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Blessed are the Poor: Engaging the Community Toward Social Transformation

By Bryan Tener

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UPDATE: October 22, 2020

Registration for the Blessed are the Poor webinar series is now closed. Click here to be notified when recordings of the webinar series are available for purchase.

Blessed are the Poor, is a webinar series designed to help church leaders engage with the people in their communities and reflect on the different ways in which people experience poverty.

This webinar will help contribute to the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Discipleship Ministries and Path 1 will be exploring the many experiences of poverty in two-hour sessions that will take place once a month for five months, from October 2020 through February 2021.

Topics Include:

  • Economic poverty
  • Cultural poverty
  • Physical poverty
  • Spiritual poverty
  • Political poverty

Each Session Includes:

  • Panelists offering perspectives on a national and global level
  • Panelist sharing experiences, learnings, and best practices to help leaders in local church settings
  • Resource guide complete with theological discussion questions, Bible study, and community engagement tools
  • Cohort community options for further discussion and support in implementing actionable steps
  • Digital bundle of online resources to assist leaders during the series

Panelists Include:

  • Rev. Dr. Michael Bowie, National Director of Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century (SBC21)
  • Rev. Mary Downey, CEO/Founder of Community Hope Center Kissimmee, FL
  • Rev. Dr. David Wilson, OIMC, Assistant to the Bishop
  • Donna Pewo, Director of Connectional Ministry OIMC
  • S. Micheal Pope, CEO/ Executive Director of Alzheimer Services of the East Bay, Berkeley, CA
  • Ann McCullen, Executive Director of Edwards Street Fellowship Center, Hattiesburg MS
  • Bishop Saenz, Great Plains AC
  • Rev. Tweedy Navarette, Executive Director of Four Corners Ministry New Mexico AC
  • Rev. Dr. Liberato Bautista, Assistant General Secretary for United Nations Ministry UM GBCS

You are invited to consider this series as an opportunity to support your continued discernment of how God is calling you and your congregation to engage with your community and your work for justice, so that all people will have the opportunity to experience God’s power for life and live into what God desires for us— the beloved community.

The course begins October 22!

October 22, 2020 - Economic poverty

Rev. Dr. Michael L. Bowie, Jr., the National Director of Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century (SBC21), and Rev. Mary Downey, CEO and founder of Community Hope Center, will have a conversation on the experiences of economic poverty, the role of the church in engaging the community, and working towards justice while offering compassion so that all would have the opportunity to thrive. From a theological and biblical understanding of who God is and how we relate to God and one another, our two panelists will help to offer stories of lives transformed as well as some lessons learned and best practices so that local congregations can take action.

November 17, 2020 – Cultural Poverty

Rev. Dr. David Wilson and Donna Pewo, both serving in the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference, will help lead our discussion and learnings around how the church can most effectively engage their community and support and care for those who have experienced a loss of culture and with it their identity. Through looking at the history of Native American peoples in relation to the church and the dominant culture that sought to eliminate the diverse indigenous cultures, they will offer their wisdom, learnings, and stories from their particular ministries so that local churches can begin to engage their community in those places where people are seeking to reclaim and renew their identity in ways that are supportive, helpful, and life-giving.

December 15, 2020 – Physical Poverty

Micheal Pope and Ann McCullen are our conversation partners as we discuss issues related to physical poverty, wholeness, and what healing looks like and how it is experienced through their vocations and ministry settings. Through their experiences, the experiences of their communities, and their vocation, they will offer insight for the local church as it seeks to offer life to others in ways that can be adapted to particular contexts. Together we’ll discover and learn how the local church can partner with others, engage the community around them, and offer the care needed so that life can flourish.

January 14, 2021 – Spiritual Poverty

Bishop Reuben Saenz from the Great Plains Annual Conference and Tweedy Navarrete from Four Corners Native American Ministry will continue our conversation on poverty by focusing on spirituality and what it means to live in hopelessness, how we experience hope, and what it means to share hope with others. Their wisdom and experience from their leadership and ministry will guide our learnings so that local churches and leaders can engage their community and offer resurrection hope in transformative ways.

February 16, 2020 – Political Poverty

Levi Bautista from Church and Society will join us for conversation on what it means to go unheard, the experience of political poverty, and what it means that God hears and calls the church to listen and stand with those who go unheard. Our learnings will help us discern God’s call on how the church can actively participate, support, and stand with those in our local and global communities and what steps leaders can begin to take to help lift up voices that cry for justice.

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