Too Fast, Too Slow, Just Right?
Seventeen months ago, those present at the Conference Annual Meeting voted an affirmation to proceed forward with the creation of a structure “…which unifies the existing Associations…and the Ohio Conference into One Body.” The practicum of that affirmation has moved, for some, too slow. For others, too fast. And for still others, gone just about right. For this article I have captured a few of the highlights on what has begun to be accomplished toward such an undertaking as creating “one nimble organization.”
Highlights on Restructuring 2019
- •Renaming the conference in a way that is both inclusive of the geography we serve, and which also frames our life theologically was accomplished at the Annual Gathering by approving the name, “Heartland Conference”. A few details for this transition remain.
- •Key common functions between Associations and the Conference have begun uniting work.
- •Regular working meetings of the Associations/Conference staff are dealing with some of the more complex issues which need addressing.
- •A Conference wide Faith Formation initiative has begun to take shape and individual Association offerings are beginning to be circulated beyond Association boundaries, including an annual Faith Formation Conference.
- •Connections with the wider church are leading to initiatives in the area of how we might make General Synod resolutions more focused in local church settings.
- •The BOD just approved pursuing a possible Lilly Grant for building up local churches.
- •There is exploration about a shared Annual Gathering event with the Christian Church/Disciples of Christ in Ohio.
- •Association leaderships have received a working document on how better to gather together to coordinate the next steps of overseeing the movement to “one nimble organization”, and perhaps, redefining for the future the very nature and roll of the Board of Directors.
- •The Outdoor Ministry program has begun moving from playing “catch-up” Templed Hills on line, a permanent Executive Director called, the initiation of the Hills Are Alive Capital Campaign, and an emerging plan for more enhancements to the site and program.
- •The Board also concluded that it would be helpful to engage a consultant to continue to aid us in clarifying our Conference Vision, Mission and Values. Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, Executive Director of the Ohio Council of Churches has been contracted to lead this process with the Board of Directors and key stakeholders throughout the Heartland.
- •In a similar vein, the Board is moving from its traditional 5 times a year meeting pattern to meeting every month so that we can continue the progress of moving hoped for specifics that the adopted Vision Team recommendation made.
If you would like more extensive detail and explanation of what I have seen happen please click here. As always, I or any of the Board and Staff are available for further conversation and clarity.
Blessings and Peace,
Dave Plant, Moderator