Upcoming book studies from Part-Time Pastor; Full-Time Church

By Jen Jensen

Two upcoming book studies are offered through the Part-Time Pastor; Full-Time Church program of the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Ministry.

“Ongoing Harvest: A Celebration of Rural Ministry” will be led by “circuit rider” John Fillmore.

“A community is the mental and spiritual condition of knowing that the place is shared, and that the people who share the place define and limit the possibilities of each other’s lives. It is the knowledge that people have of each other, their concern for each other, their trust in each other, the freedom with which they come and go among themselves.” — Wendell Berry

The Church of the Brethren is rooted in the soil. Our history and our heritage is fundamentally rural in nature. Some congregations have answered the call to move on from that heritage, entering into new and vital communities in urban and suburban settings. But many Church of the Brethren congregations are still connected to the land, bearing witness in small towns and rural communities.

As our culture becomes increasingly urban, we can be tempted to forget that God is present everywhere, particularly in the neglected and forgotten corners, in the open countryside as in the bustling city center. Part-Time Pastor; Full-Time Church has invited current voices in rural ministry to share with us as we gather in conversation around two books–God’s Country: Faith, Hope, and the Future of the Rural Church by Brad Roth and Reclaiming Rural: Building Thriving Rural Congregations by Allen Stanton.

Rural congregations are uniquely positioned to know the place and the people that make up their communities, and to minister in personal and intimate ways. Pastors of rural churches are doing good work, and we want to hear your stories and celebrate your ministry.

“Ongoing Harvest: A Celebration of Rural Ministry” will include a weekly book study on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. (Eastern time) beginning Oct. 4. Registration is limited so register soon at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpc-6hqzopGdN7aqtJDsACHi-pLKMh6Qz0.

Book study will not take place on Oct. 18 and 25 to provide space for open conversation and webinars open to all about rural ministry in the Church of the Brethren. Watch for more information coming soon!

Please pray… For the Part-Time Pastor; Full-Time Church program, its staff and leadership, and all the pastors and ministers who are taking part.

“Positively Irritating” will be led by “circuit rider” Ryan Braught

Have you ever asked yourself, “What might church look like in the midst of our postmodern and 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? Join us as we read and dialogue together using the book Positively Irritating: Embracing a Post-Christian World to Form a More Faithful and Innovative Church by Jon Ritner as our conversation partner.

This monthly book study will be held on the second Thursday of the month at 9 p.m. (Eastern time) beginning Oct. 13. This monthly book study is also available in an asynchronous format. Register by emailing Jen Jensen at jjensen@brethren.org.

— Jen Jensen is program manager of Part-Time Pastor; Full-Time Church.

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