Presbyteries and congregations can apply now for 2022 Vital Congregations initiative

Through revitalization efforts, the VC team continues to come alongside and covenant with PC(USA) congregations

by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — Applications from interested presbyteries and individual congregations that have the blessing of their presbytery are now being accepted for the fourth wave of the Vital Congregations Initiative.

The Rev. Carlton Johnson, coordinator for Vital Congregations in the Presbyterian Mission Agency, is excited about working with additional presbyteries and their congregations as they go deeper into following Jesus Christ.

Based on the Seven Marks of Vital Congregations (see Section 2), the three-year process is designed for the national church to come alongside and covenant with PC(USA) congregations in their revitalization efforts.

Through intentional spiritual practices and relational connections, the Vital Congregations team walks with presbyteries and congregations as they make disciples and become vital communities of Christ in their neighborhoods and the world.

The Rev. Carlton Johnson

“Nearly a quarter of the denomination’s presbyteries have now enrolled in the initiative,” Johnson said. “The slots for the fourth wave will fill up fast. This is especially encouraging after the tumult of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Presbyteries and individual congregations are invited to download and review the initiative application packet. They’re asked to then share the Vital Congregations vision among presbytery and/or church leadership.

The deadline to apply is November 15. So far, 35 of the PC(USA)’s 166 presbyteries have gone through or are entering the VC initiative.

Vital Conversations returns for eight Wednesdays beginning July 28

Vital Conversations returns for an eight-week summer run, in partnership this year with 1001 New Worshiping Communities. Leaders of vital congregations and new worshiping communities will engage in panel discussions on how they have embraced the seven marks.

“The panelists for this year’s conversations come from a broad range of skills, cultures and personal experiences,” Johnson said. “We are looking forward to some powerful engagements.”

The Rev. Nikki Collins

The 1001 NWC national coordinator, the Rev. Nikki Collins, is excited to hear these conversations — especially the interplay of ideas and expressions of vitality between leaders of young communities and leaders from established congregations.

For her, just as human vitality looks different across a person’s lifespan, so it does across the life cycle of worshiping communities.

“A vital, vibrant church is one that includes communities in all ages and stages of development and witness,” she said.

You can join in on the panel conversations every Wednesday on the Vital Congregations Facebook page at 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

New! Vital Moments

And be sure to check the VC Facebook page for Vital Moments, where members of the Vital Congregations team share a short reflection on one of the seven marks. Johnson shares his thoughts on the first mark, lifelong discipleship, here.





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