The significant cultural moment we find ourselves in requires leading and living BRAVEly. Ellen Duffield, in her book The Brave Way, explains what living bravely takes:
“Living BRAVEly takes, well, bravery. The bravery to keep trying when it would be so much easier to give up, to experience our own pain and enter into the suffering of the world but not get bitter or sentimental, to live compassionately and authentically, and to choose progress over perfection.”
This past year we’ve learned that bravery is developed and strengthened in safe, authentic spaces of true community. Women leaders from the US and Canada concluded five weeks of virtual gatherings sharing their lived experiences in the current climate of the CRC. Group facilitators testified that the women entered into meaningful, honest, authentic discussion.
The bi-national groups gave women the opportunity to meet and build relationships with like-minded leaders throughout the denomination. Each week participants left the virtual group encouraged to live bravely as peers prayed for each other.
“I don’t want this to end,” expressed one participant. It doesn’t have to end! Peer group learning is a mainstay of Pastor Church Resources.
Since 2003, PCR has distributed over 1.5 million dollars in grant money to support learning, prayer, encouragement, and fellowship in pastor peer groups. Pastors are free to plan all aspects of their time together: who the group members will be, what topic they’ll pursue, when to meet, what books they’ll read, and if they’d like to attend a conference, have a retreat, or neither. Since the groups create their own plan, no two groups are alike.
How about beginning a virtual or in-person pastor’s peer group? Groups funded to date have focused on: spiritual growth, Sabbath, developing leadership within churches, contemporary culture, pastoral health, family systems theory, building strong relationships, ministry fit, and the list goes on. With a maximum grant award of $3,000 USD, there’s room for a lot of creativity.
All CRC congregational pastors are eligible to form a group and apply for a grant. For all the details, as well as the requirements, check out the website. The next deadline for applications is November 1, 2021.
Let me know if you’d like help establishing a group and drafting a proposal. I’d love to support you as you commit to living BRAVEly with like minded leaders.