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A Tuesday webinar will focus on Congregational Vitality

Upcoming webinars build momentum toward the Matthew 25 summit on Jan. 16-18, 2024

by Beth Waltemath | Presbyterian News Service

The Rev. Tony Oltmann is associate for the Office of Vital Congregations.

At 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, August 15, the Presbyterian Mission Agency will host a webinar on Congregational Vitality, the first focus of its Matthew 25 movement. “We will delve into the PC(USA)’s Matthew 25 vision and the significance of vital congregations within our denominations,” says the Rev. Tony Oltmann, associate for the Office of Vital Congregations. “The PC(USA)’s Matthew 25 initiative is a bold and compassionate call to action, inspired by Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Matthew, urging us to actively engage with and address the most pressing issues of our time. By participating in this initiative, we embrace a shared commitment to building a more just, inclusive and compassionate world.”

The Matthew 25 movement seeks to focus on three critical areas: eradicating systemic poverty, dismantling structural racism and building congregational vitality.

Previous webinars have focused on 5 spiritual practices to end poverty for congregations, measuring congregational and mid-council work in eradicating poverty and worship planning with a Matthew 25 focus. Over 150 people attended the Matthew 25 webinar in May. Attendees were able to make connections with others across the denomination and country engaged in anti-poverty work. The hosts of the Aug. 15 webinar hope to do the same for leaders interested in the work of creating vital communities.

Rev. Veronica Cannon

Along with Oltmann, the Rev. Veronica Cannon, the new coordinator of the Vital Congregations Initiative, will lead Tuesday’s event. Cannon brings a wealth of experience in congregations and as a spiritual coach to her position, which she started in May. In the coming months, Cannon will help Vital Congregations Initiative launch a 6th wave of cohorts and roll-out the 2.0 version of Vital Congregations’ resources and program.

Cannon and Oltmann will explore the marks of vital congregations and their intersection with the foci of the Matthew 25 movement and lead the group in discerning what justice and vitality look like in their contexts. “As we come together to explore these transformative concepts,” says Oltmann, “we are empowered to be agents of change, promoting justice, compassion and growth within our faith community and beyond.”

Registration is required for Tuesday’s webinar.

Other webinars and workshops related to the Matthew 25 movement are scheduled during the coming weeks. From 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Aug. 28, a Matthew 25 workshop on community organizing and advocacy will continue to resource leaders in their anti-poverty work. Another workshop on eradicating systemic poverty is scheduled for Oct. 30. A webinar on dismantling structural racism is set for early November. The national Matthew 25 summit is slated for Jan. 16-18, 2024, in Atlanta.

For previous Matthew 25 webinars, visit the Matthew 25 Vimeo channel.

To join the 6th wave of Vital Congregations, email

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