Nearly 200 people gathered for the 2012 Convocation on the Rural Church  to celebrate the tradition of rural ministry and plan for its future. The keynote speaker, the Rev. Dr. Elaine A. Heath, inspired the group with a vision that captures the wisdom and vitality of the early church and translates it for practice in today's congregations.
A video recording of her lecture, "Longing for Spring: A New Vision for Wesleyan Community ," is now available on YouTube.
As the McCreless Associate Professor of Evangelism at Perkins School of Theology and director of the Center for Missional Wisdom at Southern Methodist University, Heath shares her experiences in developing New Day  and the Epworth Project , a growing network of missional, new monastic faith communities in the United Methodist tradition. She also describes the steps necessary to develop similar micro-communities in other rural areas.
The 2012 Convocation on the Rural Church was offered by the Thriving Rural Communities  initiative at Duke Divinity School with support from The Duke Endowment .