Together We Thrive News
Affinity Groups: Past and Future
Have you heard about the Together We Thrive Affinity groups? These year-long intentional learning communities have been exploring various topics and focusing on the needs of specific communities of ministers. Read on as we take a look back at the Affinity Groups of 2021 and reveal the upcoming groups available in 2022.
In 2021, like many programs around the wider Church, all Together We Thrive Affinity Groups were moved to an online format. The online format allowed us to draw some bigger names from areas outside of the New England region. It also allowed us to extend the invitation to participate to colleagues in other regions. The key in each of the groups was the intentional space provided for clergy to develop relationships with one another while being guided through content that expands their own expertise.
Late last spring, we launched groups that created learning communities for Women In Ministry and LGBTQIA+ Clergy, creating space for the particular needs that members of these communities face in ministry and in the Church. In addition, there were groups focused on Group Spiritual Direction and developing a joy filled spiritual practice through Playing with Prayer.
Earlier this fall, three additional groups launched. In collaboration with Rev. James Ross II, the SNEUCC Minister for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, a group for Ministers of Color was launched. An intentional learning group was offered for white ministers dedicated to Becoming More Racially Conscious. Rounding out the Fall offerings was a group led by author Rev. Dr. Tod Bolsinger focused on the subject of his latest book, Tempered Resilience: How Leaders are Formed in the Crucible of Change.
These groups are just the beginning! In early 2022, Together We Thrive will be launching the following groups:
Millennials in Ministry
This group is open to all Authorized/Rostered/Parochial Ministers born in the years 1980-1995. Led by a Millennial Pastor and Leader, it will explore the unique joys, perspectives, and challenges of those serving the Church in our current context, through some research and content presentation, as well as connection across group members.
Intentional Interim Ministers
Interim Ministry is a special calling and one that requires unique skills, gifts and training. In a time when effective Interim ministers are in high demand and yet often serve in challenging situations, support and colleague connections are even more essential. Led by a seasoned Interim and experienced Coach, this group seeks to provide a community of colleagues who can challenge, encourage and learn from one another while exploring the context of Intentional Interim Ministry.
Group Spiritual Direction
In this offering of group spiritual direction, up to 6 people will come together with an experienced spiritual director to be companions and guides for one another. Our primary purpose in these confidential peer groups will be to listen for God’s Presence in the lives and stories of one another, applying the lens of theological reflection to everyday life, where God’s Emanuel-ness shines.
If you're interested in one of our groups, or have an idea for a topic, please reach out to TWT Program Director Rev. Heather Ramsey-Mabrouk at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts.
Rev. Heather is the Together We Thrive Program Coordinator for the Southern New England Conference.