A summary from the Conference Vision Team for discussion at Annual Gathering
Gathered in Christ to heal, reconcile and restore the world
by Nurturing Spirit, Awakening Gifts,
Loving Neighbor, and Serving Communities
To connect and equip faith communities in following Jesus Christ
(goal of the Vision Team)
to create one nimble and responsive judicatory faithful in mission
and responsible in stewardship.
NOTE: Attention is given to avoiding the current terms “associations,” “conference”, “association ministers”, and “conference minister” in order to encourage new thinking about roles and relationships. Primary consideration is given to sharing leadership; best practices and resources; and developing collaborative relationships among clergy and congregations ….
for just such a time as this!
CONSIDERATIONS AND PROPOSALS
• Develop three Support Centers
• Concentrate on opportunities to share leadership and resources
• Staff each support center with an Area Minister and necessary service staff
• Area Ministers serve as pastor to pastors, oversee search and call and authorization procedures, promote program development in the Support Center, and focus all ministries on the overall Vision, Mission, and Directive for ministries
• Establish a leadership Board representative of the Support Centers and the all-Area setting of the UCC
• Area Ministers are named by the Support Centers in collaboration with a Leadership Board
• An executive minister is named by the Leadership Board to support Area Ministers to supervise area service staff, assist Leadership Board, assure collaboration and sharing of resources in Support Centers, represent the Area in ecumenical and national UCC settings, and assure evaluation of Area Ministers by Support Center advisory boards
• Executive Minister will be a specialist in at least one of the primary ministry focuses identified as essential: Generosity Development; Church Vitality and New Church Development; Prophetic Witness; or Faith Formation
• Additional short term or long term specialists in other essential ministries as determined by the Board.
• All staff are considered all-Conference staff
FIRST STEPS TO IMPLEMENTATION
• Discover and put in place best practices that can be offered collaboratively throughout the region, such as:
o Lay school education programs
o common procedures for search and call, authorizations, situational and fitness reviews
o collaboration in communication and technology
o unified budgeting, receiving and disbursing income, and providing financial resources to each support center.
o generosity development for annual and long term funding, capital fund raising, planned giving, and other resources
o opportunities for broader relationship development among clergy such as periodic clergy convocations, preaching workshops, pastoral excellence groups, and skill development and cultivation programs
o support for congregation treasurers, moderators, councils/consistories, and other groups as determined to be useful and desirable
o assessment of strategic locations for support centers
• Identify and plan for any changes in legal or organizational procedures necessary to implement the goal of becoming one nimble and responsive judicatory faithful in mission and responsible in stewardship.
• Actively interpret and promote support for this report among congregations, clergy groups, and throughout Associations.
• Assure that all planning and discussions, programs and structural recommendations
grow out of and revolve around the mission/vision of
becoming one through shared leadership and resources.
These considerations are neither final nor complete.
Delegates to the 2018 Annual Gathering will hear and discuss greater detail from three working groups on Friday, September 28.
On Saturday, September 29, delegates are invited to approve and encourage the Vision Team, the Board of Directors, and Association Councils to continue in these directions to become one in the ministry of healing, reconciling and restoring the world that we may be the community God intends us to be.
We are on a journey to a new day of ministry and witness.