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This month a new group will meet for the first time. These pioneers will enter what is new territory for our congregation: a year-long, intentional group experience of leadership development. Their name, The Fellowship of Twelve, has strong biblical echoes (which is intended) as well as some Tolkienesque overtones (which isn’t intended, but fun and promising).

The group, chosen by the Elders and representing both current and potential church leaders, will journey together through a series of learning modules that are designed to help them grow both personally and as a group, deepen their understanding of congregational life and leadership, and immerse themselves in spiritual practices as well as budgets and meeting agendas.

The learning modules were developed with input from the staff and the Elders; they include Disciples History & Identity, Worship & Public Speaking, Great Meetings, Prayer, Vine Street History & Identity, Web & Tech, Bible 1 and 2, Personalities, Governance & Ethos, and Dollars & Sense, and the group will engage with these topics in Sunday afternoon sessions and retreats, both at church and in other locations.

There is a great need for spiritually and emotionally mature leaders in all areas of our life, and what we are setting out to accomplish is much bigger than knowledge transfer to equip individuals for particular tasks - the Fellowship of Twelve is meant to be transformational, from the personal and group level to the congregational level and beyond. We do this because we believe that people matter and that small steps taken faithfully will change the world.

We ask that you keep this group in your prayers as they venture out together: Alice Cannon, Joyce Crowell, Melanie Gao, Jackie Halstead, Erica Hayden, Johanna Keith, Thomas Kleinert, Bob Lyons, Malinda Moseley, Kennedy Shuler, Helen Trabue, and Kara Reed.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

This quest may be attempted by the weak with as much hope as the strong. Yet it is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: Small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere.

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring