By Conference Minister Diane Weible
A couple of weeks ago, members of the Conference Council, co-chairs of Committee on Ministry Sections A, B and E, the chair of our Justice and Witness Team and Conference staff met for an overnight visioning retreat.
The outcome of the retreat is that we now have goals in each of three areas: Supporting Leaders; Nurturing Local Churches; Uniting for Justice.
The goals for Supporting Leaders focused on training and orientation for both lay leaders and clergy to equip them for ministry and supporting our clergy in compliance with Life-Long Learning requirements.
The goals for Nurturing Local Churches included polity education for local churches, an annual church leader’s event, and a database to connect our churches in order to share resources, knowledge and best practices.
Uniting for Justice goals highlighted two basic areas. One is networking churches engaged in the same justice issues for mutual support. The other is foundational work as a Conference in the areas of dismantling white privilege, tapping into the culture, ethnic and spiritual treasure in this Conference to work together for a just world, creating a discussion forum not afraid to tackle the difficult discussions we need to have, and partnering with other faith-based groups on justice issues of common interest.
The next step in this process is to create sub-groups to flesh out these goals and begin to bring this work to life in our Conference community. We will share more about this at Annual Gathering and then later this summer we will establish teams to move forward on next steps. If you are interested in serving on one of these teams, please let us know.
I left the retreat with a lot of excitement and hope for our work together as a Conference and look forward to the journey together. Please let me know if you have any questions.