Since the MetropolitanMinistry & TrainingCenter opened as a project of New City Parish in 1996, it has become a training ground for clergy and lay leadership wishing to gain experience in the context of our richly diverse, multi-cultural communities of Los Angeles, Inglewood, and Compton, California. The Center provides clergy, seminarians, and lay leaders the opportunity to experience the wonderful multi-cultural mix, the profound social realities, and the vibrant worship experiences of our urban context. While the training is offered in Los Angeles, the MMTC is conducted in partnership with Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkley, CA and Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. New City Parish pastors have also trained over 30 seminary interns, including those who have been part of the ELCA's Horizon Internship Program and the TEEM Program.
Using the methodology of "popular education" advanced by Paulo Friere, the style of teaching and learning we model in our urban setting places an emphasis on experience, reflection, and action. Popularized by the Comunidades de Base (Base Community Movement) of Central and South America and Africa, the model has a three-fold focus: see the reality of our communities, reflect on how the Scripture speaks to that reality, and act as a result of what has been learned.
Urban and Cross Cultural Immersion
The Metropolitan Ministry and TrainingCenter has been pleased to tailor a variety of urban and cross-cultural experiences to the specific goals and time limitations of youth and adult groups from across the country. If you or your group are interested in exploring the dynamic urban, multi-cultural life of South Los Angeles, Inglewood, and Compton, we can help arrange a variety of experiences to meet your needs, from homestays to camping out on church floors, from work parties to Bible studies, from Spanish to Creole. Contact Pr. Brian Eklund, Director of the MetropolitanMinistry & TrainingCenter, at (310) 673-2584 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
For the past 18 years New City Parish has collaborated with the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley in offering a weekend urban education experience for seminary students entitled “Ministry in the City”.Now the Metropolitan Ministry and TrainingCenter is pleased to offer a similar opportunity for your church group, whether youth or adult.
While the focus of the weekend long experience would be adapted, depending on the needs and interests of the visiting group, the basic format would stay the same. Groups are invited to “see, taste and reflect” on a variety of urban ministry experiences, a methodology which has proven to be an exciting and transformative style of learning. Potential focus for the Friday evening through Sunday afternoon experiences and discussions might include;
principles of urban and multi-cultural ministry
parish based ministry, including seeing the neighborhood on foot
Bible study and Transformational Bible Study methodology
holistic worship; body, mind and spirit
an exploration of critical urban issues such as housing, food deserts, economic justice, homelessness or immigration
Mission projects are an additional option during the weekend stay.
Cost for weekend including individual home stays or group stays at one of our NCP Churches is $120-140 per person, depending on the number of meals requested. Contact email@example.com for more information.
Ministry in the City January Term, 2013
For seminary students participating in the J-Term, 2013 dates are January 10-14. For those students receiving credit for the course through PLTS or Luther Seminary, a 3 to 5-page paper is required and due within a month of completing the course. The student is to develop a project which applies one of the principles of urban ministry to his/her parish and or local setting. The paper should describe the ministry situation, elaborate on the principle being developed, describe the plan and action being taken (utilizing the principle), evaluate and analyze the results, and indicate how the principle could continue to be developed in that ministry setting. The $100 fee for this class is included in the Cross Cultural and Spanish Language Immersion for those enrolled in both programs.
Although we recommend the following books for every pastor's library, we have highlighted suggested chapters for reading in preparation for the class:
i. Transforming Bible Study, Walter Wink, Abington Press: Nashville, 1989. Chapters 1 & 2
ii. Non-bourgeois Theology, Joseph G. Donders, Orbis Books: New York, 1985. Chapters 3, 6, 8, & 18
iii. Manana, Justo L. Gonzalez, Abington Press: Nashville, 1990. Forward, Chapters 3 & 5
iv. Race Matters, Cornel West, Beacon Press: Boston, 1993. Introduction
v. Celebration and Experience in Preaching, Henry Mitchell, Abington Press: Nashville, 1990. Chapter 4
vi. The Powers That Be, Walter Wink, Augsburg Fortess, New York, 1998. Chapters 2 & 3
Cross Cultural and Spanish Language Immersion J-Term 2013
The 2-week Spanish Language and Cross-Cultural Immersion Program provides participants the opportunity to begin or continue the process of learning the Spanish language and Latin American culture, along with experiencing the reality of Latino and African descent families who live in Los Angeles, California. Participants share in a variety of cross-cultural experiences, learn about the work of urban nonprofits, and train in the Spanish language. Homestays with Latino families, Bible studies, workshops, and visits with a cross section of community groups in Los Angeles round out the program. Our professional language teachers, trained in Frierian methodology, come from CETLALIC, Cuernavaca, Mexico. For more information on the CetlalicLanguageSchool go to www.cetlalic.org.mx.
The 2013 J-Term course begins with orientation on Monday evening January 14th, and concludes with a luncheon and graduation on Sunday, January 27th. Classes will be held in our New City Parish congregations. The cost of the course is $980 for those who plan to stay with a host family with a pro-rated fee for those who plan to commute. For additional information or to register for the course please contact Pr. Brian Eklund, Director of the Metropolitan Ministry & Training Center, at(310) 673-2584 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Language and Cultural Studies
Spanish language classes in conjunction with CETLALIC Language School in Mexico are offered in the Los Angeles area at various times during year in one, two and thee week sessions, as well as on Saturdays. Clergy, seminarians, and lay leaders interested in exploring a language and or/immersion experience at a time other than the J-Term are encouraged to contact Pr. Eklund at New City Parish. Please note that pastors can use these courses for continuing education and that students from the Graduate Theological Union, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, and Luther Seminary can take this course for credit.