The United Methodist Foundation of Pennsylvania has launched a new educational initiative, equipping laity to lead the churches in the two annual conferences that we serve in these challenging days of congregational life. Entitled "The Empowered Church Project," the initiative is designed to teach new skills to those who are called to lead the churches of our Connection in bold new ways.
Cohorts of learners have been identified in both the Susquehanna Conference, The United Methodist Church and the Western PA Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. The initial cohorts represent a total of eight congregations in our two conferences. Participants will experience workshops, book studies, presentations from key leaders, coaching, and personal, congregational, and regional assessment, allowing them to understand the systems at play in their life together that need attention and provide opportunity for renewed vitality. New cohorts will be formed every calendar year.
The Project is a re-design of a former initiative entitled "The Laity Leadership Academy." The new form is more sharply focused on assisting congregations, being attentive to the dynamics that have affected our life together in recent years.
The Project will assist intact congregations who simply want to ramp up their mission, but can also be helpful to those who need to explore new vision following decades of cultural change, the effects of the pandemic, new alignments, or uncertainty related to conversations about disaffiliation.
If you would like your church to be considered for participation in future cohorts of the Empowered Church Project, or if you would like more information, speak to your district superintendent, or contact the Dean of the Foundation School of Leadership, Dr. Joseph Patterson. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Foundation at 412-232-0650, extension 104.