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 The Bishop’s
Fall Gathering

Charting the Course

(guided by the Holy Spirit!)


October 21-22, 2019 · Chandler, AZ

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Pastors, deacons and Grand Canyon Synod council members are cordially invited to the Bishop’s Fall Gathering→


Featuring Tod Bolsinger

We are very excited to bring in Tod Bolsinger, author of Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory, who will lead us in creating new possibilities of communicating Jesus and connecting people.


  • $80 registration

  • Registration closes 10/1

For anyone who finds this a hardship, please contact the Office of the Bishop and we’ll see what we can do to help. Thank you!


It is up to each attendee to book their own hotel or Airbnb. The Crowne Plaza in Chandler is very close to all event locations.



Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
739 W Erie St, Chandler, AZ 85225




Monday, 10/21/19

  • 9 am → Gathering and light breakfast

  • 9:30 am → Welcome and devotion

  • 10-12:45 pm → Tod Bolsinger

  • 12:45-1:30 pm → Lunch

  • 1:30-4:15 pm → Tod Bolsinger

  • 4:15-4:45 pm → Debrief the learnings of the day and closing prayer

  • 5 pm → Gathering of pastors and deacons at The Perch Pub and Brewery. Refreshments and appetizers. (Sorry, no Synod Council or Staff members.)

Our thanks to Thrivent for sponsoring the Monday evening gathering The Perch Pub and Brewery.

Tuesday, 10/22/19

  • 8:30 am → Gathering and light breakfast

  • 9-10:30 am → Review Canoeing the Mountains

  • 10:30 am → Bishop update

  • 10:45 am → Move to worship space

  • 11 am → Worship with holy communion

  • 12:15 pm → Lunch on site and to go provided

Note to Synod Council: The Bishop’s Fall Gathering is traditionally for pastors and deacons. This year because of this topic, and how it fits with the GCS strategic plan, Bishop Hutterer extends the invitation to the Synod Council for the educational portion of the event on Monday and Tuesday (including worship on Tuesday). The registration fee also includes a light breakfast on Monday and Tuesday as well as lunch. You are welcome to join in, but will need to pay your own registration.


We’re excited to study Canoeing the Mountains together as a synod and find a shared language as we move forward→

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Explorers Lewis and Clark
had to adapt→


While they had prepared to find a waterway to the Pacific Ocean, instead they found themselves in the Rocky Mountains. You too may feel that you are leading in a cultural context you were not expecting. You may even feel that your training holds you back more often than it carries you along.

Drawing from his extensive experience as a pastor and consultant, Tod Bolsinger brings decades of expertise in guiding churches and organizations through uncharted territory. He offers a combination of illuminating insights and practical tools to help you reimagine what effective leadership looks like in our rapidly changing world.

If you're going to scale the mountains of ministry, you need to leave behind canoes and find new navigational tools. Now expanded with a study guide, this book will set you on the right course to lead with confidence and courage.


A special thanks to Desert Hills Lutheran Church Foundation in Green Valley, Arizona, for providing a copy of this book to all pastors and deacons.

Guided Lesson Available→

To access a free online training resource based on Tod Bolsinger’s Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory click here.

Note that these lessons are available for 30 days after you sign up, and are meant to be used as you read through the book. To have the book and lessons completed before the gathering, we suggest signing up around September 27, 2019. Each of the 21 lessons are short, thought-provoking, and provide additional online content and resources.

You will need to sign up for a free trial to FULLER Formation but no credit card is required and you will have free access for 30 days. By signing up you’ll also have access to the other outstanding formation resource materials that are available at FULLER Formation during your 30-day free trial. A subscription for all FULLER Formation material is $10 month, bulk subscriptions (25 or more people) are available for churches and organizations.

Tod Bolsinger→


Tod Bolsinger (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is the vice president for vocation and formation and assistant professor of practical theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author of It Takes a Church to Raise a Christian: How the Community of God Transforms Lives and Show Time: Living Down Hypocrisy by Living Out the Faith. A frequent speaker, consultant, and blogger, he serves as an executive coach for corporate, nonprofit, educational, and church organizations in transformational leadership. For seventeen years, he was the senior pastor of San Clemente Presbyterian Church in San Clemente, California, after serving for ten years at First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood. Tod and his wife, Beth, have two children.

At the heart of adaptive leadership for the church is this conviction: The church is the body of Christ.

It is a living organism, a vibrant system. And just like human bodies, human organizations thrive when they are cooperating with the wisdom of God for how that system is designed, how it grows and how it adapts to changing external environments.

You know your body has to adjust to a new time zone after a plane flight, or to new foods when you arrive in a new culture. And you know you have to learn a new language or develop the skills for navigating an outdoor market in a foreign land.

That is what adaptive leadership is all about: the way that living human systems learn and adapt to a changing environment so they can fulfill their purpose for being.
— Tod Bolsinger, Canoeing the Mountains
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