Since 1997, the Center for Congregations has helped Indiana congregations address their needs through resource consulting, educational events and grants. We work with clergy, staff and laity by listening to their concerns, developing work plans, and then carefully matching resources with their specific needs.
The Center has offices in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville, Seymour and Crown Point to serve congregations throughout the state. The Center for Congregations strengthens Indiana congregations by helping them find and use the best resources to address their challenges and opportunities.
Center staff have found that blending an excellent outside resource with a congregation’s own ingenuity can strengthen a congregation’s capacity to effectively address their challenges and opportunities.
The Center for Congregations works with clergy, staff, laity and members to help them find resources to handle issues revolving around daily congregational life. The Center staff listens as these congregational leaders identify the concerns in their faith communities and help them articulate their challenges. Staff then research and identify the resources that best address the congregation’s questions.
The process is a partnership of dialogue, research, learning and reflecting about resources. Click here to learn more about resource consulting and how your congregation can start the conversation.
The Center also connects congregations to resources through education events. The Center hosts local and national leaders from various fields for workshops, conferences and long-term learning experiences.
Center staff listen to local faith leaders to discern pressing issues and challenges that are at the forefront of congregational life. This information translates into a variety of educational events on topics that are important to congregations. Each event includes a leader in the field, resource recommendations on the topic, a complimentary book, networking and sharing between congregations across faith traditions, lively conversation, hands-on and experiential learning, as well as a delicious meal.
Turning information into action is an important part of the education program. All workshops are designed to include practical take-aways so that participants can start using what they learn right away. Leaders take the information and start conversations back in their congregations. Ideas solidify and action proceeds. The Center’s educational events are another way the Center successfully matches congregational leaders with high quality resources to leverage learning and action.
Through Center matching grants and major grant initiatives, Indiana congregations are eligible to apply for needed assistance to fund their chosen resources and implement the programs they have identified in order to meet their goals and objectives.
Sharing What We’re Learning
Part of the Center for Congregations’ mission is to share what we’re learning with a national audience. Although the Center’s services are only available to Indiana congregations, the Center shares what we learn from our experience in Indiana with congregations across the country.
While the Center does not share its mailing or contact list, Center staff communicate valuable information about resources, concepts, ideas, stories, learning patterns, observations and more through a variety of means.
Center staffers often author articles in national publications, such as Congregations magazine, Clergy Journal, Rev! and more. The Center publishes several series of articles to help congregational leaders learn from each other – Using Resources, Special Report, Congregational Stories, in addition to the Center’s quarterly newsletter, Centerpiece. A learning community program, Resourcing Congregations, shares outcomes as the Center hosts organizations from across the country that serve congregations and want to adapt the Center’s mode of resourcing to their contexts. The Center’s website contains an abundance of information that is available to help faith communities throughout the world.
The Center works with many other organizations connected with the Lilly Endowment Religion Division. Click here to see these organizations.
Ms. Katie Patterson
Rev. Lant Davis
Rev. Richard Hamm
Rev. Dr. Michael Jinkins
Rev. Dr. Bill Kincaid
Mr. Terry Morris