A Message From the Acting Dean
Dear Friends of the Maine School of Ministry,
MESOM currently offers affordable fall and spring courses taught by highly qualified faculty which are designed for adult students who are exploring their own spiritual formation, exploring a call to ministry, as well as ordained clergy seeking quality continuing education, and open to all persons seeking spiritual and educational and enrichment. In addition, as both the vision and reach of MESOM expands, shorter courses will be offered in collaboration with local churches and other justice seeking organizations here in Maine and beyond.
Please feel free to contact me directly for further conversation abut MESOM. I’m always excited to hear about your interests and your ideas about possibilities for future offerings.
Ron Baard, Acting Dean
2020 Fall Zoom Workshops
-Learn More About Each Workshop & Register Below!
The Maine Small Church Story Project: What is Your Story Now?
Vibrant Worship, Spirited Fellowship, Committed Service:
Small Congregations in the Maine Conference Create New Ways of Being Church
November 7, 2020 || 9:00 am – 11:30 am
Leadership By: Rev. Susan Craig and Rev. Doug Dunlap
Mark Twain famously penned “Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” Then, of course, the Gospels are filled with accounts of people marginalized, hopelessly ill or infirm, even given up for dead, who find new life from their contact with Jesus Christ.
The same not-dead-yet ethos be might applied to some of the smaller congregations in our home state of Maine, affiliated with our United Church of Christ denomination. Intrigued with accounts of how some of these churches manage to thrive, we two UCC ministers logged a few thousand miles traveling the rural roads of our state over a two year period, then kept in touch with them over a following three-year time span, visiting 10 small – or recently small– congregations. We termed our effort “The Small Church Story Project”.
We have been offering seminars, webinars, and videoconferences nationally; and in-person presentations in Maine locations. Our presentations are always interactive. We invite the audience to become engaged with us, looking together at the observations we made – what we saw and heard from visits of substance. We say “substance” because our standard was to visit each church for worship for a minimum of two occasions; to hold a congregational meeting at which we inquired about congregation’s story now – and the journey to that story. Beyond those visits, we had phone, email, and in-person discussions with pastors and laity.
Each congregation has created a new way of being church. Each manifests that way lives that way, in its own particular way. It is true – no two are alike! Every one of these congregations is spirited, and vibrant – in worship, in fellowship, and in responding to the call to serve. It is a grace for us to hear these stories, and to share them with the wider church.
Pulpit Supply in a Covid World
Saturday, November 21, 2020 || 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Leadership By: Lindy Howe, a MESOM Student of the Living Water Association
Have you ever considered filling in at the pulpit or leading a “Zoom” service? Maybe you have already been asked on occasion. Whether you do not know a thing about it or are a retired pastor- come be part of an interactive workshop ‘Exploring Pulpit Supply in 2020’. This two-part co-led workshop will explore pulpit supply “Zoom”, “Facebook Live”, pre-record and live services. We will examine the need, the preparation, and the great benefits to our local churches. This will be a fun and enlightening two-hour workshop for anyone who would like to explore soul filled leadership through pulpit supply and more.
A Call to Serve (What it Means to Be a Deacon in Your Church)
Saturday, December 5, 2020 || 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Leadership By: Nancy Lewis, former Chair of Deacons at Centre Street UCC Church in Machias, Maine.
In this Workshop we will consider many dimensions of the role of the Deacon in the small church. We will look at the role from the perspective of history, as well as how it is practiced here in many of our small churches in Maine. We will consider how Deacons support the church and the church pastor. We will also consider the special work of Deacons in this Covid era.