Meet the New Vision Team
With gratitude and hope, we are pleased to announce the NEXT Church Vision Team. We received applications (many more than the spaces available) from gifted leaders across the denomination and were deeply encouraged by their willingness and hopefulness for NEXT Church and the greater Church. The following leaders have been invited to serve through 2023:
Karen Fitz La Barge
Shani McIlwain (corresponding member)
“I am excited to be a progressive thought partner on where the Spirit is leading the church. I believe we are called in this season to embrace the fresh winds of change and reformation happening in the church.” – Shanea Leonard
The leaders on this team represent a variety of ministry contexts, identities, and regional areas. They have intersected with NEXT Church through coaching cohorts, the National Gathering, antiracism trainings, and more. We also recognize the longstanding commitment to have 50% leadership of color, as well as upholding the diversity of region, context, and experience in representation. We acknowledge who is not in the room and strive to continually widen the conversation during the team’s service through 2023. The commitment will remain as the future organizational structure of NEXT Church is determined by the Vision Team.
You can read more about our leadership structure along with details about the Vision Team members on our Leadership page.
“I’m excited to collaborate on seeing what’s next for NEXT Church and how it can continue to be a generative space where difficult questions are wrestled with faithfully, as well as a place that helps guide congregations and communities in their own creativity and faithfulness. NEXT Church has been an invaluable network and community for me over the years and I am grateful to participate in this chapter.” – Andrew Plocher
Now more than ever, NEXT Church needs your financial support to sustain and grow its witness in the Church. We encourage you to consider a personal and/or congregational gift to ensure the next chapter of our work. Together, we can strengthen the relational fabric of leaders across the Church, disrupt long held patterns, and embody God’s call in the world.
SUPPORT THE WORK OF NEXT CHURCH
The Vision Team will meet virtually once a month with assignments and work in-between meetings. Their first meeting will take place next Wednesday, May 24. We covet your prayers as they begin this important work.
With Hope —
Rev. Larissa Kwong Abazia
Designated Strategic Director