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Conference of Emerging and Experienced Leaders in The Progressive Christian Faith Movement

Pymouth Center - For Progressive Christian Faith

Claiming Our Story

A Conference of Emerging and Experienced Leaders

In the Progressive Christian Faith Movement

November 14-16, 2008

Emerging Leaders Application


Plymouth Center
1900 Nicollet Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403

2008 Emerging Leaders Application Now Available!
Conference Dates:
Nov. 14-16, 2008
Application deadline:
June 8, 2008

Plymouth Congregational Church of Minneapolis has been a beacon of progressive Christianity in the Midwest for several generations. In order to increase the reach of, and familiarity with, progressive Christianity, the church leadership established "The Plymouth Center for Progressive Christian Faith" with funding from the George Family Foundation.


The Plymouth Center, committed to the emerging groundswell of progressive Christianity in the United States, is rooted in a living, worshiping congregation known for its liberal pulpit, progressive theology, and advocacy for social justice. While best known in its infancy as a regional presence, the Plymouth Center is a leader in the growing national conversation of progressive Christian leaders and congregations.


Claiming Our Story

The Emerging Leaders Conference

The progressive Christian "movement" today is less a movement and more a groundswell of Christian people who believe the politicized Christian right in the United States does not speak for their own gospel-centered faith and practice. Through conferences, publications, and social blogs, progressive Christians are building national networks and coalitions.


To build upon this network, the Center annually brings together selected seminarians and recent seminary graduates from across the country who desire to be more knowledgeable and articulate in the progressive Christian conversation, and who wish to strengthen their leadership skills for work in congregations, seminaries, civic, and political communities.


In November, 2007, the Plymouth Center hosted the first Emerging Leaders Conference. This year, on November 14-16, 2008, another fifteen seminarians and recent seminary graduates will gather in Minneapolis for a mentoring weekend with experienced leaders in progressive Christianity (theologians, professors, organizational leaders, and pastors). The gathering is designed to be small enough for all participants to know one another with the goal of building relationships and networks that will last well into the future. Topic areas include:


· Telling our stories – who are we and how does our personal story connect with the biblical story and the progressive Christian movement?

· History of the progressive Christian movement – what is the shape of the movement from past to present?

· Communicating the progressive Christian movement – how does one communicate the progressive Christian message in an age of polarization and conflict?

· Contemplation in action – how does one ensure that his/her compassion and action in the world is drawn from a personal and communal spirituality rooted in the power of the Gospel?


In addition, conversation groups led by mentors will be offered based on attendees' interest in a number of skill sets:


  • Healing congregational division
  • Preaching
  • Balancing the role of pastor/prophet
  • Community organizing
  • Liturgy design
  • Spiritual practice
  • How to communicate progressive Christianity (education for transformation)
  • Is there a progressive hermeneutic?
  • Interfaith dialogue
  • Other



This years event will also be held at:

Dunrovin Retreat Center on the St. Criox River in Minnesota.

The planning committee for the weekend includes representatives from the Plymouth Center of Minneapolis, Beatitudes Society, Graduate Theological Union, and Methodist Theological School in Ohio.


Qualifications of Emerging Leaders

Fifteen emerging leaders will be chosen for the November conference based solely on this application. All travel costs will be borne by the Plymouth Center, including airfare, lodging at the retreat center, transportation to and from the retreat center once in Minneapolis, and meals.


Applicants will be considered who:


· Show a commitment to, and experience with, the tenets of

progressive Christian faith.

· Are able to attend the entire weekend Nov. 14-16, 2008.

· Have the intention to use what they learn at the conference, and the relationships they develop, in order to deepen their involvement with others in the progressive Christian movement.

· Are currently enrolled in a seminary OR have graduated from seminary within the last 2 years.

November 14, 2008
November 16, 2008
Dunrovin Retreat Center
Minneapolis MN United States
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Plymouth Center