News Briefs: Justice Conference, Lilly Grant to Church for Minister’s Renewal

Atlanta Church to Host Justice Conference

ATLANTA, GA (December 17, 2014) — New Life Covenant Church will host a two-day conference, “Back to the Garden … Into the City: Deconstructing Walls of Injustice,” March 20-21. The church’s Center for Reconciliation and Restoration is sponsoring the event.

1217 justice conference logo

“The conference is designed to be a peer mentoring experience and will take place in ‘The Bluff,’ a community with a rich and checkered history,” said co-pastor Tim Rogers. Rogers, who is white, co-pastors the congregation with Catherine Gilliard, who is black.

The event also will feature three speakers and discussion facilitators in addition to Rogers and Gilliard: Soong-Chan Rah, professor at North Park Theological Seminary; Alexia Salvatierra, author of Faith Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World; and Dominique Gilliard, a board member of the Christian Community Development Corporation and staff member of New Hope Covenant Church in Oakland, California.

For more information or to register, visit the conference website.

Salvatierra discussed her book with Covenant News Service at the 2014 Midwinter Conference.

 

Kenton Johnson, Cedarcreek Receive $50,000 Grant

MAPLE VALLEY, WA (December 17, 2014) – Cedarcreek Covenant Church has received a $50,000 Lilly Foundation grant to enable the church to give pastor Kenton Johnson an extended period away from the church for reflection and renewal, as well as give the congregation opportunity to reflect on its own journey.Kenton Johnson Pict

The competitive grant was one of 140 awarded to churches in 2014 through the foundation’s National Clergy Renewal Program.

During the year, the church will be led on its own renewal path with the help of former pastors, a church leadership team, and conference and denominational leaders. The leaders will guide the church through activities that include worship services focused on reaffirming the congregation’s call, directed prayer groups, a discernment tool, and other events.

Johnson will use the time to visit people and places that God has used in significant ways to strengthen his faith. He also will travel to Israel to participate in a 14-day program entitled “Palestine of Jesus” through St. George’s College in Jerusalem.

Robert Saler, director of the Lilly Endowment clergy programs, said, “The program provides an opportunity for congregations to express appreciation for their ministers’ service and leadership. At a time when leaders are often praised for their pace of innovation and productivity, the National Clergy Renewal Program pays homage to the timeless wisdom embedded in the practice of reflection and renewal.”

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