UGOV Discernment History and Polity Teachers

March 5, 2010, Summary Finalized March 17, 2010

1.  Want the Working Group to know:

•  God calls us to make decisions and hold each other accountable –
we need gatherings; then scatter in ways resourceful\productive encourage but hold accountable. Also need to think about the role and shape of meetings/gatherings.

• Current structure too fragmented and complicated, looking ahead need to be attentive to communication across settings.

• Want the working group to know there is an awareness that the details are not worked out yet.

• Unified Governance is more faithful to who we are – one church; also more efficient, but not the main reason to do it. Discernment of God’s movement call of church that is beyond money, efficiencies, governance  - moving into new ways of gathering and communicating.  Starting point is mission.

• Important to facilitate ecumenical vision

• This opens up more transparency, pleased with the tone of responsibility and accountability

• The core principles give a better sense that the endowments and mission legacies are held by the whole church; at the same time, some may be unclear what the historic mandates and legacies are to begin with

• One board serving 4 corporations – questions on this and comments follow:

- Balancing it all with constituencies\focused passion
- Work load•
- The efficiency is promising.

• Unified Governance is good and needed.  Unfortunately, it has raised up\opened up much unresolved emotion concerning HUGS.

• Same issues seem to be named in each restructuring:

- Strengthen the President – how to do this while also responding to a collegium model which is also named
- Growing size of governance group(s) is something to note.
- Some sense dollars continue to drive decision, will be important to make the missional focus clear
- Size of Unified Board will need to be clarified
- Need to address/resolve tension re HUGS, representational models, new groups\people from (eg) new congregations
- Fall 2008 proposal was a 20th century document, we need a new 21st century document
- Look at congregation vs. corporate organization dilemma, be aware of the ambivalence about the location of mission and trust

• Collegium model of leadership what will it look like

• Autonomy- felt to be a negative word or at least one that needs reshaping.  Should be used with covenant relationship responsibility.  Is the word autonomy sacred•  Are we willing to explore other words

• Three ministry groupings – does this mean that every board member will serve on one of those teams•   Why three•   What is that number related to•

2. God is us calling to be/vision for the UCC

• A prophetic voice
• We think this should be the first question
• More connected across settings, more responsive, engage together as networks
• God is calling us to continue to plat a prophetic role vis-à-vis other denominations as well as to be in relationship with them.
• How can we move into more of a covenantal relationship with other denominations•  A particular role with UCC in the future.
• Rebuild our churches, focus on new church development
• Continue to model inclusivity rather than unanimity in all settings of the church
• Continue engaging healing work, attend to leadership trust issues
• Is the survival of the denomination going to overcome the vision•
• We bring certain beliefs that are needed today.
• Our covenanted polity is an important current balance to the polarization of our society.
• Our ethos of welcome is essential, it is an alternative and needed voice in the world
• God calling us to a flexible trustworthy and faithful
• Finding ways to put our ethos into action
• Be a bridge from the church that is to the church that is to be.