Richmond, Virginia—The Fresh Expressions US Board of Trustees has unanimously approved a Cornerstone Partner Agreement with the Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Ken Carter, Resident Bishop of the Florida Annual Conference will join the Board of Trustees in 2016.

“I am honored to serve in the strategic work of Fresh Expressions US.  The Holy Spirit is always going ahead of us, and I am excited about God’s mission and in the words of Paul, ‘our partnership in the gospel’” Carter said.

This new partnership is helping build a national cross-denominational network for the Fresh Expressions movement in the United States. National Director Chris Backert notes the mutual benefits that partnerships provide.

“In a challenging day for denominational families, we should take notice of those communities who are pioneering a way forward to carry the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Bishop Ken Carter and the Florida Conference are a great testimony to the kind of imagination and innovation needed for thriving ministry in today’s context.  We are blessed to partner and to learn together as we steward a new mission movement.”

The partnership is providing learning experiences, training and resources for churches and leaders in the Florida Conference and included a pilgrimage to England to learn from the UK Fresh Expressions movement. On Saturday November 21, the Florida partnership will lead and facilitate four Fresh Expressions Vision Days in Gainesville, Orlando, Cape Coral, and Ft. Lauderdale Florida. A Pioneer Learning Community is set to begin in January. Through the partnership, the Conference is one of the sponsors of the Fresh Expressions National Gathering April 8-9, 2016 at the First Baptist Church of Alexandria, Virginia. The Rev. Jorge Acevedo, pastor of Grace Church, a multi-site United Methodist Congregation based in Cape Coral, Florida will lead the final plenary at the National Gathering.

Fresh Expressions is an international movement of missionary disciples cultivating new kinds of church alongside existing congregations to more effectively engage our growing post-Christian society. Begun in 2004 as an initiative of the Church of England and the British Methodist Church, it has resulted in the birth of thousands of new communities in the UK alone bringing renewal to established churches. Fresh Expressions has spread to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Germany. In 2010, the movement began taking shape in the US through the vision and generosity of the Baptist General Association of Virginia and a growing number of partners committed to a new era of mission in North America.

If your organization is interested in partnership with the movement. Contact Chris Backert.

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