Ecological Pastoral Leadership
February - May 2023
This cohort is designed to connect, support, and equip pastors and other church leaders who are seeking to lead their congregations toward a more ecological understanding and practice of faith.
In light of the crisis brought on by the degradation and destruction of Earth at the hands of humanity, church leaders are faced with several urgent questions:
Can there be a healthy church on a sick planet?1
What kind of pastoral ministry is needed at the dawn of the Anthropocene?2
What frameworks, skills, and practices are needed to lead faith communities toward new forms of identity, community, and mission that bring healing and cultivate shalom?
Pastors who seek answers to these questions are faced with a distinct challenge: the dominant paradigms and practices of vocational ministry and congregational life are mired in the same theological, ecclesial, cultural, and philosophical frameworks that created and perpetuate our current crisis. But the current moment also presents an opportunity to deconstruct these frameworks, cultivate new paradigms of pastoral work, and create new models of congregational ministry and mission. This is the exciting work of the ecological pastor!
The cohort will be organized around the following:
· An initial three-day, in-person gathering focused on connection and learning (Feb. 26-28, 2023). Focus will be on cohort community formation, and exploring the integration of eco-theology, Adaptive Leadership, and pastoral ministry.
· Weekly reading and occasional writing.
· Seven on-line gatherings that meet every other week for two hours. Each session will include guided conversation around course material, and 1-2 case-study presentations from cohort participants. Sessions will be scheduled March-May.
· One individual coaching session with the cohort leader, James Amadon.
At the end of the cohort, participants will be able to:
· Articulate a contextual theology and practice of ecological pastoral ministry.
· Identify specific areas/challenges/opportunities within their pastoral work that they would like to be more ecologically-oriented, and develop a specific action plan for that area.
· Identify resources to continue their growth in ecological pastoral leadership.
We are offering this inaugural cohort at a discounted cost:
$400 – Covers all expenses, includes double occupancy for retreat.
$550 – Covers all expenses, includes single occupancy for retreat.
COHORT GUIDE – James Amadon
As the Executive Director of Circlewood, James helps guide Circlewood’s mission to “accelerate the greening of faith.” James provides vision and direction to Circlewood’s creative media, immersive education, and oversees the development of Circlewood Village, a sustainable learning center on Camano Island. James is also ordained in the Covenant Church, and ministered in churches for 15 years before starting Circlewood in 2017. He has a BA from Gordon College, an MDiv from North Park Theological Seminary, and a DMin from Duke Divinity School, where he focused his work on developing the framework for ecological pastoral leadership. He lives on Camano Island with his family.
1 Howard A. Snyder and Joel Scandrett, Salvation Means Creation Healed: The Ecology of Sin and Grace (Eugene: Cascade Books, 2011), xiii. 2 The influence of humanity on the earth is so pervasive that many scientists believe we have entered a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene.