Belong to the Body
Members of Belonging to the Body ask “What makes us the Church together?” when shared perspectives or life experiences are no longer a given in congregations. These Lutheran and Presbyterian pastors from the Twin Cities will gather to tackle this question—and take care of themselves—in 24-hour monthly retreats.
Six women pastors from the Baltimore Washington Conference (UMC) form inteGR8. They love the church and long for its renewal. At the same time, they long for an integrated life that balances family and church, work and recreation, service and prayer. They will gather monthly for activities, conversations, experiences, and projects that engage the five practices of loving God with heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Puget Sound Young Clergy
A group of six United Methodist and Presbyterian pastors are passionate clergy deeply committed to sustaining effective ministry in local parishes as they bring the good news of the gospel to our varied 21st century communities. They have proposed a two year learning project that will focus on personal spiritual practices and corporate worship.
Simply Divine
Four United Methodist women will explore the creative arts as a spiritual means of grace in order to nurture their spirituality and understanding of the Divine. They will foster the development of artistic Christian expression through a variety of mediums and produce some form of artwork to be shared in community upon completion.
Stone Rings
The Stone Rings are an intentionally diverse fellowship of recently graduated clergy and neo-monastics who seek to study prominent liturgical symbols of the Christian faith. They represent the Presbyterian, United Methodist, and Episcopal faith communities. They are male and female, gay and straight, Boomer and Gen X.
Families in Ministry
Families in Ministry are three Presbyterian Church (USA) clergy couples, all with very young children, who seek balance between ministry and family through fellowship, play, and study. Their goals are to sustain healthy ministries, marriages, and families. Sometimes they will gather only as couples; and at other times with their children. They will invite long-time clergy couples to share their life experiences as clergy families.
Male Spirituality
Male Spirituality is comprised of four Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastors working together for spiritual growth and to enhance ministry to other men. The group is exploring what masculine spirituality means for the sake of men’s wholeness and maturity, addressing what has been lacking for many men in the church. They will meet in wilderness retreats for study and silence in the transforming power of creation.
Reverent Writers
Every second Wednesday of the month the four clergy women of Reverent Writers gather to workshop writing, share prayer concerns and support each other in their callings. They will expand their gatherings to include conferences, a week-long writing retreat with an instructor, and intentional conversations with people in the publishing industry.
Society of Pastoral Excellence
Six Austin Seminary alumni, serving as Presbyterian congregational leaders, are the founding members of a society that seeks to strive for pastoral excellence through the practice of peer coaching. They seek to pilot a model of coaching that could be used throughout the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to encourage pastors in the pursuit of their calling for the sake of the Church Universal.
The Table
Together, the six women of The Table, believe God gives good gifts to God’s kids, and chief among them are communion with God and with each other. In response, they commit to gathering together and sharing bread and wine, that they might be strengthened for lifetimes of fruitful ministry.
First Callers
First Callers formed as six pastors in their first calls of ministry. They have sustained bonds of friendship formed in seminary and together are committed to exploring how churches in different contexts “do” worship. They are looking at how the church is a part of the local community, especially contrasting urban and rural communities. Through this, they will deepen their knowledge, broaden the shape of their calls, and nurture and support each other's ministries.
Preacher as Artist
Libraries abound with volumes about the practice of preaching and its theological implications. Very little exists about preaching as art. Members of Preacher as Artist represent a variety of traditions but hold in common a love for the way language is shaped and voiced in preaching. Members of this cohort are working with artists to consider the creative process, the muse, the vulnerability, and the mystery of preaching as art and preacher as artist.
Sacred Spaces
Sacred Spaces is a group of five clergy under 40 who have served in pastoral ministry for fewer than ten years. Finding that pastoral ministry is filled with unpredictability and crowded scheduling, their goal is to enhance professional proficiency and intimacy with God, through identifying, exploring, and convening sacred spaces.
Soulful Seasons, City Living
Soulful Seasons, City Living is a cohort of five dynamic, multi-ethnic, bi-denominational women under age 35 who serve as associate pastors in congregations across the Washington, D.C. area. They will spend extended time together quarterly in reflective retreat, study, prayer, cooking, travel, and self-care, leaving the fumes of the city and seeking to breathe in the seasons of God’s goodness.