Plenary sessions for Orders and Fellowship will focus on “From What’s Wrong to What’s Strong” in our communities as we develop the mindset of asset-based community development. ABCD is based on three pillars: gifts of the individual, gifts of associations, and gift of institutions. You will have the opportunity to explore these pillars within your ministry context by having conversation with the other clergy in your district Network. These sessions will be lead by a teacher of ABCD practitioners: Rev. Darryl Answer, Rev. Mike Mather and Rev. Rachel Metheny.
Additionally, Rev. Cecilia Armstrong will help us explore scripture from the perspective of the marginalized and oppressed. You can read biographies of each presenter below.
Rachel has been the pastor at Congress Street UMC in Lafayette, IN since 2017, and previously at Broadway UMC in Indianapolis, IN from 1999-2017. A practitioner of Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD), Rachel has led training sessions for churches and clergy as well as learning journeys. She has a PhD in ethics from Graduate Theological Union and has been an adjunct professor at various universities.
Rev. Michael Mather has been the pastor of Broadway UMC in Indianapolis, IN since 2003. He is the author of "Having Nothing, Possessing Everything: Finding Abundant Communities in Unexpected Places," and is on the faculty of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at DePaul University. A pastor for 33 years, Mike was born in Brooklyn, NY but grew up in small towns in southern Indiana. He and his wife, Kathy Licht, have two adult sons.
Many from our conference will remember Mike as a speaker from last June’s annual conference session. He shared stories of how his church found abundance in their community when his members moved beyond their own walls and out into the streets and discovered that people are rich in strength, talents, resiliency, and love.
Darryl Answer was born and raised in London, England. He is the founding and current lead pastor of New Community Church, in Kansas City, MO. Darryl has served in a variety of leadership roles within churches, non-profit organizations, and in community development. Darryl also provides consulting and training for organizations and churches in the areas of Racial Justice and Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD). Darryl is a member of Christian Community Development Association’s (CCDA) 5th leadership cohort, and Faculty-Board Member of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute based in DePaul University, Chicago. Darryl and his wife, Stephanie, live in the Kansas City with their two children, Jaidyn and Kian.
Rev. Cecelia D. Armstrong is called “CC” by friends and family members. She has never met a stranger and continues to collect friends and family members throughout her Christian journey through life and real-world experiences. Pastor CC was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She was baptized at Calvary Presbyterian Church (USA) and remained a very active member there until her decision to make Georgia her home. After earning her Master of Education and accepting a position as a high school mathematics teacher near Augusta, Georgia, Pastor CC became a member of Belle-Terrace Presbyterian Church (USA). While there, she was ordained as a Deacon, and then an Elder, before she accepted the call on her life into ministry.
Pastor CC is a graduate of the Interdenominational Theological Center, where she attended Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary and earned her Master of Divinity. After seminary, she served Grady Memorial Hospital as a chaplain and Beth Salem Presbyterian Church (USA) as supply pastor. As an ordained Minister of the Word and Sacraments in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Rev. Armstrong served as Solo Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church (USA) in Lantana, Florida and now is the very proud Associate Pastor of St. James Presbyterian Church (USA) on James Island in Charleston, SC.