Written by Rachel Hackenberg
Blessings and peace to you in this new year!
The Ministerial Excellence, Support & Authorization (MESA) Ministry Team supports Committees on Ministry and Association/Conference staff in their work of authorizing ministry on behalf of the United Church of Christ. We strive to keep you up to date with the resources you need for discernment, oversight and support of the authorized ministers in your regions.
Many resources from MESA for Committees on Ministry can be found online at http://www.ucc.org/ministers_committees-on-ministry to guide COMs through questions of endorsement or dual standing, through the work of a fitness review and transfer of standing, and much more. Additional resources can be found at http://www.ucc.org/ministers_regional-ministers, a quick-link page for judicatory staff that includes material relevant to COMs' ministry.
In celebration of the new year, I draw your attention to several new resources available from MESA:
- The Discernment Travelogue – a popular resources for Committees on Ministry, Members in Discernment, and even congregations – is now available in Spanish and in Samoan.
- To be shared with your authorized ministers and Members in Discernment, the MESA Team now provides recommended Social Media Boundaries and Departure Ethics, the latter for pastors and ministers when leaving a call.
- The work of Fitness Reviews can be intense and intensive; to encourage continued clarification about the Fitness Review process and the ordering of events during a review, please reference this new Fitness Review Process Chart Sample.
- COMs and Conference/Association staff may also benefit from this sample Media Guide for Fitness Reviews when a Fitness Review generates public attention.
A reminder that the online application for ministry education scholarships opened on January 1st and is due by March 1st. In particular, Committees on Ministry are invited to nominate their Members in Discernment for a "Make A Difference! Educational Support Award." This award is available to MIDs who are enrolled in seminary and who demonstrate leadership ability; the award is applied to recipients’ tuition and other educational expenses.
Finally, if you're looking for a little light reading, we recommend the Committee on Ministry Research Report for an overview of the amazing diversity of Committees on Ministry across the United Church of Christ.
We look forward to partnering with you in ministry throughout 2016!
The Rev. Rachel G. Hackenberg
Minister for Committee on Ministry Resources & Conference Support
Ministerial Excellence, Support & Authorization (MESA) Team
Local Church Ministries, United Church of Christ