What is Renew and Connect?
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) to find out more.
Additional Pastor Support
The Rev. Dr. Fatimah S. Salleh walks alongside clergy and congregations in the work of healing in ministry, and will serve as an additional resource person for clergy participating in Renew and Connect. She offers individual spiritual direction sessions, where those in ministry can talk through their faith journeys. She also works alongside preachers in sermon preparation and developing curriculum for Bible study.
Dr. Salleh was born in Brooklyn, NY to a Puerto-Rican and Malaysian mother and an African-American father. She is the eldest of seven. Dr. Salleh received her PhD in Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also earned a Master’s degree from Syracuse University in Public Communication and a second Master’s in Divinity from Duke University. She is married to Eric Sorensen and they have four children. She is currently the founder of A Certain Work, an organization dedicated to educating on issues of faith, diversity, equity, and inclusion.