Exciting Opportunity for Seminarians

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:

  1.  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Happy New Year!

photo credit: mdesisto via photopin cc


New Year, New Continuing Education Funds

Friends, 2015 is here and the NEXT Church National Gathering is only 68 days away! It’s time to put those new ConEd funds to use and register today!


Join us at the National Gathering as we aspire to put our heads, hearts, and hands to work in 2015: speakers from Tiffany Jana and Mathew Freeman to Diana Butler Bass will spark our imagination, worship will renew our hearts, and workshop leaders will teach us skills for connecting with our specific ministry contexts.

Register now for the National Gathering and don’t forget to book your airfare and lodgings while rooms are still available at the NEXT Church conference rate!

Is there a compelling question, idea, or project that you want to lift up at the National Gathering? Apply now to give an IGNITE presentation!


Worship Leader Spotlight

Introducing Charlene Han Powell and Brian Ellison

NEXT Church is delighted to have some incredible worship leaders lined up for the 2015 National Gathering! We asked some of these folks to share what excites them about worship at NEXT!

Charlene Han Powell of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York writes:

Charlene Han Powell“What do you get when you put hundreds of teaching and ruling elders in one room to worship?  A lot of really strong singing voices.  Aside from the amazing sounding hymns, I love worship at Next Church because it always reminds me that the same Spirit that moves in my church is moving in churches all around the country.  The passion and excitement for what God is doing in the church is contagious. Worship at Next Church never ceases to remind me why I do ministry in the first place and inspires every aspect of my call.” 

Brian Ellison, director of Covenant Network, says that:Brian-Ellison

“Worship is always a highlight at NEXT conferences for me: Amazing leaders from around the country gather around earnest prayer and challenging proclamation. I’m humbled and honored to be preaching this year, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us. I have always loved the integration of visual art, diverse music and powerful preaching at NEXT worship services. I can’t wait to be part of it in March!”

Want to experience worship at the National Gathering for yourself? Click here to register today!

Read more about Brian, Charlene, and our other Worship Leaders, Joy Douglas Strome and Paul Roberts, over on our National Gathering Leadership page!


Other NEXT Church News

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Topic: Ideas for the Season of Lent

January 6th, 2015

1-2 pm Eastern || 10-11 am Pacific



regionalRegional Gatherings

Register now for Washington, DC || February 21st, 2015

Save the date for Charlotte, NC || April 24-25th, 2015