Sabbath as Resistance: An Ethic of Faithful Defiance

January 27, 2017

Sabbath as Resistance: An Ethic of Faithful Defiance

Event Information

Jan. 27, 2017, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Registration opens at 9:00 a.m. Knox Room, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, 616 N. Highland Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206 Directions

Fee: $25 (plus an additional $10 for 3.0 CEs for licensed social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, and licensed professional counselors)


Despite the Christian injunction to love our neighbors as ourselves, self-care—a form of self-love that is crucial for sustaining personal and professional wellbeing—continues to be a struggle for many in ministry and the helping professions. During this event, we will explore the cultural forces that pull at those in the helping professions causing them to overwork, overfunction, and maintain inappropriate boundaries with those they serve. We will offer a counter-vision of health that includes rest and reflection for us and those we serve. Pastors and mental health care providers are welcome.

Learn about the factors that pull one toward imbalance and unhealthy boundaries. Provide practices for resisting those pulls. Engage in self-reflection and dialogue with colleagues about obstacles to implementation of said practices and solutions for overcoming them.

Co-sponsored with Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute and underwritten by Desert Ministries Inc.


Michelle Snyder is the owner and director of Soul Shop, a national movement that equips faith community leaders to minister to those impacted by suicidal desperation and the co-owner of Harps & Willows, a congregational consulting company. With a masters in divinity and a license in social work, Michelle is uniquely experienced in work at the intersection of faith and mental health. She has worked in administration as the former executive director of the Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute where she also worked as a therapist and ran the Center for Clergy and Congregational Care. She is a trained executive leadership coach and specializes in working with those in ministry and non-profit leadership to develop their personal organizational potential. Michelle also teaches in the Masters of Social Work program at the University of Pittsburgh and is co-author of the book, Life, Death, and Reinvention: The Gift of the Impossibly Messed-Up Life. She lives in the South Hills with her husband who is a Presbyterian pastor, her two daughters, a dog, and a cat.

Ayana Teeter is a Minister of Word and Sacrament serving as the associate minister of Pittsburgh Presbytery. In addition to serving as ‘pastor-to-pastors’ and congregations, she works with the presbytery’s new worshipping communities, international missions, and peacemaking and racial justice ministries. A graduate of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and together with her husband, Ayana has previously co-pastored racially and economically diverse congregations in Texas, New York, and Missouri. Ayana has extensive clinical training in individual, marriage and family therapy, and presently serves as leadership coach to developing congregations. As co-owner of Harps & Willows, a congregational consulting company, Ayana’s desire is to encourage and equip God’s people to do God’s will. Ayana brings a deep heart for prayer, passionate worship and communion with God, and a desire to share in ministries of compassion with God’s people. She resides on the western edge of Pittsburgh and enjoys sharing life’s adventures with her husband and three young children.