THE ZEAL CONFERENCE

Main Session Speakers

Jason Johnson

Jason is a writer and speaker who encourages families and equips churches in their foster care and adoption journeys.

Jason currently serves as the Director of Church Ministry Initiatives with Christian Alliance for Orphans. In his work he speaks and teaches at churches, conferences, forums and workshops on church-based ministry strategies and best practices as well as encouraging families that are in the trenches and those that are considering getting involved.

Jason and his wife, Emily live in Texas with their daughters and two “grandkids”. He has authored 3 books: Reframing Foster Care, Everyone Can do Something, and ALL IN Orphan Care.

Click here to lean more about Jason

Jamie Finn

Jamie is the biological, adoptive, and foster mother of 4-6 children. She is the author of Foster the Family Blog, which is read by 100,000 people each month and has been featured in over 20 online and print publications, as well as the host of the Real Mom Podcast. Jamie serves as the Director of Foster the Family, a nonprofit which seeks to encourage and support foster and adoptive families, mobilize the church and community for foster care and adoption, and advocate for vulnerable children.


Jamie is the biological, adoptive, and foster mother of 4-6 children. When she's not homeschooling, changing diapers, playing Pokemon, making slime, and singing Let it Go, she spends her time blogging at Foster the Family and speaking to foster and adoptive parents. Jamie is passionate about encouraging and equipping foster and adoptive parents, inspiring people to get involved in foster care and adoption, and advocating for foster children.


Jamie Finn is the biological, adoptive, and foster mother of 4-6 children. When she's not homeschooling, changing diapers, playing Pokemon, making slime, and singing Let it Go, she spends her time encouraging, equipping, and serving foster and adoptive parents. She is the host of the Real Mom Podcast and the author of Foster the Family Blog, which is read by 100,000 people each month and has been featured in over 20 online and print publications. Jamie serves as the director of Foster the Family, a nonprofit which seeks to encourage and support foster and adoptive families, mobilize the church and community for foster care and adoption, and advocate for vulnerable children. Jamie and her middle school sweetheart and husband of 14 years, Alan, live in New Jersey with their children.

Click here to learn more about Jamie

Breakout Session Speakers

Natalie Brenner

Natalie is a mom via adoption, birth, and foster care. She is a photographer living in Portland, Oregon and the author of #1 new release, This Undeserved Life. She likes her wine red, americano with some cream, and conversations vulnerable. Like you, Natalie is a fierce believer in the impossible and hopes to create safe spaces for every fractured soul. She's addicted to authenticity and honesty. You can love Jesus or not, go to church or not: she'd love to have coffee with you. Natalie is a bookworm, a speaker, and a lover of fall.

Natalie's growing blog, NatalieKristeen.com, has had over ninety-thousand page views since January 2017. Her work has been featured in Adoption.com as the top writer, Pregnant Chicken, Adopting.org, Today SHOW, Parents, and more. Natalie has been a featured guest on several podcasting shows including National Public Radio's OPB, Honestly Adoption, Blossoming Mommy and Baby, The Birth Hour, and more. She is a lover of life and breather of grace and hopes to always love bigger than before.

Click here to learn more about Natalie

Laura Erkeneff, LMFT

Laura is a family therapist that specializes in EMDR Therapy. Laura specializes in foster and adoption family counseling. She has worked directly with members of the adoption triad in Colorado and Oregon for almost 20 years.

She has seen what saying yes to foster and adoption means for families and believes in truly supporting the family in all that they will walk through.

Krystle Bowen

Krystle Bowen is a Pastor, speaker, advocate, and author. She feels called to inspire and catalyze others through authentic stories of joy, fulfillment, loss, and grief associated with choosing to embrace pain and engage the hurting. Krystle and her husband Trevor are the parents of three boys, and as a family they have celebrated reunification stories through foster care placements. She feels passionate about honoring the bio family, self-care and setting boundaries. She is the Author of Edge of Wild: Encouragement for Foster Parents.

Click here to learn more about Krystle

Conference Schedule

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM-Registration & Breakfast (Muffins, Bagels, Juice, Coffee Etc.)
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM-Morning of Worship-Worship with Parkways Worship Team
9:30 AM - 11:30 AM-Main Session #1-Intro & Guest Speaker Jason Johnson-Remembering Our “Why”

11:35 AM - 12:30 PM-Breakout Session #1
BOS#1 Guest Speaker Jamie Finn-Loving the Broken People of a Broken System
BOS#2 Guest Speaker Natalie Brenner-
BOS#3 Guest Speaker Krystle Bowen-Creating a Relationship with Bio Parents


12:30 PM - 2:00 PM-Lunch-Food Truck Variety
Big O Spuds


2:15 PM - 3:15 PM-Breakout Session #2
BOS#1 Guest Speaker Laura Erkeneff-Attachment 101:The Ultimate Goals of Attachment
BOS#2 Guest Speaker Natalie Brenner-
BOS#3 Guest Speaker Krystle Bowen-Soul Care


3:20 PM - 4:20 PM-Breakout Session #3
BOS#1 Guest Speaker Jason Johnson-Finding Strength When Things Are Hard
BOS#2 Guest Speaker Laura Wassinik-Open Q&A
BOS#3 Guest Speaker Jamie Finn-Self-Care Isn't Selfish


4:30 PM - 6:30 PM-Main Session #2-Guest Speaker Jamie Finn with FTF
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM-Special Leader Session-Guest Speaker Jason Johnson
(this session is geared towards community leaders, church staff etc.)


6:30 PM - 8:30 PM-Dinner & Fellowship-A FREE dinner by Sweet Tea Express and a time to relax, connect and participate in fun activities

Everyone attending the event will participate in the Main Session Events.  When we break up to do Breakout Session you will need to pick ONE of the classes provided during that time to attend during registration on day of the event.

Conference Partners & Sponsors

Conference Ticket Prices

Early Bird Price $35.00
January 2, 2020-February 29, 2020

Regular Price $50.00
March 1, 2020-April 30, 2020

Late Price $60.00
May 1, 2020-May 28, 2020

Click here to purchase tickets
Tickets are non-refundable

Where To Stay

Holiday Inn Express

Thank you Holiday Inn Express for sponsoring our speakers stay for our upcoming conference.  If you will be traveling from out of town or just want a night or two away while attending the upcoming conference Holiday Inn Express has blocked out dates for our attendees.

$89.00 a night from 5/29/2020-5/31/2020

You can contact them at 800-838-7666 to book your reservation today. Don't wait till the last minute as they are first come first serve.  Reservations must be made no later than Friday, May 8, 2020 in order to receive the discounted rate. A valid credit card will be required at the time the reservation is made in order to guarantee the room. 

This hotel is located only a block away from Parkway Christian Center where the conference will be located.

Conference Location

 

Parkway Christian Center
229 NE Beacon DR.
Grants Pass, OR 97526
541.479.2639
info@parkwaycc.com

Breakout Class Descriptions

 

Session #1

BOS#1 Guest Speaker Jamie Finn- Loving the Broken People of a Broken System
Most people sign on as foster parents with an enthusiasm to care for vulnerable children. But what about when those children are difficult to love? And--even more challenging--what about all of the other broken people in the broken system? This workshop will explore Biblical encouragements, real-life experience, and practical strategies for engaging with and, ultimately, loving biological parents, social workers, judges, and other foster parents.

BOS#2 Guest Speaker Natalie Brenner-

BOS#3 Guest Speaker Krystle Bowen-Creating a Relationship with Bio Parents
Cultivating a relationship with the parents of the children you are caring for is not always easy, but when we remember why we do what we do it can help us move toward the mess. This breakout session will discuss the why behind the reason to work towards a relationship, offer real life examples, practical tools and plenty of Q&A.

Session #2

BOS#1 Guest Speaker Laura Erkeneff, LMFT-Attachment 101:The Ultimate Goals of Attachment

BOS#2 Guest Speaker Natalie Brenner-

BOS#3 Guest Speaker Krystle Bowen-Soul Care
To do this work you have to be taking care of your soul. This breakout explore ways to care for yourself and your family both during and after placements, learn to set boundaries and how to find moments of silence and solitude that will feed your mind, body and soul. 

Session #3

BOS#1 Guest Speaker Jason Johnson-ReFraming the Struggle - Finding Strength When Things Are Hard
Foster parents face a unique set of challenges and circumstances that few outside of foster care can truly relate to. This can sometimes leave us feeling lonely and isolated. This session will help you "reframe" some thinking through those experiences along your journey in a helpful and sustaining way and give you the confidence you need to know you are truly making a difference - not in spite of the difficulties and struggles - but because of them.

BOS#2 Guest Speaker Laura Erkeneff, LMFT-Open Q&A
Do you have questions about trauma, attachment, long term care and ways to support?  Here's your chance to have those questions answered.  Laura will be providing a safe place to pick her brain and get your questions answered.

BOS#3 Guest Speaker Jamie Finn-Self-Care Isn't Selfish
This breakout will explore the importance of Biblically informed self-care. Topics include the risk of secondary trauma and burnout for foster and adoptive parents, the importance of holistic self-care, creating space for self-care in a busy family, and practical ideas for foster and adoptive parents to build actual self-care into their lives.

Special Leader Session

 

While our upcoming event is geared towards foster, adoptive and relative care givers here at Geronimo-Project we believe in community education and awareness. We will be hosting a special class geared towards those of you that are church leaders and community leaders.  Please join us so you can better understand how you can serve the orphaned in your community and the families supporting them.

Jason Johnson Special Leader Session-Everyone Can Do Something: Rallying Your Church or Organization Around Vulnerable Children and Families

Whether you are launching a new foster care ministry in your church, leading an existing one or are working alongside churches to help them get more involved, this workshop is for you. We’ll explore principles, practices and strategic direction for effectively engaging everyone in your church in caring for kids and families and supporting those who do. You’ll walk away with new connections, great resources and some practical ideas to help you take the next best steps in your ministry.