L. Gregory Jones to Speak for Ministers’ Association Event

The Church of the Brethren Ministers’ Association Pre-Conference Continuing Education Event in Charlotte, N.C., on June 28-29 will feature L. Gregory Jones, a widely recognized scholar and church leader on such topics as forgiveness and reconciliation, Christian vocation, leadership, and strengthening the church and its ministry.

Jones is senior strategist for Leadership Education at Duke Divinity and professor of theology in the Divinity School of Duke University. He is author or editor of 13 books, including the acclaimed “Embodying Forgiveness,” and most recently co-authored “Forgiving As We’ve Been Forgiven” and “Resurrecting Excellence: Shaping Faithful Christian Ministry.”

Moderator-elect Nancy Sollenberger Heishman comments that “Embodying Forgiveness” and “Forgiving as We Have Been Forgiven” (written with Célestin Musekura) “speak passionately and compelling to the urgency of taking forgiveness seriously. Rich in both theory and story, they have challenged me to explore more deeply my understanding and daily practice of forgiveness.  I look forward to hearing Gregory Jones at Annual Conference 2013!”

Jones will lead three sessions at this year’s pre-conference event beginning Friday, June 28, at 6 p.m., and continuing Saturday, June 29, at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Here is a brief sketch of each session:

Session 1: “The End Is Our Beginning: Numbers” focuses on the importance of vision being shaped by our witness to the Reign of God. When we lose sight of “the end,” we get trapped in bureaucracies, long to return to Egypt, and lose sight of the transforming power of God’s forgiveness.

Session 2: “The Character of Leadership: Philippians” focuses on the kind of people Christians are called to become, namely people for whom Christ’s forgiveness calls us to excellence. A holistic perspective that includes patterns of thinking, feeling, perceiving, and living in the light of Christ will enable us to become people of practical wisdom.

Session 3: “Traditioned Innovation: Acts” draws attention to the ways in which we are called, in the light of Christ, to have a mindset that holds together tradition and innovation. If we have only the former, we lose sight of the Holy Spirit’s work in making all things new; if we have only the latter, we engage in change for change’s sake and act arrogantly rather than in response to God’s forgiving and redeeming work.

Cost to attend is $85 (if registering online in advance) or $125 (at the door, check or cash only). Discounts are available for couples and current seminary or academy students. Childcare is available. Seating is limited to the first 250 who register. Register by the June 15 deadline at www.brethren.org/ministryoffice .  A video clip from Greg Jones about this event can be found at www.brethren.org/ministryoffice/sustaining.html .

— Dave Kerkove is chair of the Church of the Brethren Ministers’ Association.

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