Powerful cross cultural ministry is growing out of peer learning with Northern region pastors. Six Korean-American pastors serving in cross-cultural appointments created the KO_AM PaCE Group to find a place of mutual support and growth?
PaCE, which stands for Pursing Clergy Excellence, is a resourcing opportunity facilitated by Greater New Jersey. Clergy have the opportunity to from peer learning groups to grow their ministry within peers and support each other to become better pastors.
In the northeastern part of GNJ Conference in Morris, Sussex, and Warren counties, Korean-American pastors are serving churches faithfully, but, because of significant physical distances from each other, they have felt isolated and disconnected. When GNJ leadership introduced the idea of forming PaCE Groups, these pastors met and agreed to organize their own group called the “KO-AM PaCE Group.” It is a unique group where the cultures and ideologies of the East and West intersect.
They began as a monthly group for fun, food, and fellowship. They share stories as a powerful tool for community building. The group meets at a different church each month and learn about each other’s joys, struggles, hopes and dreams in ministry. They pray together for the host pastor and his or her church. One pastor said, “What we are experiencing when we get together is a genuine sharing of love and support for each other. We experience God’s healing and new hope.”
The KO-AM group also provides opportunities for its clergy spouses to come for a time of good conversation and connection. Oftentimes, clergy spouses feel isolated as well and the fellowship of the spousal group is equally important.
The KO-AM PaCE group spends its time and energy on mutual learning and growing for pastoral excellence, vital pastoral spirituality, and fruitful ministry. The group uses GNJ resources and other materials to help its group discussion on various topics in ministry. Soon after Christmas, they met for a day of group retreat. Each pastor facilitated discussions on Healthy Spirituality, Self-Care, Pastoral Care, Visioning for Ministry, Cultural Competency, and PaCE Group Experience. They will continue to meet each month and are planning to have another retreat during the season of Lent.