A three year program combining teaching, conversation, questions and the joint pursuit of answers in a comfortable, informal setting will be conveyed when the Rev. Chris Nelson and the Rev. Mary Pechauer meet twice per year with pastors and key lay leaders from congregations to share what they put into practice in their growing congregation over the last 10 years.

Pr. Nelson, pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and keynote speaker to the 2012 Metro D.C. Synod Assembly, has agreed to offer to the Metro D.C. Synod what he is teaching in India, Argentina and northern Europe.

Both workshop leaders are teachers and pastors who have been engaged in studying the culture and effective churches from all denominations, and who together for 10 years have been applying their learning in a congregational setting and seeing God do amazing things:

  • Hundreds are being engaged in reaching out to our community and the world, in acts of service.
  • Two congregations have been launched.
  • There is an increasing number of adults comfortable with using “God” as the subject of an active verb relating to their lives.
  • Over the years, giving has more than more than tripled, attendance has nearly tripled and baptized membership has grown by more than a third, all in a community that has experienced no growth in population. Two thirds of those joining have been by “affirmation of faith,” and the median age of the congregation has fallen from 54 to 33.

“Most importantly, we know that the more we learn the more we need to learn, and are committed to continuing to learn ourselves. We are active participants- fellow travelers in this Journey of Faith, and would be delighted to walk and learn with you over the next three years.”

Agenda – Two day gatherings twice a year for three years, designed for pastors, staff and key lay leaders, looking at:

  1. What are we about as church? What are we to be? What are we to do?
  2. How do we think about our communities?
  3. What does 21st century church look like, in light of the people in our communities?
  4. How do we welcome- move from visiting to belonging?
  5. How do we grow in maturity?
  6. How do we equip our members for their ministry in the world?
  7. How do we equip our members to share the Good News of Jesus Christ?
  8. How do we best communicate in our preaching?
  9. On-going mentoring available via email and phone.

For more information, contact the Rev. Phil Hirsch (phirsch@metrodcelca.org) or the Rev. Amy Thompson Sevimli (asevimlimetrodcelca.org) via email or at 202-417-3678.