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New York FW Circle

Disrupting Survival Mode

Disrupting Survival Mode

Churches Learning Change Gateway Year

The Churches Learning Change community believes flourishing as disciples and thriving in ministry requires growing our capacity to cultivate a reflective life in a community of practice while aligning to the ways of Jesus.  We are facing unprecedented adaptive challenges, including ever-changing pandemic realities.  Survival mode has become a way of life for many leaders and congregational systems.  

The Churches Learning Change (CLC) community invites YOU and YOUR CONGREGATION to join us as we make some of our learning and resources available to ALL churches and leaders, adjusting our schedule to address current needs.  For the last eight years, the regional synods of Albany, Mid Atlantics, and New York have partnered in providing CLC as an adaptive platform for personal and congregational missional engagement as a part of intentional renewal.

We Observe:

  • Constant pandemic change has caused fatigue and burnout, and reduced capacity and creativity of leaders and systems.  Many are experiencing burnout and various levels of exhaustion.
  • While leaders and systems have similarities in their experiences during these unprecedented times, each has a unique journey and varying levels of capacity for engagement.  
  • Those who have been a part of the Churches Learning Change community have expressed deep appreciation for the tools and resources the community has provided that have been especially helpful during the pandemic.  

Our Goals:

  • As we seek to equip growing disciples living on mission with God, we will foster authentic community that:
    • Is accessible to all who desire to participate during these challenging times. 
    • Welcomes all without judgment nor condemnation and creates space for all to share openly and vulnerably, so each may claim their own story and discern their own needs, goals, and next steps.
  • Introduce some of the helpful resources and processes of the Churches Learning Change community in one accessible round of content at a time, including a self-selective opportunity for homework, reflection, coaching, and group process.  
  • To create intentional space that is not the same as the full CLC process, but allows engagement in resources and learning community as congregations navigate coming out of pandemic and creating a “new normal.”  

The Plan:

Beginning in May of 2021, the CLC leadership team will offer four online learning sessions and one in-person retreat, roughly 8 weeks apart.  Each online learning session will be offered on a Wednesday night AND a Saturday morning (same content, choice of attendance).  Practice application homework will be offered after each session, as will opportunities for both individual and team coaching.

Teams from congregations are strongly encouraged to attend and participate together.  The greatest change and congregational impact will come from a team effort.  A team is generally conceived as 4-6 members participating with a pastor(s) and leadership is often shared between a team member and pastor. Teams from churches without pastors may be led by a congregational leader.  And, given pandemic realities, triads, pairs, and individuals will still be invited to participate.  

Each cycle will introduce some informational content, but more importantly, will allow time for participants to reflect and contextualize the content, create their own follow up, and reflect in community with others also seeking to practice and live into deeper discipleship.  

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER for online Sessions

Disrupting with a Reflective Life:
Wednesday, May 5 from  7 – 9:30 pm OR Saturday, May 8 from 9-11:30am

Cultivating a reflective life is the most important practice in raising awareness and empowering change.  We start any process of renewal, change, or journey with the Spirit.  The Churches Learning Change community believes our spiritual practices can be a great source of renewal and strength, are meant for our building up and empowerment, are not based on a legalistic list of things we “should” be doing, and need to be individually tailored to your spiritual needs.  Come explore the difference between “self-care” and “self-comfort,” explore where you have been getting stuck, release any grief or shame getting in your way, and create your plan for renewal.   

Disrupting with Curiosity:
Wednesday, July 7 from  7 – 9:30 pm OR Saturday, July 10 from 9-11:30am

Cultivating curiosity is a key value and practice in becoming an adaptive leader.  Learning to manage one’s own anxiety in order to wonder, to create space for wonder, and to allow the Spirit to speak in our wonderings breaks us from our shame, false dichotomies, intractable patterns, and can open for us opportunities and possibilities beyond our current realities.  Practice cultivating your curiosity.  Explore traits and practices of adaptive leadership.  

Disrupting with Systems Thinking:
Wednesday, September 1 from  7 – 9:30 pm OR Saturday, September 4 from 9-11:30am

Systems theory offers many helpful tools for leaders to disrupt linear thinking and intractable problems with repetitive cycles – trying harder at the same things expecting different results.  Exploring anxiety, one’s own role, resistance and sabotage are all helpful on the journey toward short and long-term fulfillment of mission and vision.  

In-Person Retreat with Covid precautions:  Take A Deep Breath
Click HERE for ADDITIONAL Information Registration is now closed for this event.
October 21-23, Honor’s Haven, Ellenville, NY

This experience will allow participants to step out of their contexts for a few days in a beautiful place, reviewing what the Spirit has been teaching, following the path of wonder, and exploring the many dimensions of possibilities.  Participants will take the next steps in each of the areas they have already explored, put the pieces together in process and learning, and map their way forward.  Participants will also name their desired focus for the final online experience. Register by October 1.  

Turning Toward Healing & Wholeness:
Wednesday, January 5 from  7 – 9:30 pm OR Saturday, January 8 from 9-11:30am

As we near the end of our “Disrupting Survival Mode” journey, it is appropriate to ask “What’s Next?” Since all of us, and our congregations, have had different experiences of the pandemic, as well as other experiences with grief, loss, and trauma, our next steps will be different. The Churches Learning Change community has tools to assist with discerning your next steps, as well as the next steps for your congregation. These tools will help clarify a vision for moving toward wholeness in Christ and making an action plan to pursue that vision, which will include addressing the obstacles to our wholeness and our individual and collective needs for healing

The Cost:

The most effective use of resources will encourage teams to participate together.  Those who register for coaching and group process will receive the most benefit.  Information alone does not transform, it must be internalized, adapted, contextualized, and practiced in community over time.  

Congregational Team Full Participant:  4-6 team members + Pastor (s) engage in all 4 rounds of online learning AND retreat lodging & accommodations $1000
*25% discount available for all those who have already signed on to the next round of CLC ($750)

This discounted price represents the best bargain AND the best opportunity to meet goals.

In keeping with our goal of accessibility:

Each learning event will allow individuals to participate for a donation.  Those seeking to participate in the follow up coaching and group process sessions are asked to register and pay $50 per online session.  $250 for the retreat.  

Teams participating per round: 

One round of content session, coaching, and group process sessions  for 4-6 team members from the same congregation + Pastor/leader $100 per online session.  In person Retreat:  $250 per team member up to $1000.  

Registration Deadline: 

Teams may sign on at any time.  Each online event will close 10 days before the first session.  Retreat registration deadline is October 1.