It's a joy for the Ministerial Excellence, Support & Authorization (MESA) Team to be in ministry with you and to serve as a support to you in this work of authorization and oversight. Sometimes that joy is expressed through the smallest acts…
The good standing of an authorized minister may be (1) active, (2) leave of absence, or (3) retired, all of which are considered equally to be forms of good standing and all of which may be transferred between Associations.
As you well know, the work of Committees on Ministry is ever in dialogue with and responding to the work of General Synod. From MESA Team Leader Holly MillerShank, a reminder of work from General Synod 29 (Long Beach, CA in 2013) that impacts your work as Committees on Ministry.
It's Synod time, and we look forward to seeing many of you in Cleveland very soon! For those attending, please join MESA for the following events during General Synod.
Last month, the Habakkuk Group (the 17-person committee charged with re-visioning the Manual on Ministry) had its third gathering in Cleveland. Since the Habakkuk Group first met in June 2014, much of our time has been spent on the work of grounding our understanding of authorized ministry deeply in our theological, biblical & historical traditions, with attention to and ongoing questions about our present and future contexts for authorized ministry.
The United Church Board recently voted to recommend changes in the UCC Constitution & Bylaws to the upcoming General Synod. These recommendations can be found on the Synod website by clicking on "Materials." Some of the recommended changes relate to authorized ministry, and we want to make you – our partners on Committees on Ministry – aware of those particular changes.
The Committee on Ministry Toolkit, developed following the Ministry Issues Pronouncement at General Synod 25, is an excellent orienting resource for COMs to reflect on your processes of work and to discern your best ministry as a committee.
This month, MESA is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Ministerial Profiles Portal, and I must say that we're still quite enthusiastic about the Profiles Portal and the ways that it supports ministry in the United Church of Christ.
Happy New Year! I write this month to share a variety of upcoming opportunities for Members in Discernment, which you might commend to the MIDs in your care as part of their ongoing formation.
With Christmas fast approaching, I write with gifts to share for your Committee on Ministry work!