Ministry Office

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2024 Ministers’ Association Event

"Listening for the Sound of the Genuine" July 2-3, 2024 with photo of Dr. Frank A. Thomas

July 2-3, Grand Rapids, Michigan

“Listening for the Sound of the Genuine” with Dr. Frank A. Thomas.
Download the flyer

A preaching workshop led by Dr. Frank A. Thomas, professor of homiletics at Christian Theological Seminary (Indianapolis). His passion is “to teach preachers to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to shape and influence preachers to rise to the height, depth, and beauty of the best of their preaching potential. “

Register now

Soul Sisters

Multi-vocational clergywomen are invited to join Erin Matteson, spiritual director and Circuit Rider, for a monthly gathering during which Erin will facilitate various spiritual practices like lectio divina and visio divina.  These gatherings, which will be held February to June, offer the opportunity to form sacred circles with others in hopes of nourishing your spiritual wellbeing.  Join Erin on the second Monday of each month by registering for either the first (9am PST) or second (4pm PST) session using this link:  https://forms.gle/ePk1UHuvkZoqW4Y19
Registration closes on February 1.

Flourishing in Ministry

Flourishing in Ministry book discussion

10-week discussion of Flourishing in Ministry by Matt Bloom, bginning January 16 at 7pm Eastern. Register asap at https://forms.gle/JWi3m7pfAP6ZUCzL9

Priesthood of All Believers

Led by Denise Kettering-Lane. Hosted by the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center.
Passcodes are listed beneath the links.

Sept 11 2023 Priesthood of all Believers Session 1

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/hTSnwg1FXqta2Flh2k9INQVUe85-cvhdPaRcUCmQOQwo65saFJ2t61GEQS5QvJI9.9mbJBjcehLPudx8E

Passcode: LtV^Tf22

Sept 18 2023 Priesthood of all Believers Session 2

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/rfh32U-61ViTVD9utFl0ZiX64_iTfG36cao0aQxnNv5KK0Yg1K5QnWHjgTiV0-5W.7A3Pg884xU04Vv-L

Passcode: Et03PN+0

Sept 25 2023 Priesthood of all Believers Session 3

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/aS5kOyAE2skfhKjj49dNGOHNk4PfKm2a4PPfnJFBpfNuPq0vRNEjIdwk5vnAAQHh.hlQYbdABA6mtxy4c

Passcode: #ywd#e+6

Fall 2023 book studies

Quietly Courageous: Leading the Church in a Changing World

Gil Rendle, in his book Quietly Courageous: Leading the Church in a Changing World, offers insight for church leaders who want to lead well, and respond to the unpredictable forces that shape our world with grace and courage.

Circuit Rider John Fillmore will facilitate a 10-week conversation on Rendle’s book. Sessions will begin Oct 3rd and will be held virtually from 7-8 pm EST (4-5 PST) on Tuesdays. CEUs will be available to pastors, and the Part-Time Pastor/Full-Time Church Program will provide participants a copy of the text.

Flyer about Quietly Courageous book study (PDF)

Register at https://forms.gle/8CcUvwma1PCYEMtC6.

Positively Irritating

Have you ever asked yourself, “What might church look like in the midst of our postmodern & post Christian world?” Have you ever had a conversation with other pastors or leaders around this very question? Are you looking for a resource that can help facilitate this conversation?

Circuit Rider Ryan Braught will lead a book study on “Positively Irritating: Embracing a Post-Christian World to Form a More Faithful and Innovative Church” by Jon Ritner beginning on October 19. This monthly study will be held on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 8:30 EST/7:30 CST, and will also be available in an asynchronous format. Register for the book study.

There will be an online conversation with the author on Monday, September 18. Register for the Sept 18 webinar.

Flyer on the Positively Irritating book study and webinar (PDF – very large file)

2023 Ministers’ Association event

"Healing Racial Trauma: The Road to Resilience and Beloved Community" with Sheila Wise Rowe July 3-4, 2023

July 3-4, Cincinnati, OH (in person or virtual) 

“Healing Racial Trauma: The Road to Resilience and Beloved Community” with Sheila Wise Rowe; download the flyer

“Sanar el trauma racial: El camino a la resiliencia y la comunidad amada” con Sheila Wise Rowe; descargue el folleto

“Gerizon Troma Rasyal: Wout pou Rezilyans enpi Kominote Ancheri”” ak Sheila Wise Rowe; telechaje flyer

Register now


Sacred Connections: Lenten Soul Tending for Spiritual Leaders

The Part-time Pastor, Full-time Church program is offering two virtual events led by one of the program’s “circuit riders,” Erin Matteson, an ordained minister and spiritual director.

The March 10 session “Listening with the Ear of the Heart; Looking with the Eyes of Faith” will feature a fusion of the prayer practices of lectio and visio divina using Matthew 16:13-20. The March 27 session “Music as a Gateway to the Sacred” will feature experiencing vibration and other short musical pieces of varied languages and styles to carry us further into the heart of God and connect us to the hearts of one another.

Find out more and get links to register here: https://www.brethren.org/news/2023/virtual-events-on-sacred-connections/


Clergywomen’s breakfast

Click above to download flyer

July 5 at 7 a.m. featuring Dr. Margaret Elwell speaking on “Claiming Power of Confessing Privilege: Framing Tough Topics”

Purchase tickets when registering for Annual Conference 2023 or use the “additional purchases” link on that page if already registered.


Shared ministry model video series

The Office of Ministry has created an online video resource of six segments featuring congregations that are creatively practicing the priesthood of all believers and thereby meeting their needs for pastoral leadership. 

Shared ministry model web page showing several of the videos

Book study on Flourishing in Ministry

January 4-March 8, 2022
CEU available

Part-time Pastor; Full-time Church program offers book study on Flourishing in Ministry

As inspiring as the Advent Season is, it can also be a reminder of the challenges faced by many pastors.  While congregational members enter a time of celebration and expectation, pastors may be stretched thin, finding it difficult to attend to their own spiritual and physical health.  If the idea of thriving in ministry seems like a distant hope, John Fillmore, a Circuit Rider from the Part-Time Pastor/Full-Time Church program, is inviting you to join in a book discussion centered on Matt Bloom’s research contained in his book Flourishing in Ministry: How to Cultivate Clergy Wellbeing.  Bloom is the principal researcher for the Flourishing in Ministry project and the Faith and Flourishing at Work project.  Fillmore will lead weekly conversations for reflection, discussion, and mutual support to explore the principles Bloom outlines in his book.  In cooperation with the Brethren Academy, CEU credits will be offered.  We hope you can join!

Signup for this event has ended.


Sacred Connections: Advent Soul Tending for Spiritual Leaders

The Part-time Pastor; Full-time Church program is offering two virtual events entitled “Sacred Connections: Advent Soul Tending for Spiritual Leaders” led by one of the program’s Circuit Riders, Erin Matteson, an ordained minister and spiritual director.  Matteson extends the invitation to all ministers on Friday, December 3rd and Monday, December 13th to “come enjoy a pot of creative contemplative worship to warm your spirit and nourish your soul this advent season. Scripture and sharing, silence and song, poetry and prayer, imagery and other ingredients will be blended together and served up in a savory dish to not only provide ministers sustenance but promote vitality for the advent season.”

Two different virtual sessions at two different times are offered on each of two dates to help accommodate the varied schedules of ministers.  It is hoped that ministers will set aside this brief time to be ministered to and refill as they care for others.  Register for the free virtual events by November 30th at Sacred Connections. Contact officeofministry@brethren.org with questions about the event.

This event has ended.


Newsletter – August 27, 2021

Click the image below to read it!


Clergywomen’s Brunch

The Office of Ministry sponsored a virtual version of the traditional in-person Annual Conference event in the form of a July 22nd brunch featuring Dr. Joelle Hathaway as speaker.  The event took place at noon Eastern time and offered an opportunity for clergywomen (and friends) to gather virtually for fellowship and also earn 0.1 CEUs. Se ofrecerá interpretación en español.

Click above for brochure.
Dr. Joelle A. Hathaway is assistant professor of theological studies at Bethany Theological Seminary. She received both her masters and doctorate from Duke Divinity School and is currently developing new courses for Bethany in Theology and the Arts and Ecotheology. Her research is interdisciplinary; of particular interest is what insights the arts and artistic practice can offer to practices of theological, liturgical, and ecological formation. Her current book project puts the Sabbath poetry of Wendell Berry in conversation with the Christian doctrine of creation. Joelle lives in Greenfield, IN with her husband Brent Smith and their two daughters.

Pastoral Letter

January 2021 Message of encouragement from the Office of Ministry


This Sabbath rest-themed sermon prepared by 2021 Annual Conference moderator Paul Mundey is designed to provide a resource to congregations to enable them to support their pastor taking time away from the responsibilities of preaching.
At the invitation of the Office of Ministry, this sermon focuses on words from Jeremiah 31:25, “I will satisfy the weary, and all who are faint I will replenish,” which assure us that God accompanies us in upheaval, offering sanctuary amid stormy anxiety, doubt, and fear. Congregations and their ministers are encouraged to partner together to find rest and refreshment in the midst of these days.
To view subtitles in English or Spanish, click the CC symbol and choose the language desired. To download the video, click the “Vimeo” logo; beneath the video on that site is a link to download.

Sermon transcripts: Finding Rest Amid Restless Living
Encontrar descanso en medio de una vida inquietada


  • Ministry ethics trainers to begin their work

    The Church of the Brethren’s Office of Ministry gathered nine ethics trainers this past week at the denomination’s General Offices in Elgin, Ill., in preparation for leading district events during the coming year and a half. Required ethics training for all ministers will take place across the denomination as ministers renew their credentialed status within their districts.

  • Remembering Belita Mitchell

    Belita D. Mitchell, the first Black woman to be ordained in the Church of the Brethren and the first Black woman to serve as moderator of the Annual Conference, passed away Feb. 10 at her home in Mechanicsburg, Pa.

  • Victoria (Vicki) Ehret resigns from role with Atlantic Southeast District

    Victoria (Vicki) Ehret has resigned as director of administration for the District Executive Minister Team of the Church of the Brethren’s Atlantic Southeast District. She began in the position as interim district executive minister on Jan. 25, 2021, for a period of six months, after which she transitioned to her present role. She will conclude her role by June 30, or sooner, upon the hiring by the district board of an interim to fill the position.

  • Council of District Executives holds annual winter meeting

    The Council of District Executives (CODE) held its annual winter meetings Jan. 20-24 near Melbourne, Fla., with some members also attending the Church of the Brethren Inter-Agency Forum (IAF) meeting that followed. Twenty-two of the denomination's 24 districts were represented, along with Office of Ministry director Nancy Sollenberger Heishman.

  • Travel grants available for course ‘Polarization as an Opportunity for Ministry’

    As part of Bethany Theological Seminary’s initiative to “Build Bridges Across Ideological Divides,” the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership is offering a series of TRIM-level courses to help clergy recognize and meaningfully address division in their congregations and communities. First up is “Polarization as an Opportunity for Ministry,” a course with Russell Haitch, professor of Theology and Human Science at Bethany.