Intentional Interim Affinity Group
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. For details and registration, use this link.
About the Facilitator: Rev. Dr. Jim Latimer is a Professional Certified Coach and a committed Intentional Interim Minister. He has been coaching ministry leaders and teams for many years around vitality, ministry effectiveness, governance and leadership development, including nine years as a staff coach with the Convergence. He also teaches coaching leadership skills to ministry leaders and is a former faculty member with Coaching4Clergy. As both a settled and transitional minister, he has served UCC congregations in CA, PA, OH and CT. As the founder of CoachingForInterims.com, he keeps abreast of both typical and the emerging challenges and opportunities of interim ministry through regular interviews with active interim and designated term ministers.
Millenials in Ministry
This group is open to all Authorized/Rostered/Parochial Ministers born in 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. For details and registration, use this link.
About the Facilitator: Rev. Dr. Chris S. Davies grew up in Connecticut, lives in Cleveland, and is a wandering Irish Rover at heart. Chris is a millennial leader, a queer femme, an urban farmer and beekeeper, and a creative networker of communities. Chris attended Smith College for her undergrad work and Andover Newton Theological School for both a Masters of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry, focusing on queering proclamation. She currently serves on the National Staff of the United Church of Christ.
Tending the Holy Fires in One Another: Group Spiritual Direction
This small group of up to six participants gathers with an experienced spiritual director to be companions and guides for one another. The primary purpose of this peer group is to listen for God’s presence in the lives and stories of those in the group, applying the lens of theological reflection to everyday life, where God’s Emanuel-ness shines. For details and registration, use this link.
About the Facilitator: Jennie Isbell Shinn, M.A., M.Div., is a bit obsessed with Incarnation, both as a religious detail, and as a primary to-do for life on Earth. While in seminary, she tailored as many assignments as possible to redeeming the body in Christian theology and practice, and she's still working at it. Jennie is a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and sojourns with the United Church of Christ. She serves on the Coordinating Council of Spiritual Directors International, and is co-author of Finding God in the Verbs: Crafting a Fresh Language of Prayer.
Past Affinity Groups include the following:
Becoming More Racially Conscious: A Learning Journey for White Ministers
These cohort-based sessions create a trusting and confidential environment where white ministers can deepen their understanding of how race shows up at the personal, interpersonal, institutional and cultural levels and how they are called to recognize and interrupt racism within their congregations and beyond. When individuals engage in personal reflective work, an understanding of their racial identity development occurs. When people have opportunities to listen and talk to each other in an environment of mutual respect, perspectives on the impact of race in society can change.
Tempered Resilience: How Leaders are Formed in the Crucible of Change
Ask any leader and she will tell you that leading change is hard work. But the hardest part of all? It's the part that almost none of us expect. The most soul-sucking thing for most leaders is not the challenge of a changing world, but overcoming the resistance of our own people to make the changes they need to survive and thrive.
Ministers of Color Affinity Group
The purpose of this group is to create a mutually supportive, safe space in which ministers of color can develop deeper community, build additional skills for managing and navigating their contexts and systems, and prioritize care of self. Participants also are expected to experience enhanced self-awareness and strengthened leadership capacity.
Touched by Jesus: Playing with Prayer
This group invites participants to step out of their often overly serious and word-filled head by attending to the physicality of grace and praying with childlike playfulness. It is a space to rekindle freedom and trust throughout the body with deep breaths, simple movements, and creative formats.
Clergy Women Connections: Learning to balance, juggle and breathe
Although many denominations profess equality among all people, including clergy of different genders and identifications, female clergy and those who identify as female often experience pejorative treatment from peers, leaders and parishioners. This small group of female and people who identify as female clergy gather to explore the joys and manage the challenges of being in ministry.
The Rainbow Path: Small Group Experience for LGBTQIA+ Clergy
This small group provides an opportunity for members of the LGBTQIA+ community to share the joys and challenges of being in ministry and to receive affirmation and support. It explores areas of common interest and builds further skills for ministry.
Tending the Holy Fires in One Another: Group Spiritual Direction
This small group of up to six participants gathers with an experienced spiritual director to be companions and guides for one another. The primary purpose of this peer group is to listen for God’s presence in the lives and stories of those in the group, applying the lens of theological reflection to everyday life, where God’s Emanuel-ness shines.
A small portion of the Lilly Endowment grant funding for Together We Thrive and a grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation cover a large portion of the cost of running these groups, which allows us to offer these incredible opportunities for a reasonable fee. Payment plans and scholarship suggestions are available; please contact the Program Director for additional information.