Anabaptist Communicators Conference 2015

Big idea

Thursday, Nov. 5 thru Friday, Nov. 6

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Indiana

Updated Schedule (pdf)

Maps (pdf)

Elkhart, Indiana

AMBS Campus

AMBS Lambright Center

AMBS Waltner Hall

Lodging information

Comfort Suites

27838 Country Road 24

Elkhart, IN  46517

(574) 293-9390

$85 plus tax/night, complimentary breakfast

Mention group name: Anabaptist Communicators



Download guide to workshops and off-site visits

One distinctive idea: Meaningful differentiation vs. visible distinctiveness

For years (decades, really), marketers have been told that our uniqueness will motivate people to gravitate to our organizations. But do our audiences really see and value our difference – especially next to similar, like-minded organizations? Research shows we might want to place more emphasis on the distinctive visibility of our brands, rather than just our unique value propositions, in order to stand out in the crowd.

Presenter: Madalyn Metzger, marketing director, Everence

One essential idea: Stories are more important than aspirin at Maple City Health Care Center

Discover how stories heal, define, inspire, and unify the patients and staff of an innovative organization dedicated to community health. Think about how you collect, shape, and share the stories that are important to you and your work.

Presenter: Don Yost, chief storyteller at Maple City Health Care Center

One hopeful idea: A case study of the #WeAreMenno social media campaign

Mennonite Church USA’s Communications Team designed a social media campaign for 2015 to increase Mennonites’ sense of ownership in and loyalty to the denomination and to remind people across the church “that we are doing things together that we could not do apart.” Using blogs, memes, congregational selfies, a video and an evolving convention exhibit — to name a few examples — the team has sought to highlight and celebrate where God is moving across Mennonite Church USA.

Presenters: Jenny Castro, communications associate, and Alyssa Bennett Smith, web and social media director, Mennonite Church USA

One DIY idea: Start making compelling short videos for your organization tomorrow

You too can make videos for your organization on Instagram! Using iPads and iPhones (bring yours if you have one) to actually make a video together, we'll provide tips and interactive instruction on techniques for reaching your audience by sharing your organization's story in authentic ways through short videos.

Presenters: David Kendall, Goshen College associate professor of communication; Kyle
Hufford, Goshen College assistant professor of music and FiveCore Media general manager

One Constructive idea: (Re)making a culturally responsive website

In early 2015, MHS contracted with Nekeisha Alayna Alexis to review a new website on leadership through the lenses of intercultural competence and undoing oppression. Nekeisha and Mim will discuss the process of seeking consultation, show examples of changes made to the ValuedLeadership website and talk about their experiences of working together on this project.

Presenters: Nekeisha Alayna Alexis, Intercultural Competence and Undoing Racism
coordinator and graphic designer and website specialist, Anabaptist
Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Indiana  Mim Shirk, senior vice
president, MHS, Goshen, Indiana

One audacious idea: How four organizations partnered to share their stories and save their town

You really can do more when you work together! Come learn about why and how the City of Goshen, Goshen Community Schools, Goshen Chamber of Commerce and Goshen College pooled resources to launch the Good of Goshen storytelling and marketing campaign ( 

Presenter: Gina Leichty, Partner at Eyedart Creative Studio in Goshen

Off-site visits

A People’s History of Elkhart: Stories we're not hearing

For six years, the People’s History of Elkhart tour has engaged participants in the tradition of Howard Zinn’s classic book, A People’s History of the United States, which shares historical perspectives not always found in the media or in our history books — from America’s women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers. We’ll hear stories from the Elkhart area and consider together how giving voice to past truths can liberate, heal and build bridges, and which stories might be missing in our own contexts.

Menno-Hof Information Center, Shipshewana, Indiana

Since its opening in May 1988, Menno-Hof has hosted more than 944,300 visitors from across the world who have come to learn about the life and faith of the Amish and Mennonites—including almost 6,200 visitors this last June and July. Experience firsthand how this non-profit organization—operated by a board of Amish, Beachy Amish, Conservative Mennonite and Mennonite Church USA members—tells the Anabaptist story across five centuries as well as communicates the essentials of our shared faith.

Downtown Goshen

A lot of new and interesting things are happening in Goshen communication-wise. On this off-site visit, you’ll get to hear from Zulma Prieto, editor of

El Puente

(The Bridge), Michiana’s only Spanish-language newspaper. Started in 1992, it publishes 9,000 copies twice each month and serves as a point of connection between Latino and Anglo communities in the region. We’ll also visit FiveCore Media, Goshen College’s video production company, to learn about their unique business model. The company is part of the college’s Communication Department (the academic department) and employs students to work on projects from clients on- and off-campus, which gives them invaluable real-world experience and resume material. And finally, we’ll head to RedPost to hear an interactive presentation about how they have evolved as a digital signage start-up business. Their product is currently focused on helping newspapers reach a wider audience than their print product does.

Featured speakers

Nick johnson

Nick Johnson

Executive director of strategic communications at the University of Notre Dame

Nick Johnson helps set the strategy and articulate the vision, mission and goals for the University of Notre Dame. He is responsible for the strategic vision and ownership of all central marketing, storytelling, and brand implementation efforts. Nick is a graduate of Goshen College.

Dominique burgunder-johnson

Dominique Burgunder-Johnson

Director of marketing, Goshen College

Dominique Burgunder-Johnson has worked in communications and marketing leadership roles at a number of national environmental advocacy organizations, including most recently as the Director of Digital Innovation at the Sierra Club in Washington, D.C. She became the Goshen College Director of Marketing in September. Dominique grew up in Germany and is a 2006 graduate of Goshen College as well as an alum of Mennonite Voluntary Service. She will graduate from the Collaborative MBA program in 2016.


Cyneatha millsaps

Cyneatha Millsaps

Lead pastor of Community Mennonite Church, Markham, IL

Cyneatha, in addition to being a pastor, is a consultant for Illinois Mennonite Conference; coordinated Central District Conference’s 2014 women’s retreat, “Black Mennonite Women Rock”; and was a speaker for Mennonite Church USA’s biennial convention in July 2015. Cyneatha is a graduate of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. She is married to Steven, and they have seven children and 19 grandchildren.

Leave behind the cluttered information-saturated world. Join a
gathering to explore one marketing communication idea at a time offered
in a simple Ted-talk style.

The 2015 Anabaptist Communicators’
faith-oriented conference offers you practical ideas, time with peers
and visits to stretch your creativity.

Come prepared to be inspired, provoked and nudged. And, come with your own “one ___idea” to share!

Register now!

Mail registration form and payment to Scott Sundberg, Anabaptist Communicators, 162 Tanglewood Dr., Lancaster, PA 17601.

Who should attend?

Marketing/communication staff at Anabaptist and like-minded organizations.

Students and professors in marketing/communications at religious colleges and universities.

People of faith in marketing/communications at secular organizations.

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