Dear Friends in Christ,

“Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received
and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you”

(Philippians 4:9).

The Church in Philippi learned a lot from St. Paul. In Philippians 4:9, Paul reminds them of the many things he taught them, and he encourages them to keep on doing those things.

As I reflect back on this long season of COVID19, I am reminded of what we have learned. We have learned how to gather for virtual worship. We have learned how to turn our parking lots into sanctuaries of praise. We have learned how to give generously (electronic giving) without writing a check or passing an offering plate. We have learned how to zoom. We have learned how to learn.

So, even after this pandemic is over, like St. Paul, I want to encourage you to keep doing many of these things you have learned in this long season of COVID19. Keep reaching outside the 4 walls of the congregation. Keep stretching the mission and ministry of Jesus out into the community and the world. Keep reaching. Keep learning.

Last Spring, several of our pastors, deacons and lay folks took advantage of some excellent on-line learning offered by Fresh Expressions: Resilient Church Academy. These affordable, on-line courses focus on the call of Jesus to make disciples and the example of St. Paul to “launch new communities”. The Fresh Expressions: Resilient Church Academy offers some of the best learning currently available for folks interested in transforming their community and world. A whole slew of new classes are being offered this Fall.

Some of the Fresh Expressions: Resilient Church Academy on-line courses include:

  1. Contextual Intelligence: Unlocking the Ancient Secret for Resilient Churches during the Pandemic and Beyond. A Master Class taught by renowned author and teacher Dr. Leonard Sweet and Fresh Expressions practitioner Dr. Michael Beck.
  2. Dinner Church: Re-Imagining Your (Larger) Congregation as a Movement of (Smaller) Dinner Churches
  3. Listening for Mission: Engaging Incarnational Mission in Quarantined and Post-Quarantined Contexts
  4. Cultivating Digital Fresh Expressions: How Your Church Can Plant New Christian Communities Online
  5. Ministry Innovation: Innovation for Stuck Churches: Problem Solving Strategies and Creative Thinking Tools to Reinvent Your Congregation
  6. Distanced Worshipping: How to Inspire Worship When You’re Online, Can’t Sing and Other Pandemic Problems
  7. Cultural Intelligence: Skills for Leading Churches and Loving Your Neighbors

I encourage you to recruit a partner or two (ministry and mission is never done alone), sign up, and engage in some compelling new learning. But you need to act this week. Some Fresh Expressions: Resilient Church Academy courses begin next Monday, September 14. To learn more about the courses and to sign up please click on the link below.