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Mary Ellen Patricia Park, RIP

Asset Mapping: Strong Together, Mobilizing our Assets in Tough Times

At Moravian Theological Seminary ... Friday, March 25: Luther Snow will work with pastors, judicatory staff, and faith-based agency staff. The fo­cus of the full-day workshop will be The Macro View: Building Partnerships. Saturday, March 26: The focus will be The Micro View: Strength­ening Congregations. This full-day workshop (9:30 AM – 3:30 PM) is for the leadership of local congre­gations – lay and clergy leadership teams. More at http://www.moravianseminary.edu/conted/Spring11/assetmapping.html

By Charles Cesaretti

“Congregations, parishes, and other faith communities face daily challenges to our leadership, orga­nization, and finances,” writes Lu­ther Snow. “But we can choose to focus on God’s blessings. Empow­ering Congregations is a strategy that builds on our strengths, gifts, and assets. From appreciation and thankfulness for these gifts, we are led to connect our gifts with each other to get things done together we could not get done on our own. In the process, we experience the pow­er of being part of something bigger than all of us.”At workshops on March 25 and 26, Luther Snow, the creator of Asset Map­ping, will introduce the pro­cess of asset mapping and train congregational leaders. The Diocese of Bethlehem in partnership with other denominations, institutions, and agencies across north­east Pennsylvania is one of the sponsors of the event.

Snow has 35 years expe­rience in community and group leadership. He’s led grass roots social and eco­nomic development efforts in inner city Chicago, and he’s sparked positive rural development approaches across the nation. He has published three bestsell­ing books, including The Power of Asset Mapping and The Organization of Hope. In faith-based work, Luther has trained leaders of six national denominations and strengthened hundreds of congregations. Luther’s expertise includes community part­nerships, financial strategy, univer­sity engagement, and social enter­prise. He has a BA from Harvard and an MBA from the University of Chica­go. He lives in Decorah, Iowa, with his wife and two sons.

“There are three immediate and general benefits of Asset Mapping that I have seen,” explains Snow.

“First, Asset Mapping helps us to recognize assets, strengths and gifts all around us – assets that are oth­erwise overlooked, taken for grant­ed, unappreciated, or outside our vision.

“Second, Asset Mapping propels us to identify beneficial relationships and build on them in collaborative action. We “connect the dots” and find ways that we can get things done together that we could not get done on our own. We build on af­finities of difference as well as af­finities of similarity, and we build relationships outside our group as well as within it.

“Third, Asset Mapping opens up opportunities for action toward the greater good. As we ‘vote with our feet,’ we give each other permission to follow our own interests as part of the group, and experience an un­folding sense of a larger whole and a greater good. Because we are act­ing together, we shift perspectives, away from ‘us and them’ and toward ‘all of us.’ This wider perspective, in turn, illuminates new assets and op­portunities and encourages us to in­vest further in the group, feeding the positive cycle anew.”

On Friday, March 25, Snow will work with pastors, judicatory staff, and faith-based agency staff. The fo­cus of the full-day workshop will be: The Macro View: Building Partnerships.

On Saturday, March 26, at Mora­vian Theological Seminary, the focus will be: The Micro View: Strength­ening Congregations. This full-day workshop (9:30 AM – 3:30 PM) is for the leadership of local congre­gations – lay and clergy leadership teams. Registration is $20, and in­cludes lunch and snacks.

On Sunday, March 27, Snow will preach at the 8:30 AM service at East Hills Moravian Church in Bethlehem.

See Moravian Seminary Continuing Ed, http://www.moravianseminary.edu/conted/Spring11/assetmapping.html, for more information and registration.

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