#RethinkingChurch Virtual Summit Equips Ministry Leaders to Address Social Issues

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Ministry leaders form social impact community to rethink church post-COVID-19, The group will partner with seminaries, business owners, and not for profits committed to social change.

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#RethinkingChurch challenges religious leaders from diverse backgrounds to not only identify social problems but also to share ideas and solutions that can be replicated in communities around the country. We are where the practical, spiritual, and academic meet to work.

#RethinkingChurch Strategies will host their inaugural Virtual Summit on July 21-24, 2020. The Summit features more than 60 keynote and breakout sessions led by ministry leaders from across the country. Presentations will be centered around Christian Education, Church Administration, Digital Discipleship, Evangelism, Advocacy, and Mental Health with keynotes from Rev. Dr. Teresa Fry Brown, Bandy Professor of Preaching, Candler School of Theology; Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, Pastor, Alfred Street Baptist Church; Dr. Miguel De La Torre, Professor of Social Ethics & Latinx Studies, Iliff School of Theology; and Rev. Dr. Mitzi J. Smith, J. Davison Philips Professor of New Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary. A Think Tank registration option is available for attendees to join a one-year program to identify and address social issues within church communities.

As the COVID-19 pandemic caused religious institutions to rethink their approach to ministry and how they would meet the needs of their communities, co-hosts LaKesha Womack and Quinta Ellis-Parmely curated a virtual event to prepare leaders to imagine ministry post-COVID-19 and beyond. The duo have worked on ministry projects together for almost ten years with interest in the intersection of ministry and social issues such as homelessness, food insecurity, and the access to capital for business owners and not for profits. The Summit and subsequent work through the think tanks will develop solutions to empower ministries to tackle the issues in their local communities.

“The concept of #RethinkingChurch began as a series of presentations I offered through my consulting firm,” says Womack. “It has morphed into a platform challenging religious leaders from diverse backgrounds to not only identify social problems but also to share ideas and develop solutions that can be replicated in communities around the country. I’m excited about the conversations we are having in our Facebook group and the number of people who have signed up to work in the Think Tanks for the next year.”

Following the Summit, #RethinkingChurch Strategies will become a social impact community comprised of Think Tanks and Advisory Councils. As a not for profit, the organization will focus on developing collaborative relationships with seminaries, business owners, churches, and not for profits with specific attention on the economic empowerment and leadership development within church communities. The groups will focus on Food Security, Child Care Deserts, Economic Empowerment, Digital Discipleship, Home Security, Mental Health Support, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, Voter Education, and leadership development for Women in Ministry. By addressing these issues, the organization will equip ministries with the models, tools, and resources to become economic drivers in their communities.

Potential partners are invited to participate in the Virtual Summit as registered attendees, partners, or sponsors. For more information, visit rethinkingchurchvirtualsummit.com or contact LaKesha at lakesha@rethinkingchurchstrategies.com.

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LaKesha Womack
since: 03/2009
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