Leadership School to Have ‘Wholeness’ Focus

Duane BeckDuane Beck

"Come, all you who are burdened and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."

For busy and often harried church leaders, that scriptural promise should put music in their ears and a spring in their step, but reality may prove something else for many.

The concept of "Embodying God’s Wholeness in a Frenzied World" also happens to be the primary theme of the 2006 School for Leadership Training, Jan. 16-19 at Eastern Mennonite Seminary.

This year’s School for Leadership Training is designed to help pastors and church leaders pay attention to their own well being," said Brenda Martin Hurst, assistant professor of practical theology at EMS and SLT coordinator. "Pastors will have opportunities to slow down and to pray with and for each other. Meaningful worship times will again be a highlight," she added.

Primary resource speaker, Duane Beck, will draw from his own experience of wrestling with and seeking to embody wholeness in the midst of his ministerial calling. He has been lead pastor of Belmont Mennonite Church, Elkhart, Ind., since 1984 and previously served a church in Ohio for 13 years.

Belmont is a mission-oriented congregation that is made up of two culturally diverse worshiping groups and is actively involved in responding to its neighborhood and to the city of Elkhart.

Participants will be able to select four of 16 special interest classes being offered on such topics as "Praying the Scriptures," "Finding a Wholeness Balance in Ministry and Family/Relationships," "Jesus at the Movies" and "Lay of the Land: Mennonite Women in Ministry."

A new feature this year is recreation night on Tuesday evening, Jan. 17. A variety of activities are planned to relax, rejuvenate and invigorate church leaders – everything from line-dancing to volleyball to a Rook card tournament. Persons are encouraged to check the SLT web site for updates at www.emu.edu/seminary/slt.

Each day’s events will open with worship and music. Other activities include a forum with seminary dean Ervin R. Stutzman, a pastors and church leaders forum and a special dinner and program sponsored by the alumni and church relations offices. The conference will conclude the morning of Jan. 19 with worship and communion.

A "Pre-SLT" workshop is being offered 1:45-5 p.m. Jan. 16 on "Health and Wholeness in a Frenzied World" led by Ingrid Friesen Moser, stewardship of health manager at Mennonite Mutual Aid, Goshen, Ind.

Persons may register on-line at www.emu.edu/seminary/sltregistration.html. The registration deadline is Dec. 31, 2005. After that date, $15 of the registration fee is non-refundable.

All registered participants are asked to check in from 12:30-1:45 p.m. or 3:45-5 p.m. on Jan. 16 in the gathering area on second floor of the seminary building.

For more SLT information, call Cindy Smoker at (540) 432-4597 or e-mail: churchrelations@emu.edu.