Every year, the NACCC hosts a gathering for clergy designed to provide continuing education, spiritual reflection and rest. This convocation is held in the Midwest. It begins on the second Monday after Easter, a perfect time for clergy to renew themselves. Many churches set aside money to send their pastor to this event, knowing that the spiritual rest their pastor gains benefits the church.
Many State and Regional Associations also host local retreats for clergy. These gatherings help area clergy stay connected to each other, sustaining vital collegial relationships. Check with your local state or regional association about opportunities such as these.
Congregational History and Polity Seminars
This is an especially important seminar for ministers serving Congregational churches but who have come from another tradition. Many churches require that their new pastor attend one of the History and Polity seminars held at and webcast by The Center for Congregational Leadership, writing the requirement directly into the terms of call. This course may also be taken online. Click here for more information and registration.
Annual Meeting and Conference
The most prominent NACCC event for laity and clergy is the Annual Meeting and Conference. The Annual Meeting is an important expression of Congregationalism where churches send a delegate to help conduct the business of the assembled churches. The member churches are the National Association and it is at the Annual Meeting that churches come together to make decisions important to their common interests. While the delegates conduct the business, there is plenty for others to do. Many people who are not official delegates attend to partake in the fellowship and educational opportunities at the conference.
Quiet Day Retreats
Twice a year, the Society of Classical Retreat Guides hosts a silent retreat and invites clergy and laity to attend this time of spiritual reflection and renewal. One retreat is held just ahead of the Annual Meeting and Conference. The other, which usually meets for a longer duration of at least 2-3 days, typically takes place in the autumn and may occur regionally. Members of the Society are available to lead, train or assist others to lead Classical Silent Retreats for local churches or regional associations. There are offerings of varying lengths. Standard to all Classical Silent Retreats are prayer, devotional reading, and work in the quiet.
Continuing Education through the Center for Congregational Leadership
The Center for Congregational Leadership hosts seminars on a variety of other topics of interest to the church and its leadership. Often, these seminars are held at the Center and are webcast around the country. Past topics have included, among others:
- Technology in Worship
- Web Savvy Ministry
- Church Governance