Network Blog

  • Being something new together

    Oct 31, 2013 | Pastoral Excellence Network

    By Joanne Thompson | Launching a new peer learning group program for pastors in the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ has expanded our understanding of who we are as a conference and what it is possible for us to become. When we began, I announced that if we were able to get two new groups up and running, I would declare victory.

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  • Becoming church

    Oct 17, 2013 | Pastoral Excellence Network

    By Scott Dickison | On the first Sunday of Advent last year, fresh off a two-year pastoral residency at Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, I became pastor of the First Baptist Church of Christ in Macon, Georgia. That afternoon, I rushed to the hospital to be with a beloved church member and his family as he passed away. I officiated two funerals that first week.

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  • Moving into ministry

    Oct 03, 2013 | Pastoral Excellence Network

    By John Allen | Sometime in the early afternoon of my first day as a minister, I left my office, still stacked high with boxes of books, and went looking for the labyrinth. I knew Village Church had a labyrinth—I had seen the pictures—but I did not know where I would find it. After checking behind a few doors, I found the room, an old chapel with a labyrinth painted on a creaky wooden floor.

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  • Seminary and church: Similarities and differences

    Sep 19, 2013 | Pastoral Excellence Network

    By Mark Miller-McLemore | Our lives are shaped by the school calendar. Those with children in school know how the seasons are deeply entwined with school schedules. The rhythm gathers momentum through repetition: summer vacations, fall football games, Halloween, family visits at Thanksgiving, Christmas holidays, Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, spring break, exams.

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  • We become what we practice

    Sep 05, 2013 | Pastoral Excellence Network

    By Lawrence Peers | Pastors have always gathered together in professional associations—sometimes to do the business of the church and sometimes for professional development and collegiality. All of us have edifying and not-so-edifying stories about these gatherings. We may have dreaded these gatherings because of the posturing that can occur. Or, we may have flocked to these meetings to find colleagues and friends who inform or support our ministry vocation.

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