The Sustaining Pastoral Excellence program of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership this year has welcomed its final five cohort groups of pastors in the Vital Pastor track. In addition, seven pastors began the Advanced Foundations of Church Leadership track in September.
The final “class” of the Vital Pastor track includes three cohort groups who began in August or September, and two groups that began in January 2011. Each cohort group studies a particular question and has an opportunity for a travel experience.
A cohort from Atlantic Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Districts will study “How can our spirituality be enhanced by experiencing and studying the powerful movement of the Holy Spirit among contemporary Messianic Jewish communities?” The group will travel to Israel in March 2012. It includes Ron Ludwick of Lebanon (Pa.) Church of the Brethren; Wayne Hall of Locust Grove Church of the Brethren in Mount Airy, Md.; Nancy Fittery of Swatara Hill Church of the Brethren in Middletown, Pa.; Dean Lengel of Meyerstown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren; Tracy Wiser of Harmony Church of the Brethren in Myersville, Md.; and Pedro Sanchez of Long Run Church of the Brethren in Lehighton, Pa.
A cohort formed by pastors in South Central Indiana, Northern Indiana, and Northern Ohio Districts is studying “Connecting gnosis and episteme: How do we practice the inescapable presence of God?” They will travel to Scotland and Ireland and the Iona Community. The cohort includes Patricia Meeks of Poplar Ridge Church of the Brethren in Defiance, Ohio; David Bibbee of Lincolnshire Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne, Ind.; Andrew Sampson of Eel River Community Church of the Brethren in Silver Lake, Ind.; and Brian Flory of Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne.
A cohort of Florida pastors from Atlantic Southeast District includes Keith Simmons of Sebring Church of the Brethren; Jimmy Baker of Lorida Church of the Brethren; Ken Davis of Good Shepherd Church of the Brethren in Bradenton; Leah Hileman of A Life in Christ Church of the Brethren in Cape Coral; and Ray Hileman of Miami First Church of the Brethren. Their question is “By what means can we, as pastors, develop a disciplined, holistic lifestyle so as to deepen our spirituality and effectively model both discipline and discipleship?” They will attend the Academy for Spiritual Formation, a Renovare Retreat at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, and a third event yet to be named.
Martin Doss of Dayton (Va.) Church of the Brethren; Mary Fleming of Prince of Peace Church in Sacramento, Calif. (a jointly affiliated Brethren and American Baptist congregation); David Hendricks of Prince of Peace Church of the Brethren in South Bend, Ind.; Martin Hutchison of Community of Joy Church of the Brethren in Salisbury, Md.; Roland Johnson of Live Oak (Calif.) Church of the Brethren; Michael Martin of Glendora (Calif.) Church of the Brethren; and Robin Wentworth Mayer of Anderson (Ind.) Church of the Brethren participated in their first Advanced Foundations of Church Leadership session Sept. 26-29. The cohort will meet quarterly over the next two years for spiritual formation, study, and exploration of topics related to leadership.
For more about the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership go to www.bethanyseminary.edu/academy.