Thriving in Ministry (Preparing Prophetic Leaders for a Multifaith World)

Since 2017, our Thriving in Ministry project has gathered regional and affinity groups of early-career faith and spirit-rooted community leaders across the US for respite, peer support, and generative connections with elders.

In June, our team worked with Rev. Nicole Diroff and Aram Mitchell (The BTS Center) to host 15 spiritual ecology leaders from the northeastern US in Portland, Maine. We explored our ancestral connections to land, place, and ecology. This fall, we meet online monthly, and participants are using microgrants to extend their community leadership and organizing.

John Bear Mitchell (Land Peace Foundation) taught us about the Penobscot Nation’s creation stories and transgenerational wisdom about kinship and responsibility. Emanuel Brown, a Black land steward who holds sanctuary for Black trans and queer people at the Acorn Center for Restoration & Freedom in rural Georgia, shared with us what land stewardship about ecological relation and how the work interconnects with his spirituality.

Our group also relished time to talk and trade experiences with a regional group of multifaith elders moderated by Rev. Jim Gertmenian on the site of the Etz Chaim Synagogue and Maine Jewish Museum. Through peer storytelling, shared meals, outdoor experiences, and facilitated conversation throughout the week, we deepened connections with each other, with Spirit, and with the Earth.

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Auburn Seminary program participants gather