Flashing Your Brights Workshop

Thursday, June 15, 2017
8 a.m.  – 4 p.m.
Carol Joy Holling’s Swanson Retreat Center, Ashland, NE

$35 workshop fee includes lunch

When you are driving down the road and someone flashes their lights at you, you stop what you are doing and pay attention. This program will help rostered ministers to learn how and when to ‘flash the brights’ at those who might be on a damaging course in life.

Rostered ministers are in a unique position to ‘flash their brights’. They have something that others may not – long term relationships. Those relationships make it necessary to approach and work with those that are abusing alcohol and other drugs. However, leaders oftentimes avoid addressing these issues. This workshop will offer tools and language on acting on someone else’s’ problems without taking responsibility for their choices.

Workshop Facilitator:

Otto B. Schultz is a LADC (Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor) who holds B. A. and Master of Divinity Degrees.   He has been in the substance abuse field for over 40 years as a chaplain, counselor, educator and program developer.  A member of the Nebraska Synod, he has served Lutheran Churches in Kansas City, MO, Mentor, OH and Norton KS.  He has also led hundreds of workshops on substance abuse issues for pastors, business leaders and other professionals. 

During his career, he also developed several new programs including:

  1. a pastoral care program for a chemical dependency treatment center;
  2. a volunteer team approach for congregations to tackle substance abuse;
  3. a substance abuse training system for supervisors and managers.

By God’s grace he has enjoyed 44 years of recovery from alcohol dependency.  He recently retired as the Spiritual Counselor for Bryan Medical Center's Independence Center, in Lincoln, NE.  Schultz has two children; Leigh Brabec, a real estate agent in Lincoln, NE and Matthew Stahl who works with high speed automation and robotics in Saginaw, MI. 

Workshop Schedule:

8:00 - 8:30 – Arrival and Registration

8:30 – 9:30 - Flashing Your Brights

  • Welcome from Bishop Brian Maas
  • “The Theology and Practice of Intervention” or “Intervention as Life Style” - Presents intervention as a simple set of communication tools, not a dramatic TV-style, blow out.

 9:30 - 10:15 - “Understanding Substance Abuse”

  • Ties together the issues of “Disease, Decision, Addiction, and Dependency.”  Without understanding how these four interact, we don’t understand the problem. 
  • Uses theology and science to get to the bottom of the question, “Is it a sin or a disease?”

10:30 – 11:00 – The Tee Shirt Skit

  • This entertaining role play engages the group in coaching two instructors through a variety of common mistakes people make when intervening with an alcoholic or addict. 

11:00 – 11:45 - Would You Know One If You Saw One?

  • What are the presenting problems you see?  How do you raise the issue of alcohol or drug use?  
  • Simple office screening tools anyone can use. 

11:45 - 12:30 LUNCH

12:30-1 - Codependency, Original Sin and Dysfunctional Families

  • Family Systems Theory,Troubled Families and a bit of theological understanding - This presentation offers a simple model for making sense of the chaos in alcoholic families.  How is codependency like “original sin?”  Aren’t parents sort of obligated to be codependent?  Aren’t Pastors? 

1 – 1:30 – Family Sculpture

  • A Family Sculpture uses words to describe the feelings and interactions of the people around a problem drinker or drug user.  We then translate those words into postures, facial expressions and movements.  If you know how to stand up and make a face you are qualified to participate in a family sculpture. 

1:30 – 2:15 - Recovery/Prevention - A Congregation's Ministry

  • Recovering speakers
  • The Twelve Steps – Christian or christless
  • Twelve step programs
  • Working with treatment programs

2:30-3:15 – Recovery Issues

3:15-4 - Starfish Story, Post-test, Evaluation, Blessing


$35 per person - includes workshop and lunch