As we begin a new year, many of us examine our lives and make commitments to live differently. One of the most important commitments we can make is to partiicpate in some new learning experience this year.
Learning is a life-long experience. No matter how long we live, we never reach a point where we do not need to learn more. The complexity of the universe, the vastness of human culture, and the mystery of life are such that every person is always acquiring new information and insight.
It is my priviledge to be a part of two on-going learning experiences this year. Since September the cabinet has begun a year-long process of learning called the Leadership Incubator. We have two facilitators working with us, Mr. Craig Robertson of Spiritual Leadership Inc. and the Rev. Tom Albin of Upper Room Ministries. Some other cabinets have had this experience, and many pastors have committed to be a part of an Incubator process. I recommend this as one way to be a part of a structured group learning process for leadership development.
The College of Bishops of the Southeastern Jurisdiction has begun a process of group learning with the Rev. Janice Virtue of Duke Divinity School. While this process has just begun, it promises to helpful to us as a way of learning from one another and devoting time for intentional reflection and planning.
If we do not make a commitment now to be involved in some learning experience, we may discover that we shall go through a whole year will pass without our every having continued our education. This is the right time to explore the options available.
There are continuing education funds funds available for clergy. There are also grants for which one can apply. To get more information about funds and opportunities for learning, you may contact the Center for Clergy Excellence.