Black Methodists for Church Renewal,Inc.
Sunday, December 21, 2014
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Talbert Leadership Institute

BISHOP MELVIN GEORGE TALBERT LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE
 
MISSION
The mission of the Bishop Melvin George Talbert Leadership Institute is to identify, select, and engage young leaders in meaningful learning experiences and mentorship, incorporating the Talbert values for the benefit of the church.

TALBERT CORE VALUES
The following are Bishop Talbert’s personal values. He values:
 
  • Timeliness
  • Preparation
  • Respect
  • Advocacy
  • Globalization
  • Ecumenism
  • Courage
  • Radical Inclusivity 
VISION
Bold, imaginative creative leadership for changing times and world-shifting realities.

Recently Bishop Talbert expressed deep appreciation to all for willingness to join in a venture and implement the Melvin G. Talbert Leadership Institute (MGTLI). He said, "It is one thing for it to be instituted, but something else to be implemented, giving it life and health. After being honored, I am pleased at the quality of people selected to help bring it forth. My contribution is giving my name and some of my values."

  1. "All my life I have valued timeliness and when you value time, you either use it or lose it. Cherish and value the time; if it is important to all participants; start on time and finish on time."
  2. Preparation:  If you are a leader, go to a meeting prepared; one needs to be prepared...be ready. “Moved by the Spirit” [sometimes] includes spending. Allow the Spirit of God to infuse you so you can give only what God laid on your heart.
  3. Value the people and the gifts they bring.
  4. Value risk taking; have justice and mercy, especially for those excluded.
  5. Work at tasks: giving all and do all well. Meeting a prophetic witness and taking a stand; times you are called forth to say “yea” or “nay.”
  6. Making a prophetic witness and taking a stand; there are times you are called forth to say “yea” or “nay.”
  7. Team relationship.
  8. Ecumenical, inter-faith inclusivity. Candidates should not be capable of making the judgment that God does not reveal himself in other faiths.
  9. Value the possibility and the choice of being bold and making a witness for those who are excluded in the church and in society.
If this institution is to take legs and walk, it should instill qualities that people might want to emulate; do not expect copy cats or little Melvin Talberts. This institute empowers people in their own rights, but they may be inspired by the leadership I’ve tried to give this church over the years in my ministry.Bishop Talbert often uses the phrase “a teachable moment” and actively seeks those moments, leading by example, as a mentor, pastor, conference council staff member, district superintendent, general secretary, and bishop.
 

 

Young leaders begin new Talbert class

 

Delilah Fakalata has a degree in science, is working on another so she can teach, and serves as a receptionist at the church where she is also youth leader, Christian education chair and financial secretary. And she is caretaker for an older woman with multiple sclerosis.

As if that weren’t enough, Fakalata applied for and was accepted as one of the first fellows in the Bishop Melvin George Talbert Leadership Institute, created by Black Methodists for Church Renewal.

Fakalata and eight other gifted young people are embarking on a two-year journey to become effective, ethical leaders for The United Methodist Church.

The young people met in person for the first time in Nashville, Tenn., in early January. Their two-year experience will include completing a curriculum based on Bishop Talbert’s core values. They will attend webinars, and they will be paired with personal coaches selected to identify their gifts and coax them to be their best, said Marilyn Magee Talbert, chairperson of the coordinating committee for the institute. Read more.

 

“In the Stream” – Bishop Alfred Johnson
January 12, 2011

 

The Bishop Melvin George Talbert Leadership Institute has been powerfully created and has joined the call of one of the four missional streams of the “UMC” to flow into the rivers of transformation!
 
Created by BMCR (Black Methodists for Church Renewal, Inc.) in 2008, it was officially launched on January 7 and 8, 2011 in Nashville, TN, at the offices of the General Board of Discipleship and  most expressly adds a powerful new stream into the transformative waters to “Develop Principled Christian Leaders for the Church and the World.”
 
Under the biblical inspiration of God’s call to join God in doing a “new thing” (Isaiah 43:19) a task force was formed to develop the outline of an idea that was being birthed within the souls of “Black folk” faithful to the call of God through our expansive “UMC. This new missional ministry has been called to:
 
identify… engage young leaders in meaningful learning experiences  reflective of the” Talbert values “ …as a launching pad, that would, however, extend and expand to the beat of the Spirit for the benefit of the church and the transformation of the world - reflective of Jesus’ initiating work and continuing work of the Holy Spirit.
 
Faithful to the interrupting yet expanding Spirit, we initially processed this program as a one- on- one mentoring incubator program for “American born young persons of African descent between the ages of 18 – 30” in a specific geographical locale.  However, the Spirit challenged us to broaden our horizons to consider developing an national online coaching persons responding to this call by application, to include some persons who happened to “Tongan, Hispanic and Caribbean born,” and additionally, one who was 36 years old! We prayerfully and sincerely struggled over these new “interruptions” but faithfully responded in the affirmative to what we discerned as the Spirit’s call. And, we have been most pleased and excited with the chemistry of gifts portrayed by the nine young persons selected to pilot this ministry.
 
With contextual words like:
 
“Good, better best, never let it rest until your good gets better and your better gets best…”
 
“We are building a new airplane while we are flying it,  and while swooping down to gather others, and faithfully assuming, when it’s time, God will assuredly help us land it…”
 
“Transformative Leaders must see around the corners…and go where they cannot see,”
 
“We are participating in a transformative process based on what we don’t yet see (Hebrews 11:1) but are assured that we are being lead by the Spirit in this direction…”
 
“While the “Talbert Values” are our launching pad, neither Bishop Talbert nor our process is seeking to build “cookie cutter” images of Bishop Talbert, but to use his initiating inspiration to see where God leads us to develop a transformative leadership community where coaches, participants, presenters, resource persons and coordinating committee members experience mutual learning and praxis to “benefit the church for the transformation of the world…”
 
“We are developing a leadership team that is a danger to the forces of evil and you (participants) should take seriously your deep need for prayer and radical dependence on God to pursue this course. This is a dangerous work, not for the weak of heart and spirit. You (participants) are invited to leave if you choose not this journey!”
 
“We truly don’t know exactly where we are going, but we are assured we are being lead by the Spirit---“Going places where no one has gone before!-(Star Trek)”
 
“There are no experts between you (invited participants) and those of us around this table, only the Spirit, who will join our gifts on this journey towards personal, church and world transformation…”
 
Among our next steps will be to identify the kind of coaches who will expressly relate to and empower our participants as they identify the learnings they would like to develop to fulfill our mission. We anticipate our first online presentation and meeting with the identified coaches and participants in March 2011.
 
 

PRESS RELEASE
Bishop Melvin George Talbert Leadership Institute Pilot Launch
January 7-8, 2011, General Board of Discipleship, Nashville

 

The Bishop Melvin George Talbert Leadership Institute (BMGTLI) sponsored its pilot launch, January 7-8, following the national Convocation on Pastors of Black Churches, in Nashville, TN. Nine young people began an orientation toward a unique process of leadership development that pairs them with coaches and exposes them to a comprehensive curriculum based on Bishop Talbert's values-among them: timeliness, preparation, respect, advocacy, ecumenism, courage, and radical inclusivity.
Created by Black Methodists for Church Renewal, Inc. (BMCR) in 2008, the Bishop Melvin George Talbert Leadership Institute officially launched January, 2011 at the offices of the General Board of Discipleship. Bishop Alfred Johnson, BMGTLI Dean said, “The Talbert Leadership Institute adds a powerful new stream into the transformative waters to “Develop Principled Christian Leaders for the Church and the World.”
 
The young people recently completed an application process with members of the Institute’s Coordinating Committee. At the pilot launch event they interacted with each other for the first time—although a few admitted they checked out each person’s Facebook page before coming.
 
The nine candidates, now called Fellows, selected to participate in the Talbert Leadership Institute are: Miriam Acosta, an elementary teacher in the ELS program in New York; Gary Easterling, a lay speaker and ministerial candidate, Jersey City, NJ; Delilah Fakalata, a member of the Tongan UM Fellowship of Sacramento, Calif; Linda Furtado, a Nashvillian musician and song leader, called to be a deconess; Walter Gizzie Jr., a New York City College of Technology sophmore from Liberia; Theon Johnson Jr., a director of music and youth ministries in Canton, Miss.; Kevin Kosh Jr., a Rust College senior from St. Louis, Mo.; Marcus Smith, a Carnegie Mellon University graduate from Jacksonville, Fla.; and Joelle Tucker, a Brooklyn College teacher’s assistant from Jamaica, West Indies.
 
Before the event began the fellows had a chance to meet one another and discuss expectations; this was organized by Coordinating Committee Vice-Chairperson, Cassie Hinnen, a recent college graduate, who had led the screening process with applicants in previous months.
 
Mrs. Marilyn Magee Talbert, chairperson of the Institute’s Coordinating Committee hosted the event. “This is a distinguished group of young people,” she said. “They are intelligent, talented and engaged; and they achieved community quickly.  It is an exceeding joy to be involved in this movement.”
 
Making the inaugural address to this initial group of “fellows,” newly-elected, president/dean of Gammon Theological Seminary, the Rev. Albert Mosley presented a thorough journey through the complexities of ethical leadership. 
 
The young people were impressed that someone young headed a major institute of the Church and that he took time from his first week on the job to come and talk with them. 
During this session the fellows met with the coordinating committee, to be oriented to the goals and process of the Institute, to familiarize themselves with the core curriculum, and view the technology assessment by which most of the curriculum will be delivered. Throughout the sessions they heard presentations examining unique and relevant leadership models, hearing that “transformative leaders must see around the corners, and go where they cannot see.”
 
Dean Johnson told the fellows: “We are developing a leadership team that is a danger to the forces of evil and you should take seriously your deep need for prayer and radical dependence on God to pursue this course. This is a dangerous work, not for the weak of heart and spirit.!”
 
Rev. Dr. Rodney Thomas Smothers provided information on the coaching component of the Institute. “The future of the United Methodist Church is entrusted to young men and women who are willing to become game changers. People who are willing to invest their gifts and talents in creative thinking, transformational spiritual disciplines and collaborative community building,” he said. “These young thought engineers are being coached to create new faith communities that are relevant and invitational, digital and missional by design. They represent bold risk-taking leadership that will connect with a new generation of believers.”
 
This Institute will focus on curriculum, coaching, and community with technology as the major delivery process. Rev. Dr. Sherry Daniels, senior pastor of Norfolk (Va.) UMC, and president of On-Point Church Coaching and Consultation, provided the technological process the Institute will use. 
 
Bishop Melvin Talbert, for whom the institute is named, addressed the group and shared his humble beginnings to some of his experiences of leadership in The United Methodist Church and ecumenically. The participant’s eager questions demonstrated their connection to message.
 
“While the Talbert Values* are our launching pad,” explained Johnson, “neither Bishop Talbert nor our process is seeking to build ‘cookie cutter’ images of Bishop Talbert, but to use his initiating inspiration to see where God leads us to develop a transformative leadership community where coaches, participants, presenters, resource persons and coordinating committee members experience mutual learning and praxis to benefit the church for the transformation of the world.”
 
Bishop Johnson, assisted by Dr. Clarence Hoover, a retired superintendent of schools in New Jersey, introduced the curriculum modules. 
 
The group received an introduction to United Methodist boards and commission and heard reports on the Black College Fund and ethnic concerns, Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century, the resources, networks and media services at United Methodist Communications, and the direction of churches and ministries of persons of African descent. Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson, Rev. Fred Allen, Newtonia Coleman, and Cheryl Walker led these presentations.
 
“There’s more to learn. “We are not alone.” “We have a great opportunity to affect future of the church.” “We can start where we are.” “It’s not about me, it’s about we.” These statements from the fellows were expressed at the end of the session.
 
As the Talbert Leadership Institute moves forward to develop bold, imaginative, creative leadership for changing times and world shifting realities, nine young people are ready to embark.
 

The next steps for the Coordinating Committee is to complete the process for identifying presenters and coaches, who will expressly relate to and empower our participants as they identify the learnings they would like to develop to fulfill our mission.
 
“We have established criteria and we will only select the best we can to interact with these young people,” said Marilyn Talbert. “Securing the funding necessary to underwrite this program for the next two years and beyond.”
 
The leadership expect the first online presentation and meeting with the identified coaches and participants in March 2011. For updates on the Talbert Leadership Institute, contact email: bmcr@umpublishing.org or visit www.bmcrumc.org.
 
SIDEBAR:
The mission of the Bishop Melvin George Talbert Leadership Institute is to indentify, select, and engage young leaders in meaningful learning experiences and mentorship. The Talbert Leadership Institute provides opportunities for young people to build relational networks and to expand the arenas of influence which perhaps without this experience they might not have.  Access to successful practitioners of diverse careers will assist and encourage the participants in developing their own potential.  
 
Talbert Leadership Institute Leaders
Coordinating Committee includes Marilyn Magee Talbert, chairperson; Cassie Hinnen, vice-chairperson; Dr. Tracy Smith Malone, Dr. Rodney Smothers, Dr. Arthur L. Pressley, Dr. Clarence C. Hoover III, Dr. Mary White, Cheryl Walker, Jerry Ruth Williams.                
 
Resource consultants for the Institute are Rev. Candace Lewis, Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson, Newtonia Coleman, Erin Hawkins, Dr. Fred Allen, David Malloy, and Bishop Melvin Talbert. Rev. Ronnie Miller Yow, BMCR chairman, Pamela Crosby, executive director, and Kandice Brown serve as are ex-officio members and staff.
 

 

Bishop Melvin George Talbert Leadership Institute Announces Pilot Launch

 
Just over a year ago, friends and colleagues of Bishop Melvin Talbert met in Nashville to celebrate his 75th birthday, 49th year of ordination, and to learn of the beginning of the Bishop Melvin George Talbert Leadership Institute (BMGTLI), a multidisciplinary approach to engage young lay and clergy to enhance their leadership potential.
 
Since that time a coordinating committee and resource staff from some United Methodist boards and commissions have met and strategized on curriculum, process, timelines, and goals for launching the pilot Talbert Leadership Institute event.
 
Beginning with 10 students and a cadre of coaches, the pilot event for the Bishop Melvin George Talbert Leadership Institute will be held January 7-9, 2011 in Nashville, Tenn.
 
Institute participants will be chosen through an application and interview process. Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 30, a member of The United Methodist Church for at least two years, and provide an essay, video/DVD, or writings sharing their background, future goals and why they are interested in the Talbert Leadership Institute.
 
The Institute will use a coach/student learning process. Coaches, representing clergy, lay, male, female, and young adults, will be available for one-on-one, small group, and other configurations. The coaches have distinguished themselves as experienced and productive leaders in the church, education and other fields of knowledge.  The deadline for applying is Oct. 30, 2010. 
 
The institute, conceived and authorized by the National BMCR Board of Directors at its 2008 annual meeting, will use an incubator approach to learning and experiences, in order to provide the optimum opportunity for participants to grow to their heights of leadership.
 
The mission of the Bishop Melvin George Talbert Leadership Institute is to indentify, select, and engage young leaders in meaningful learning experiences and mentorship. The curriculum is based on Bishop Talbert’s values; among them are timeliness, preparation, respect, advocacy, ecumenism, courage, and radical inclusivity.
 
The Talbert Leadership Institute is a program of Black Methodists for Church Renewal, Inc. An application form is available on BMCR’s website (www.bmcrumc.org and has been distributed to seminaries, historically black educational institutions, general boards and commissions, National Black Staff Forum, SBC21, Path1, and other groups. )
 
For more information, contact bmcr@umpublishing.org, or visit www.bmcrumc.org