• April 28, 2022
    8:00 am - 10:00 am
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PRC is starting Cherry Academy – an annual, intensive topical focus designed to stimulate education, conversation, and action. Join us for events exploring the 2022 topic: HOUSING

This workshop is live online via Zoom. A recording will also be available to registrants to view at their convenience.

At last year’s Landis Clergy Breakfast, Professor and author, Conrad Kanagy, discussed how the church is in the midst of a dismantling process. This year, we turn our focus to rebuilding the church as a community and the church as a part of a community.

Any time we set out to redefine our mission in the world, we necessarily start with a story; a story we tell about ourselves, the world, and God. And storytelling has a wonderful power for human beings, it brings us together in shared experiences, engages our minds and imaginations, and can spur collective and individual actions.

After the stress and exhaustion of the pandemic, energy, time, and resources may feel tapped out in your congregation. You may even feel that your community has forgotten its own, powerful story. What is your church known for? Both by those who attend and those who don’t? How do you find the missions – whether it’s a focus on affordable housing or another project – that excite your congregants and contribute to your community? How do you build momentum and harness your congregation’s energy to further that work, and how do you get creative to find the resources needed to further your goals?

Join us as we learn from Susannah Conner, Director of Program Development at PRC, as she shares her unique view on the church, resource development, and the solidarity economy. Susannah is grant writer and development consultant, specializing in fundraising for nonprofit, cooperative, and faith-based organizations. She holds a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School and a B.A. in English Literature from UNC, Chapel Hill, calling upon both schools of thought to explore the convergence of storytelling and spirituality. As a former pastor and advisor of pastors, Susannah understands the day-to-day functions and dysfunctions of a church community and believes that we can restructure our institutions to reflect our values, in everything from the order of Sunday worship to our custodial contracts.

Beth Trout, Vice President of Advancement and Communications at Landis Communities, will join Susannah to share examples of how the organization has re-invigorated its donor communications strategies with insights gained at the national Nonprofit Storytelling Conference. Hear how her team is incorporating meaningful stories into each stage of their Ask-Thank-Report fundraising cycle.

Although Susannah and Beth have different clients, backgrounds and job titles, they know the importance of storytelling. They have helped congregations and nonprofits use storytelling to build and fund missional projects that have expanded their reach into the community and grown the community within the congregation/organization.

Each congregation, as well as the broader church, has a responsibility to their community and is capable of contributing to God’s economy on Earth. We hope this morning will help you envision an exciting future for your congregation and community while remembering the power of the story that has brought us this far.

Landis Communities Annual Clergy Breakfast will be hosted virtually this year, in partnership with PRC. The event will be part of PRC’s Cherry Academy focus on Housing, but the ideas on building momentum within your church community can be widely applied to many projects and topics.