2021 Japan WoCon Workshop Choices

Choose one workshop for Feb. 20 and one for Feb. 27. Please note that some sessions are only offered on only one of those dates. To save a spot, email your selection(s) to reg@woconjapan.org. Your email address will be forwarded to the workshop leader if the session involves a Zoom chat. For pre-recorded workshops, a link will be sent directly to you. Workshop options are listed below.

Sherilyn Siy – Relationship Experiments Inspired by Dr. Gottman –

Feb. 27 at 10:30am Japan Time

Covid-19 has made us rethink a lot of the ways we do things. My introverted partner and I have been happily avoiding face-to-face meetings and gatherings, and saving time and money conducting business online. There’s no need for new clothes, and make-up is frivolous when more than half your face is covered in a mask if and when you do go out. On the downside, there’s “Zoom fatigue” and the almost impossibility of forming warm human connections online. What we suddenly realize is most important, more than ever, are good relationships with the people we live with and see everyday: our partner and children. All the time and work we have put into our family, on learning how to repair conflict and enjoy spending quality time together, even before Covid-19, has made us closer and given us a buffer in this prolonged stressful period. In this brief workshop, I will share some of the “relationship experiments” we have tried and that have worked for our family. Drawn from the solid extensive research by Dr. John Gottman, this workshop may give you some ideas to do things differently for happier relationships. Live Q and A session after the pre-recorded talk.

– About Sherilyn –

Sherilyn received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Master of Arts degree in Applied Social Psychology from the Ateneo de Manila University. She trained as a Gottman Educator at the Gottman Institute in Seattle for the Seven Principles Program and the Bringing Home Baby Program, programs that improve relationship satisfaction in couples. Sherilyn is a writer, educator and motherpacker. She shares her stories on becomingsherilyn.wordpress.com.

Carol Sack – Pastoral Harp Workshop –

Feb. 20 & 27 at 10:30am Japan Time

In this workshop, Carol Sack will introduce a spiritual ministry of sound and solace. Pastoral Harp offers prayerful presence through voice and harp one-to-one at the bedside, usually to persons in hospice, hospitals, nursing homes or in their own private homes. It is also offered in a variety of situations, always with the intention of being an instrument of God’s peace and lovingkindness in the heart and soul of the one or ones receiving the music.

Using an abundance of visuals, Carol will explain the background of this ministry, which originated in the Psalms and in medieval monastic medicine. She will demonstrate how this is practiced in today’s medical setting, share some stories from its praxis, and will offer a vision of our human journey which is punctuated by our first and last breaths. 

– About Carol –

Carol Sack hails from Minnesota but has lived a narrow majority of her 70 years in Japan as a missionary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She and her husband Jim reside on the campus of the Japan Lutheran College in Mitaka, Tokyo. Carol directed the “Lyra Precaria” course for 12 years, training 38 Japanese persons in the ministry of Pastoral Harp. Currently she is teaching a seminar course on the Spirituality of Music and Psalms through the Dale Pastoral Center affiliated with the Japan Lutheran Seminary. She volunteers as an Active Listener at Fuchu Prison and is a member of West Tokyo Union Church.

Sharon Draper – Healing Close to Home –

Feb. 20 at 10:30am Japan Time

Sharon M. Draper, who truly enjoyed her visit to WOCON in 2014, will present a thoughtful conversation called “Healing Close to Home.” She will talk about how we all have family issues and problems and difficulties, especially during a pandemic, and how we can start to heal ourselves and help our families to heal. She offers no solutions, just honest words of faith and hope. In her own words, “I love to write; words flow easily from my fingertips, and my heart beats rapidly with excitement as an idea becomes a reality on the paper in front of me. I smile often, laugh easily, and I weep at pain and cruelty. I’m a learner and a seeker of knowledge, and I try to take my readers along on my journey. I am passionate about what I do. I learned to dream through reading, learned to create dreams through writing, and learned to develop dreamers through teaching. I shall always be a dreamer. Come dream with me.”

– About Sharon –

Sharon M. Draper is a professional educator, as well as an accomplished writer of over thirty award-winning books for adolescents and teachers, including Out of My Mind, which remains on the New York Times bestseller list. She served as the National Teacher of the Year, has traveled all over the world, and loved her visit to Japan in 2014. Her newest novel, Blended, is also a NY Times bestseller.

Hydi Peterson – Hiking, Living Outdoors and the Magic of Friluftsliv –

Feb. 20 & 27 at 10:30am Japan Time

Hydi Peterson, an outdoor enthusiast and former physical education teacher, will present ways to enjoy the outdoors even in not-so-perfect conditions. She will introduce the Norweigan concept of “Friluftsliv” – which can help us spend more time outdoors during this pandemic and beyond. The Scandinavian concept of “Hygge” will also be explored as it can help us relax and be content during this strange and sometimes stressful time. Accompany Hydi on her journey to climb the Hyakumeizan (日本百名山), or “Japan’s Hundred Famous Mountains,” via slide show and short video clips, and then spend time together sharing how we can heal in the outdoors – both practically and spiritually.

– About Hydi –

Hydi is a grandmother, currently living at Akagi Bible Camp in Gunma prefecture.  She is a 3rd generation missionary in Japan,  who loves to connect with people through sports and the outdoors.  She is a physical educator and coach with a Masters of Arts degree in Social Science. She misses officiating middle and high school basketball this year, due to corona virus but has somehow continued to play enough tennis tournaments to be ranked in the top 25 nationally (veteran age division). Hydi doesn’t blog often but if she does it is at https://learnserve.wordpress.com/

Chami Nagai – Yoga to Nourish Yourself –

Feb. 20 and 27 at 10:30am Japan Time

Sometimes we think of caring for ourselves as a luxury or a special event, but what if it became a way of living? This 40 minute yoga practice is a special event — a time set apart for you to find gentle movements that are grounding and nourishing. It’s more than that, however. Asking ourselves how we are doing and choosing actions based on that, translates to how we live our lives off the mat. So get into something comfy, roll out your yoga mat (or simply sit on a blanket or the carpet), and reconnect to your body and heart to be nourished. May this practice encourage you to keep caring for yourself in your everyday life, even as you care for others.

– About Chami –

Chami is a global nomad that has lived in 6 different countries since childhood. Her diverse experience of growing up cross-culturally and experiencing liminal space everywhere, including her own home culture here in Japan, has prompted her to find space for people of all walks of life to feel welcome and encounter love. After being involved in asset-based community development in Cambodia and starting up a post-tsunami social enterprise in the Tohoku region, she currently lives in Yokohama with her partner David. Chami is a 500-hour registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance and teaches bilingual yoga for connecting with body, heart, and mind. Find out more at: www.migiwayogaspace.com.

Susan Townsley – Contemplating Scripture With Imagination –

Feb. 20 at 10:30am Japan Time

Susan will help us develop the use of Biblical imagination to make stories of the scripture come alive.  In this way, we do not only read scripture we begin to sense the landscape, observe who else was in the story space, and have the capacity to wonder with a faithful Biblical witness.  Watch 3 short videos in preparation for the 40 minute live Zoom conversation.

– About Susan –

Rev Susan Townsley is a former Women’s Conference Japan speaker, leadership team member and workshop leader, and a former co-pastor of West Tokyo Union Church.  She is now the pastor of South Congregational Church in Kennebunkport ME.   Susan was the Associate Conference Minister of Innovation Leadership and Change for the Southern New England Conference where she used imaginative games and playful approaches to help churches envision their ministries in more life-giving and effective ways.  She is also a Professional Certified Coach through ICF, coaching churches and pastors to clarity of vision and planfulness for mission delivery.  All this work is always founded in her love of using imagination to breathe life into scripture and converse with the ancient texts.

Here is a link to her church website: https://www.southchurchucc.org/angels-amongst-us

Schivon Carrell – Zoom Zumba –

Feb. 27 at 10:30am Japan Time

Zumba is a fun way to get your hurt pumping and your feet moving. It uses many styles of Latin-influenced music to make a spicy, fun environment for exercising. Please join me as we dance, sweat, and laugh together! Remember, “dance like no one’s watching.”

– About Shi (pronounced “Shy” which she is not, as you will discover) –

Shi Carrell is a dynamic third grade classroom instructor currently teaching at Christian Academy in Japan. She has taught in Texas in the United States prior to coming to Japan.  Her favorite subjects to teach are math and writing. She has an undergraduate degree in Marketing from Abilene Christian University and a graduate degree from Walden University in Education. Shi has always loved dancing. She’s choreographed for plays, parties and close friends. She now is a certified Zumba instructor full of fun, laughter, and a love for dancing. Join her on February 27th at 10:30 AM via Zoom for a Zumba class you will definitely remember.