5 Questions with Mark Ramsey and Kristy Farber

This series highlights participants at the national gathering in Minneapolis on March 31st – April 2nd, 2014. Presenters, preachers, teachers, and leaders were asked the same five questions and their thoughtful responses may be found here every week. The goal is to introduce you to people you’ll hear from in Minneapolis and prime the pump for our time together. Hopefully, something here will spark an idea, thought, or question for you. We encourage you to reach out and initiate conversations that you can later continue in person. 

Mark Ramsey has been the Senior Pastor at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Asheville since 2006, after serving churches in Illinois, Colorado, Michigan and Maryland.  He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Princeton Theological Seminary.

Kristy Farber has been the Associate Pastor at Grace Covenant since 2010.  Prior to that she directed a college ministry in Washington state and taught high school English.  She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and graduate degrees from Seattle University and Princeton Theological Seminary.

Together, they are offering a testimony and workshop on leadership for congregational transformation.

5 questions1. Tell us about your ministry context.

Grace Covenant is a growing, fairly traditional (by all outside appearances) congregation located in Asheville, NC in the middle of the last area of the culture that hasn’t got the memo that Christendom is over (bless our hearts, as we say down here…)

2. Where have you seen glimpses of “the church that is becoming”?

Most every time we gather—either for worship, to work in our community garden, or especially last Sunday when we had our latest version of  “real.life.stories”—a first person storytelling event held in the restaurant/bar across the street with six people telling stories around the theme “Misunderstanding.”

3. What are your passions in ministry? (And/or what keeps you up at night?)

We both love our jobs—almost all of it:  thinking creatively about the content of worship, thinking creatively about content in general, being with people in crisis, and riding the roller-coaster of living as a church at this time and place.

4. What is one thing you are looking forward to at the NEXT Gathering?

Ministry is all about collaboration.  There’s not substitute for relationships in ministry. 

5. Describe NEXT Church in seven words or less.

We don’t know what we don’t know.