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Vital Congregations Zoom conversations to resume Wednesday

Diane Moffett and J. Herbert Nelson, II will join May 27 and June 3, respectively

by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — The Office of Vital Congregations will resume weekly Wednesday Zoom conversations at 3 p.m. Eastern Time on May 27.

The featured guest on the first of 10 scheduled “Vital Conversations” is the president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett. She’ll discuss the importance of building congregational vitality — which is one of three foci, along with dismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty — in the PMA’s Matthew 25 invitation.

On June 3, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), will join the Vital Congregations team to discuss how the church is reforming and transforming during the pandemic.  On the following Wednesday, June 10, the Rev. Dr. David Gambrell, an associate for worship in the PC(USA)’s Office of Theology and Worship, will lead a COVID-19 worship service of lament beginning at 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

Join in these ‘Vital Conversations’ by clicking on each of the links below:

The remainder of scheduled “Vital Conversations” on Wednesdays, from June 17 through July 29, will focus on the Seven Marks of a Vital Congregation. The Rev. Carlton Johnson, Vital Congregations ministry associate, said the VC team is constantly receiving information from entities around the denomination and globe about how God is using the marks to transform congregational life.

“As things develop, we’ll invite guests to share what is new — and their excitement around what is happening,” he said. “Our plan is to drill deep on behalf of those we support for ways churches may become more vital as they navigate these COVID and post-COVID waters.”

Monique Rhodes, VC mission specialist, is looking forward to building on conversations from the first series of Zoom calls on each of the seven marks. She said the upcoming series will focus on a wider variety of topics, and that guests will be relating to the seven marks.

“As we settle into this new normal, we’re thinking more around maintenance and long-term thinking,” she said.

Conversations will touch on topics including pastor burnout, the importance of self-care, the new way that youth and young people are more visible in the church, and ways to enhance online worship to encourage participation.

The Rev. Dr. Kathryn Threadgill, Vital Congregations coordinator, said she is excited to offer this new series of “Vital Conversations” and to go deeper with the people of God who are striving to be part of the vital church in this transformative time.

“We’re committed to this work,” she said, “and wanted to provide a virtual community space where we can address the kinds of topics in which the Holy Spirit can lead us all into being a more vital church together.”

Find resources from the Office of Vital Congregations here.  For ongoing information about the upcoming “Vital Conversations” series, visit the VC  Facebook page.

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