You would never have known that it was cloudy and misty outside this past Saturday, as more than 100 saints from around the Presbytery of Philadelphia gathered for our first Fall Fest – Ministry on the Edges. Our opening devotional time focused on the feeding of the 5,000 in John 6, as Jesus asked his disciples to gather up together the fragments of bread. We were challenged to reflect on combining what often feels like insignificant fragments in our churches in an effort to focus on the abundance of what we have as opposed to focusing on what we do not have. Our morning devotional time was followed by a keynote presentation by the Rev. Dr. Shane Berg, Executive Vice President from Princeton Theological Seminary. Rev. Dr. Berg reflected on the beatitudes and the reversal of blessing Jesus preached, which countered the cultural norms of his and frankly, our time. He reflected on the call of the church and its leadership to be a place of hope and transformation, subversive cells working towards the common good.
After some questions and answers, participants went on their way to a morning and afternoon of equipping workshops. Throughout the day the energy was palpable as those who both taught and participated were encouraged by the engaging conversations. Local leaders and ministry practitioners, our colleagues faithful witness, facilitated discussions on preaching with relevance, prophetic and public witness, emerging movements in children and youth ministry, the impact of entrepreneurial ministry, developing local and global mission partnerships, reimagining sacred space, and discovering ourselves and one another through the enneagram. Along the way, the playful and curious spirit of those who attended made it clear- there must be a second annual Fall Fest to bring us together again in 2019.
With Gratitude, Rev. Ruth Faith Santana-Grace, Executive Presbyter
Check out the resources, audio, and presentations from our first annual Presbytery-Wide Equipping Event. We give thanks for all who participated and led in this gathering through our Ministry and Leadership Incubator. Special thanks for Carmel Presbyterian Church for serving as generous hosts!