Envisioned and created by the Strengthening the Black Church Committee, Renew and Connect is a set of creative and energetic retreats, cultivating new, yet sustainable, ministry approaches. Community building and partnerships are central to the success of this program.
To engage African American churches (clergy and a larger lay team of 5-8) in four one-day retreats over a year. Each retreat is paired with coaching in between sessions to provide resourcing, continued planning, and an accountability model.
In recognition of the black churches’ needs for relational connection, three to five churches in geographic proximity will engage with the program in the first year to encourage partnerships and community. In addition, we will connect with African-American students at area universities (Shaw, Duke Div., etc.) to find young adults who can partner with these churches and participate in the retreats as a model of mentorship.
Interested in participating? Please reach out to Leah Wiebe-Smith (email@example.com) to find out more.
The following four retreats have been planned for the 2019-2020 cohort:
Restart and Refresh
Led by M. Garlinda Burton
Deaconess, Director of Resource Development, GCORR
Saturday, September 14, 2019
In the current political and social climate, how do we thrive? In this first retreat, we will tend to our souls (collectively and personally) and set the stage for our work together by strengthening connections between participating churches and among team members from each congregation. We are not alone. How can we work together to strengthen networks and build community?
About Garlinda Burton:
A deaconess in the United Methodist Church, Garlinda Burton works with staff and constituents to develop devotional, educational, and worship resources to support laity and clergy and other church leaders in tearing down walls of racial, cultural, and tribal divisions and to foster Christian community and social justice.
Garlinda has more than 30 years of experience as a writer, editor, producer, and trainer around issues of intercultural competency, racial justice, and gender justice. She is also committed to helping the church engage and nurture children, youth, and young adults as positive and powerful change agents for the cause of Jesus Christ.
Change and Innovation
Led by Dr. Margaret Brunson
CEO, Illumined Leadership Solutions
Saturday, November 2, 2019
In the midst of rapid change in the country, how do we cultivate an adaptive and innovative mindset in churches? In this second retreat, we will address issues such as the age gap between current members and potential new members and learn practical strategies for moving congregations out of the “maintenance mindset” that is so resistant to change. The Holy Spirit is moving. How can we prepare ourselves and our congregations to be fertile ground for the new work God would have us do today?
About Margaret Brunson:
Margaret Brunson is a trained executive leadership professional with over fifteen years of experience in the public and non-profit sectors. Her company, Illumined Leadership Solutions, provides leadership development coaching, seminars, and consulting in order to illumine purpose and empower individuals and organizations to leverage their purpose for effective leadership.
A health care leader, scholar, professor, published author, community leader, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend, Margaret Brunson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from North Carolina Central University, and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) degree in leadership studies from North Carolina A&T State University.
Strategic Finances and Economic Hustle
Led by the Rev. Dr. Joseph Daniels
Lead Pastor, Emory UMC, Washington, D.C.
Saturday, February 22, 2020
As we dream big dreams, how can we ensure that the church has the financial sustainability we need to support our collective work? In this third retreat, we will explore a variety of ways to achieve financial sustainability and support church growth, including encouraging innovative partnerships and use of facilities. Financial security matters. How can we think outside of the box to ensure a stronger financial future for our churches and communities?
About Joseph Daniels:
Dr. Joseph W. Daniels, Jr., is the Lead Pastor of The Emory Fellowship in Washington, D.C., a congregation that has shifted from having a maintenance mindset to becoming a ministry of impact that reverberates from the District of Columbia across the globe. The Fellowship has been recognized on numerous occasions for its transformative urban ministry work and strong community based social justice agenda.
Pastor Daniels is an author and consultant, frequently writing and teaching on topics surrounding vision and call, leadership development, diversity training, and congregational, community and economic development. Pastor Daniels is also a Rockefeller Foundation Next Generation Leadership fellow, a former district superintendent in the United Methodist Church, and an adjunct professor at Wesley Theological Seminary. He has and continues to serve in a developmental capacity to congregations and communities in Africa, Bermuda, and the West Indies. He believes that we are to live a WHOLE life and is an advocate for peace and economic stability for families and communities globally.
Taking Care of Self
Led by the Rev. Dr. Donna Coltrane Battle
Chaplain, Meredith College
Saturday, April 25, 2020
Do you live the kind of life that people want to imitate? In this final retreat, we will learn about self-care and sustainable leadership. Especially in ministry contexts, it is easy to get pulled in so many directions that taking care of self gets lost in the midst. But this kind of leadership can be harmful to both the leader and the community that leader serves. How can engaging in practices of self care serve to strengthen the community by modeling sustainable leadership styles and shaping the culture in ways that are life-giving for all?
About Donna Battle:
Donna Battle is a native of Yanceyville, N.C., and is passionate about facilitating spaces that are life-giving by supporting knowledge of truth, fostering healthy community and healing, and encouraging others to operate within their strengths. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, watching movies, expanding her faith, and discovering new things about the world and universe.
Donna holds a B.A. in public relations from North Carolina A&T State University, an M.Div. from Duke University with a concentration in spirituality, and a Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy at Eastern University. Prior to coming to Meredith, she served several local churches, was the executive pastor of The Way Christian Center in Berkeley, Calif., and was both a life coach and associate dean of the chapel at Shaw University.