The three concentric circles, Trio, Depth, Breadth indicate the people involved with the Bethany Congregations model.
Trio is made up of a Bethany affiliated pastor and two lay leaders,
Depth are the passionate/interested congregational participants
Breadth includes the greater congregation or community.
The practices outlined in the Trio section are what we seek to offer to the Trio (in addition to the Bethany Way) during retreats and meetings. We will be in discernment with congregations regarding which practices if any will move into the greater life of the congregation. You can find an explanation regarding how this might look in this document. Bethany Ripples into Congregation
Our current Bethany Congregations cohort will meet monthly this fall offering check in and best practices and will gather in-person (if possible) again in January for our second retreat. If you are curious about how this may serve your congregation or how your church might offer resilience or wisdom to others please don’t hesitate to reach out.
If you would like to explore more information about the Pilot Ministry you can
Download the Application here.
Bethany Congregations Pilot Ministry Application 9_2021
And or Download more information here.
Bethany Congregations Pilot Cohort- Additional Information PDF
More information about Bethany Congregations.
As congregations and clergy respond to the needs of communities across the nation, Bethany Fellows provides resources and circles of support to inspire and sustain them. In 2020, as faith communities boldly responded to the pandemics of COVID-19, financial uncertainty, and systemic racism, Bethany Fellows increased support of young clergy & alumni by offering Technology Seed Grants and Beloved Community Seed Grants. Alongside those new initiatives, we also began to discern the formation of a new Bethany Fellows community to deepen our support of congregational leadership teams. What has emerged is The Bethany Congregations Ministry.
"Bethany Congregations" is a new Bethany Fellowships ministry designed to invite congregational teams, including their Bethany Alumni pastors, into discernment and action over two years around a specific core issue, through continuing practice of the “The Bethany Way.” Each cohort will move through a two-year cycle of annual retreats and regular virtual gatherings that are simple and spacious by design, offering intentional practices of listening, vulnerability, trust, creativity, contemplative silence/prayer, cohort groups, and relationship-building. In the months between retreats, participants will engage in check-in conversations with wise practice leaders and cohort groups to maintain momentum and accountability.
The first small group within this cohort in the Bethany Congregations Ministry will specifically include congregations discerning and moving toward action of building the Beloved Community: addressing systemic racism, building relationships, empowering racially marginalized communities and/or fostering multiracial communication in order to galvanize unified and resilient spiritual movements within church communities. Their common intention will be focused on anti-racism work. Other congregations may join with other intentions (for example: climate change, creation care, immigration, food justice, and congregational transitions) regarding resilience of community.
Retreats and virtual gatherings will include:
● Key Issue Training and Wisdom: including general support, specific training and access to key resources, and exploration of best practices regarding equity and justice.
● Adapted Spiritual Practices: Each cohort will practice and explore spiritual practices that are part of the overall Bethany Way (creativity, listening, vulnerability, shared meals, contemplative prayer, shared trust), which form the rootedness in faith that then supports and strengthens action.
● Support and Care for Clergy: intentional connection, support and spiritual care.
● Congregational Spiritual Directors/Leaders: Including ordained clergy who are also trained spiritual directors, who will walk alongside and offer guidance to participating congregations
● Ministry Seed Grants: Each Congregation will be awarded a cohort grant that will allow for greater creativity and partnership and may seed resources for future innovations and practice.