Here in New England, it seems we never quite grow out of the rhythm of the school year. With summer behind us, and the quick-paced Church programmed year ahead, we barely have time to wonder what other strategies or patterns we might consider, to imagine how else we might shape our lives.
This year, we are working to be more intentional. At the Massachusetts Council of Churches, we took some time this summer to step back and imagine. We have, with the help of some talented tent-making pastors, imagined a new logo and website
for the MCC. We have, with the wisdom and dedication of a small task-force, imagined a new organizational structure
. And we are imagining more.
But you don't have to take our word for it. Listen to Leadership Education alums from across Massachusetts!
Bishop Jim Hazelwood, of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, attended Leadership Education's "Denominational Leadership" program:
"I found it to be exceedingly helpful to be given a new set of tools to approach ministry in the context of this new space we find ourselves."
Rev. Wendy Vander Hart, Associate Conference Minister of the Massachusetts Conference United Church of Christ, is a "Foundations" alumna!
"I may never have found the clarity of mission/purpose in my judicatory work had it not been for the Foundatons of Christian Leadership program. A direct line can be drawn between FOCL and the work I do provoking mission/purpose in the congregations I serve.
“Perhaps the best part of the program for me was its ecumenical nature – as mainlines (and even beyond) we are all in the same boat – all trying to figure out together how to do ministry in this post-Christendom context. It’s easy, like grieving people, to withdraw into ourselves but our creativity and energy and hope can all be unleashed when we work on these challenges together. The speakers and colleagues were all excellent; I highly recommend the program.”
"Foundations of Christian Leadership not only connected me with a broad denominational spectrum of clergy colleagues (with whom I still keep in touch), but invited me to root around at the foundations of what it meant to be a leader of a faith community. The answer was not the ubiquitous 'more programs'-- but an invitation to be fearless in stirring up the narratives of God-given transformation within my own congregation, and within my own heart and soul. "
Ms. Bristol Huffman, Director of Youth and Family Ministries, First Parish Church in Weston, MA:
"I came away from Foundations in Christian Leadership with specific strategies for creating healthy change-- in the right ways, with the right people, at the right pace-- within the institutional and cultural context of the church I serve. I gained broader perspective about my own leadership, a network of supportive colleagues, and a hopeful narrative for my vocational path."
We are excited to be working with Duke to bring this opportunity to learn and grow to leaders in the Northeast. We hope you'll consider applying or nominating someone you know.