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The Eastern PA Conference Bivocational & Small Church Network

Every other Month, on the 2nd Tuesday of Month, at 6:30 PM, on Zoom

“This is a group designed exclusively for church leaders of smaller churches, welcoming part-time, bivocational, retired and all other small-church leaders, both clergy and lay,” said the Rev. Dawn Taylor-Storm, Connectional Ministries Director. “Small churches are the backbone of The United Methodist Church, and we want to provide a bimonthly small group for conversation that relates to the unique opportunities found in our small, vital churches.”

The Rev. Denny Emrick, who has long served small churches, asked for such a group and will facilitate the initial conversation, which may produce a monthly gathering for “prayer, dialogue, connection and resourcing for part-time, bivocational and small church leaders.”

“I grew up in a small church, and the ministry of that church impacts me to this day,” said Taylor-Storm. “I also had the joy of pastoring a small church for seven years; and I experience the gift of community and missional engagement that is possible in the small church.” I hope others will join us for this first gathering and for what becomes of it in the future.”


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. You can register once and attend any future session!

Bivocational & Small Church Network meeting to feature clergy coach, Sept. 14

The Rev. Steve Petty, a certified clergy coach and consultant, will lead a discussion at the next Bivocational & Small Church Network meeting on Tuesday, Sept.14, at 6:30 PM. Petty’s work is “Helping pastors and churches survive and thrive in these interesting times.”

He will share wisdom from his November 2020 blog series “Understanding Your Church,” with relatable insights that compare churches to cats and collies. The network is a support group of part-time, bivocational pastors and lay members of small churches. It meets for about an hour every two months.

“There are many churches that have the characteristics of a Cat,” writes Petty, attributing such characteristics to about 27% of UM churches. “These churches have less than 35 in average Sunday attendance. They typically have been in existence a long time and been small a long time. Usually the pastor stays around 2 to 3 years and moves on, so the congregation does not get very attached to the pastor. … As a result they rarely take the pastor into their confidence. When someone goes to the hospital the pastor may be the last to know.” Learn more…

“Churches with an average attendance of 35 to 100 tend to act a lot like Collies,” writes Petty, citing about 37% of all UMC’s that may fit that description. “These creatures are warm and affectionate and respond well to love and attention.

“Whereas the Cat has little interest in making their pastor happy, the Collie lives to make the pastor happy. When the pastor goes away on seminars or vacation, the collie is beside itself waiting for the pastor to return, and it wants to know everything the pastor did while away, and OH, YES, please tell me you missed me….

“The most effective pastor for this church is one who likes to build close relationships over long periods of time, a real people person.” Learn more…



January 11, 2022
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
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PA United States


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