What8580408850_6d45ee21e6 follows is a dream I have had for the last couple of years, as my time on the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry was drawing to a close. The premise is simple: what if there were a facilitated gathering of persons on the Provisional journey who covenanted together to give each other feedback in love around our respective pulpit ministries, so that we can become the best preachers we can be.

Details can be found below, as well as registration information. If you are preparing for Provisional or Full Connection membership, check it out. I’d love to see you in Richmond. Groups will begin meeting in April.


To create a space where persons on the Provisional journey can help one another hone their skills in the areas of sermon construction and delivery.


The facilitator for this group will be the Rev. Doug Forrester, Lead Pastor of Reveille UMC in Richmond. Doug has been serving congregations in the Virginia Conference since 1997, and from 2006 to 2016, he chaired or served on the Practice of Ministry Committee of the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. In this capacity, he has heard sermons from over 160 candidates for Provisional Membership and Full Connection.


Participants will covenant together to gather to create a safe and productive space to listen to and give feedback for sermons they are preaching/have preached in their ministry settings in a facilitated environment. The goal of this process will be to help one another become the best preachers we can be by giving and receiving feedback as colleagues in ministry.


Enrollment is limited to six participants per group with a maximum of two groups running concurrently.


The group will gather at 10:30 a.m. on the first Thursday of the month and meet until 1:00 with a short break for a communal lunch. If there is enough interest for two groups, the second group will meet the second Thursday of the month. Groups will meet for four sessions, beginning in May.


There is no cost. Participants will be responsible for travel to Richmond and bringing a bag lunch.


Participants can register by emailing Doug Forrester at dougforrester@vaumc.org. Any questions can be sent to the above address or can be answered by calling (804) 359-6041.

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

– Romans 10:17