Tending the Soil Aug 2017 FB post

Sacred Stones Ministries invites clergy and laypeople from Colorado’s eastern plains and surrounding areas to join us for Tending the Soil: Practices to Enrich Your Ministry, on Saturday, August 12, 2017.

Burlington United Methodist Church will host a day of worship, workshops, and conversation, starting at 9:30 a.m. and finishing by 3:00 p.m.

Four ordained deacons, the Revs. Denise Bender, Nani Arning, Kerry Greenhill, and Doug McKinney, will present workshops on topics ranging from worship and Christian education to outreach and discipleship. The day will include times to inspire heart and soul while enriching the mind and nourishing the body – lunch is included.

SSM group pews-26-4x6hcrop

Following opening worship and some conversation to get to know each other, participants will have time to receive tips, learn of resources, and reflect theologically on the challenges and opportunities of ministry in their settings. Specific areas to be covered include:

  • Bringing the Word to Life in Worship: Enriching worship through Reader’s Theater, Storytelling, and Speech Choirs
  • Teaching the Faith to Multiple Generations: The gifts and challenges of bringing all ages together
  • Reaching Out in Love to Diverse Neighbors: How can we learn more about our community? How can we bless and include new people?
  • Christian Discipleship in the 21st Century: What does it look like? Why and how do we do it?
  • Designing Your Space for Worship: How can we communicate the Gospel through visual and spatial design? When does creativity enhance worship, and when does it become a distraction?

“We know that church leaders in rural settings sometimes feel a bit isolated or disconnected from some of the resources available in larger cities,” explains Rev. Bender. “Yet there is still a need for their churches to keep growing and moving forward in how they proclaim the gospel, form disciples, and reach out in love and service. So we wanted to come out to where the need is and share what we have learned to support those folks who might not be able to travel to bigger conferences, or afford to hire us as consultants just for their church.”

The event is priced affordably, at just $10 per person or $30 per church, to make it easier for those from smaller congregations to attend. “We see this as a key part of our mission in equipping Christian communities,” adds Rev. Arning. “We know budgets are tight, especially in churches that really want some help, and we don’t want cost to be a barrier.”

“I think many churches are struggling with the tension between doing ministry the way that is comfortable for those who already attend, and recognizing that they might have to do things differently to bless and include new people,” Rev. Greenhill contributes.

“We know that solo pastors and those serving multiple point charges are doing their absolute best to stay on top of everything, and we can help by bringing fresh ideas and insights that come from our particular areas of specialization. Most pastors don’t have time to become experts in speech choirs or intergenerational faith formation or mobilizing volunteers. So we try to step in and fill that gap.”

Online registration is now open; the deadline to register is July 31. Contact Kerry@SacredStonesMinistries.org to learn more.

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