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Project Name: Tap Roots and Seed Crystals

The central purpose of this initiative is to create a vibrant learning community through which conditions for congregational thriving will be cultivated among churches located in close proximity to universities. The member congregations will be accompanied through a new, two-year process of congregational reflection, listening, and discernment. These congregations will mature toward greater thriving by increasing their attentiveness by listening deeply to their social and cultural contexts through story collection and build capacity for faithful ministry with college students, young adults, and neighboring university communities. We will accomplish this by developing a new process using Marshall Ganz’s framework of “the story of self (congregation), the story of us (congregation + its contextual community) and the story of now (congregational thriving in ministry with its community);” Mary Clark Moschella’s work engaging “ethnography as ministry;” and human-centered design thinking situated within the broader practice of communal Christian discernment. We will create and accompany a dynamic learning community of 24 congregations, each located close to vibrant universities, divided into three regional cohorts. It is imperative that congregations in close proximity to universities remember their calling to neighboring university communities and reimagine vital ministry with students and young adults as part of their total ministry.

Location: Travelers Rest, SC
geographic scope: Regional
Contact Information
Contact: Alexis Carter Thomas