“Leadership in the small church”
When I heard about the above continuing education opportunity I was intrigued. I serve two small congregations in SW MN. So an educational event about leadership in a small congregation sounded good to me. But then I heard it was at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, VA. At that point I lost some enthusiasm. I mean…that’s a long ways and would be a spendy continuing education trip…something my congregation might not be able to afford (let alone me). But the title still intrigued me so decided I checked it out…to satisfy my curiosity. I learned that this opportunity was fully funded by a Lilly Grant (travel, lodging, pulpit supply…everything). Now my interest was peeked again. Then I learned that only 25 pastors (and spouses) are selected from across the country. There was a lengthy application process for me, my spouse and congregation to fill out. There would be homework before, during and after, but it would be something that would enhance my ministry, offer support for my wife and encourage my congregation. It seemed like a long shot but we decided to go for it.
And oh by the way…my bishop is the one who put me on to this and encouraged me to go for it.
So I gathered a team from Salem to fill out the church’s part of the application. I gave Connie her information and I went to work on mine. We were all very excited but still reserved. After all…only 25 couples get selected, but what did we have to lose.
I got my stuff turned in by the deadline (Dec. 15, 2009) and we began waiting…and praying. We would know by sometime in early February.
Well…today is February 1. The phone rings and on the other end is a woman from Virginia Theological Seminary. I knew right then and there they probably weren’t calling me to say I did not make it…and I was right.
My wife and I are going to Virginia for the Summer Collegium at Virginia Theological Seminary (check out the link for more information); June 23 – July 1 of this year. Out of 175 applicants we were one of 25 elected. PRAISE BE TO GOD! My wife and I are humbled to be chosen and excited for the opportunity; excited for us and for our congregation. Now the real work begins. A packet of information will be coming my way shortly and I am sure you will be hearing much more about this throughout the year.
For right now…Connie and I are super excited and praising God for this opportunity. I can hardly wait to see what God is going to do with us (and our congregation) through this event.
Praise be to God!
To be continued…