5 Talent Academy event to focus on ministry with the poor, Oct. 2
Dr. Alan Rice will lead the October 2012 5 Talent Academy.
The next session of the 5 Talent Academy will focus on ministry with the poor. The leader will be the Rev. Dr. Alan Rice, director of Rural Ministry and Community Development in the Western North Carolina Conference and executive director of Rural Faith Development Community Development Corp. (RFD CDC).
The teaching event will be offered on Oct. 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The 'live' event will be held at Floris UMC in Arlington and simulcast at five other sites around the conference.
“Dr. Rice is a passionate, effective, influential leader in the area of ministry with the poor and with Circles National Campaign, an innovative community-based model to end poverty,” said the Rev. Mark Ogren, conference director of Congregational Excellence. “He will give insight to participants on how to move our mission’s work to intentional, holistic, and relational ministry with those who are struggling at the edges of our society.”
The event is the start of the second cycle of the 5 Talent Academy, part of the conference’s “All Things New” strategy to energize existing congregations. The first cycle had about 110 churches participating. This is a “taste and see” event, open to all interested churches.
Dr. Rice works as a consultant for churches, districts and conferences in North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. His largest current project is the renovation of Gulfside Assembly in Mississippi.
He also works with the national “Circles” program, which works for the elimination of poverty by using a spiritual emphasis.
In addition to his community development work, Rice also services the pastor of Cross Fire United Methodist Church in North Wilkesboro, N.C. His association with this ministry began when he was the district superintendent who led the effort to charter a United Methodist ministry for bikers and friends who wanted a non-traditional place to worship.
CrossFire reaches beyond the typical educated upper-middle class demographic of the denomination. “Many of our members live at or below the poverty line,” says Rice. “There’s a generous spirit among members, who believe in helping and do it because they’ve been there themselves.” Ministries include a weekly food pantry that serves between 40-50 families, and a recent mission trip to Nicaragua.
Rice also serves on the denomination’s General Board of Global Ministries Town & Country Implementation Team, which focuses on rural and small church issues.
Before entering the ministry, Rice was an executive in a multi-million dollar general contracting firm. His undergraduate degree is from North Carolina State in Civil Engineering. He has a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Asbury Theological Seminary and a Theology Masters Degree from Duke Divinity School.
Another new element is that the presentation will be simulcast to six different locations around the conference:
Eastern Shore: Market Street UMC, Gary Miller, email@example.com
Northern Virginia: Floris UMC, Tom Berlin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Richmond: Good Shepherd UMC, Mark Ogren, MarkOgren@vaumc.org
Roanoke: Thrasher Memorial UMC, B. Failes, Revwbfj@thrasherumc.org
Tidewater: Aldersgate UMC, David Drinkard, email@example.com
Shenandoah Valley: Asbury UMC, Kathleen Overby Webster, firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to register online