Movement Day aims to get the givers moving as one

September 14, 2017 / by / 0 Comment

By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau

Movement Day Arizona is designed to bring together church leaders and community activists.

“The smartest people with the biggest hearts,” said Executive Director Billy Thrall, who then summed up the group in one word:


The first event of its kind in Arizona is scheduled for 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at Grand Canyon University. The cost is $25 (get tickets and more information here), but admission is free for students.

It promises to be the largest gathering of strategic church service providers in state history.

The goal is simple: Make things happen.

“We want to make it annual because we want to have measurable output,” Thrall said.

With that in mind, all of the sessions and workshops are designed to be short on talk and long on action plans and relationships.

Both plenary sessions, at 8:30 a.m. and 2:45 p.m., are scheduled for only an hour and a half. GCU President Brian Mueller will be a speaker at the afternoon session, and Marjaneh Gilpatrick, GCU’s Executive Director of Educational Outreach, and Danielle Rinnier, Director of Spiritual Life, also will be among the speakers.

GCU’s Chapel Worship Band will open the afternoon session.

Like the plenary sessions, lunch will be 90 minutes, allowing attendees the time to talk through ideas and compare notes.

The rest of the time will be spent in workshops on these tracks:

  • Bearing Faithful Witness to the Sanctity of Life
  • Behavioral Health and Trauma Informed Care
  • Christ-Centered Rescue and Recovery
  • Church Planting: Thriving Churches and the Central Role They Play in All Christ-Centered Movements
  • Core Values of Urban Leader Development
  • Deconstructing Millennial Leaders
  • Marriage B4 Carriage (tackling out-of-wedlock births and championing marriage)
  • The Global Church in Arizona
  • How to Start a Movement: The 4Tucson Story
  • Preaching God’s Heart for Immigrants: Loving and Advocating for “The Stranger”
  • Native American Tradition and the Church
  • Refugee 101: The Role of the Church in the Refugee Crisis
  • Refugee 201: Empowering Refugees through Career Development
  • Serving through Employment Training
  • Foster Care System Engagement
  • Serving Veterans: Community, Faith and Healing
  • Sex-Trafficking Intervention
  • Substance-Abuse Prevention
  • Transforming People and Place
  • Transforming Schools through Partnerships
  • No Child Left on the Streets: Ending Youth and Family Homelessness

Thrall said GCU is the right place to hold the event because of its heart for the community. He views Movement Day as the right way to bring together church leaders who, as he put it, “do things in silos.”

“There are amazing people who do best-practice work, but they’re largely unknown,” he said.

Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or [email protected].


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