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The first academy class.

The first class of the Virginia United Methodist Discernment Academy met October 6-7 at the conference center in Glen Allen. Three elders, five licensed local pastors, a provisional member, two certified candidates and a lay person gathered for a time of learning and reflection about their calling to pursue new forms of ministry, including their potential for church planting.

The Rev. Rachel Gilmore, a Virginia Conference clergy and former staff at Path1, the United Methodist Churhch’s office for church planting, partnered with Matt Temple, the associate director of Church Planting for the North Texas Conference, to perform assessments, to teach about church planting and new expressions of church, and to help participants recognize how their strengths and gifts suit them for specific ministry settings.

The Virginia Conference Office of Influence sponsored the event.