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Partners in Possiblity

Just days after our daily lives shifted dramatically with the COVID-19 crisis, FTE virtually convened the first Community of Practice Cohort. In light of the massive changes that had taken place over the course of the previous three days, I started the meeting asking two questions:

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By: Christina Repoley May 29, 2020


Go offline on April 22, 2020

On April 22, 2020, Earth Day turns 50. During that first celebration in 1970, more than 20 million people, including many religious leaders and young adults, went outside to demand a better world. In that same year, the National Environment Protection Act went into effect establishing the Environmental Protection Agency.

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By: Patrick B. Reyes April 21, 2020


Dancing in the Midst of Complexity

Last week I had the privilege to facilitate a cohort of amazing women for an Inaugural Thriving in Ministry retreat in Pine Mountain, GA. During this time, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic status for COVID-19.

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By: Darlene Hutto March 24, 2020


What we see and hear on Sunday morning

We are all too familiar with Sunday morning small talk.

“How are you doing Beverly?,” asks the pastor. Beverly is a long-time parishioner who volunteers for the flower guild and teaches Sunday School.

I’m fine pastor,” said Beverly. “Thank you for asking!”

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By: Alexis Chase May 30, 2019


Navigating My Doctoral Journey: What’s Theological Education For Anyway?

At a recent academic conference I attended, a keynote speaker presented research on the faith journeys of young adults in their twenties and thirties. According to the speaker’s findings, a substantial number of participants reported leaving the Christian faith after struggling with the exclusionary implications of their church’s theologies. For many, the departure from the communities that formed them so deeply at one point in their lives was a complete break from Christianity itself. Listening to the stories these young adults shared touched a raw place in my heart.

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By: Easten Law May 13, 2019


Callings

This past year has been a roller coaster of questions, reflection, doubts, and fears. After spending my whole life thinking I knew what I wanted to be in this world, I decided I had been wrong. I was not called to a life of practicing medicine. When I made that decision, I voiced it aloud to various groups I belong to, including my campus ministry, which voiced affirmations and support, making me feel secure in my decision.

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By: Zoie Sheets July 27, 2018


FTE Remembers Rev. Dr. James H. Cone

Today we grieve the loss of Rev. Dr. James H. Cone, a Bill & Judith Moyers Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary. He was a friend and mentor to many in the FTE community and will be missed dearly. On behalf of FTE, I offer our heartfelt condolences to Dr. Cone’s family, friends, and colleagues.

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By: Matthew Wesley Williams May 07, 2018


Notes from further down the path: Checking in with the Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis

With her vibrant congregation, new Doctor of Ministry project, successful social media presence, and network news experience, the Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis is a living inspiration to which many Ph.D. candidates might aspire. But Lewis’ vocational trajectory has twists and even obstacles that many on a doctoral journey might find familiar.

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By: Erica Ramirez April 17, 2018


A Risk I Am Willing To Take

A short time ago if you had told me that I would be moving states for a church, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. I had been deeply wounded by a church in the past and finally found a safe place. Yet as unexpected as it was, that is exactly what my husband Will and I did! It all started like this:

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By: Ashley Easter January 18, 2018


Letting Leaders Lead

The “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia spurred a lot of subsequent activity, not only in the United States but also up in Canada. In Vancouver several groups organized an anti-immigration rally at our city hall. This rally elicited the organization of a counter-protest on the same day, in the same place. Upwards of 4,000 people quickly signed up to attend.

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By: Roger Revell January 12, 2018


Peace

A poem on peace written by Christina Schmitt, a 2015 Regional Discernment Retreat participant.

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By: Christina Schmitt November 06, 2017


Where are the Mentors?

“Where are the mentors?” This question is my constant companion as I navigate the unchartered waters of the next great emergence in the Christian church.

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By: Kathleen Braafladt August 15, 2017


Finding Hope

I never knew what question I was seeking the answer to until June 1, 2017. After worship one night during the Christian Leadership Forum dinner I busted into deep, flowing tears…

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By: Queen Frye June 23, 2017


Rest for the Journey Ahead

Eleven days after my seminary graduation, I boarded a plane to Atlanta for the Forum for Theological Exploration’s 2017 Christian Leadership Forum. While I was already excited to join my cohort and meet scholars whose work I admire, I walked away from the Forum feeling thankful for an additional gift: FTE’s hospitality that demonstrated that I was welcomed, honored and affirmed as a member of this community of Christian leaders.

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By: Jasmin Figueroa June 22, 2017


Learning to Breathe for a Marathon

The weekend just prior to the Christian Leadership Forum, I ran my first marathon ever. As a college cross country and track runner, I have long considered myself a distance runner. My routine 8k and 10k race distances, however, pale in comparison to the toll the marathon took on my body, mind, and spirit. I have since been relishing both the physical and the psychological break from running before I begin a new training cycle toward another fall cross country season.

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By: Isaiah Friesen June 07, 2017


Social Justice as an Extension of Faith

This past year as I applied to Lutheran Volunteer Corps, one of my mentors asked me why I had chosen a faith-based organization focusing on social justice, rather than a secular organization. This question caught me completely off guard—I had never considered that my passion for social justice could come from anything but my faith. So many of the Scripture passages that speak to me most deeply are those that call for an end to oppression and injustice, that call for us to care for those who are in need, for those who are rejected and for those who are forgotten. From Jesus to Martin Luther King, Jr. my models of social justice are strongly tied to faith.

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By: Kasey Shultz April 28, 2017


Vocation is Finding Me

I had arrived weary. Tired of trite messages about God’s sovereignty, about God. Tired from fears of rejection, of misjudgment, of criticism. Tired of the Church. All I had was a little flame inside that gasped for oxygen. And I prayed, God, fuel that flame.

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By: Sophia Har April 07, 2017


Women Ministers: A Diverse and Mighty Throng

Though the battle for women’s equality and acceptance into leadership in the church is still being fought on many fronts, there is a generation of female leaders rising within the ranks of ministry.

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By: Ashley Easter April 05, 2017


A Lesson on Leadership

During seminary, I went on a spiritual retreat that involved a reflective hike. As a hiking novice, I purchased new hiking boots, dry wicking socks, and a backpack. In the spirit of being prepared, I loaded up my backpack with six bottles of water and snacks.

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By: Darlene Hutto March 20, 2017


When in Doubt, Do ...

Reports came home this past week. Both of my children, 17 and 13, dutifully presented their offerings. Per our ritual, I asked each one, “Did you do your best?” It’s a question based on the mantra we have always encouraged with our children in the classroom, on the field, at work or with how they treat their friends. That mantra, “just do your best.” Even when it means you lack capacity to give 100%, give your best, even if your best is only 60%. Even if you fail, it’s okay if you can look back and say you did my best.

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By: Brian Foreman February 17, 2017

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