2023 Mid-South Gathering of the Ecclesia Network

In today’s environment, as church leaders, we all feel the need to focus on the wide range of problems and issues that our churches are facing.  It makes sense.  But it also makes sense that we can “get stuck” in that mindset.  

Imagine ministry where possibilities and opportunities are thought of first, rather than barriers and challenges. Imagine a church where we make space to invite God into our imaginations of what could be. Where our callings as Christians, as culture makers, is explored in depth.

God is making all things new, and invites every one of us into this reality.

Join us for two days to explore what this means and looks like. To connect in fellowship, consider how to build a culture in our churches that opens new doors, and learn tools to help our congregations and teams explore their creative callings.


When and where? This gathering will be hosted at NLCF in Southwest Virginia. It will take place Tuesday at 2:00pm, March 21st, and end by 3:00pm Wednesday, March 22nd.** see tentative schedule below  

What? Our gathering will include times of connection over meals and ministry-focused discussions.  We are excited that we will be joined by Mitch Marcello, Director of Worship at First Church in Williamsport, PA, founder and Director of Imago Innovation, and is Mission Strategist & Innovation Specialist with Fresh Expressions.

Who? This gathering is designed for pastors, staff, and church leaders that are part of the Ecclesia Network as well as pastors, staff, and church leaders interested in getting to learn more about the network and meet some of its members from the region.

Cost? –$35 per person (Ecclesia members), $45 per person (non-Ecclesia members)
* the cost includes dinner on Tuesday and breakfast & lunch on Wednesday

Housing & Transportation If you are outside of Southwest VA, the closest airport is Roanoke Regional Airport (ROA). It’s about a 45 min drive from the airport to Blacksburg. If you would like to keep the cost low, NLCF has a limited number of local leaders who have graciously offered a spare room for you to stay in.  These spaces will be available on a first-come, first serve basis but we’d love the opportunity to host you in our homes.  If you would prefer to stay in a hotel, we recommend the Courtyard by Marriot or the Main Street Inn in Blacksburg.

Next steps? Register today! As we get closer, we’ll send more information about schedule, details, etc.

Tentative Schedule

Tuesday, March 21st

12:00pm – Optional Lunch at Cabo Fish Taco

2:00pm-5:00pm – Gathering Session Starts at 1521 South Main St

5:00pm-6:00pm – Break

6:00pm-8:00pm – Dinner at Lefty’s Main St. Grille

8:00pm – Bonfire at the PoffHaus

Wednesday, March 22nd

8:30am – Light Breakfast at 1521 South Main St

9:00am – Gathering Session Starts

12:00pm – Lunch 

3:00pm – Gathering ends

Mitch Marcello

Mitch Marcello is the Director of Worship at First Church in Williamsport, PA, founder and Director of Imago Innovation, and is Mission Strategist & Innovation Specialist with Fresh Expressions. Prior to these pursuits, he founded the Acts Network, a collection of fresh expressions of faith connected to his local church, working with leaders to explore the creation of Christian community where there is none. Understanding that we are called to create, he is passionate about helping unlock creative potential in individuals, teams, and churches, assisting Christian leaders to apply tools for innovation to mission and ministry. Mitch holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts and Artist Diploma from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Masters Degree in Creativity and Innovation from Drexel University.