The Thriving Rural Communities Initiative (TRCI) works to foster thriving rural North Carolina communities by cultivating faithful rural Christian leadership and fruitful rural United Methodist congregations. The Thriving Rural Communities Initiative is a partnership of The Duke Endowment, both NC Annual Conferences and Duke Divinity School.
Rev. Brad Thie, the Director of TRCI led the workshop. He shared with the standing room only group of clergy and laity the foundation of the revitalization of the rural church.
- The church is built on the resurrection of Jesus. John Calvin said, “The church of Jesus Christ and its history, is nothing but a chain of resurrections from the dead.”
- Church revitalization and resurrection begins with individual and corporate prayer. Examples of prayerful practices which resulted in church transformation in the NCC include the Beech Grove-Rhems charge in New Bern, and the Bladen Charge in Bladen County.
Additionally, Rev. Thie shared a document produced by research from the evaluative group CAPD titled “Church Challenges and Gifts.” The document states, “It is hard for a church to be good at everything. Every church is better at some things than others. Each church also has its own particular set of gifts and challenges.” Each rural church has its own gifts for ministry, and to live into the Spirit gifts that God has given in each church and community honors God and brings blessing to members and guests.
If you would like more information regarding TRCI or the “Church Challenges and Gifts,” please contact Rev. Brad Thie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-660-3423.