Disciples of Welcome

A LEARNING AND PRAXIS EXPERIENCE FOR UNITED METHODIST PASTORS SERVING NORTH CAROLINA SEEKING TO LIVE OUT A CALL OF RADICAL HOSPITALITY IN THEIR CHURCHES & COMMUNITIES

APPLICATION EXTENDED TO JULY 15!

 
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The past five years in the U.S have brought intense partisan polarization, rising white nationalist movement, and in the United Methodist Church, immense pain over differences on human sexuality. North Carolina is on the front lines of these challenges, with pastors often feeling isolated and struggling to figure how to have conversations across difference that lead to greater understanding and stronger community. How do we follow Jesus in these times? How do we lead our congregations into having courageous dialogue and model moral courage in the face of division and despair?

There is no silver bullet solution, no magic formula. Instead, what faith leaders need in this moment is a cultivation of the heart, a community of mutual support, and the building of new skill sets to become ambassadors across multiple divides. Such is the vision of Disciples of Welcome, a learning journey for United Methodist clergy serving in North Carolina.


Running from August 2019 to Spring 2021 through the leadership of Faith Matters Network and The People’s Supper, Disciples of Welcome aims to support North Carolina in becoming a national model for social healing by catalyzing pastors as systems change agents that embody an alternative to the ruptures that dominate our culture from our politics to the pews. Rooted in the Biblical call to hospitality and the theology of the table, the cohort experience will equip participants with tools, practical wisdom, relationships, resources and a concrete action plan to create “Brave Space” in their communities in ways that holds complexity and tension meaningfully and with courage.

*Please note: While this program is designed with a particular focus on rural contexts, it is open to all UMC clergy serving in NC, suburban and urban included. Additionally, understanding that ministry contexts and appointments can change, as well as the fact this is an uncertain time in the UMC, be encouraged that we are invested in your participation and your leadership regardless of any shifts in your ministry over the course of the program.

 
Participants in a Peoples Supper at University City United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina in November 2018.

Participants in a Peoples Supper at University City United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina in November 2018.


 

Program elements and commitments:

  • Three in-person retreats with full lodging covered and travel stipends available. Dates: September 23-25, 2019, April 20-22, 2020, Sept. 28-30, 2020.

  • Regular video calls (alternating between calls with experienced leaders in bridge-building and smaller peer group reflection calls self-selected based by on geography or shared interests). Video calls to be hosted approximately monthly during daytime hours, excluding December. Full call schedule will be released with notice of acceptance.

  • Mini-grants of $1500 per cohort member to bring a vision for social healing in your congregation or local community to life.

  • One-on-one coaching to guide personal and professional growth in the ministry of bridge-building, including concrete feedback and support on plan for use of mini-grant funds.

How can we create relationships among us that bring those words to life, ways of being together that are congruent with what we teach and preach?
— Parker Palmer