Belhar Confession Study Group
The Belhar Confession group is composed of seven Christian Reformed Church pastors serving in Ohio and Michigan. They are multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and in various stages of ministry.  They come together to support each other and, as a beginning, to study the Belhar Confession in order to discuss how they can preach it, teach it, and practice its statements about unity, reconciliation and justice.
The Lemmings are seven Lay Ecclesial Ministers (“L-E-M-ings”) in the Roman Catholic Church who are men and women, married and single, who have sensed a deep calling to Church ministry.  They have made major life commitments to become educated at the graduate level, and serve in church leadership roles.  Because of their unique position in the Catholic Church, there are few pastoral support resources available for them, so they are creating a safe and supportive environment for mutual support in their ministries.
Preacher as Artist
The entire name of the cohort is The Preacher as Artist – the Sermon as Collage.  These five ministers, of four denominations and five states, are pursuing the analogies between the preacher and the working artist, both of whom shape an idea and a message from an honest place within, and then publicly unveil it.  Using the metaphor of collage, they are exploring their sermons using collage-element descriptors.  What is the canvas, i.e., the background-setting?  What are the scraps, fragments and pieces of material, i.e., the scripture, personal narrative, the hymn connections?   What are the colors, i.e., justice, or eschatology, or exegesis?  Through readings, discussions, recordings of story-telling, and collage-making, they are encouraging each other to open to the creativity of the sermon.
Soil & Seed Garden Ministry
This is a Seattle area group of four ministers who come together based on one vision: to support and teach Churches in planting gardens on their properties.  They will learn about simpler and healthier living through the production of individual gardens by beginning to learn how to grow simple vegetables for themselves, and then expand to churches in various communities.  They are identifying twelve African American churches where they will present this idea along with the historical factors and significance surrounding gardening for those of African descent.  They will select one Sunday during this time with the theme “Soil and Seed Sunday.”
Transformers: Pastors in Disguise
Four Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) ministers are working together to discern what role mission plays in the context of the re-invigoration and transformation of churches and their ministers.  They are working from the premise that, fundamental to transforming leadership, and thereby congregations, “is a passion for transforming mission: ‘the result of God’s initiative, rooted in God’s purposes to restore and heal creation.’” [D. Guder.]  As a group, they are sharing their passion to speak the healing Gospel; they are receiving the transforming gifts of deep relationship, restoration, and healing; and then plan to translate their transformative experience for an ever-expanding circle of ministry settings.
Women in Charge
In the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., there are five Episcopal women who are the clergy leaders of their congregations; they come together to share, hear, encourage, support and challenge each other as women and as leaders in the church.  They are meeting, reading, discussing and engaging in coaching.  They will meet with and learn from outstanding women leaders in the wider church and the world to increase their “ability to lead effectively while maintaining emotional, physical, and spiritual health.”
Christianity and Empire
Empire Slayers is group of four ELCA Lutheran clergy in San Antonio, Texas.  They are studying the relationship between the Roman Empire and the early church, and how that relationship is reflected in the Scriptures and in the life and practices of the early church.  They are seeing to make connections between the days of the early church and our own time.
The Liminality cohort describes themselves in this way: “We stand at the threshold of shared learning and spiritual experience.  We value the possibility of interaction between various cohort members in order to discern new ways of ministering to one another in the context of Hospice Chaplaincy.  We look forward to journeying together into the ambiguity of the unknown.”
Preaching with Fire
The goal of the Preaching With Fire cohort is to create an intentionally diverse community of ministers where they can support and challenge each other “as we love God’s people by proclaiming God’s Word to them.”  During pastoral formation they met people whose preaching they admire and whose feedback they trust; this group is “seeking a way to form a homiletic support system,” even though geographically separated.  These four ministers (African-American and white, gay and straight, conservative and progressive) are using Web 2.0 technologies, including video, to communicate intensely and often to hone their preaching skills.  They will also seek out and work with homiletical mentors to improve and explore new approaches to preaching.
Soul Friends

The Soul Friends are five Texas chaplains who are colleagues with Lifeline Chaplaincy, a non-profit ministry with the Churches of Christ. Using the Anam-Cara model of Celtic Christianity, they seek to support each other for the purpose of spiritual growth, both individually and collectively, and thereby replenish their spiritual and emotional resources.  Through reading, retreat and reflection, they will foster pastoral excellence so they may continue to serve others in their spiritually and emotionally challenging ministries.

Voice Lessons
The Voice Lessons group see themselves as “clergy moms re-discovering their voice through the power of the written word.”  Knowing that “a well written sermon can transform life,” these five Presbyterians are on a quest “to find the transformative voice within us that inspires love, change and a new-found lust for life.”  They are meeting to read and write and challenge each other to grow.  Together they will learn to face difficulties and joys honestly, and use their writing as a transformative outlet.  They will work with a writing coach and other Christian writers to help them discover and hone their own creativities and talents.
Hardcore Christianity
Hardcore Christianity is a group of four colleagues who seek to reach out to and reveal God’s kingdom to those who have been disenfranchised from the church and religion in general, and to offer them a medium where they may have a legitimate voice to express themselves.  The group will use the stories of the disenfranchised to explore ways to re-imagine what “church” would look like if it were to open its doors fully and without condition.
Pathways to Pastoral Excellence
The purpose of this group is to help encourage long-term ministerial friendships between clergy couples in ways that will strengthen their ministries and enhance their abilities to lead.  They are exploring ways to restore and reclaim the activities of their lives that remind them that they are “whole people rather than narrow versions” of themselves.  These couples will remind each other that it is okay to be creative and have fun, and that through healthy relationships and friendships, they will become better leaders and more caring pastors.
Slow Arts
Five female Episcopal priests, who live and serve in the northeast, are exploring the notion of cultivating the ‘slow arts’ as a spiritual practice.  These include yoga, music, arts and crafts, whole foods cooked from scratch, experiencing nature’s goodness in the present moment and others; these are employed as “a spiritual antidote to the frenzied techno-life that most of us are forced to lead.”  They will seek balance and sustainability through meetings, retreats and exploring the richness and importance of the simple moments and activities of life.
Spirituality of Terroir
Four central plains ministers, Christian Church and Methodist, are expanding on the associations of terroir, the “taste of place,” to consider how understanding the food, farming, environmental sustainability, food distribution and nutrition of distinctly different geographic places can analogously inform and ground the practice of ministry and congregational witness.  Through travel to four different places, to work and study with those who are most in touch with each specific terroir, they seek more clearly to discover their own authentic selves and their unique gifts in order to serve more fully in their own particular ministries.
Wicked Good Maine
The Wicked Good Maine Group is composed of five Presbyterian pastors in a “shared cooperative ministry” context of small churches in rural Maine.  They are meeting to define and reframe this kind of ministry, and support each other and their congregations in this isolating, challenging and rewarding service.  They meet to discuss books on worship, social justice, theology and mission, and work to integrate family systems models to improve their congregations’ interactions and the quality of their own ministries.  Together they are creating a bible school curriculum, including newly composed music, based on Christian environmental ethics and creation spirituality to share with other churches.