Update from Pastor Chelsea about Church Planting Academy

This December I received some very exciting news, I was accepted to be a part of our conference’s very first Church Planting Academy. The academy will run from January-December 2019, it will consist mostly of conference call trainings every month with 3 in person retreats. It will offer a wide variety of training and reflection around how to start new ministries for new people, whether that takes the form of an entirely new church, new worship services within an existing church, or something else entirely! I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this academy, it is training I have been hoping to receive for a while as I believe it is vital for churches to reach out to new people and imagine new and creative ways of following Jesus together.

What I have learned as I have shared this news is that for many the term “church planting” is a new and slightly confusing one. Church planting simply refers to the process of starting a new church. 151 years ago a group of people “planted” Asbury UMC. There are many different reasons for planting a new church, like trying to reach a geographic area or trying to reach a new demographic currently unreached, but every reason is grounded in one basic motivation: to follow Jesus in growing the Kingdom of God here on earth. A few questions I have received are: does this mean you are starting a new church in Livermore? No! This is training both that I can apply here at Asbury as we reach out to our Livermore community and that I will take with me for whenever and wherever my next appointment is. Are new churches planted United Methodist? Yes! This training is specifically through our California-Nevada Conference of the United Methodist Church. Our conference takes seriously the need to plant new United Methodist Churches across our areas of California and Nevada. If you have any other questions I would love to talk to you about them. I have greatly appreciated Asbury’s support as I grow and learn in ministry, and I am excited about this next phase of growing and learning!

-Pastor Chelsea

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