Viewing entries tagged
Launch & Lead

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"Other"

I am an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.   At many clergy gatherings someone will start a story with the words, “You won’t believe what I was asked to do this week…” And we will end up laughing and saying, “And that is under your job description as ‘other?’” The “other” of a clergy job description is endless, from kissing camels to cleaning toilets.

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Launch & Lead Pacific Northwest Cohort

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Launch & Lead Pacific Northwest Cohort

The four-fold practice of showing up, paying attention, participating with God, and letting go of the outcome can be complex. We have been participating and leading experiments that do well, fail, don’t take off, or move in unexpected directions. Our cohort community has been there to share in celebration and ask reflective questions to help us see what is happening to us in new ways.

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Foundations Workshop

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Foundations Workshop

Foundations Workshop
by Stephanie McKellar

November 2 - 4, 2017, the newly re-formatted Launch & Lead cohort met in Winchester, Virginia for our first gathering together, the Foundations Workshop. 

We begin with spiritual direction, in the safe space of the Rotunda; we are hosted in our weekend by Shenandoah University. Matt Johnson welcomes us to the space with an abundance of spiritual tools to facilitate our spiritual practice.

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It Is Time

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It Is Time

It Is Time
by Bret Wells

Since the first cohort in 2011, Launch & Lead (formerly known as The Academy for Missional Wisdom) has been equipping people and teams from all over the US to launch and lead alternative forms of Christian community, and/or provide support to those who do.

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L & L Student, Diane Rheos

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L & L Student, Diane Rheos

Launch & Lead Student, Diane Rheos
Diane shares here the ways in which she is using the skills she is learning to launch and lead new communities.

A Community in Partnership with a Great Lead Team
The WaySide is an intentional Christian community connected to Fremont United Methodist Church in Portland Oregon.

We are getting to know how we can be supported by our lead team, which we call The WaySide Outside. Together we hosted an all church event on Sunday July 23rd . In Portland each summer there are Sunday Parkway events. The city closes a loop of streets and hundreds of people get on their bikes and make the circuit. The WaySide house-mates suggested the idea of an event to host a BBQ and then participate in the ride. The WaySide Outside Team were enthusiastic supporters. Together we provided a BBQ lunch for everyone in attendance that Sunday morning, and then a group of people decorated their bikes, and rode on the Sunday Parkways cycling route.

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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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...And We Act

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...And We Act

And We Act
by Bret Wells


Contextual awareness is one of the fundamental aspects of everything we do in the Missional Wisdom Foundation. It is why our training programs – especially Launch & Lead – focus heavily on processes for discernment, maintaining curiosity, asking good questions…and actually listening to people. It is a cornerstone for processes like asset-based community development and universal design. It is why we place a heavy emphasis on coaching, both as a resource we provide and as an essential leadership skill we help cultivate.

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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.

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Neighboring Choices

Neighboring Choices

Neighboring Choices

by Catherine Johnson

Last week we trimmed a tree, which resulted in a pile of limbs in our front yard. We were glad to mark off tree trimming on our to do list; however, we now had to figure out how to get rid of the limbs. We have a neighbor, Joseph, on our block who owns a landscape company. We had heard through another neighbor that Joseph is willing to help neighbors haul yard waste away whenever he is taking a load for his business. This is great, but I don't have Joseph's phone number and he works long hours this time of year. It's not easy to track him down and ask permission to load a pile of branches on his trailer.

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On the Horizon

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On the Horizon

On the Horizon

by Rachel Wells

 

As Andrea mentioned in the devotional above, today marks the one year anniversary of Missional Wisdom Foundation’s Wisdom for the Way publication. We have been working hard - alongside many of you - to continue our mission of experimenting with and teaching about alternative forms of Christian community, and we have a number of new programs nearing completion.

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Beautiful Future

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Beautiful Future

Beautiful Future

by Matt Johnson

For many of us, the work that we do is slow, subtle and small, at least in the beginning. This reality presents many challenges, particularly since we are living in the age of “short-termism” (a phrase used by Ari Wallach in his TED Talk, “3 ways to plan for the (very) long term”). But occasionally we catch a glimpse of the fruit of our labors. I’m learning it is really important to cherish those moments, and remember them, for it is through remembering those moments that we sustain ourselves in the present, and prepare for a beautiful future.

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52 Weeks of Neighboring

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52 Weeks of Neighboring

52 Weeks of Neighboring

by Matt Johnson

We were created in the image of the Triune God, designed to be in meaningful relationships that form community, and we are taught by Jesus to love our neighbors as ourselves. While these truths are good news, living into them is very concrete, sometimes difficult, and easily forgotten. We struggle to love our neighbors.  

SoCe Life, a hub of the Missional Wisdom Foundation, is a non-profit organization located in the South-Central neighborhood of Wichita, KS. The founding belief of SoCe Life is that everyone is gifted, and as individuals share their gifts for the benefit of others, they experience wholeness and the community becomes stronger. This belief drives the daily work of SoCe Life, connecting neighbors based on gifts and interests.

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