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Faith Leader Networking Lunches

FAITH LEADER NETWORKING LUNCHES: Quarterly faith leader gatherings funded by a grant from the Foundation for the Carolinas for the purpose of building deeper community between and greater well-being within the clergy community. These sessions will include wellness practices, exploration of what's working well in congregations, and LOTS of networking. 


February 22: Helt Hall (rear of the sanctuary building) at Park Road Baptist Church (3900 Park Rd, Charlotte 28209) | Register HERE

Other tentative dates for 2024: 
April 18
September 24
November 12


The February 22 featured speaker will be Dr. Scott Thumma, Professor of Sociology of Religion and Director of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research. Dr. Thumma is the principal investigator of Exploring the Pandemic Impact on Congregations: Innovation Amidst and Beyond COVID-19 and the Co-organizer of the Faith Communities Today Project. He will be joining us via Zoom to talk about his current research on the very real challenges of post-pandemic congregational life AND the factors that impact clergy job satisfaction and well-being. Calling himself an "optimistic realist," Dr. Thumma will highlight both the circumstances that create clergy discontent and the things that faith leaders and congregations can do to address them. 


The wonderful Sherry Waters, Community Chaplain, Stewardship Practitioner, Life Coach, and owner-operator of The Pauline Tea-Bar Apothecary will lead the wellness practice. 

Ammalu Saleh, Executive Chef and Owner of Serengeti Kitchen, will provide an amazing Tanzanian meal for us. She has catered for us several times, and her food is INCREDIBLE.


These gatherings are made possible by a generous grant from the Foundation for the Carolinas. If you are able to make a donation toward the costs of the lunch, it will help us to make these events more widely available and perhaps more frequent.​

Thursday, February 22 | 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM | Location TBD

Scott Thumma


  • Ph.D. (Emory University)

  • M.Div. (Candler School of Theology)

  • B.A. (Southwestern University)

Areas of Study

  • Megachurch characteristics and dynamics

  • The increase in nondenominational churches

  • The impact of the Internet on congregational dynamics

  • Congregational studies of healthy growth and member engagement

  • Congregational/Denominational trends of Religion in America

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