The Ohio Conference Board of Directors welcomed four new members to their first full meeting on October 6. Donna Overholt and Adrian Sunday represent the Northwest Ohio Association, and Pam Linderson represents SONKA. David Plant, also from Northwest Ohio Association, serves as vice-moderator of the board. Also new to the Board but not present at this meeting are Kurt Wieser (EOA) and Terry Williams (CSEOA).
Major actions included financial reports and commentary by Treasurer Sam Buehrer, endorsement of the Camp Business Plan which was presented at the Annual Gathering in September, and discussion and affirmation of a report prepared by the Vision Team.
Treasurer Sam Buehrer noted that in the first eight months of 2017 expenses are running about 6% below last year, but income has dropped 16% compared to last year. Outdoor Ministries income has increased by 5.4%.
Approval of the business plan for the development of Templed Hills moves the Conference toward employment of a full time director or coordinator for Outdoor Ministries. The 2018 budget plan approved at the Annual Gathering provided for a ½ – ¾ time coordinator of volunteers and outdoor ministries. Expense adjustments and re-drafting of a position description are underway.
Two documents prepared by the Conference Vision Team were discussed. One represents a background and theological perspective supporting the effort to imagine a more vital and responsive structure for the Ohio Conference and its Associations. The board expressed appreciation for that document titled “For Such a Time as This.”
The second document, “Conference Structure Process,” is a “conceptual” piece. It proposes a number of studies to be done regarding best program practices, the handling and sharing of financial resources, and administrative structures to support what is learned from those studies. In affirming the general direction of the report from the Vision Team, the Board agreed that it is imperative in “just such a time as this” to reshape the functions and structure of the Conference to more faithfully respond to dramatic changes in the life and ministry of the Church and Conference.
The two reports were commended to Associations and other gatherings throughout the Conference for study and comment. The Vision Team encourages feedback from congregations, lay leaders and clergy and intends to incorporate such feedback in the preparation of a comprehensive plan for the Conference and Associations by the end of 2020.
Other reports were received, dates of future meetings were established, and the day concluded with a customary executive session of the Board.