A Colloquy for Pastors and Ministry Leaders

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A Colloquy for Pastors

“Public Witness in the Way of Jesus” | January 16-17, 2019

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The life and ministry of Jesus presented a public truth. For those who seek to follow him, what does faithful public witness in the way of Jesus look like today? What resources are available in the Christian tradition? What new practices might we cultivate together? These are the questions we’ll be exploring in the third annual colloquy for pastors and ministry leaders.

Join us as we gather for mutual encouragement and to learn from one another!

[button text=”REGISTER” style=”secondary” size=”large” link=”https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-colloquy-for-pastors-and-ministry-leaders-tickets-50089497034″]

$75 (early registration, by Dec 7) | $95 (regular, after Dec 7)
Questions? Email info@newbiginhouse.org


[title style=”bold_center” text=”Schedule”]

WED | JAN 16 | @ City Church SF offices, 1388 Sutter St., Suite 412 

2:00-2:15  Registration & Coffee

 Welcome & Orientation: Scot Sherman (Newbigin House)

 Session 1: Fred Harrell, “Towards a Spirituality of Locality” | Ministry is local or it is abusive. Strong words, but if we don’t lead with listening, learning, and honoring we will hurt people we are trying to reach, and stunt the growth of so many others who want to join us in our mission. This starts with the pastor. Join us as we look at the necessity of developing a Spirituality of Locality.

 Session 2: Paul Weston, “Public Witness as Evangelism: Learning from the Ministry of Jesus” | Evangelism has been a troublesome word in the recent past, conjuring images of miscommunication, awkward encounters, and inability to find the right kind of words. Is it even right to evangelize in this day and age? Partly as a result, we’re often on the back foot with the whole idea, unsure of whether there might be theologically or culturally appropriate ways to communicate the message in the 21st century. But ‘evangelism’ means good news right? And Jesus did a lot of it. So what might we learn by taking a fresh look at how he did it?

 Session 3: Ben McBride, “Crossing the Street | The Power of Peacemaking” | 
The problem of our moment is that we have been offered a false choice. One that is rooted in a frame that the only way we can find safety is through segregation from those who are different from us. Different by race and orientation, by vocation and social status. In the gospels and wrinkles of society, stories have been emerging of hope, sprouting as roses from the concrete, calling us to recognize our deep relatedness and interconnection. Stories of s/heroes widening the circle of human concern through seeing the shared humanity of those we’ve been socialized to be indifferent towards.

THURS | JAN 17 | @ City Hope, 45 Olive St. 

8:30-9:00  Breakfast

9:00-9:30  Morning Prayer

 Session 4: Yolanda Norton, “Jesus as a Prophet” | This session will explore how Jesus embodied the tradition of the prophets of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. The session will discuss misconceptions that the prophets of the Hebrew Bible were directly referencing Jesus. As an alternative we will discuss the ways that Jesus’ ministry was a conscious choice to live into the principles outlined in prophetic literature.

 Storytelling: Sharing & Learning from One Another, a group conversation moderated by Scot Sherman


  Session 5: Panel Discussion on Current Trends and Challenges, with Ben McBride (Empower Initiative, Oakland), Riana Shaw Robinson (Oakland City Church), and Daniel Kirk (Newbigin House), moderated by Scot Sherman

  Session 6: Soong-Chan Rah, “The Necessary Response of Lament to the Dysfunctional Narratives of the American Church” | A long history of dysfunctional theological narratives around the role of the church exists in the American church. We will examine the social, historical, and theological development of narratives around race and culture that have shaped evangelical ecclesiology over the course of several centuries. We will seek to engage the lost biblical practice of lament as a necessary response to reclaim a biblical ecclessiology for the 21st century.

  Dinner and Fellowship

  Lament for American Christianity: A Conversation with Soong-Chan Rah (colloquy registration includes a ticket to this public event; more details on the event here)


[title style=”bold_center” text=”Guest Speakers”]

Ben McBride is a native of San Francisco and a longtime activist for peace and justice in the Bay Area. As an advocate for youth, he served as a member of the crisis counseling team for West Contra Costa Unified School District; and as Program Director for Global Education Partnership, he served to empower at-risk youth through entrepreneurship. Ben is an internationally sought after speaker and has shared his motivational message of peacemaking and transformation in Canada, the United Kingdom and the Middle East. He carries an inspiring message that resonates in religious circles and corporate communities alike.  Ben’s core message of “Crossing the Street” incorporates a fusion of anecdotes and reflective principles, challenging leaders to bring conflicting parties together in a manner idealizing “the world as it should be.”

Soong-Chan Rah is a professor at North Park University and the author of Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times (IVP, 2015), Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church. Chicago (Moody, 2010), and The Next Evangelicalism: Releasing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity (IVP, 2009). As an ordained minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church, Dr. Rah has seen firsthand the denomination’s significant growth in urban areas, and an increasing need for intercultural ministry. He was founding senior pastor of Cambridge Community Fellowship Church, Cambridge, Mass., a multi-ethnic, urban ministry-focused church committed to living out the values of racial reconciliation and social justice in the urban context.

Yolanda Norton is currently the Assistant Professor of Old Testament and H. Eugene Farlough Chair of Black Church Studies at San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS). Her current research interests include narrative and literary criticism. However, Norton is especially committed to womanist biblical interpretation which focuses on the implications of reading the text alongside Black women. Her work continues to interrogate how various portrayals of women in the Hebrew Bible impact the vilification and/or oppression of women of color who encounter the Bible today. Professor Norton has published chapters in I Found God in Me: A Womanist Biblical Hermeneutics Reader, Global Perspectives in the Old Testament, and Liturgical Press’ new feminist commentary on the Psalms (Books 2-3). Norton has been featured in Essence, Ebony, the New York Times, and a host of other print and media platforms for her creative worship design and innovative preaching.

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A Colloquy for Pastors

The annual colloquy for pastors and ministry leaders provides a forum for networking and peer support by gathering thought leaders who address crucial questions facing churches and Christian ministries today. An intentionally small gathering, the colloquy is a place for ongoing community where friendships among those facing similar challenges can lead to mutual encouragement and flourishing in ministry.

Travel Details

Attendees are responsible for making their own travel and lodging arrangements. Some helpful resources:

• SF Travel (scroll down to “search hotels”)
• Hotels.com

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