Bethany Congregations, a ministry of the Bethany Fellows, is offering opportunities for congregations to accompany one another in the Bethany Way. The first cohort of congregations 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. Our common intention will be focused on anti-racism work.
Retreats and virtual gatherings will include:
● Key Issue Training and Wisdom: including general support, specific training and access to key resources, and exploration of wise 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.
Each congregation will include at least 3 participants - the pastor (a Bethany Fellowships alum who has completed an initial 4-years as part of the Bethany Fellowships retreat and mentor-based model), plus two congregational leaders. Where possible, it may be helpful to include diversity within trios to foster greater depth, trust, and united resolve.
We will introduce and encourage the idea of a three-fold cord of spiritual agreement with the leadership core from each congregation. This core trio will lead the steps to take the learning process into their congregation, modeling systemic trust and the process of spiritual agreement with other leaders and the congregation as a whole. Congregational teams will engage in a two-year intentional rhythm of awareness, reflection, discernment and action.
For more information, contact Bethany Congregations Director, Rev. Scott Hardin-Nieri: Scott@bethanyfellows.org