An Exploration of Strength in our Diversity
Our newest Atlanta cohort includes pastors from a variety of neighborhoods all over the Atlanta metro area. Home to a population of nearly 6 million people, metro Atlanta is an extraordinarily diverse community – ethnically, racially, economically, and in terms of its religious landscape.
Pastors in this Atlanta Macedonian Ministry cohort face the enormous challenge of serving in a rapidly changing and evolving city, but also have before them great opportunities, resources, and a diversity of relationships that God can use to strengthen their ministry.The Macedonian Ministry cohort experience will provide for these pastors a supportive and constructive space to explore these many challenges and opportunities as they seek to more faithfully heed God’s calling.
Megan Johnson, Cohort Mentor
Women's Pastor, North Avenue Presbyterian Church
I was stunned, to be honest, to be invited to serve as mentor to this cohort. I said yes because it is a great honor. I redoubled my “Yes” when I saw the group of people the Spirit was gathering into the cohort. I cannot wait to see how our relationships develop, the kinds of conversations that will unfold, the common threads we will find in our diverse backgrounds and experiences, and the ways in which the Spirit will use us in ministry with one another. We will be changed by this community. I am confident we will learn to minister in ways we could not have learned if we hadn’t all said “Yes” to this journey. The old English word, “troth”, from which our (still old) word “betrothed” come from, means “a commitment to another, even in the face of unknowable risk.” In signing the covenant to enter into this three-year journey with one another, we stepped into that same arena of “unknowable risk” — risk because we WILL be changed, stretched, challenged, even lovingly rebuked in this journey. And I can’t wait!
Bob Hauert, Cohort Member
Deacon, Immaculate Heart of Mary
I said ‘yes’ because the cohort allows me to grow in my ministry. The great diversity of the cohort, the dynamic personalities and energy have already been a blessing to me. That will only continue to grow as we form our ‘family’.
Jennifer Maxell, Cohort Member
Pastor, The Breakthrough Fellowship
I said ‘yes’ to being a cohort member because I am a lifelong learning and the opportunity to delve into the Macedonian Ministry curriculum was one I couldn’t refuse. I also miss the camaraderie and collegiality of seminary and was really impressed with and am drawn to get to know my fellow cohort members.
Brady Radford, Cohort Member
Associate Pastor, Oakhurst PCUSA
I said yes because I am eager to learn more from such a diverse group of gifted pastoral leaders. I am also excited about sharing ministry insights and best practices with colleagues as we each learn more about ourselves faith leaders. I am grateful for this opportunity.
Lyndsay Slocum, Cohort Member
Sr. Associate Pastor, Roswell Presbyterian Church
I am looking forward to building relationships with other people that will challenge, encourage and inspire me. I believe that our lives, our ministries, and our stories are better and richer when lived out with others. I am very much looking forward to learning what it looks like to experience ministry and life with this special group of people. I am so grateful to be a part of this cohort!
Tim Wrenn, Cohort Member
Pastor, Christ Lutheran Church of Marietta
I said yes to being part of the cohort because of What a great opportunity. I was involved in an ecumenical group in my previous call and had not found one yet this seemed to fit the bill. I look forward to the way that it will help me grow in my ministry and help me live more deeply into my baptism.
Carolyn Stephens, Cohort Member
Senior Pastor, Brookhaven UMC
I said yes because of the ecumenism and spiritual community this opportunity affords, along with the adventure and potential for further spiritual growth.
Bianca Howard, Cohort Member
Children & Youth Minister, Zion Baptist Church of Marietta
The opportunities to learn and grow as a minister are endless in this three-year cohort. I want to be a better minister and a stronger woman of God, so I can be a greater help to this world. That is why I said yes! It’s all about continued growth in my calling as a minister and a woman.
Joseph Howard, Cohort Member
Gospel Catalyst, Academy of Preachers
I said, ‘Yes,’ because I want to be a better minister, man, and overall person. This cohort seems to be a very helpful source of encouragement, fellowship, and accountability that will only benefit me going forward. Likewise, I hope I can benefit the group as well. There was absolutely no reason to say, ‘No’.
Jonier Orozco, Cohort Member
Pastor, College Park Presbyterian
This is an opportunity to be in a place with more people of faith where I am not in charge. It is a place where me as “the pastor” can be a regular human being who loves God but also who struggles within his own faith journey.
Marques Harvey, Cohort Member
Pastor, Greater Smith Chapel AMEC
I wanted to be a part of an engaging and diverse community of pastors/ ministers with an array of vocational and personal experiences to enhance my effectiveness as a pastor. Macedonia Ministry also provides us a space for ministerial support, self-care and accountability as faithful responses in fulfilling God’s call.
Linda Jimenez, Cohort Member
Pastor, Church of the New Covenant
I said “yes” to being a member of this cohort because the journey of faith is not one you walk alone–and neither is ministry. I want to walk this path with the kind of people who deeply desire a greater embrace of God’s wisdom, creativity, joy and grace. This group surely desires this! I can’t wait to see how we will grow together over these next three years.