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Leadership Academy Returns

What does it mean to be a leader in the church? Well, for the over 90 individuals who attended the 2024 offering of Leadership Academy at Resurrection, Ocean Beach, leadership is an opportunity to engage with our neighborhoods, other church members, and our friends about what it means to be a people of God. Throughout Leadership Academy, members from 24 churches learned from experienced professionals about what it means to be engaged with your church in a modern world. 

The Leadership Academy, held on January 20th, was not just a series of lectures but a vibrant mix of worship, learning, and community building–bringing together a diverse group of participants who explored and deepened their understanding of church leadership in the world.

The Rev. Dawn Stary said, “I appreciated the different educational opportunities. It was nice to be able to be in a community with a bunch of people that I wouldn’t ordinarily see–people who were coming to Leadership Academy to talk about discernment and ministry and how it shows up in our lives. It was great!” 

The day began with a moving Holy Eucharist at the newly planted Resurrection Episcopal Church, Ocean Beach, which set the tone for the day–reminding everyone of the spiritual foundation underpinning our roles as leaders. The beauty of the sanctuary and the sense of shared purpose created an atmosphere of hope and anticipation.

Following the service, participants dispersed into various workshops, each tailored to address different aspects of church leadership and community engagement. The workshops were organized into three main tracks: Foundations, Storytelling, and Growth.

In the Foundations track, workshops such as “Knowing Yourself: Ministry from a Place of Self-Awareness” and “Listening for God’s Call: Ministry of All the Baptized” offered attendees insight into personal and spiritual growth. These sessions emphasized the importance of self-awareness and inclusivity in ministry, resonating with many who sought to deepen their understanding of their roles within the church.

The Storytelling track focused on the power of communication in the digital age. The “Digital Evangelism” workshop, for instance, provided practical tips on how congregations can effectively share their faith through social media and websites. “Conversing Across Difference” tackled the challenging yet crucial aspect of fostering meaningful dialogue within diverse communities. These sessions were particularly well-received, as they equipped leaders with tools to navigate the complexities of modern communications and conflict resolution.

The Growth track emphasized outreach and nurturing within the church community. “Ministry with Seniors” explored ways to engage and enrich the faith lives of the church’s elder members. “Engaging Young Adults Beyond Campus Ministry” was another highlight, offering innovative approaches to include and empower the younger generation.

Rather than just presenting theoretical concepts, Leadership Academy provided actionable strategies and real-life examples from various professionals. Attendees found the sessions both enlightening and directly relevant to their ministries. A spirit of camaraderie and shared learning surrounded the event. Both clergy and lay participants engaged in lively discussions, sharing experiences and ideas. This networking opportunity was invaluable, fostering connections that extended beyond the confines of the Academy. The diversity of attendees – in terms of age, background, and experience – enriched the discussions and provided a broad perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing church leaders today.

The impact of the Leadership Academy was immediately evident. Participants left with a renewed sense of purpose, equipped with new skills and ideas to implement in their respective congregations. The blend of spiritual and practical learning was particularly effective, ensuring that the lessons learned were deeply rooted in faith and applicable in everyday ministry.

As the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego continues to navigate the opportunities of the 21st century, events like the Leadership Academy are vital in shaping dynamic church leadership. The success of the 2024 Academy has set a high standard for future gatherings, promising continued growth and development for leaders committed to serving the people of God in their communities. The lessons learned and connections made will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, guiding its journey toward a more inclusive, engaged, and spiritually vibrant future.

To learn more about formation opportunities in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, visit www.edsd.org/formation or email the Director of Formation Charlette Preslar at cpreslar@edsd.org.

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Category: #Communications, #Worship & Formation

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3 replies to “Leadership Academy Returns

  1. Edward Tackett | on January 24, 2024

    It was a very encouraging day, as a first timer my heart leapt with joy at being in such a scared space of learning!

  2. LARRY SALVADORI (ST. BARTS) | on January 24, 2024

    Dear Chris,
    At the age of 85, I might have been the oldest one attending the Leadership Academy, but one of the youngest at heart. One of my most interesting take-a-ways from the Growth Track was that emerging communities not only can from outside the church, (church planting opportunities) but also can come from within the church. We need to be aware in the details of new growth, or replacement growth, from within our parishes for movements in: age; genders; health; mobility; seeking?; ministries; incomes; interests; available time; groups; reasons to participate; service type; music; politics; environments; and others.
    We all know that success in any activity is paying attention, and knowing, the details.
    I recommend that the diocese promote, and repeat, a formal “Growth” discussion, at least, every two years.

    Respectfully, Thank you, Charlette,

    Larry Salvadori

  3. Michael Lawrence | on January 24, 2024

    Will this leadership Academy be offered via Soom?

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