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Latest Update on the Cultivating the Gift of Preaching Initiative from Director Matt Aragon-Bruce

We are six weeks away from the formal launch of the Cultivating the Gift of Preaching Initiative (CGPI)! And I want to provide readers of the Synod Newsletter an update on our progress.

CGPI will officially kicks off June 6-10 with our first preaching conference hosted at Alma College. The conference will include daily plenary lectures and workshops lead by faculty from Alma and Johnson C. Smith Seminary, as well as by CGPI staff. In addition, participants will meet their preacher-mentors and get to know their fellow cohort members. We are busy planning this conference and are excited for the opportunities for formation and collaboration that will be available to emerging preachers from across the synod.


We have invited over 60 participants to apply to CGPI. As I write this we have received 20 completed applications and have nearly a dozen more incomplete applications for which we are awaiting letters of recommendation, etc. There are also around a dozen individuals who have informed us they will apply for the 2025-2026 cycle. The CGPI staff has been busy these last few weeks following up with invited applicants, not only to encourage more applications, but also to see if there are any changes we should make or new strategies we might develop as move past the pilot year of the program.


In the next few weeks, we will review the applications we have received and send acceptance letters. Once we have confirmation from selected applications, we will group them into cohorts and assign mentors. We have striven to have a pool of applicants – as well as mentors, lecturers, and workshop and worship leaders -- that reflects the diversity of the congregations and individual members of the Synod of the Covenant. We are excited by the fact that in six short weeks we will gather together with emerging preachers from across the Synod for an extended time of fellowship and formation.


We do still have a small number of open spots for this first cycle of the program, and we would welcome late applications. Finally, we ask for prayers from across the Synod that the Triune God would continue to call and raise up more preachers to serve the Church and proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God.


Dr. Matthew J. Aragon Bruce



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