Tuesday, September 01, 2020

New Ventures in Christian Discipleship season theme to focus on “Change”

The Ventures in Christian Discipleship program at McPherson (Kan.) College is moving into its ninth year of providing useful, affordable education to small church congregations. The 2020-21 season theme is “Change,” which ironically was chosen in the fall of 2019. All classes are donation-based and continuing education credit is available for $10 per course.

On September 19 at 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. CST, Erin Matteson will present the first course of the season “Self-Compassion for a Change…Making Better Choices for a More Balanced Breath for All.” As people of faith we are called not to be selfish. Yet we are also called not to be self-less. Integrating scripture, theology, work from a variety of authors, art, guided meditation and more, we will explore why ministerial leaders and laity alike don’t typically practice self-compassion well, why we not only need but are called to this as we live, and practices to help us deepen such a commitment. Authors Joyce Rupp, Christina Feldman, Kristin Neff, Tara Brach, Brené Brown among others, artists, poets and musicians help us deepen and widen the model and call of Jesus as they offer inspirational and challenging companionship on the journey of being more self-compassionate Followers of the Way. Come explore healthy understandings and a more faithful practice of selfcompassion toward creating and living a healthier personal life, congregational lives, and ultimately contributing to a healthier global way of being together in the midst of rapid changes that are constant in all dimensions of living.

Erin Matteson is ordained in the Church of the Brethren and currently engaged in a ministry of focused spiritual formation work as a spiritual director, retreat leader, writer and speaker. She has a passion for creating safe space for deep listening and compassionate companionship with individuals and groups of various sizes for the deepening of faith, healing, learning and community. Her denominational work currently includes curriculum writing for Brethren Press, serving on the Spiritual Directors Network Committee and as a Circuit Rider for the Church of the Brethren program, Part-time Pastor, Full-Time Church. Previously, Erin served for nearly 25 years as a pastor in the Church of the Brethren and in various other leadership capacities such as Moderator of the Pacific Southwest District and as Music Coordinator, Worship Coordinator and preacher for Annual Conference. She received a B.M. from Millikin University, an M.Div. from Bethany Theological Seminary, certification as a spiritual director from Mercy Center in Burlingame, California, and has attended numerous events with Joyce Rupp including the four-day Boundless Compassion Retreat and a facilitator training where she became a certified teacher of the program. She has two daughters and lives in Modesto, California with her life partner, Russ. Erin loves spending time with creation gardening, at the ocean or in the woods, walking or running, and watching the Chicago Cubs play baseball whenever she can.

To learn more about Ventures in Christian Discipleship and to register for courses, visit www.mcpherson.edu/ventures.