Dear colleagues in ministry,
This comes to you as a follow up to our report from the October meeting of the Board of Directors.
Ms. Joyce Oyler has been employed by the Conference as our Transitional Outdoor Ministry Coordinator. She begins her work in the position November 1, 2017 and will continue to serve full time through October, 2018.
Joyce is no stranger to the outdoor ministry programming of the Conference, having participated continuously as a volunteer and formerly as the employed Director of the Division of Outdoor Ministry.
Much has changed since she was engaged in that responsibility. We have secured the effective management services of United Camps, Conferences and Retreats (UCCR) which promotes our camp, oversees maintenance and support activities, and assists with training and other program services.
We have divested the Conference of one of our camp sites in light of drastic changes in financial support for Conference programming and a steady decline in the number of Conference campers.
In addition, we approach the completion of Nicole Havelka’s part time contract with the Conference. Nicole was thrust into assuming staff oversight of outdoor ministry even though it was not her intention to include that ministry in her portfolio. Her support of the program has been deeply appreciated, for it was provided without reservation in spite of how it reduced the time she had available to provide the networking and creativity emphasis to which she had been called.
The Board also recognized the significant role Pam Brown has played as Conference Administrator. She works with Nicole to manage registrations, publicity, record keeping, promotion and other essential support for outdoor ministry. Pam will retire at the end of December after 17 years of tending to so many functions of the Ohio Conference. Her successor will have a steep learning curve, indeed!
When these factors were considered, along with a frequent observation by some leaders throughout the Conference that outdoor ministry needs full time staff support, the Board determined there was a present need for leadership while the search for a called director is under way. Joyce’s past experience and acquaintance with Ohio Conference allow her to step into this time of transition with less orientation and lost time.
The Conference will develop a national search for a full time Director of Outdoor Ministry in 2018.
I trust we will warmly greet and support Joyce as we work to grow an active, effective and faithful outdoor ministry. Welcome, Joyce!
Interim Conference Minister