A Gospel Partnership

Post a Comment » Written on November 29th, 2010     
Filed under: Reflection
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Aune Carlson – Chicago, Illinois

This September I was given the opportunity to attend the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) conference in Chicago. It was my first time attending and I was so excited to be able to be there. One of the things I found intriguing during the CCDA conference is their Emerging Leaders Cohort as soon as I heard about it I wanted to learn more. So, I called on my friend Dominique Gilliard and he asked Jenni Ingram, a graduate of the cohort program, to tell us a little about her experience in the cohort and her heart for the under-resourced youth where she lives. Keep reading to hear what she has to say…

A little history about myself…my name is Jenni Ingram and I’ve been involved in youth ministry for the past 11 years. For two years, I was on staff at Peninsula Covenant Church in Redwood City, CA. As God showed me more of His passion for the poor, He started directing my attention to serving under-resourced youth in my local area. I still felt a conviction to stay involved as a volunteer at Peninsula Covenant, but my paid job changed. Currently, and for the past four years, I am the Youth Program Manager at Northern California Urban Development, where we exist to relieve systemic and generational poverty. Through our youth programs, we do this by teaching money and life skills to under-resourced students in the area. Our recently published curriculum, FutureProfits, addresses many of the issues that students in urban or low-income areas face, while helping students realize what they value about money and how to make wise decisions for their lives.

Over the past 4 years, I’ve been introduced to an association called Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) that has been an encouragement to my faith in many ways. The language that CCDA uses helped put into words the way that I live my life for Christ, striving for reconciliation, redistribution, and relocation.

The CCDA Emerging Leaders Cohort became an opportunity for me in 2009. Along with 20 other community development leaders across the nation, we journeyed together under the mentorship of faithful leaders for the gospel such as Dr. John Perkins, Noel Castellanos, Dr. Luis Carlo, Dr. Barbara Skinner, and Wayne Gordon. They mentored us in community development and leadership skills. Together, we wrestled with some of the difficult issues that we are facing in our communities and ministries. I’ve developed life-long friendships and “gospel partnerships” (Eph 1:5) through this leadership cohort.

The cohort journeys together over a two-year period of time with a few meetings each year in different areas of the United States, and is for established leaders who are living out the principals of Christian Community Development in their communities. If you desire a mentoring relationship with faithful leaders who are in the gospel and want to grow in your leadership, this is an amazing cohort to look into.

For more information about the Emerging Leaders Cohort click here and for more information about CCDA click here!

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