First “Peer power” conference introduces leaders to clergy peer learning

Jan 30, 2015 | Pastoral Excellence Network

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The Pastoral Excellence Network led 47 people in an information-packed, intensive introduction to clergy learning groups on October 28-29, 2014. Held at the scenic Retreat and Conference Center at Bon Secours outside of Baltimore, Peer power: Cultivating clergy communities of practice also included facilitator training. People from 10 denominations and 23 states participated, representing middle judicatories, ministers’ associations, seminaries, local churches, a pastoral counseling center, and a pension fund.

Led by Pastoral Excellence Network Director Chris Braudaway-Bauman and Director of Learning Larry Peers, participants attended two small-group workshops in addition to larger sessions with the whole assembly. Workshop offerings included: An introduction to narrative clergy peer groups, The relentless re-sourcing of clergy peer groups, Spiritual practices for leadership effectiveness: The 7Rs of sanctuary, Mentoring communities for new clergy, and Strategic planning to launch clergy peer learning. In addition to Chris and Larry, workshop leadership was provided by Larry Dill and Brent McDougal of the Institute for Clergy Excellence; Debora Jackson, Executive Director of the Ministers’ Council of the American Baptist Church, USA; and Kelli Walker-Jones, Center Director of Triangle Pastoral Counseling.

Participant feedback was overwhelmingly enthusiastic, and similar training events will be held in other areas of the country, including San Francisco on May 4-5 and the Chicago area on October 21-22.

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