Ministry Office offers events for equipping and renewal

Sacred Connections: Lenten Soul Tending for Spiritual Leaders

One chance still remains to experience a virtual event led by one of the Part-Time Pastor, Full-Time Church program’s “circuit riders,” Erin Matteson, an ordained minister and spiritual director. The March 27 session “Music as a Gateway to the Sacred” will use vibration and other short musical pieces of varied languages and styles to carry participants further into the heart of God and connect them to the hearts of one another.

Find out more and get links to register at

Healthy Churches, Faithful Pastors: Covenant Expectations for Thriving Together

A 10-session book study with circuit rider John Fillmore will take place virtually every Tuesday, beginning April 18 from 7-8 pm EST (4-5 PST).

Congregational ministry can be messy. Despite their deep love for the people they serve, pastors often struggle with multiple and sometimes contradictory expectations from their congregations. Congregational leaders want to support their ministers but may not have a way to effectively frame and communicate their hopes and desires. Misalignment between pastors and congregations can lead to ineffective ministry, burnout, and more.

David Keck, in his book Healthy Churches, Faithful Pastors: Covenant Expectations for Thriving Together, takes an innovative approach to vital ministry by looking at the relationship between the pastor and the congregation. By recognizing the way pastors and congregations share in ministry, Keck helps navigate the pitfalls of placing all the responsibility for vital ministry in the hands of one or the other.

Over the course of ten weeks, circuit rider John Fillmore will lead a discussion on Keck’s book. While the primary focus will be on equipping pastors, congregational and district leaders are also encouraged to participate.  Registration is limited to 10 people (with other names saved for future opportunities), so reserve your spot early.

CEUs will be available to pastors, and the Part-Time Pastor; Full-Time Church Program will provide participants a copy of the text.

Zoom links will be sent after registrations are received. 

Register at:

Healing Racial Trauma: The Road to Resilience and Beloved Community

The Church of the Brethren Ministers’ Association will hold a pre-Annual Conference continuing education event July 3-4 in Cincinnati, Oh., beginning with a complimentary “meet and greet” dinner on July 3.

Featured presenter Sheila Wise Rowe is a truth-teller who is passionate about matters of faith and Christ-centered emotional healing. She advocates for the dignity, rights, and healing of abuse and racial trauma survivors, and racial conciliation. With a Master’s in counseling psychology and over 28 years of experience as a Christian Counselor, Spiritual Director, Educator, Writer, and Speaker, she ministered to unhoused and abused women and children in Johannesburg, South Africa for a decade.

Rowe is a volunteer member of the Community Ethics Committee of Harvard Medical School, a policy-review resource for its teaching hospitals.

Rowe offers a ministry of speaking, retreat leadership, and writing from her home in Massachusetts where she lives with her husband and near their adult children.

Her award-winning book, Healing Racial Trauma: The Road to Resilience, will be the focus of this pre-conference event. Her newest book, Young, Gifted and Black: A Journey of Lament and Celebration gives voice to the real-life stories of Black millennials and younger adults, pointing toward faith, love, hope, joy, and healing. Sheila Wise Rowe’s books are available through the Brethren Press bookstore.

Find flyers in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole, as well as registration links at

Claiming Power or Confessing Privilege: Framing Tough Topics

The annual Clergywomen’s Breakfast will be held on July 5 at the Cincinnati, Oh., Annual Conference. The keynote speaker, Margaret “Maggie” Elwell, is Assistant Professor of Peace Studies at Bethany Theological Seminary.

According to the event flyer, “Complicated issues of race, gender, and class arise when we work to create a more peaceful and just world. How do we get unstuck or not get stuck in the first place? Let’s talk about the possibilities and pitfalls of confessing privilege and claiming power.”

Elwell has served as director of the Center for Theology, Women, and Gender at Princeton Seminary, taught English and humanities in Baltimore City Public Schools, and provided leadership to projects focused on social justice and disaster relief. She is a critical theorist of violence and a narratologist.

Tickets can be purchased when registering for Annual Conference; if you have already registered, use the Additional Purchases button. Tickets will also be available while they last onsite. A limited number of partial scholarships is available. Contact for information.

 Dr. Elwell also will present an insight session at Annual Conference: “How to Talk About the Next Violent Viral Video”

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