the center for learning
the Presbytery of Cincinnati has engaged in a renewed relationship with all sixty-seven congregations. Working with them in partnership as a Resource and Relational Catalyst (along with the third “R”, Regulatory body), in an attempt to empower and release churches to build the Kingdom in unique and creative (and more highly supported) ways, giving them the tools to realize the fourth “R”: increased impact and Relevance in their respective communities and contexts.
were formed in 2018 to help the Presbytery realize this goal: the Congregational Renewal and Vitality Team (CRV) and the Network Resource Committee (NRC). The CRV immediately supplied grants to help congregations update their digital footprint. And the NRC began to collect data on the mission passions and needs of our congregations.
From the data we collected, the Presbytery of Cincinnati became the second Presbytery nationally to declare itself a PC(USA) Matthew 25 Presbytery in 2019. The outcome of this work is reflected in our new mission statement (adopted February 2020): “Connecting and equipping congregations to bear witness to the overwhelming hope, audacious joy and contagious love of Jesus Christ.”
Center for Learning was created to house: the Matthew 25 Presbytery Teams, the Congregational Renewal work, the data-gathering of the Network Resource Committee and our conversations from Presbytery Gatherings, the workshops of the Presbytery Gatherings, and our Preaching Institutes for Ruling Elders and Youth.
The year 2020 also saw the launch of a pilot program called “The Living Churches Initiative.” The Initiative is dedicated to understanding the tools and approaches best suited for development of leadership amongst the pastors and lay leaders. The Initiative will lead them to new implementable ideas to bring their Kingdom Relevance into sharper focus.
several platforms were created to connect congregations with similar interests. Once connected they can work together to extend their missional reach and amplify impact, connect our Christian Education and Music ministries across congregations, and bring together our pastors, clerks of Session, and lay leaders for fellowship, support, and idea-swapping.
this focus on congregational renewal, in late 2020 the Presbytery of Cincinnati was awarded the prestigious Lilly grant to expand the Living Churches Initiative over five years to all congregations in the Presbytery.
the Center’s Director will oversee the budget from the Lilly grant to realize the full scope of this work and expand the potential impact of our churches for their communities in the name of the Christ whom we all serve.