“Our systems that we have relied on to undergird ministry for so long no longer support or sustain the ministry necessary for the new age. We need systemic overhaul. How to do it? I have no idea.”
–Portland Methodist minister Rev. Erin Martin
The American church is facing by many accounts a tectonic shift in its religious demographics. These shifts will have profound and lasting missional implications. The epicenter of this shift is the Pacific Northwest. In that light, Ingalls Creek is convening a group of individuals for generative conversations around this topic with two in person bookend retreats (June 5-7, November 7-9) and four ZOOM events in the months in between.
These conversations are designed to bring together twenty pastoral and ministry leaders from the Pacific Northwest to have informed conversations about how the church should respond to these emerging realities. Rather than being directed by academic theorist, these conversations are to be led by reflective practitioners in the spirit of spiritual and missional innovation. The rise of the nones, dones, and unchurched is often labeled as a crisis to be feared, but we see it as an opportunity to be engaged.
We will not shy away from the topics that divide the Christian church, as we know we need one another in order to share the good news of Christ in our current cultural climate. We are not interested in maintaining church practices as we have always known them, but are interested in exploring innovation that might revitalize the faith communities we lead or participate in, while leaving room for old ways to die so that new life can be born. We are resurrection people – knowing that through death, Christ makes a way for new life.
This is an urgent discussion, and what we offer is unique. While there are groups exploring this topic and how to respond, they are often happening in echo chambers. Our hope is that as we center ourselves on Christ, practice grace for one another, and take new risks for the sake of spreading God’s good news, we can grow together. This cohort will explore many of the elements at play for how we got here, what intergenerational understanding we need to develop to better value and learn from one another, and what it means to join Christ in what he is doing today. We are partnering with Jeff Keuss and Martin Jimenez of SPU, utilizing what they’ve learned through their grant work in PIVOT NW, and ultimately hope to work through real time challenges you have in your context that can speak to our wider journey as a network. We are committed to generative conversation, curiosity, and communal discovery. God’s Spirit is up to something and we strive to get on board.
This program is slated to run June-November of 2023 with the opening retreat scheduled for June 5-7 and the closing retreat November 7-9 at Ingalls Creek.
Fee for two retreats and four ZOOM events:
- $500 (shared room, shared bath)
- $575 (private room, private or semi-private bath)
(Actual cost is $1500 per participant. We are securing funding to help subsidize the cost for participants)
Moderators For Our Conversation
David John Seel, Jr., PhD (University of Maryland) is a cultural-renewal entrepreneur and social-impact consultant with expertise in the dynamics of cultural change. He is the former director of cultural engagement at the John Templeton Foundation and has authored a few books, including The New Copernicans: Millennials and the Survival of the Church and Network Power: The Science of Making a Difference. He lives with his wife on a historic farm in Pennsylvania and blogs at www.ncconversations.com.
Rev. Dr. Matthew Kaemingk is a Christian ethicist and public theologian. He is currently the Richard John Mouw Assistant Professor of Faith and Public Life at Fuller Theological Seminary where he also serves as the Director of the Richard John Mouw Institute of Faith and Public Life. His research and public speaking focus on a variety of issues including: marketplace theology, political ethics, Muslim-Christian relations, and Reformed public theology. He is the author and editor of several books including Christian Hospitality and Muslim Immigration (2018), Work and Worship (with Cory Willson, 2020), and Reformed Public Theology (2021).
Dr. Dustin Benac is a practical theologian, professor, and organizational strategist who is always working to understand and tell the stories of communities of faith and those who serve them. Amid the many challenges faith communities face, he works to bend the imagination towards hope. Benac teaches at Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary and serve as the co-founding co-director of The Program for the Future Church. He is the author of Crisis & Care (2021) and Adaptive Church (2022)
Rev. Becca Niemeyer is a Seattle native, and a PC(USA) ordained Pastor who has served in College Ministry contexts as well as urban and rural congregations. She is passionate about asking better questions, and helping those around her to build their curiosity. She currently serves as Ingalls Creek’s Associate Program Development Director alongside her Pastoral call at Quincy Presbyterian Church.
Rev. Dr. Jeffrey F. Keuss (PhD, University of Glasgow) is professor of Christian ministry, theology, and culture at Seattle Pacific University. He is also the executive director of Pivot Northwest. He is a regular contributor to the The Kindlings Muse podcast on theology and culture and is on the editorial board of Literature and Theology. His books include Freedom of the Self (2010), Your Neighbor’s Hymnal (2011), Blur (2014), and Live the Questions (2019). Keuss lives in Seattle, Washington, with his wife, Diana, and their three children.
Attractively situated at the confluence of two mountain streams 12 miles southeast of Leavenworth, Washington, Ingalls Creek Enrichment Center offers a wonderful, natural, quiet, and peaceful setting removed from the chatter and clutter of everyday life. Learn more about Ingalls Creek here. For a map, directions and travel tips click here.
12355 Ingalls Creek Road
Peshastin, WA 98847
June 5-7 Retreat: The retreat begins with a 6:00 PM dinner on Monday, June 5 and ends with lunch at noon on Wednesday, June 7. Plan on arriving between 4:00 and 6:00 PM on Monday. Checkout on Wednesday is by 2:00 PM.
ZOOM Events: The dates for the ZOOM events are July 20, August 17, September 21, and October 19. Each event is one and a half hours from 5:00 to 6:30 PM (PST).
November 7-9 Retreat: The retreat begins with a 6:00 PM dinner on Tuesday, November 7 and ends with lunch at noon on Thursday, November 9. Plan on arriving between 4:00 and 6:00 PM on Monday. Checkout on Wednesday is by 2:00 PM.
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