Center for Progressive Renewal sets 'Praxis' as theme for its annual event
Written by Staff and Wire Reports
March 13, 2012

The Center for Progressive Renewal has announced that "Praxis21: Practicing Progressive Christianity in the 21st Century" will be the theme for its annual New Church Leadership Institute (NCLI), Aug. 8-10 at the Courtyard by Marriott Conference Center in Atlanta.

Created six years ago, the New Church Leadership Institute features world-class church planting and renewal experts within the progressive church and is one of the primary programs of the Center.

"Praxis" speakers will include: the Rev. J Bennett Guess, UCC executive minister for Local Church Ministries Cameron Trimble and Michael Piazza, CPR co-executive directors; Phyllis Tickle, founder and editor of the religion department at Publishers Weekly; Kenneth Samuel, pastor of Victory for the World Church UCC in Stone Mountain, Ga.; Laurie Beth Jones, best-selling author and speaker; and Eric Elnes, author of "The Phoenix Affirmations: A New Vision for the Future of Christianity."

"By definition, 'praxis' is the application of best practices," said Guess. "We're inviting not only local church pastors to attend, but groups of lay and clergy leaders so that every aspect of your church will be reinvigorated with proven ideas and applications that can grow your church –– in vision, vitality, mission, outreach and, yes, numbers.

Praxis 21 will focus on six major themes, including global trends reshaping what it means to be church today; how leaders can "retool" themselves to lead churches into a new age; and how to build sustainable ministries for the present and future. Each session will be presented in plenary format, with four or five speakers presenting their best ideas in 18-minute segments.

A one-day, pre-conference intensive will be held in seven specific areas including, among others, "Pre-Launch Church Planting," "Digital Discipleship: Social Media in Ministry," "Hispanic Ministry in the Progressive Church" and "The Black Church: Defining a Future of Growth."

"At NCLI, we offer access to the latest practitioners and experts of our age who are changing the church as we know it," said Trimble. "Our time together will be shaped to promote networking, creativity, imagination, and inspiration."

"There are already dozens, if not hundreds, of so-called recharging events, but this conference promises much more," said Guess. "This gathering is designed to be a call to entrepreneurial leadership in the church, so that participants will be sent away with the tools they need, as a team, to make things happen when they get back home."

The CPR trains new entrepreneurial leaders, supporting the birth of new liberal/progressive congregations, and by renewing and strengthening existing progressive churches. Founded in 2010, CPR is a joint product of the UCC's Local Church Ministries, its regional Southeast Conference, and Hope for Peace & Justice, a Dallas-based nonprofit.

Learn more about the Center for Progressive Renewal.

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