The Connectional Ministries Office will help launch in January a requested new networking group for small-church pastors and leaders to provide support and resourcing. The Eastern PA Conference Bivocational & Small Church Network will have its initial, one-hour meeting Jan. 19, at 6:30 PM, via Zoom video-conferencing.
“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 monthly 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.”