Viewing entries tagged
Alum

L & L Alum, Mary Beth Taylor

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L & L Alum, Mary Beth Taylor

Launch & Lead Alum, Mary Beth Taylor

This week’s spotlight is taken from Together: Community as a Means of Grace by Larry Duggins.

Reverend Mary Beth Taylor noticed a different kind of community while she was Associate Pastor at Littleton UMC outside of Denver. Mary Beth, also a graduate of Launch & Lead, noticed that many people enjoyed spending some of their recreational time having a cold beer and some appetizers at the local pub, just like she and her life partner, Steve. She pulled together a small group of people and formed Open Space, a community that meets monthly in a local bar and grill.

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L & L Alum, Nora Ortiz Fredrick

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L & L Alum, Nora Ortiz Fredrick

Launch & Lead Alum, Nora Ortiz Fredrick

This week’s spotlight is taken from Together: Community as a Means of Grace by Larry Duggins.

Nora Ortiz Fredrick is a consultant, fund-raiser, and entrepreneur in Anchorage, Alaska. Nora, a graduate of the Missional Wisdom Foundation's Launch & Lead program, noticed that the timing of traditional church services makes very little sense in Alaska. Many people are drawn to Alaska by its natural beauty and the wide variety of outdoor activities is offers, yet churches were asking people to take several hours out of the very middle of their weekends to come into an urban setting in order to sit indoors for worship.

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Launch & Lead Alum, Lynda Fickling

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Launch & Lead Alum, Lynda Fickling

Launch & Lead Alum, Lynda Fickling

This week’s spotlight is taken from Together: Community as a Means of Grace by Larry Duggins.

Table fellowship has been a traditional part of the life of many Christian denominations for years in the form of Wednesday night dinners or Friday fish fries. These activities, however, were typically inwardly focused—serving the people of the church—and were large gatherings. Lynda Fickling, director of servant ministry and spiritual director at St. Luke’s UMC in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and a graduate of the MWF’s Launch & Lead program, decided to combine the joys of table fellowship with the idea of small groups by developing Kitchen Groups. Lynda put together a leader’s guide that provided insight into hosting a simple dinner in a home.

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Launch & Lead Alum, Ben Floyd

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Launch & Lead Alum, Ben Floyd

Launch & Lead Alum, Ben Floyd

As my family and I sit in the midst of boxes and pictures taken off the walls, we’re able to take some time and reflect on the last 4 years and how God works in our lives in ways that are often beyond our understanding. My upcoming appointment in the UMC in Todd, NC, is a sure sign of God working in us and through us. I will be serving as campus pastor of Blackburn’s Chapel, connected to Boone UMC. Along with this privilege I will also be serving as executive director of a non-profit that seeks to build community through listening, presence, and working with an intentional community of 3-4 young people who seek to live into their calls as disciples and disciple-makers in rural ministry. I can’t help but see this placement as being related to the work and formation I’ve been a part of through the Missional Wisdom Foundation. It was at the initial retreat for my Launch & Lead cohort four years ago that God spoke to me in a voice that was unavoidable. His call to me and my family was clear after that weekend – we were meant for ministry, more than what we were doing at the time. For me, that call took the shape of seminary and candidacy in the UMC for ordination.

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Launch & Lead Alum, Karen Doucette

Launch & Lead Alum, Karen Doucette

Spotlight: Launch & Lead Alum, Karen Doucette

Five years ago when I was in Seminary, there was, as there is now, a growing anxiousness related to Church attendance. I was frustrated by the mantra—“We just have to get people through the doors.” I love to worship, to be in church, to belong to a family of faith, to be in community, and to be on mission together. Instead those words seemed forced, even though I know that was not the intention—the words come from a desire for folks to know and experience the love of Christ.   

One verse that I go to often is Psalm 16:11,  “You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasure of living with you forever.” (NLT) I felt a restlessness in figuring this out, my needed response and how to make space for what God wanted in our world and context today.

L & L Alum, Hannah Terry

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L & L Alum, Hannah Terry

Launch & Lead Alum, Hannah Terry

Meet the minister building bridges between refugee communities in Houston, TX: Hannah Terry, an alum of Launch & Lead (then The Academy for Missional Wisdom). Hannah's work with FAM was recently featured in Houstonia online magazine.

"It was while she was attending Duke Divinity School in North Carolina that Terry was recruited to Westbury UMC, thanks to her fierce curiosity and her intense desire to build bridges—qualities church leaders saw as crucial in continuing their outreach mission to address what they call “the disparities next door.”

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