Like teachers and other professionals, clergy are expected to complete Continuing Education. Many will enroll in classes and attend workshops. In addition to these, Rev. Emelia has also been involved in two fellowship programs which are designed for young clergy. Both programs not only provide Rev. Emelia with resources, peer networks, and education, but our church benefits from them as well.

Rev. Emelia has been a member of the Bethany Fellows ecumenical group since 2019. Clergy attend 8 total retreats over a 4 to 5 year period in their first years of ministry. The program seeks to provide support, learning, and resources through monthly check-ins and annual retreats specifically for new clergy. In 2020, FCCR was awarded a technology grant because of a generous donation to Bethany Fellows to support clergy and participating churches during the pandemic as many churches went online. Rev. Emelia completes her involvement with Bethany Fellows this April with a final 8th retreat.

Knowing that the Bethany Fellows program would come to an end, Rev. Emelia applied for and was accepted into the Next Generation Leadership Initiative with the United Church of Christ Pension Boards. Similar to Bethany Fellows, NGLI seeks to support young clergy in the UCC with continuing education, resources, networking, and peer connections. Rev. Emelia will attend 2 retreats each year for 4 years, followed by 2 years of independent study.