Southwest region trip

October 25, 2021 @ 10:00 am October 29, 2021 @ 2:30 pm EDT

Pastor Terrell L McTyer (Minister of New Church Strategies) will be travelling for Connect Faith, an annual education conference and appointment-only trade show that brings together the most active planners, suppliers, and experts in faith-based meetings and events for three days of general sessions, roundtables, workshops, preset appointments and networking.

Connect

678-987-9900

https://www.connectmeetings.com

Kalahari Resorts

3001 Kalahari Blvd
Round Rock, Texas 78665 United States
+ Google Map
+1 877 525 2427
https://www.kalahariresorts.com/texas
Leadership Academy 2021

Leadership Academy expands its reach but keeps God’s work as its focus

150 registrants. 16 workshop leaders. 15 vendors. Seven denominations. All coming together for three days!

Despite being held online for a second year running, this didn’t stop church planters, regional representatives, and lay leaders from taking part in New Church Ministry’s Leadership Academy. In fact, registration was almost double what it was in 2020, with attendees reflecting age and racial diversity.

Moreover, with the Multiply Track session—a new addition for 2021—program staff, boards, and clergy of established congregations were able to learn alongside their peers, too. This cohort, facilitated by Pastor Terrell L McTyer (Minister of New Church Strategies) and Christie Love (pastor and church planter of The Connecting Grounds in Springfield, MO), was the largest track with 60 registrants who explored vision and problem statements, as well as growth and fixed mindsets.

But what keeps past participants returning year after year? Not only is it other tracks for core teams at the same stage of the church launch process, but it’s also thought-provoking plenaries, interactive practical workshops, and dedicated time for fellowship.

Learning in their own contexts

During the Start Track, core teams who had not yet planted their communities of faith joined from as far away as Maryland and California. Led by New Church Ministry Associate Minister Rev. Dr. Jose Martinez and New Church Ministry coach Pastor Jorge “Joey” Cotto, core teams of emerging faith communities explored how church planting has changed since the pandemic and how tools such as a spiritual gifts inventory can help leaders identify their skills and talents.

Meanwhile, in the Sustain Track, Sandy Harvey (long-time Leadership Academy track facilitator and President and CEO of Exodus Consulting Group), Carla Leon (New Initiatives Manager for the United Church of Canada’s EDGE: A Network for Ministry Development), and Rev. Selena Reyes (chair of the Florida region’s New Church Ministry Commission and the event’s Spanish translator) discussed money and marketing/branding with core teams that had recently launched their places of worship.

“As a founder, you are your brand,” shared Carla, who has previously teamed up with New Church Ministry on an episode of New Church Hacks and the Hopeful Economics UnConference

Sharing wisdom and experiences

Leadership Academy’s plenaries, or DOCTalks, are joint sessions led by a thought leader who addresses missional transformation. This year, the thought leaders were first-timer Rev. Dr. Eun Strawser (co-vocational church planter and physician), who spoke about disciple-making; returning guest Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija (Founding Director of TryTank), who spoke about innovation; and Rev. Dr. Delesslyn Kennebrew (Minister for New and Transforming Churches in the Greater Kansas City region), who led the event’s Commissioning Service.

“Discipleship is meant for everyone and not just some,” Rev. Dr. Eun told those present. “It’s meant to imitate Jesus and to have concrete models around us in order to imitate Jesus.”

Learn.Explore.Actuate.Discover.Laboratories

Leadership Academy’s workshops, or LEADLabs, are designed to help leaders imagine, innovate, and implement sustainable concepts. While the workshop leaders, called Spiritual Scientists and Subject Matter Experts, discussed topics ranging from building management to financial independence, the topic of rest was a common one that resonated with participants.

“Leadership Academy saved me from overworking myself and reminded me to lead with God first,” recalled Queen of New Eyes Village Church in Fort Collins, CO, a Leadership Academy participant.

Building connections

Participants had time to get to know one another during Wednesday morning’s Breakout & Breakfast session, a staple of the last couple years that has proven to be popular with those in attendance.

“The Leadership Academy is empowering me to align myself with God’s call, knowing that I’m not alone,” wrote Rev. Kristin Aardema Faigh, a Leadership Academy participant, in her feedback for the event, “and that what I am called to do is important, and possible.”

Breakout rooms were also used during tracks to enable participants to collaborate in small groups.

The future of Leadership Academy

What enabled this potentially unwieldy undertaking to take place? The hard work and dedication of Project Coordinator Wesley King, who organized speakers, facilitated registration, and helped attendees navigate the event’s digital platforms such as Zoom, Teachable, and Whova, the latter of which was also a 2021 addition.

“This was my first Leadership Academy,” explained Wesley, “and it was amazing to see the way that God is moving and working in the lives and ministries of folks all over the United States and Canada!”

And next year? Well, next year, Leadership Academy will continue to be an exclusively digital gathering, and the Church can only imagine the various opportunities that God will provide us to see the Spirit moving.

Crucial Hacks to Decolonize Your Church

Season 3, Episode 4

October 13, 2021 @ 3:00 pm 4:00 pm EDT

In recent years, the term “decolonization” has entered popular vocabulary, drawing attention to the role of religious organizations in gentrification and the history of colonial oppression. This subject is complex and frequently fraught with contradicting ideas about defining religious ideals, colonialism, and its victims. How can congregations uphold their standards while actively combating social injustice? In this New Church Hacks episode, we unpacked these ideas and:

  • Focused on anti-racism as an approach to church development and community engagement
  • Created space for conversations and practical ways in which to shape and reshape congregational DNA to reflect anti-racist discipleship
  • Raised awareness of the ways in which your congregation is colonialistic 

Host Pastor Terrell McTyer was joined by featured guests Brandon Wrencher (Minister and Organizer of the Good Neighbor Movement), Naomi Washington-Leapheart (Director for Faith-Based and Interfaith Affairs for the City of Philadelphia and Faith Work Director for the National LGBTQ Task Force), and Chris Morton (Regional Minister of Disciples of Christ in Nebraska and Director of Cotner College Educational Ministries).


New Church Hacks provides practical (and sometimes peculiar) prompts for churches from start to restart. This free webinar series is jam-packed with clever solutions to tricky problems and empowers courageous leaders with the tools, tips and how-tos to start, sustain and strengthen congregations. For regular updates, be sure to check this page and follow along on social media with #NewChurchHacks!

A link to a recording of the webinar will be emailed to all registrants after the episode airs, regardless of attendance.

You can either view the webinar on Zoom by registering below or by watching Terrell, Brandon, Naomi, and Chris live on New Church Ministry’s Facebook page.

track sessions

2021 Leadership Academy

September 21, 2021 @ 11:00 am September 23, 2021 @ 6:00 pm EDT

At its annual Leadership Academy, New Church Ministry gathers leaders all across regions in the United States and Canada. Our team invites pastors, church planters, chaplains, and others who are interested in becoming empowered to join us. You do not need to be a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to attend.

This virtual event includes three separate track sessions for core teams who have yet to launch a community of faith, teams that have recently started one, and leaders of established congregations, DOCTalks facilitated by thought leaders who will address missional transformation inclusive of every stage of leadership and congregational vitality, and LEADLabs (Learn.Explore.Actuate.Discover.Laboratories) designed to help participants imagine, innovate, and implement missional concepts through interactive, practical workshops.

Accommodations for Spanish-speaking participants will be available.

Schedule

All times are in Eastern Standard Time. 

Tuesday, September 21

11 – 11:30a :30OpeningWelcome
Introduction of Staff and Trainers
Overview of platforms and schedule
11:30 – 12:30p :60DOCTalkDisciple-Making with Eun Strawser
12:30 – 1p :30BREAK 
1 – 2:30p:90Track Sessions 
2:30 – 3p:30BREAK 
3 – 4p :60LEADLabs1. Church Planting Process with Terrell
2. Relationships with Joy and Heidi
3. Self-Care with Joselyn
4. Facilities with Craig
5. Sabbath with Eun
4 – 4:30p :30BREAK 
4:30 – 6p :90Track Sessions 

Wednesday, September 22

11 – 11:10a :10 Opening 
11:10 – 11:30a :20 Breakout &
Breakfast
 
11:30 – 12:30p  :60 DOCTalkInnovation with Lorenzo Lebrija
12:30 – 1p :30 BREAK 
1 – 2:30p :90 Track Sessions 
2:30 – 3p :30 BREAK 
3 – 4p :60 LEADLabs1. Foresight and Futuring with Lorenzo
2. Financial Wellness with Cynthia
3. Trauma-informed Church Development with
Christie
4. Rebuilding with Joey
5. Soul-care with Tim
4 – 4:30p :30 BREAK 
4:30 – 6p :90 Track Sessions 

Thursday, September 23

11 – 11:10a :10Opening 
11:10 – 12:30p  :80DOCTalk
12:30 – 1p :30BREAK 
1 – 2:30p :90Track Sessions 
2:30 – 3p :30BREAK 
3 – 4p :60LEADLabs1. Missional and Social Action with Brandon
2. Communication with Nadine
3. Church Growth with Rebekah
4. Disciple-making with John
5. Digital Church with Mark
4 – 4:30p :30BREAK 
4:30 – 6p :90 Commissioning Service

Registration

Each registration is limited to five individuals. If your faith community is only signing up one individual, the cost is the same. There is a limit of one place of worship/church per registration. Please do not mix members from different churches in an attempt to avoid multiple registration costs per collective. There is financial assistance available for new churches at the discretion of the region. Registration is now closed.

$500

A Dozen Hacks for Digital Disciple-Making

September 1, 2021 @ 3:00 pm 4:00 pm EDT

The rise of social media and digital platforms has opened up a whole new world of virtual discipleship possibilities. Because digital discipleship is still relatively new, you may find that you lack the necessary understanding to make disciples of Jesus Christ via virtual platforms effectively. This New Church Hacks episode will teach you how to develop in-demand digital media abilities that can be used for the glory of God: 

  • Make digital discipleship a central part of your church’s ministry approach
  • Provide principles and practical instruction no matter the size of your collective
  • Make the Gospel available electronically through emerging technologies
  • Leverage digital strategies to lead your participants into a deeper relationship with Christ
  • Fulfill the Great Commission using relevant, 21st Century tactics

The featured guests include Phiwa Langeni (Ambassador for Innovation & Engagement with the Center for Analytics, Research & Development, and Data (CARDD) in the United Church of Christ), Loren Baxter (Director of Technology Resources at Brite Divinity School), and Loren Richmond (pastor, podcaster, and social entrepreneur).


Hosted by Pastor Terrell L McTyer, Minister of New Church Strategies for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada, New Church Hacks provides practical (and sometimes peculiar) prompts for churches from start to restart. This free webinar series is jam-packed with clever solutions to tricky problems and empowers courageous leaders with the tools, tips and how-tos to start, sustain and strengthen congregations. For regular updates, be sure to check this page and follow along on social media with #NewChurchHacks!

A link to a recording of the webinar will be emailed to all registrants after the episode airs, regardless of attendance. You can also join us on our Facebook page to watch a live video of the webinar.

Understanding God and the church at the Water the Plants Prayer Summit

In her teaching on the spiritual discipline of prayer at the recent Water the Plants Prayer Summit, Rev. Dr. Martha Brown, a member of the Board of Directors for Disciples Church Extension Fund (DCEF), recounted the story of Jacob to both returning and first-time attendees of the Water the Plants initiative’s prayer-focused virtual event. As Rev. Dr. Martha told it, after stealing his brother’s birthright, this patriarch of the Israelites fled for the land of his mother’s brother, where he married and had children. For years, Jacob worked for his uncle, accumulating wealth and servants. Eventually, he decided to return home, sending his family, maids, and animals ahead of him. Along the way, Jacob found himself alone on the banks of the Jabbok, a tributary of the river Jordan. There he wrestled with a man until daybreak, when Jacob asked for a blessing, asked God for His name. This, Rev. Dr. Martha reminded those in attendance, was a moment of prayer.

“What we pray for shapes and expresses our understanding of who God is,” she explained. 

And it also reflects how the church sees itself and what it wants to be.

At the June Prayer Summit, a virtual event that convened supporters of emerging and affiliating congregations and their leaders, they prayed for the Office of the General Minister and President, general and regional ministries, church planters, and all the faithful connections across the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada. At the surface level, these were simple prayers for leadership. But in them, coaches, prayer call leaders, chaplains, and others acknowledged the sin of racism, the calls for reparations, and the hope that building the beloved community brings. More than one participant viewed new places of worship as fresh expressions of this beloved community.

Pastor John Powell

“We pray Lord that you will help us understand that you didn’t come to Earth and walk this planet for those days to rebuild a past temple,” said Pastor John Powell, a member of DCEF’s Board of Directors, “but you came to make something new.” 

Alongside the passion for new church were calls for older congregations to follow the example being set by their younger counterparts, who, in the eyes of more than one regional new church team member at the gathering, are often creative and innovative in their approaches to serving their neighborhoods.

“Christians need fires lit underneath them,” enthused Ramona Crawford, a lay member of University Christian Church in San Diego, CA. “New church is the fire that Jesus is lighting under the established church.”

Rev. Dr. Joi Robinson

The summer Summit was the second such online event for New Church Ministry’s church-wide initiative, bringing together Disciples from Kansas, Washington, Florida, Arizona, Oregon, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, and Minnesota. Like the inaugural event that took place on March 6, this Summit was hosted by Rev. Dr. Joi Robinson, Associate Minister of New Church Strategies, and included prayers for resources and relationships, testimony on the impact that prayer had on the development of a church plant, and a scripture shower. Unlike its predecessor, this event introduced a spoken word piece performed by Rev. Yvonne Gilmore, Interim Associate General Minister & Administrative Secretary of the National Convocation, called “Dangerously Reliable Tide.” In it, she echoed the feelings of those present, lamenting the limits of the church that she knows, but finding comfort and solace in prayer.

Rev. Yvonne Gilmore

“When you find yourself behind enemy lines

When trust is running away

When cumulus clouds look thirsty against the backdrop of a blues people

Water the plants

Access the portal within beyond the edge of yourself

Make dust speak

Post a help wanted sign in the window of your heart

Water outside the building

Saturate the soil

Practice talking to dry bones

Notice the budding before you

Delight in dialogue

Water the depths, pray without ceasing, you are inviting a dangerously reliable tide.”

Wesley King

How fitting then, that the Summit ended with the Lord’s Prayer (sung by Wesley King, New Church Ministry’s Program Coordinator), another reminder of the Christian faith’s humble origins, and of a yearning to connect with something larger than ourselves – and of our church.     

Register for New Church Ministry’s next Water the Plants Prayer Summit, which will take place on October 2 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM EST.

The image is a screenshot of nine participants in a Zoom meeting on providing communal care for deaf people. Five of them are making the American Sign Language sign for the phrase 'I love you.'

“We’ve got some work to do.” Increasing accessibility through ASL

For the past few years, New Church Ministry has worked hard to make its services accessible to Disciples across the United States and Canada.

It has provided Pentecost Offering resources in different languages, including Korean, Spanish, and French.

The ministry has recorded all of its New Church Hacks episodes so that people who can’t be present at the time can view the webinars at a later date.

Despite these developments, New Church Ministry hasn’t provided accommodations for those with hearing impairments or hearing loss.

“This year of social isolation has reminded me that there are people who feel isolated because they can’t hear the conversation that’s happening in the room,” shared Pastor Terrell L McTyer (Minister of New Church Strategies). “And we need to be more inclusive.”

That’s why he organized The New Wave Pentecost Series: Exploring American Sign Language (ASL) in Communal Care with My SupaNatural Life, a non-profit organization dedicated to making (w)holistic spiritual care accessible to those that need it the most, including those living with chronic conditions and their support systems. The virtual event featured art, videos, signing lessons, and interviews with panellists, who were all accompanied by an ASL interpreter on screen.

The image is a screenshot of nine participants in a Zoom meeting on providing communal care for deaf people. Five of them are making the American Sign Language sign for the word 'love.'
Pastor Terrell notes the similarities between the sign for the word ‘love’ and the symbol of “Wakanda forever” from the movie The Black Panther.

“600,000 people in the United States are deaf, and more than half are 65 years of age or older. Six million people in America report having a lot of trouble hearing,” reported Rev. YaNi Davis, My SupaNatural Life’s founder and someone who experiences hearing loss herself. “It felt timely to expand our education.”

There are 357,000 culturally Deaf Canadians and 3.21 million hard of hearing Canadians. ASL is the primary sign language used in Canada.

Participants of the event even learned how to sign the chorus from Kool and the Gang’s song “Celebration” from health educator Dr. Ashia James Ph.D.

Most importantly, the webinar provided an opportunity for people who use ASL or are deaf to share their experiences.

“It was powerful to hear the stories of those who are deaf or hard of hearing,” said Wesley King, Program Coordinator. “These experiences gave you insight into their lives and compels you to find ways that you can be more empathetic and understanding.”

Gaining insight into deaf lives

The first time I saw Ashley, she walked into a party and started screaming,” remembers panelist Alyssa Lucchesi, a recent graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)’s ASL program. “I was ready to go to bed, so I thought, ‘who is this girl with all this sound right now?’ because deaf spaces are very loud. The music’s bumping because deaf people love to feel that bass.” 

Alyssa met her friend and fellow panellist Ashley M, who is deaf, in her first year at RIT. While they both worked as leaders at a camp for deaf youth called EYF (Explore Your Future), Ashley doesn’t consider herself a guide.

“When we’re talking about teamwork, I see myself as a peer,” clarifies Ashley. “It’s very important to be actively listening and actively watching.”

Panellist Sharon Meek was also exposed to ASL in an educational setting when she became a P.E. teacher at the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf. Her students’ experiences with hearing loss or deafness were emblematic of the ones shared by more than one panellist.

“There were kids that we taught that were deaf from birth or that had some sort of illness that caused them to lose their hearing,” recalls Sharon. “It went all the way down the continuum to those who were hard of hearing who could not function in a typical classroom.” 

Things we need to do next

Over the hour spent together, attendees from as far away as Arizona, Indiana, Virginia, Georgia, Minnesota, Texas, and Michigan were taught how to expand accessibility and care for deaf and hard-of-hearing folks in their communities.

  • Always include folks who are hard of hearing or deaf. Welcome them into the discussion.
  • Be mindful when making videos. Think about who’s around you and in your environment. When you’re posting it to social media, ask yourself, how can I make it more visual using captions or other tools? You can turn on closed captions for YouTube videos. Zoom also recently introduced a closed captioning feature, but if it cannot generate captions, there are third parties that can do so. Make sure that the letters are large enough for people to read.
  • Don’t be afraid or self-conscious about not knowing how to communicate with deaf people. Even waving, saying hello, or making eye contact are big things.
  • If you’re interested in becoming an ASL interpreter, meet some deaf people, become involved, and learn the language. See if it’s for you before you register for a tech program and make a career out of it. If you want to get certified, you need a four-year degree (RIT, the University of Arizona, and Tarrant County College are good places to start). Still, you don’t need a degree if you want to interpret. Please be aware that this can pose problems for deaf people as they are the ones that suffer from unqualified interpreters. Know the spaces you’re in.
  • If you really want to support the deaf community, learn about some deaf history. Meet some deaf friends and socialize. Pick up the language that way.

If you registered for our ASL event, then you’ve been automatically registered for future installments of The New Wave Pentecost Series, including our neurodiversity webinar on July 24 at 2:00 PM PST and our English as a Second Language webinar on October 23 at 2:00 PM PST. If you haven’t already signed up, you can do so here.

Stay tuned for additional information as it becomes available!

Pentecost Offering

May 23, 2021 @ 8:00 am 5:00 pm EDT

Be the New Church

For the past thirteen months, many Disciples have been struggling with social isolation. They’ve stayed away from their various places of worship to protect the health and safety of themselves and others. It has been difficult.

How have new church leaders responded? By launching communities of faith in creative and innovative ways.

It’s looked like spreading the word about the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada through Door Dash food deliveries, meeting with folks every week on Zoom to discuss anxiety, and making sure that the spiritual needs of those transitioning out of correctional facilities are met.

From hospital and prison chaplains to tri-vocational pastors, courageous new church leaders have answered the call to be the new church.

To support them and their efforts to continue the new church movement, please contribute to the 2021 Pentecost Offering, collected in most congregations on Sundays, May 16 and May 23. Each year, half of the gifts made go to your own Region to support local new church development. The other half goes to New Church Ministry, which trains, equips, assists, and multiplies new churches and their leaders. Through programs such as Leadership Academy, New Church Hacks, and Water the Plants, your gifts make a difference across the life of the Church. By participating in this Special Day Offering, you ensure the viability, vitality and sustainability of unique new church plants in your area and in states, provinces, and territories far away.

Please consider giving generously. Let’s all be the new church, together.

To access additional Pentecost Offering resources, including printable PDFs, videos, and graphics, visit the Disciples Mission Fund website.

Exploring ASL in Communal Care

The New Wave Pentecost Series: Exploring ASL in Communal Care

May 22, 2021 @ 2:30 pm 6:00 pm EDT

Have you been searching for ways to show deeper levels of compassion to members of your community? Has the reality of living through multiple waves of the novel coronavirus pandemic caused you to feel isolated and cut off? Do you have an interest in joining a movement that provides more holistic care? 

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, both New Church Ministry and My SupaNatural Life invite you to join their powerfully interactive webinar series where you can discover new ways of communicating the Word of God! 

Our first webinar focuses on expanding communal care for those who are hard of hearing or deaf.

  • Sign up as an individual, group, or community to learn American Sign Language (ASL) together
  • Learn more about new technological advancements that are allowing us to communicate with even more members of our global village
  • Identify ways to increase accessibility at home, in the office, and in the world
  • Experience a fun time engaging in creativity and community

Stay tuned for additional information on our future webinars!

July 24, 2021 2:00 PM PST
October 23, 2021 2:00 PM PST

My SupaNatural Life is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to making (w)holistic communal care accessible to those that need compassionate trauma-informed care the mostIt focuses on people living with chronic conditions of the body and the mind, along with their support systems. Its vision is to revolutionize the coaching business and spiritual care, by making care accessible to the LGBTQ+ community, those living with chronic conditions, people with mental health challenges, and those seeking care with compassion.

My SupaNatural Life

818-738-9996

https://www.mysupanaturallife.org