Immersion - Wildwood, FL - October 25-27, 2019

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Wildwood United Methodist Church

300 Mason Street

Wildwood, FL 34785

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Fresh Expressions Immersions are a three-day experience of in-depth training and observation to help local church leaders envision the potential of fresh expressions of church for their own congregation. In this intimate setting you will be receive a substantive look at multiple fresh expressions of church and the renewal and vitality that has been brought to the inherited congregation. Enjoy meals, training sessions, fireside discussions, conversations with a range of church members and leaders, and observations of fresh expressions in action.


We recommend booking your stay at one of the following hotels.

Comfort Inn: 1224 S Main St, Wildwood, FL 34785 (352) 748-0507

Hampton Inn: 911727 Northeast 63rd Drive, Lady Lake, FL 32162 (352) 259-8246

All of us will meet at 2pm on Friday at Wildwood United Methodist Church for our introductory session.


Friday, October 25th

1:00pm - 2:00pm: Arrival

2:00pm – 3:30pm: Awakening: Returning to a Mission-Shaped Church (WUMC)

Over a decade, the Fresh Expressions movement has worked to understand how to be church in a changing culture by creating new expressions of church alongside inherited congregations. The movement has brought widespread impact and renewal to hundreds of congregations - helping the whole ecosystem of a local congregations life return to being “mission-shaped”. Of course, becoming mission-shaped once again starts with our own journey and the remembering of our own passion to help new people connect to Christ. In our opening time we will remember our “why” as we explore ways of re-igniting our own call and the theological, missiological, and practical rationale for the church to be God’s missionary presence in our time and place.

3.30pm - 4.00pm: Break

4:00pm - 5:30pm: Future-Fitting: Becoming a New Kind of “Local” Church (WUMC)

Each and every month, new leaders (both lay and ordained) are discovering that they can start fresh expressions of church to reach those beyond the reach of the church as we know it AND that our existing congregational systems can be retro-fitted for a new future. The development of both of these dynamics together, and the fruitful synergy between them, is the journey toward a Blended Ecology of congregational life. This session will dive into a new mental model for local congregational life and mission. We will also have several interviews from staff, key leaders, and other members of the congregation to understand the work and fruit of such an approach.

5:30pm - 7:30pm: Celebrate Recovery and Dinner (or a Taste of Grace) Hope Lutheran

7:30pm - 9:00pm: Cultivating: The Patterns & Practices of Mission-Shaped Communities (WUMC)

For a congregation to once again become “mission-shaped”, it must be organized around a consistent set of patterns and practices. This holds true for both fresh expressions and existing congregations that desire to foster new expressions and other missional experiments. This session will interactively explore the current patterns and practices of the congregations we lead and begin to suggest potential alternatives for a new future. It will put forward a path for developing these practices in both fresh expressions and inherited congregations.

Saturday, October 26th

8:30am: Connect (breakfast, Messy Church in the MLK)

10:00am: Paws of Praise (Church in the dog park)

12:00pm - 1:00pm: Lunch

1:00pm - 2:30pm: Grafting: Developing a New Congregational Eco-System (WUMC)

Congregations in the Western world are largely organized to focus the locus of their time and energy on the programmed structures of the church community. Whether they are called committees, or councils, or sessions or vestries, most leaders find themselves constantly focusing on the internal organizational pressures of local church life. However, as local congregations interact more regularly with a post-Christian setting, in order to remain vibrant they will increasingly find the need to extend the ministry of the church further out into the community. What then does it look like for a congregation entering a new era of mission to organize itself to be a community on mission or a hub of local missionaries? How do church leaders transition long-standing, program-driven congregations to this new paradigm while preserving the important elements of the past. How do we develop new kinds of leaders and new kinds of structures for this new season?

2:30pm - 3:30pm: Prayer walk

4:00pm - 5:30pm: Process and Interviews with Pioneers, Staff (WUMC and Lake Deaton)

6:00pm - 8:00pm: Taste of Grace Dinner or WildGlory inerraacial worship

Sunday, October 27th

9:00am - 10:00am: New Life. Breakfast - Morning Prayer & Worship (4th Place worship)

11:00am: God’s Glory worship

12:00pm – 1:00pm: Quick De-brief Lunch

2:30pm – 4:00pm: Tattoo Parlor Church (Fat Kats Ocala)

4:30pm – 6:00pm: Returning: Determining How To Be Different Back Home (WUMC)

In this final session we will give focus together on how we can return to our local congregation and engage our communities in determining a path to becoming a new kind of local church. Each team will be given guided strategic planning and hands-on coaching as we work toward concrete next steps. We will also give specific focus on prayer empowerment as a critical key in any future fruitfulness.

6:00pm: Benediction

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Wildwood United Methodist Church

300 Mason Street

Wildwood, FL 34785

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