Why Clergy Peer Learning Groups?

CPLG Logo- clergy peer learning groups

Being a pastor can be exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. Those who remain joyful and effective over the long haul attest to the power of a community of peers. Community holds us up, challenges us to grow, keeps us anchored to Christ and helps us carry out our calling as a disciple of Christ and a leader in the church. Meeting with a group of peers will sustain and encourage you in ministry and will ultimately lead to vitality in your local church.

How Do Clergy Peer Learning Groups Work?

All clergy should participate in a peer learning group.

  • Groups usually include 5-8 participants.
  • Groups are encouraged to meet at least nine times per year.
    • Groups will meet at the end of the first Clergy Meeting on September 14 to plan future meeting dates and content.
    • Groups could also meet for breakfast before the three additional clergy meetings, and during or after the two Five Talent events.
  • Groups study diverse themes including leadership development, reaching the community, improving prayer life, self-care and many other topics.
  • Each group elects a convener to check in with Cynthia Lopynski, Bi-District Program Coordinator.

Open Clergy Peer Learning Groups 2020/2021

Understanding and Dismantling Racism – This groups meets the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 1 p.m. to dive deep into understanding systemic racism.
If you are interested contact James Page contact jamespage@vaumc.org

Embrace the Tension of Living In Two Worlds – The widening political, racial and religious differences leads to an “us vs. them” mentality. This group will be exploring how to live in love and faithfulness between the extremes. This group meets on the first Tuesday of the month, 12 -1, “bring” your lunch.
For more details, contact Michelle Holmes Chaney, michellechaney@vaumc.org

Worthy Questions – Each month one of the group members will pick a discussion topic and assign any pre-readings or considerations. The criteria is a question/topic that is worthy of our shared time together. The first meeting is Thursday, September 17, from 1:30-3pm. We will discuss what constitutes worth in social, political and spiritual contexts.
For details contact jphong@vaumc.org

How to Lead When You are Not in Charge. Join other associates on a date and time determined by the participants. We will start with reading the book by Clay Scroggins.
For details, contact Mac McKenney, macmckenney@vaumc.org, cell phone number (202) 360-2107.

Catch Your Breath – Join fellow clergy in a leisurely walk and some good conversation at area parks. This group meets the third Thursday of every month at 3 p.m. We can structure our conversation or let topics arise, as they will – ministry situation, current events, blogs or books we have read recently. Companionable silence is an option. Depending on group size and current pandemic conditions, conversations most likely will be in pairs or in trios. Time together will conclude with prayer.
For details, contact Melissa Dunlap MelissaDunlap@vaumc.org

The Cross and the Lynching Tree.
This is an online book study of James Cone’s book The Cross and the Lynching Tree with Malcolm Foley, a church historian at Baylor University.
To sign up: crackersandgrapejuice.com/the-cross-and-the-lynching-tree – Sept 14 – Oct 12, Monday, 7 – 8:30 pm. (Note, there is a nominal fee.)

Contact Cynthia Lopynski for more information about Clergy Peer Learning groups. (cynthialopynski@vaumc.org)