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Contend Discernment Program: Explore Phase Open for Applications! (Normal Heights UMC)

The Contend program is a ministry-discernment program for anyone wrestling with the call to create or lead new prophetic ministries in the California-Pacific Conference.

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Founded by Rev. Brent Ross and Pastor Molly Lorden, the three-phase program is designed to build community and provide support for those who are asking common questions about their call to ministry, the future of the Church and their place in it:

Phase 1: ExploreAm I called to lead the Church?

EXPLORE cohorts meet three times a year on Saturdays at NHUnited Church in San Diego. If you are coming from outside of the San Diego area, we have funds to help with travel and lodging.

Phase 2: EmbodyWhat is my place in leading the Church?

EMBODY cohorts gather three weekends a year for immersive trips centered in places where people are engaging with their call to ministry in unique ways.

Phase 3: EnactI’ve found my call to lead the Church, now what?

ENACT cohorts engage in one-on-one coaching with the CONTEND Directors, Brent and Molly, to help you move forward with specific projects.

Cost: EXPLORE Saturday gatherings are free; retreats and trips have a nominal co-pay.

Applications now being accepted for the CONTEND EXPLORE phase starting this Fall! If you are between the ages of 18-30 and wrestling with a call to lead the church or a ministry, this program is for you!

Come explore and ask questions in a cohort of supportive and diverse folks who are committed to asking the same questions.

Apply by July 31, 2023.

For questions, email Brent Ross at or Molly Lorden at