By Ann Leaman
Ohio Conference
Resource Advocate

In this column I would like to highlight two new sets of resources, one for leadership training and one for faith formation.

Practical Leadership Training

In August Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) is beginning a new program called Practical Leadership Training. This program is designed to equip not only pastors, but also lay leaders, community leaders, and leaders of nonprofit organizations.

Practical Leadership Training will include modules focusing on four areas: administration, leadership, contextual engagement and well-being.

The program’s training modules will be offered in a variety of formats: in-person seminars or full-day leadership clinics; one-session webinars; four-session online workshops; or six-week synchronous online short courses.

The following is a list of course modules which will be offered this summer and fall:

  • Embracing Your Leadership Identity| In-person seminar: Aug. 5
  • Liderazgo que edifica| Four-session online workshop (Spanish): Sept. 5, 12, 19, 26
  • Leadership Practices for Spiritual Vitality| Four-session online workshop: Sept. 7, 14, 21, 28
  • Guide Your Congregation through Polarization| Webinar: Sept. 20
  • Practicing Resilience in Response to Trauma| In-person seminar: Sept. 29
  • Leading Congregations in Transition| Online synchronous short course: Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24; Nov. 7
  • Intercultural Inclusion: From Symbolic to Shared Power| Four-session online workshop: Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25
  • Peacemaking through Curious Dialogue| Webinar: Oct. 26
  • Practices and Principles for Effective Boards| Four-session online workshop: Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22
  • Creating a Healthy Congregational Culture| Webinar: Nov. 29

AMBS developed this leadership training program after a listening process with church leaders in 2021, in which seminary leaders asked, “What is the most meaningful thing that AMBS can do to support current and future leaders for the church?” Many leaders shared that while seminary had prepared them well for Bible study, preaching and pastoral care, they needed practical leadership skills to meet challenges resulting from the pandemic, polarization, shifting church commitments and an unpredictable future.

For more information about Practical Leadership Training or to register, see the AMBS website: https://www.ambs.edu/practical-leadership-training.

Faith Formation Resources

I have written about The Soil and the Seed Project in previous columns. This month I would like to highlight a new set of resources that these creators are offering free of charge.

The Soil and the Seed Project creates music, art, and “little liturgies” that follow the liturgical year. These resources can be used for at-home faith formation. The goal of the Soil and the Seed Project is “to help us welcome the seed of the Good News together as it takes root in our lives.” The resources are a gift to the church, given freely to any individual or community who wants them.

Now available is a new set of resources, Volume 7//Ordinary Time, designed to be used from June through November. Volume 7 includes 24 songs, readings, “little liturgies,” and artwork. Many of the songs are based directly on scripture passages, such as “Love Must Be Sincere,” based on Romans  12:9-21,  and “Teach Me, O LORD,” based on Psalm  119:33-37.

To download these resources or to request a physical copy, go to https://www.thesoilandtheseedproject.org/vol-7. You also can listen to samples of the songs at this web address.

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