The energy that new faith communities bring was palatable as 70 clergy and laity from the Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, Oregon-Idaho, Pacific Northwest, Desert Southwest and Cal-Pac Conferences gathered at Trailhead 2014, from November 13 – 15, 2014, for an event focused on exploring planting new faith community in the United Methodist Church.
At Redondo Beach First United Methodist Church, Trailhead participants asked questions, pushed boundaries and learned from one another. Those in attendance left understanding the basics of starting a new faith community and having made connections for future ministry opportunities. Next steps were laid out so that those hearing the call to begin new faith communities could continue on in their journey.
Over the course of three days, participants were able to hear inspiring stories from pastors and laity who had begun new faith communities, listen to United Methodist staff persons, including Rev. Dr. Candace Lewis, Executive Director of Path 1, on what it takes to start a new church, experience worship led by church planters, and have opportunities to make new relationships with others feeling called to this same work.
Some moments to note were the times of prayer as participants laid hands on each speaker for their ministry and that the power of the Holy Spirit would lead them, sharing Communion at the beach with host pastor Molly Vetter and musician Dave Roberts, and hearing from church planters Rob Rynders and Brian Kemp-Schlemmer about their journey planting City Square Church in Phoenix, Arizona.
Trailhead 2014 was another example of how the California-Pacific Annual Conference, along with the Western Jurisdiction, is developing principled Christian leaders to inspire the world as passionate followers of Jesus Christ so all may experience God’s life-giving love.
The New Ministries Essential Ministry Team of the California-Pacific Annual Conference invites all who feel the call to participate or support such leadership development to connect with Rev. Nicole Reilley, Cal-Pac Director of New Ministries (firstname.lastname@example.org).