Engage with love and justice

November 6, 2021 @ 6:30 pm 7:30 pm EDT

Join us for the Love and Justice Gathering this November!

Celebrate and ENGAGE Love and Justice Ministries of The United Church of Canada

The Church in Mission Unit invites you to celebrate and learn with us about the many love and justice ministries of our church. From November 3-7, the unit is hosting ENGAGE! an online love and justice gathering. Join us to worship, build community, and learn together. Throughout this five-day online event we will:

Engage deep spirituality

Engage daring justice

Engage courageous community

Engage bold discipleship

Engage hope

This will be an online event, and once you register, you’ll receive information about how to easily access our gathering. Tickets are free! We encourage you to make a donation if you are able.

We can’t wait to celebrate and recognize all that we do together as The United Church of Canada!

On day 4, Saturday, November 6, Pastor Terrell L McTyer will be exploring Bold Discipleship and asking such questions as, why is discipleship important and what is at stake? What could the future look like if we are bold disciples and engage in bold discipleship?

Contact edge@united-church.ca for further information and keep an eye on this page for future updates

*This event supports vaccine equity. COVID won’t be over until it’s over for all of us—and you can help that happen. Make a donation to bring much-needed support for people battling COVID in the global South.

EDGE: A Network for Ministry Development

1-800-268-3781 x4157


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.




Kalahari Resorts

3001 Kalahari Blvd
Round Rock, Texas 78665 United States
+ Google Map
+1 877 525 2427
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.”


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.


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 &
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
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


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.