Speakers and Workshops

Need a speaker for your Sunday service, small group, school or fundraising event? Interested in hosting a World Renew workshop at your church? We can help!


Introductory Workshops

When Helping Harms | Length: 1-2 hours, half day or full day
Scripture is filled with numerous examples of Christ caring for the poor and marginalized. In order to be like Christ, we are clearly required to do justice, love kindness, and to walk in humility with God.  But what happens when ‘doing justice’ gets difficult? What do we do when we feel overwhelmed by ways to respond, paralyzed by fear of doing harm, or cynical about our ability to actually help people in need? In this workshop, we will talk through some of these tensions using concepts from the book When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself. Together we will wrestle with what it means to be more like Christ as we respond to injustice in our world.

World Renew 101 | Length: 10 minutes - 1.5 hours
Join us for a lively and informative conversation about all of the ways your group or congregation can partner with World Renew in changing stories of poverty, hunger, and disaster into testimonies of hope. We’ll share about global and local ministry opportunities such as volunteering, partnering in global activities, education, and more.

Poverty is a Reality | Length: 1.5 hours
Millions of North Americans live in poverty. Yet many of us, particularly those who are unable to travel for mission trips and other international opportunities, have very little real acquaintance with material poverty or hunger. The daily life circumstances of more than half of the world’s people are difficult to imagine. This workshop will help deepen our understanding of poverty so that we are better able to serve and address global poverty.

Live Just.ly | Biblical Justice 101 | Length: 1-3 hours
Do you wonder how you or your group or congregation can move beyond charitable actions to address poverty and justice? In this session, you will learn about the differences between charity and justice and the different levels of justice.  You will learn how to use the Live Just.ly book and Biblical Advocacy 101 booklet as tools for gaining advocacy skills to address systemic injustices such as economic poverty, violence, gender inequality and food insecurity.

Disaster: Theology and Praxis | Length: 1.5-2 hours
Why do disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes and tsunamis happen? What does the Bible say about why disasters occur? As Christians, what is our response? Join World Renew for a conversation on how God interacts with our world in the face of disasters. Learn how Christians can respond to disasters and what Disaster Response organizations such as World Renew do to share God’s love and mercy in response to disasters.

Free A FamilyⓇ: God Sets the Lonely in Families | Length: 1.5-2 hours
“God sets the lonely in families” (Ps. 68:6). From creation, the family has been a core of life. Reciprocity, growth, and love are all learned and practiced in families. Family is both metaphor for and the basis of community. This interactive workshop will highlight the idea and role of family in community development, especially as it relates to the way World Renew helps people break free from poverty and live a life of renewed hope in Christ in the context of the Free A FamilyⓇ program.

Deacons & World Renew: “Equipped 4 Calling: Living our Ephesians 4 Calling” | Length: Length: 1.5-2 hours
Are you a deacon? How do you live out your calling? How can we ensure unity and maturity in the body of Christ and live as Christians? This workshop will help you live out your Ephesians 4 calling and encourage you to consider your church’s priorities for justice and mercy.

Volunteering and Missions

Global Partnerships | Length: 1 hour
What is a global partnership? Come and learn about churches who are engaged in partnerships that are transforming their communities and learn how your church can join this movement.

Short Term Missions: The Good, Bad and the Ugly | Length: 1 hour
How do you know if your short term missions experience will have lasting and sustainable impact long after your team has returned to North America? Learn about World Renew’s approach to global missions and how World Renew implements the Standards of Excellence in Missions.

Transformational Volunteering: The Seven Dimensions | Length: 1.5 hours
This is the creational Good News: Jesus the Savior and King is the beginning and the end. This is the basic truth we need to know to live in peace and joy in God’s world. God’s Love – His Word – began it all, sustains it all, and wraps it all together into one triumphant, restored present to the Father. What is the transformation that we seek? As you prepare for your volunteer opportunity, use the following lessons to take a look at World Renew’s seven dimensions of transformation. When communities are in the process of discovering this Good News and what it means, they are transformed. Discovering what it means to live out this reality is transformational development, biblical style. So what is “transformational development,” and what does it have to do with you?

Power and Privilege in the Volunteer Experience | Length: 1.5 hours
When churches or individuals come along people in their time of need, our goal must be to give people voice, choice and access.  This workshop will help us understand how systems of race & class impact us as individuals and develop our awareness of our own privilege in comparison to others.

Yes, Disaster Recovery Takes That Long | Length: 1.5 hours
This workshop will answers questions such as "Does it really take that long to recover after a disaster in the US or Canada?", "Can I really make a difference?", and "In what ways can I volunteer?".

Refugees and Immigration

Journey with Me | Canada | Length: 1.5 hours
When we think of refugees we often hear of the Biblical call to ‘welcome the stranger.’ And welcoming the stranger is a good first step. But in this increasingly interconnected world, these strangers are our neighbours and we need each other. When one part of a community struggles, the entire community is incomplete. Our hope is that this workshop will help Christian citizens to work with their refugee neighbours for justice.

This workshop can be self-facilitated -- access the resources HERE.

Forced to Flee | Canada | Length: 1 hour
This workshop is designed to transform thinking and inspire action around conflict, migration, and refugees. Participants work together in “family units”, making difficult decisions to maintain their supply of food, money, and health while securing their future, post-conflict.

This workshop can be self-facilitated -- access the resources HERE.

Church Between Borders | US | Length: 4 One hour sessions
The church lives between the borders of Christ's first coming and his promised return. National borders and immigration laws are also a part of the context in which the church finds itself. This workshop, developed by the CRC Office of Social Justice and Office of Race Relations, helps participants gain a better understanding of immigration and become better equipped to welcome the stranger in their midst.

Church Between Borders is a four part interactive workshop that sparks thought and discussion for Christian groups interested in engaging immigration from a Biblical perspective. Participants will reflect on the Biblical mandate to welcome the stranger and consider what that means in our current context.

Current Issues

Climate Conversations | Length: 1 hour
For millions of subsistence farmers in Kenya, climate change is not a political debate. It is a reality in which adaptation can mean the difference between life and death. The Climate Conversation workshop helps participants to move past the white noise and to get up close and personal with the issues of climate change and environmental stewardship. It presents an opportunity to consider people, not statistics; to hear stories, not arguments. It is an invitation to a conversation.



Angela Boss
British Columbia, Canada
Grants Program Manager


International disaster response,
international development, creation
care / environmental stewardship,
agriculture and food security,
Canadian Foodgrains Bank


Alice Bouwma
Ontario, Canada
Grants Program Manager,
Government Affairs Canada


International development, creation
care environmental stewardship


Iona Buisman
Ontario, Canada
Global Volunteer
Program Coordinator


Short-term missions,
global partnerships


Peter Bulthuis
Ontario, Canada
Associate Director,
Church Relations


International development,
short-term missions,
social justice


Ida Kaastra Mutoigo
Ontario, Canada
Director, Canada 


International development, short-term
missions, social justice, global
partnerships, creation care,
environmental stewardship,
agriculture, and food security


Jacqueline Koster
Ontario, Canada
Regional Program Manager


International disaster response
and development, social justice,
refugees, agriculture and food
security, CFGB, CORE humanitarian
standards, disaster risk reduction


Jon Self
Ontario, Canada
Program and 


General overview, international
disaster response, international


Rebecca Walker
Ontario, Canada
Refugee Coordinator


General overview, international
development, refugees


Carol Bremer-Bennett
Michigan, US
Director, US


Disaster Response Services (DRS),
international disaster response and
development, short-term missions,
social justice, refugees, global
partnerships, creation care, agriculture
and food security, community health


Wendy Hammond
Michigan, US
Church Relations Manager


Disaster Response Services (DRS),
international development, short-term
missions, social justice, global partnerships,
creation care / environmental stewardship,
agriculture and food security


Randy Hedman
Minnesota, US
Donor Relations


Disaster Response Services (DRS),
international disaster response, international
development, short-term missions, social
justice, global partnerships, creation care
environmental stewardship, agriculture and
food security, community health, fundraising


Thomas McWhertor
Michigan, US
Director of
Constituency Relations


Disaster Response Services (DRS),
international disaster response,
international development, short-term
missions, social justice, advocacy,
global partnerships, creation care
environmental stewardship, agriculture
and food security, village savings & loans


Tom Post
Michigan, US
Team Leader, Asia


International development, global
partnerships, creation care /
environmental stewardship,
community health


Art Opperwall
Michigan, US
DRS Program Manager


Disaster Response Services (DRS),
short-term missions


Kellie Scholma
Michigan, US
DRS Comm. & Dev.


Disaster Response Services (DRS)


Rev. Kris Van Engen
Michigan, US
Congregational Justice


International development, short-term
missions, social justice, advocacy, refugees,
creation care / environmental


Rev. Larry Van Essen
California, US
Donor Relations Associate


Social justice, Agriculture and
food security


Rev. Keith Wright
Colorado, US
Donor Relations Associate


Disaster Response Services (DRS)