By Rev. Denise Bender
A little over five years ago, four clergywomen, all ordained United Methodist deacons, serendipitously decided to seek a new and unique way to bridge the church with the world.
The paradigm shift in Christianity today is focused on how the church can be the gospel in the world, instead of merely proclaiming the gospel in buildings that cannot contain the Spirit moving in our world. The question arose for us how United Methodist deacons could provide professional program ministry for small to medium size churches who do not have the funding for a second appointed clergy person (or sometimes even for one full-time pastor).
We began to imagine what it would look like to partner with pastors and laity to become “Circuit Riders” in discipleship ministries, like the preachers in the early Methodist movement but focusing on all aspects of worship, children’s and youth ministries, mission/outreach, pastoral care, and spiritual formation. Sacred Stones Ministries was created out of a need in all churches to provide professional training and leadership for ministry in a way churches with smaller budgets could utilize.
February 6, 2019, is our fifth anniversary! During these past five years we have ministered with thousands of people in scores of locations providing workshops, retreats, insight, experiences, and deepening faith as we continue the tradition of Circuit Riding.
We are grateful to those who have supported us financially, contractually, prayerfully, and encouraging this one-of-a-kind ministry. As we continue to reach across the United States with our ministry we ask for your continued support.
We are excited about what the future holds and how we can continue growing in our capacity to equip individuals and Christian communities to connect more deeply with God, with each other, and with the world.
Check back tomorrow – or sign up in the box on the right to follow our blog by email – for another reflection on what Sacred Stones Ministries means to us on our fifth anniversary!