Walking through the Low Points with Abbey Pratt-Harrington

All entrepreneurial ventures, and even life, go through challenges and setbacks. In moments like those it can be difficult to maintain our motivation. This workshop explores how to walk through these low points without giving up. Participants will leave the workshop with tools to meet this challenge, and have space for fun while doing it.

Since graduating from two Quaker Colleges, Wilmington for her bachelor's and ESR for her Master of Divinity, Abbey Pratt-Harrington has kept active in the Quaker world. She's recently finished a four-year stint at Earlham College working with both the Quaker Fellows, and Bonner programs. She has now moved into the creation of her ministry Divine Journey, a spiritual direction and tarot practice. When not working, she volunteers with various organizations, reads, and bakes.

Inviting Others to Build Community with Oscar Malande & Theoneste Sentabire

Oscar and Theoneste will individually address the theme of building community in this workshop.

For Oscar, Wholesomely participating in building a community while simultaneously living in it can be difficult! Inviting community members to live with an awareness of the Divine Presence while working to address injustice can be challenging work. Such ministry can take various forms, even that of an entrepreneur. In this workshop, we will explore what it takes to succeed in community building in using agriculture as an entrepreneurial model.

Theoneste reflects on the vital role of fire in our daily lives, whether from firewood, gas cookers, candles, etc. Fire brings change, especially when it is a manifestation of the Divine presence in our lives. It resists injustice within us and around us, and heightens our awareness of a better way. Are we willing to be immersed in this Divine fire that makes us members of the global village of candles? 

Oscar Lugusa Malande has served among Friends in Vihiga Yearly Meeting in Kenya both as a pastor and chaplain for twelve years. He taught and served as registrar and assistant academic dean at Friends Theological College, Kaimosi for three years. He is a recent graduate in Master of Arts from Earlham School of Religion and currently teaches at Friends Theological College Kaimosi. He is married to Zipporah Adema Mileha and they are blessed with four children.

Theoneste Sentabire is from Rwanda, Africa. Currently, he is completing his Masters of Divinity in Leadership at Earlham School of Religion where he graduated with an MA in Peace Studies two years ago. He also hold a Bachelor of Theology from Friends Theological College, Kenya. Peacemaking is his primary concern. Thus, he have been privileged to be part of the Entrepreneurial Certificate pilot program at ESR this year and got the support to start his own ministry called Blessed Family Ministry (BFM) which cherishes the culture of peace in his village back home. 

Praying Attention to the Signs of Providence with Adriana Cabrera-Velásquez 

This experiential workshop will take participants through a bicycle ride around the EC campus, where they will have the opportunity to get attuned to the signs of Providence, listen to their message, get clear on the task they have for us, and act. This workshop will be limited to 10 people due to bicycle availability and will require participants' ability and willingness to ride a bike.

Adriana Cabrera-Velásquez is a Colombian Quaker, Earlham School of Religion M.Div., Literary Studies BA, translator, interpreter, and peace & justice worker. Her experience includes work in Quaker education and international accompaniment organizations such as Olney Friends School, Beacon Hill Friends House, and Christian Peacemaker Teams. After many years of work abroad, Adriana settled at home in Paipa, Colombia, to focus her efforts locally. Currently she participates in ESR´s Entrepreneurial Ministry Certificate Program; her project, El Costurero Ciclo Café, is a bicycle coffee shop where women-farmed coffee and cycling become avenues for women empowerment, health, and a wholesome community life.

You're Grounded: Grounding Your Leadership in God, Place, and Your Truest Self with Andy Henry 

Being a leader requires that we navigate the anxiety, drama, and distraction of our age. It's easy to lose sight of our vocation, identity, and core relationships, as well as the natural world around us. How do we stay grounded in such a time? This workshop will explore principles and practices that help us stay grounded in who, whose, and where we are.

Andy Henry lives in a small town called Mt. Gilead, Ohio and works at a local public library. He is a member of the Friends of Jesus Fellowship and a recent graduate of Earlham School of Religion. In his free time, Andy enjoys reading, writing, coffee shops, backyard gardening, and tending to his dancing chickens. His ministry interests are focused on the renewal of rural churches and communities. Learn more about his work, thought, and ministry resources at www.recoveringabundance.com.

Courage with Julia Soriano

In this interactive and experiential workshop, participants will be invited to explore courage through the review of courage stories from public life, the Bible and their own lives. Each person will have the opportunity to formulate their own courage statement and discuss the Source of that courage.

In her workshops, presentations and writing, Julia Soriano shares her own story of overcoming grief and blinding uncertainty when she had to stop working full-time due to a serious medical condition. Her story includes starting a small business selling cookie dough, going to ESR for her third master’s degree and earning the Mullen Ministry of Writing Fellowship while there.  Her company, Sharp Turn Institute, gives others a course for creating a strategy to address their own unique trials. While devoted to creating tools to flourish, the ultimate goal is to help people find paths to active, meaningful lives.

Friday, August 17

5:00 pm


5:15 pm


6:30 pm

Fireside Chats: Gathering Kindling with Summer Cushman & Andy Henry

7:30 pm

Anchor Groups

Saturday, August 18

8:00 am

Open Worship

8:30 am


9:15 am

Fireside Chats: Fanning the Flame with Abbey Pratt-Harrington & Adriana Cabrera-Velásquez

11:00 am

Anchor Groups

12:00 pm


1:15 pm

Workshop Session I

2:45 pm


3:15 pm

Workshop Session II

4:45 pm

Interpersonal Exercise

5:30 pm


7:00 pm

Panel Presentation: Sparks from the Fire: Seven Stories of Testing New Ideas



Sunday, August 19

8:00 am

Open Worship

8:30 am


9:15 am

Fireside Chats: Walking on Coals with Julia Soriano, Oscar Lugusa & Jaimie Mudd

10:45 am

Breakout Pairs - Passion, Hesitation, Movement

11:30 am

Closing Exercise

12:00 noon