Learn, Reflect & Connect with 4 New Affinity Groups - Expert-Led Learning Journeys That Foster Deep Colleague Connections

Learn, Reflect & Connect with 4 New Affinity Groups - Expert-Led Learning Journeys That Foster Deep Colleague Connections

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Throughout Scripture, the ministry of leaders called by God are often marked with close followers, supporters, and allies.  As pastors, you are called to the work of ministry, but you are not called to do that work alone.  The God we serve is relational, living our faith requires building connections to one another and to God, and the work of ministry is best done in the context of community and relationships.  Being transformed by God as pastors requires community, relationship and support.  Together We Thrive, a partner of the Center for Transformational Leadership, is launching 4 Affinity Groups which will provide community, peer relationships and support paired with the wisdom and guidance of a practitioner, scholar or expert.
 
Together We Thrive Affinity Groups gather several times per year around a specific topic, learning goal or type of ministry work. The group is led by a topic expert who has been specifically recruited by the Together We Thrive Program director for their level of skill, experience and effectiveness as a leader.  The topic expert plans each gathering, resources the group and facilitates group conversations.  These Affinity Groups are conducive to creating a safe space in which clergy can learn and grow through deep sharing and honest reflection.  
 
This Spring, four groups were offered. Tending the Holy Fires in One Another, a group spiritual direction journey, launched in mid-June.  Launching later this month are Touched by Jesus: Playing with Prayer, an exploration of joy, playfulness and embodied prayer with Brother Luke from the Society of St. John the Evangelist, The Rainbow Path, a small group experience for LGTBQIA+ clergy led by author, pastor and presenter Rev. Dr. Rachel Keefe, and Clergy Women Connections: Learning to balance, juggle and breathe, a group for women (and those who identify as women) in ministry led by Barbara Cox, who has a Master’s in Social Work, a master's degree from Wartburg Theological Seminary, and a background in military family support. 
 
Full Group descriptions can be found here.
Registration for several of these groups is still open. A link to the registration form can be found under each group description on the website.

The latest news: Funds have just been released that allow Together We Thrive to offer a limited number of grants towards the cost of participating in one of our June Affinity Groups.  Each grant will bring the enrollment fee to $125 for the Women in Ministry group, the Playing with Prayer Group, and the Rainbow Path group.  When you register for one of these group, please select whether you would like to receive a grant or if you would like to pay it forward and pass the grant on to someone else who registers.  Registrations must be received by Sunday 6/20 to be eligible for the grant option.  
 
Together We Thrive is an ecumenical clergy leadership development initiative. It is a collaboration of the Southern New England Conference United Church of Christ, the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, and is funded by a Thriving in Ministry grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.  The central focus of the Together We Thrive initiative and the Thriving in Ministry grant program is to build community, resources and networks of peer relationships that help Pastors to thrive in their lives and in their ministry.  By nurturing thriving local church pastors, this initiative helps build healthy, vital churches, which impact the community and therefore the world.  
 
More information about these groups and other ecumenical clergy leadership development programs offered by Together We Thrive can be found on the website: www.TogetherWeThriveGrant.org 

 
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