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In Matthew 28, Jesus says that discipleship is the most important thing for churches. The Discipleship Intensive will take participants into a deep exploration of discipleship with practical tools to take home to our congregations, families, and communities. When discipleship is the main focus, you and your congregation will know the transforming grace of Jesus in all that you do.
Hosted by Forward Movement
Tuesday, January 21
- 8:00 Registration
- 9:00 Morning Prayer
- 9:30 Plenary I with Jay Sidebotham
- 10:30 Break
- 11:00-noon Workshops
- 12:15-1:30 Lunch
- 1:30 Panel discussion moderated by Albert Cutie
- 2:30-3:00 Break
- 3:00 Plenary II with Bishop Rob Wright
- 5:00 Break for the evening - Dinner on your own
Wednesday, January 22
- Breakfast on your own
- 8:30 Morning Prayer
- 9:00 Plenary III with Lisa Kimball and Miriam McKenney
- 10:00 Break
- 10:30-11:30 Workshops
- 11:45 Wrap up
- 12:00 Peace – lunch on own
Workshop and Plenary Session Descriptions
Tuesday, January 21
Plenary I: Making spiritual growth the priority in our congregations
One of the ways to be rooted in Jesus is to recognize that the stories he taught were all about how things grow. With that in mind, we will focus on spiritual growth in Episcopal congregations these days. With insight gathered from RenewalWorks research, we will talk about spiritual growth as deepening of love of God and neighbor. What are we learning about what helps that happen? What are catalysts for that kind of growth? And what gets in the way? We’ll note the importance of this research for church leaders, clergy and lay. We’ll identify the ways that this is all a part of the way of love.
Revive and Equip Lay Leaders to Be Spiritual Leaders
You will learn about the fundamentals of spiritual formation and how to foster growth in an Anglican context. Using the principles of the Revive curriculum, you will go away with practical steps for helping people deepen their relationship with God and share their stories of transformation.
Dawn Davis is the creator of Revive, a Forward Movement program for equipping church lay to be spiritual leaders. She serves as the Faith Formation Coordinator for the Diocese of Niagara, Canada. Dawn is an experienced Anglican priest with professional human resources certification specializing in training and development and organizational behavior. She holds a doctorate in ministry in spiritual formation.
Baptismal Leadership in Today’s Church
Today’s Church needs to rediscover the gift of the leadership and ministry of the baptized. Our traditional models of ministry have often emphasized ministry as the work of the “ordained” or those who are part of the Church structure through special education or by being employed in an official church position. Yet, today’s changing church landscape requires that we become “communities of leaders,” where all bring their gifts together to renew and rebuild God’s Church. This workshop will explore concrete ways to empower, engage, and revive the ministry of the baptized in our congregations.
Father Albert Cutié (also known as “Padre Alberto”) has entered millions of homes throughout the world with his television and radio talk shows, as well as newspaper columns. He has been a parish priest, pastor, and administrator in several parishes, non-profits and service organizations both in and out of the church world for almost 25 years. He is presently the Rector of St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church in Plantation, Florida, and serves as the Dean of Broward County. He is a member of the Board of Forward Movement, serves on the Board of the Duncan Center, and is a member of the Commission on Ministry. Father Albert is the author of three books: Real Life, Real Love, Dilemma, and Talking God. Father Albert and his wife, Ruhama, have three children, a dog and a cat.
Leading for Spiritual Growth
In this workshop, we’ll talk about what we’re learning through RenewalWorks about the central role of leaders in the process of spiritual growth. It begins with the leaders themselves: How are they growing in their spiritual lives? What helps? What hinders? It’s the story of disciples making disciples. We’ll talk about the heart of the leader, and we’ll explore ways for leaders to stay in touch with their “first love”, that which prompted them to engage with ministry in the first place. And it’s not just for clergy. Lay leaders have an important role in leading for spiritual growth as well. Come learn about what we are learning, and how leaders can help others grow spiritually.
The Rev. Jay Sidebotham is the Director of RenewalWorks. He also now serves as associate rector at St. James’ Parish in Wilmington, NC. Sidebotham comes to this work out of his experience as rector of Church of the Holy Spirit in Lake Forest, IL, where he led the congregation through a period of sustained focus on spiritual growth and renewal. Before coming to Church of the Holy Spirit, he served at St. Bart’s, New York City; St. Columba’s, Washington, DC; St. Luke’s, Durham, NC; and St. Martin’s, Providence, RI. He is well known for his cartoons about church life and his animation work on the television series Schoolhouse Rock!
Celebrate with Love, Live with Meaning
How can we ensure that those who arrive at our churches experience hospitality? We can take practical steps to frame our purpose not only as a celebration of God’s love revealed in the past but also as a celebration with Love—fully encountered in the present. The Rev. Furman Buchanan will offer concrete examples of inviting people to celebrate “with angels, archangels, and all the company of heaven” when we worship. How can we then help those who came to worship encounter Christ after they leave? In the second part of this session, Fr. Buchanan will offer concrete examples for inviting people to follow in the way of Jesus—the way of love.
The Rev. Furman L. Buchanan is the rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, a growing congregation in Greenville, South Carolina, focused on celebrating, discovering, and sharing the gifts of God through worship, learning, and compassionate service and care. He is the author of Gifts of God for the People of God: Exploring Worship in the Episcopal Church, a resource for newcomers as well as lifelong Episcopalians. Furman’s passion is helping people discover how our stories intersect with God’s story when we follow the Way of Love.
Discipleship: Five Lessons from London
The Diocese of London in the Church of England has seen marked growth over the last twenty-five years. In this workshop, Jason A. Fout, author of Learning from London: Church Growth in Unlikely Places (Forward Movement, 2019) discusses five lessons for following Jesus that he's taken from his time spent studying in and learning from London.
The Rev. Jason A. Fout, PhD, is Associate Professor of Anglican Theology at Bexley Seabury Seminary Federation in Chicago, IL, where he has taught for ten years. Among his courses is Learning from London: Mission and Evangelism for the 21st century, a travel course in London talking with and learning from church leaders doing vibrant, faithful, growing ministry. Before teaching at Bexley Seabury, he and his family lived in England, where he studied and was licensed in the Church of England's Diocese of Ely.
This workshop is for anyone who has wondered how we can reach anyone who walks through our doors (or, anyone who is outside our doors). Sandra Montes, author of the upcoming book Becoming REAL and Thriving in Ministry, will introduce the REAL rubric (Respectful Relationships, Excellence, Authenticity, Love) to help us focus on Jesus’ command to go and make disciples of all.
Sandra T. Montes is interim director of worship at Union theological seminary. She is also consultant for Spanish language resources at ECF. Sandra has a doctorate in curriculum and instruction and has created original content for use in church and schools throughout her life. Involved in multicultural or multilingual churches for more than 30 years in the Episcopal Church, she has realized that it is REAL relationships that help any congregation or group be successful and grow.
Building Empowering Diocesan Discipleship Plans
Gertrude Stein famously said of Oakland, California, that there was “No there, there.” Running on the last gasps of the World War II mission, and increasingly inwardly focused and maintenance based, many of our churches have lost sight of what our “There” constitutes. Tactical helps such as new signs, paint jobs, and websites will not help grow a parish without intentional spiritual growth and building up disciples of Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, in the beauty of holiness and mystery of transformation: all that makes our there, there. Explore with Claire Woodley, Canon for Congregational Support in the Diocese of Long Island, how a Diocesan-wide strategic spiritual growth plan has the potential for your location. Pro-tips, resources, good stories, real life.
Claire Woodley is the Canon for Congregational Support and Transitions in the Diocese of Long Island. She has developed a sustained and integrated diocesan plan for congregational formation and growth. Combining some of the best programming and church development processes, the plan is accessible to small and large congregations. She serves on the Advisory Committee for Renewal Works and is currently writing the Coach training for Invite Welcome Connect. She co-chaired the Strategic Planning group of the Episcopal Diocese of New York and co-authored Open Doors/New Futures: Strategies for Vital and Viable Congregations. Along with Jay Sidebotham, Bp. Sam Rodman, and many other clergy and missioners, she is a daughter of Grace Church, Manhattan where she cut her teeth on small groups, Bible study, and relational evangelism. Her MDiv is from Union Seminary.