Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sustaining Pastoral Excellence fields final pastor cohorts.

The Sustaining Pastoral Excellence program of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership is beginning its sixth year. Funded by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., this program offering continuing education for pastors has launched its last "class" of pastoral cohorts.

This final year of the Lilly grant has seven cohort groups. These seven groups of pastors will be studying their respective questions for two years, 2009-10. In Nov. 2010 they will come together to share with each other what they have learned about their question.

Listed below are the participants in each group, district(s) represented, critical questions to be studied, and the destination of each group’s travel:

Davidson Cohort (Western Plains District): Question: "What does it mean for us to become effective rural mission-oriented pastoral leaders in effective rural, great commission, mission-oriented ministries?" Immersion retreat destination: Chicago (and places along way) to visit mission-oriented ministries and ministers. Participants: Ken Davidson (facilitator), George Hinson, Ed Switzer.

Eikler Cohort (West Marva and Pacific Southwest Districts): Question: "How does engaging other religious traditions inform and transform us and our practice of ministry?" Immersion retreat destination: Shikoku Island and Hiroshima, Japan. Participants: Torin Eiker (facilitator), Carrie Eikler, Bill Haldeman-Scarr, Sara Haldeman-Scarr, Erin Matteson, Russ Matteson.

Oltman Cohort (Western Plains District): Question: "How do we as pastors of diverse congregations experience abundant life in Christ as we individually grow in our discipleship, and hence, our ability to foster healthy relationships in Christ’s love with others?" Immersion retreat destination: Church of the Savior, Washington D.C.; and a retreat center in Great Bend, Kan. Participants: Marlo Oltman (facilitator), Leslie Frye, Sonja Griffith.

Smalley Cohort (Western Plains District): Question: "What are the attitudes, skills, and principles we need as ministerial leaders to work effectively in our own cross-cultural and multi-cultural settings?" Immersion retreat destination: Quo Vadis Center for Interfaith Dialogue in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India. Participants: David Smalley (facilitator), Michael J. Burr, Barbra S. Davis, Christopher Everett Stover-Brown.

Snyder Cohort (Western Plains District): Question: "What personal worship and spiritual direction/formation practices shape us as corporate worship planners and leaders to encourage spiritual formation in the congregation?" Immersion retreat destination: Iona Community, Scotland. Participants: Laura Snyder (facilitator), Karen Cox, Keith Funk, Jon Tuttle.

Speicher Cohort (Atlantic Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southern Pennsylvania Districts): Question: "How do we develop and sustain courage and passion to minister to our communities within a culture of fear?" Immersion retreat destination: Nigeria. Participants: Timothy Speicher (facilitator), Peter Haynes, Del Keeney, Wally Landes, Belita Mitchell.

Wenger Cohort (Western Pennsylvania District): Question: "As pastoral leaders, what actions and initiatives on our part will lead our churches into a deeper encounter with Christ and motivate them to be actively engaged in a counter-cultural fashion in the mission of Christ in our world?" Immersion retreat destination: Current Christian Ministries in England along with historical sites related to the Anabaptist/Pietist movement in England and Germany. Participants: William Wenger (facilitator), Jeffrey Fackler, Robert Rummel, John Stoner, Jr., Linda Stoner, William Waugh.

-- Linda and Glenn Timmons are coordinators of the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence program.

Source: 4/22/2009 Newsline

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