New Ventures in Christian Discipleship season theme to focus on change

By Kendra Flory

The Ventures in Christian Discipleship program at McPherson (Kan.) College is moving into its ninth year of providing useful, affordable education to small church congregations. The 2020-21 season theme is “Change,” which ironically was chosen in the fall of 2019. All classes are donation-based and continuing education credit is available for $10 per course.

On Sept. 19 at 9 a.m. to 12 noon (Central time) Erin Matteson will present the first course of the season, “Self-Compassion for a Change…Making Better Choices for a More Balanced Breath for All.” As people of faith we are called not to be selfish. Yet we are also called not to be self-less. Integrating scripture, theology, work from a variety of authors, art, guided meditation, and more, the course will explore why ministerial leaders and laity alike may not practice self-compassion well but are called to do so. The course will help participants deepen such a commitment. Resources include work by authors such as Joyce Rupp, Christina Feldman, Kristin Neff, Tara Brach, and Brené Brown, among other artists, poets, and musicians. Explore healthy understandings and a more faithful practice of self-compassion to create and live a healthier personal life and congregational life, and ultimately a healthier global way of being together in the midst of rapid changes that are affecting all dimensions of living.

Erin Matteson is ordained in the Church of the Brethren and currently engaged in a ministry of focused spiritual formation work as a spiritual director, retreat leader, writer, and speaker. She has a passion for creating safe space for deep listening and compassionate companionship with individuals and groups for the deepening of faith, healing, learning, and community. Her denominational work currently includes curriculum writing for Brethren Press and serving on the Spiritual Directors Network Committee and as a “circuit rider” for the Church of the Brethren program called Part-time Pastor, Full-time Church. For nearly 25 years she was a pastor, most recently in the Church of the Brethren’s Pacific Southwest District. She holds a master of divinity degree from Bethany Theological Seminary and certification as a spiritual director from Mercy Center in Burlingame, Calif.

To learn more about Ventures and to register for courses visit www.mcpherson.edu/ventures .

— Kendra Flory is advancement assistant at McPherson College.

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