The Center for Courage & Renewal will use its Circle of Trust® approach to help pastoral leaders develop and nurture the collegial relationships vital to thriving in ministry and sustaining the work of faithfulness. We will create and convene five communities of practice made up of twenty-five early career clergy and six to eight seasoned clergy and trained facilitators each. These communities will gather for three, multiple-day retreats and monthly, small group peer learning calls over the course of a year-long program. To sustain this project, the Center will incorporate the project into its operating budget and seek funding through partnerships, grants, individual donations, and project revenue.
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Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) —affiliated with the United Church of Christ— in an effort to support new pastors in their first years of ministry after seminary graduation, hosts a program specifically curated for new and bi-vocational clergy who are serving congregations in economically disadvantaged and marginalized communities. The CTS “Resilience in Leadership” initiative will gather pastors into five regional cohorts across the country that will meet quarterly for two years and convene annually at a consultation featuring exemplary pastors and experts. Each Resilience in Leadership program participant will also meet monthly with an experienced pastor-mentor to cultivate a vision for and negotiate the challenges of leading a small and under-resourced congregation.
The Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina is planning, as part of its Thriving in Pastoral Ministry in the Episcopal Church program, an effort to launch new priests into vibrant ministries by deepening their community-consciousness and helping them form missional imaginations. The diocese will assign three new priests to serve as pastoral residents for three years in one of three congregations. The priests will rotate through these congregations, serving each congregation for one year. The congregations are geographically proximate and comprise members from diverse racial, ethnic and socioeconomic communities. Supported by spiritual direction, supervision, mentoring, coaching from senior clergy and leadership development experiences with peers and colleagues, these new clergy will develop cross-cultural competence, missional vision, liturgical agility, leadership skills, and vocational resilience. The diocese will sustain the program by drawing on earnings from endowed funds and raising additional gifts from individuals and congregations.
The Episcopal Diocese of Spokane, affiliated with the Episcopal Church, requests five-year grant to support its Flourishing Pastors: A Wholistic Systems Approach program, an effort that seeks to provide for the flourishing of newly ordained clergy serving in rural, small congregations in the diocese. The program will provide individual mentors for all newly ordained clergy and those new to the diocese, host monthly regional clergy groups for spiritual formation and support, organize diocesan clergy retreats and conferences to sharpen leadership skills, encourage and support spiritual direction and coaching for clergy, and conduct regular leadership development programs for teams of parish clergy and lay leaders. To sustain this effort, the diocese will incorporate the program into its operating budget and raise funds from new donors.
Catawba College, affiliated with the United Church of Christ, requests a five-year grant to support its Catawba Clergy Network program to provide opportunities for rest, reflection, resources, and relationships for local and alumni/ae clergy. The Catawba Clergy Network will identify and focus on specific contexts of ministry within our network, beginning with part time or bivocational ministers and clergy in their first call. These pastors sharing similar contexts will be formed into cohorts. Local and alumni/ae clergy will be invited to Catawba Clergy Days to interact with Catawba faculty, students, and other community leaders for conversation, continuing education, networking, and reflection. The Catawba Clergy Network will also award small grants to pastors to support innovation and specific ministry needs.
Grove City College, a Christian liberal arts and sciences college in western Pennsylvania, seeks a five-year grant for its Project on Rural Ministry (PRM). This effort will convene pastors who minister in denominationally diverse but geographically and demographically similar contexts to receive and share accrued wisdom concerning the practice of ministry in rural settings. The PRM will form three cohorts of 10 pastors each who serve rural and small town congregations in the Agricultural, Rust Belt, and Appalachian regions served by the college. Key program activities include: an opening and closing conference for combined cohorts; participation in a virtual network with clergy peers; regional single-cohort meetings; customized single-church site visits by consultants specializing in social work, entrepreneurship, and Christian ministry; and the provision of student interns and service learners who will respond to pastors’ requests for more concentrated resources based on their communities’ needs. To sustain this work, Grove City College will seek to establish and extend the work of the PRM by funding an ongoing Ministry Institute to foster engagement between college, church, and community. Project details may be reviewed at www.ruralministry.org.