By MaryAnn McKibben Dana
NEXT Church is inviting two student leaders from each Presbyterian seminary to come together with seminarians from across the country immediately prior to the 2015 NEXT Church National Gathering in Chicago.
We have been dreaming up this event in hopes of deepening the strategic impact NEXT has in connecting and developing seminarians as leaders of change in our church. We are inviting each of our Presbyterian seminaries to send two students to attend a pre-gathering from noon on Saturday, March 14 through Sunday evening, March 15, 2015. The students are encouraged to stay for the entirety of the NEXT Church National Gathering, (March 16-18) if the limitations of their class schedules allow it.
Our goals for this pre-gathering are as follows:
- Connect student leaders to each other across seminaries, to seed the relational network that will support, sustain, and challenge them throughout the course of their ministry.
- Hear from the students about their seminary experiences and their hopes for leadership in service to the church in the world beyond their seminary careers.
- Invite the seminarians into relationships with innovative leaders in the NEXT network who are the peers and mentors already working in and beyond congregations to bear the fruits of the gospel in significant and inspiring ways.
- Hear from the seminarians about their relationship to the PC(USA) as a denomination, and, if needed, help to strengthen that relationship.
Wayne Meisel, Director of the Center for Faith and Service at McCormick, will facilitate the two-day conversation along with NEXT leadership. Frank Yamada and McCormick have graciously offered housing for Saturday night, free of charge. NEXT will cover the cost of student registration and housing for the national gathering, if students can stay in Chicago through March 18th.
We are excited about this partnership! Stay tuned for updates about this new venture.