Written by Rachel Hackenberg
Dear Committee on Ministry colleagues,
Annual committee turnover can be a great gift as well as logistical strain for Committees on Ministry, as new committee members bring fresh perspective and curious spirits but also need time to be brought “up to speed” on a committee’s current work and its function within UCC polity. With over 2,000 UCCers serving on Committees on Ministry – per a 2014 research report of COMs – we have the blessing of many shoulders to bear this critical work in the life of our denomination. The support and training of those shoulders (and hearts and minds) is no small task.
In support of Committee on Ministry trainings, a COM Toolkit was developed in 2009 as part of the ongoing Ministry Issues implementation work. Complete with a leader guide and PowerPoint slides, the COM Toolkit helps Committees on Ministry discuss such topics as ministerial oversight, educational formation in multiple paths, local church relationships, COM organization, and much more.
Many Committees on Ministry find their agendas too full for annual (re)orientation or relationship-building within the COM, yet taking the time for COM training and care can greatly improve a committee’s spirit, collaborative work, and collective discernment. Consider setting aside fifteen minutes of conversation per meeting, for example, perhaps using a COM Toolkit handout or the Discernment Travelogue in addition to praying for the committee and for one another.
As an added bonus when orienting new members to the Committee on Ministry, give the gift of humor and joy with a “Keep COM and Carry On” t-shirt from UCC Resources!
With appreciation for all you do,
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