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Presbytery of Greater Atlanta’s New Church Development Commission and the PC(USA)’s 1001 New Worshiping Communities combine for a tasty offering

‘What’s the Secret Sauce?’ event will celebrate the gifts and teachings of new immigrant churches

by Beth Waltemath | Presbyterian News Service

ATLANTA — A new video distributed exclusively on social media last week asked, “What’s the secret to creating successful partnerships with immigrant worshiping communities?” The 45-second video concluded, “It’s all in the sauce. The secret sauce …  And yes, there will be barbeque.”

“New immigrant churches and their leaders bring energy, creativity and leadership skill. They bring perspective that is sometimes just the perspective that’s needed at the moment,” says the Rev. Dr. Lindsay Armstrong, the chief executive officer of the New Church Development Commission (NCDC) of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta. On April 25-27, the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s 1001 New Worshiping Communities office will be sponsoring an event along with the NCDC in Atlanta focused on the gifts and wisdom of community leaders in new immigrant churches.

The Rev. Dr. Lindsay Armstrong

“What’s the Secret Sauce? Sharing Our Common Table” features inspiring keynote speakers across the denomination, diverse worship styles and leadership, and small workshops addressing topics to encourage newly forming and existing communities, mid councils and established church leaders looking to connect to the vibrant resiliency that is baked into the establishment of a new church. Event preachers include the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II; the executive presbyter of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, the Rev. Aisha Brooks-Johnson; and Ruling Elder Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri, regional liaison/mission co-worker to Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and the Caribbean & North American Council for Mission and the Co-Moderator of the 223rd General Assembly (2018).

In keeping with the theme, workshop leaders and event leaders are called Master Chefs and offer up “bite-sized conversations” and guidance on recipes for successful communities facing a full menu of challenges and celebrations. Attendees can choose from offerings with titles like “Appetite for Adventure: Partnering with PC(USA)’s Latino/a Churches,” “Recipes for Success: Empowering Presbyteries to Catalyze Strong NWCs,” or “Radical Hospitality: A Matthew 25 Guide for Superior Hosting by the Vital Congregations Initiative.”

Appetites, recipes, and hospitality aren’t just metaphors. The first three hours of the conference promises “Southern hospitality, games from around the world and a global feast, featuring barbeque from Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Korea.”

 According to its website, the event is promised to be heavy on inspiration and practical insight from immigrant leaders as well as presbytery and denominational staff. It draws on the insights and experience of its sponsors in 1001 New Worshiping Communities and the New Church Development Commission and its partnership with colleagues throughout the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, the Office of the General Assembly and the Presbyterian Mission Agency.

The Rev. Gad Mpoyo

 In a promotional video posted at the bottom on the event’s webpage, the Rev. Gad Mpoyo, Southeastern associate for 1001 New Worshiping Communities and the organizing pastor of Shalom International Ministry in Clarkston, Georgia, extends an invitation to mid councils and local congregations who work or want to work with immigrant churches and wish to see a “growing and exciting side” of the PC(USA) together. “As we work to respond to the call and opportunity that God has put before us in building relationship and partnership with immigrant churches,” Mpoyo says, “please come for the Secret Sauce events.”

Registration for the event is $100 and will be limited to 100 participants. Learn more about the presenters here. Go here for an event schedule. The workshops are listed here.

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