Last week 16 of our newest pastors gave up trips to the beach, family time and packing to come together at Camp Sumatanga for a 5 day Residents in Ministry or RIM retreat. They were led by various pastors in the North Alabama Conference in such subjects as Ministry by Strengths, Vision and Courage, Self-Care and Family Systems Theory.
However, the central feature of the retreat was forming Covenant Groups which will be the anchor for their budding ministries. "We can always read books," affirmed Alex Beaube, "But the best part of the week was forming relationships."
During the next two years, the two Covenant Groups, led by Coaches Kelly Clem and Patsy Carlberg, will help Residents meet the challenge of professional growth requirements as set by the Board of Ordained Ministry last spring during their interviews. They will also process what they learned during the retreat as well as hold one another up in love, prayer and support.
Fourteen of the 16 new pastors will be presented before the Clergy Session to be voted on as Provisional Members of the Annual Conference, then will be Commissioned by the Bishop on Saturday at 11 AM. Reverends Suzanne and Michael Katschke were commissioned last year and just became eligible to be Residents when they completed their theological education in May. Those to be commissioned are: Alex Beaube, Lori Carden, Amy DeWitte, Monica Harbarger, Ron Howard, Kelsey Johnson, Matt Lacey, Wade Langer, Sam Lasseter, Angela Martin, Jennifer Miller, Deborah Moon, Buster Timmons, and Zack Seitz.