Wade in the Water

Worship and Mental Health Conference

Conference Overview

March 20-21, 2020

Hosted at City of Refuge UCC in Oakland, CA

In just two days

Transform your worship and mental health life.

Network with others commited to innovation in the intersection of faith and mental health.

Worship that heals.  Praise that sets people free.



Music & Healing

The historical and contemporary role and function of music in the healing from trauma

Movement & Coping

Dance as healing and coping

Personal & Community Worship

Meditation, prayer and practices of chanting and singing in personal and corporate spaces of worship

Healing Traumatized Communities

The power and importance of liturgy in healing of the community who have experience trauma

Thought Leaders

Anne Lamott is an American novelist and non-fiction writer. 
She is also a progressive political activist, public speaker, and writing teacher. Lamott is based in Marin County, California, her nonfiction works are largely autobiographical. Marked by their self-deprecating humor and openness, Lamott’s writings cover such subjects as alcoholismsingle-motherhooddepression, and Christianity.
Floyd Thompkins

CEO, Foundation of Justice and Peace

Conference Details

Why should you attend?
This a conference for pastors, mental health professionals, and anyone who deals with people who are suffering the effects of trauma. It is a conference about healing with healing, hope and coping as its goals.
What inspired this conference?
This conference is based on three years of research and engagement with African American Churches of the San Francisco/Bay Area conducted by SFTS, now part of the University of Redlands’ Graduate School of Theology, through a Northern California Kaiser Permanente Foundation Innovation grant.

This unique collaboration of churches, mental health professionals, academic researchers and community health leaders was entitled Project Trust. The aim of this research, conducted through focus groups and creative dialogue between mental professionals and pastors, was to find ways to integrate their respective ways of healing and hope in their practice.

Through this, the practice of worship was identified as major element in the coping and healing process. Historically, African American churches have been and are instrumental in innovating and invigorating worship practices. In addition, the mental health profession has been growing in their understanding of meditation, empathy and intention as important to healthy lifestyle and recovery from trauma.

There is a growing amount of research suggesting that worship and music have positive effects in healing from physical trauma. This conference builds on and is an innovation from that. 

Registration for a day: $35

Registration for entire conference: $65

Student Registration and Group Registration available.  Inquire at sherpa@appliedwisdominstitute.org

Schedule (subject to change)
Day 1:  Precious Lord

How does a person or a commuity help a fellow worshipper know that they have the freedom to address their trauma through worship? What are the different modalities of healing? 

Opening Reception
Worship Service
Litany for Spirituality and Mental Health
Intercessory prayer for leaders who serve communities with mental illness

Day 2:  Amazing Grace

How does one integrate meditation, prayer, song, movement, etc. into a professional’s self-care or into a community’s care of itself?

How does one resurrect/revive each other through worship?  Walking the path from Trauma to Deliverance to Praise.

Closing Worship
Guest Choir
Guest Artists Share

City of Refuge UCC

8400 Enterprise Way

Oakland, CA 94621

Interested in Wade in the Water, a worship and mental health conference?

Sponsorship Opportunities

Do you offer a product or service relevant to caring professionals? Simply want to support important this critical educational experience? We’d love for your brand to be a part of the conversation.

Ready to Expand the Worship and Mental Health Ministry?

Supported in conversation with people from all walks of life, each person who gathers in an AWI conference learns how to connect, engage and strengthen others in a unique network. Attend this conference to ignite your fire for ministry on the growing edge. Stand at the intersection of Worship and Mental Health. On your Mark. Get set. Grow!