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New 1001 NWC cohorts to reach a more diverse group of leaders

Realignment, rebranding of cohorts part of an effort to help leaders create adaptive change in their worshiping communities

by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service

The Rev. Sean Chow breaks communion bread during Serious JuJu’s annual baptism service. 1001 New Worshiping Communities is rebranding and realigning training and cohort groups to reach a wider range of worshiping community leaders. (File photo)

LOUSIVILLE — New cohort groups for current and potential leaders of new worshiping communities are now being offered through the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 1001 New Worshiping Communities movement.

With the new offerings, the Rev. Sean Chow, the 1001 associate for training and leader cohorts, says the new worshiping community movement will be able to reach an even more diverse group of leaders.

“We wanted to become more intercultural and live more fully into the church’s Matthew 25 vision,” Chow said.

So, he went to the Presbyterian Mission Agency staff of Intercultural Ministries and Support for Congregations of Color in Racial Equity and Women’s Intercultural Ministries (REWIM), asking them what cohort groups would be helpful for communities they are supporting.

The Rev. Rosa Blanca Miranda

The Rev. Rosa Blanca Miranda, associate for Hispanic/Latino-a Intercultural Congregational Support, wanted cohort groups for those just starting, or those thinking of starting new worshiping communities.

So, beginning in 2022, a Discovery Cohort will begin to meet monthly for a year, during which potential leaders will prayerfully discern and lay the foundation for the development of a new worshiping community. And an Incubator Cohort will help prepare and sustain leaders in their first year of starting an NWC.

Chow said 1001 NWC is also offering a two-year Leadership Cohort for those leading communities that are two to four years old, and a Leadership Cohort 200 for leaders of communities four years or older. Both of these will be offered in Spanish and English.

Along with the Rev. Princeton Abaraoha of the African Intercultural Ministries Field Staff, the two developed a plan to offer an African Leadership Cohort. Those conversations in particular were exciting for Chow, enabling him to reach a wider range of PC(USA) leaders of worshiping communities with 1001 training.

The Rev. Princeton Abaraoha

“This will be a one-of-a-kind transformational opportunity for African leaders to examine what it means to do mission and ministry in the PC(USA),” Abaraoha said. “How do we envision our future in the denomination and the role Africans in diaspora play in the life of the larger church? What does it mean to be African in the PC(USA) family of believers?”

“We’ve spent the last couple of years looking at how to create adaptive change in worshiping communities,” Chow said. “This rebranding of our cohorts is part of what we are doing for a lot of our training now, to reach more of our diverse leaders — and to realign to make it more intercultural.”

Financial Sustainability and Leading Spiritual Formation Cohorts will also begin in January. The deadline to apply for  these cohorts is November 1. Go here to apply.

NWC Online Accelerators are also being offered at least six times a year to train and support leaders as they are discerning and starting NWC’s topics covered, including practical financial management, creating vision, funds development, missional theology, developing partnerships, communicating your story and more. Regular meetings following the online training are facilitated by and are part of a learning cohort of other NWC leaders. This Online Accelerator is offered in English and Spanish. Register here for the online version or for the NWC Accelerator, which will include live teaching digitally by the Accelerator team.

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