In a recent essay in Faith & Leadership, Patrick Reyes concludes with an admonition to celebrate constellations rather than stars. He writes, “As a society, we gaze at those who shine brightest — the glittering star, the influencer, the genius among us. Instead, we need to look for those leaders who come with their people — their community, their ancestors and their descendants.”

It’s only one point in a brilliant essay that has inspired this Weekly. This week, we look to the kinds of networks Reyes imagines and how such networks support and strengthen communities, congregations and leaders. We start in Massachusetts with the Boston Faith & Justice Network, which is inspiring Christians to put biblical values into practice, including rethinking how they’re spending their time and money. Then, we head to Maryland to learn from the Black Church Food Security Network. Finally, we head back in the Faith & Leadership archive to revisit the Posse Foundation, an organization committed to recruiting and educating a diverse group of leaders on a national scale.

We’re celebrating constellations and not just single stars today. Welcome to the Weekly! 

Changing lives by changing how we live

Changing lives by changing how we live

The Forum for Theological Exploration’s Patrick Reyes identifies the steps we can take to help offset a purpose gap rooted in historical and contemporary oppressions. This essay is the inspiration for this Weekly.

A justice network equipes participants to live simply, give generously

Over its fifteen-year history, the Boston Faith & Justice Network has continued to evolve its work to deepen understanding and to inspire lasting, meaningful change.

A network of black famers and black churches delivers fresh food from soil to sanctuary

A network of Black farmers and Black churches delivers fresh food from soil to sanctuary

The Black Church Food Security Network promotes long-term economic empowerment among Black farmers and congregations while addressing issues of health, food accessibility and self-determination.

A network encouraging new young leaders

A network supporting new young leaders

The Posse Foundation exists to create an elite and diverse network of the nation’s next generation of leaders. It was just gaining traction in that work in 2012 when Faith & Leadership profiled the organization.

From the Alban Library

Empower: A Guide for Supervisor-Mentors in Theological Field Education

edited by John Senior and Matthew Floding

Empower: A Guide for Supervisor-Mentors in Theological Field Education

As the second book in the Explorations in Theological Field Education series, Empower is a toolkit for mentors working with beginning ministers. Chapters from ministry practitioners and field education program directors offer lessons gained through hundreds of hours of mentoring experience. Seasoned practitioners reveal how to do the work of mentoring in ways that are “fitting” to the particular needs of students with whom they have worked. This volume, then, is not a cookbook or a manual. It is itself a mentoring guide to those who wish to deepen and expand the craft of mentoring. Its goal is to meet ministry mentors in their journey towards skillful mentoring, and to provide guidance and support to help them hone their craft.

Before you go…

It’s not uncommon that I read an essay at Faith & Leadership that changes my view of the world or the work and role of congregations in the world. Even so, Patrick Reyes’s essay (highlighted above) stands out. If you haven’t read the entire article, take a moment and read it now — and share it with friends or other leaders in your congregation. 

Until next week, peace to you! 

Nathan Kirkpatrick

Managing Director, Alban at Duke Divinity

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