United Church of Christ

July 2017

Dear Committee on Ministry colleagues,

At General Synod earlier this month, MESA unveiled an engaging new polity curriculum to encourage the wider church's exploration of how the United Church of Christ thinks, works, and equips each part of the denomination – including its Committees on Ministry – to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world.
 
The curriculum suggests various "polity paths" for small groups, such as: a 12-session adult small group discussion; a 6-session path for a search committee; and a 4-session guide for Committees on Ministry that focuses on the core values of the UCC, our commitment to covenant, the question of authority, and ministers and ministerial authorization. Groups and committees can also forge their own paths, taking different activities from each lesson to suit the needs of the participants.
 
Each of the fourteen sessions in this new polity curriculum includes a facilitator guide, online videos, discussion questions, and activities to help participants explore the unique history, governance structure, and theological commitments of the UCC, and to reflect on how the story of this denomination is still unfolding.
 
Imagine taking a few minutes in your Committee on Ministry meetings to discuss polity together for a fuller understanding of your ministry as a Committee, or using this polity curriculum as part of your annual Committee on Ministry retreat. We hope you'll explore these materials with your Committees and find it useful for your work of oversight and accountability. Who knows – you might discover new things about the UCC yourself!
 
What is one thing you hope these materials provide? How can you imagine using them in your Committee on Ministry work? After you have engaged the materials, share one thing you learned that surprised you.
 
Other MESA News

Registration is open for the Regional AM21 events being held this fall for all who are interested in discussing the drafted Manual on Ministry: http://events.uccpages.org/am21.html. If you've not yet attended, we look forward to seeing you in Boston (September 8-9), Denver (September 21-22) or Philadelphia (October 23-24).
 
The MESA Team is dedicated to supporting your essential work of ministerial authorization and oversight through regular 90-minute trainings offered online via Zoom. Delve into the varieties of ministerial standing in the UCC on August 14th at 2:00 -3:30pm ET, and build your Committee on Ministry's skills related to diversity on August 17 at 7:00 – 8:30pm ET. Each training is hosted by a member of the MESA Team, with space on Zoom for up to 50 participants. No registration is required; simply scroll through the list of online trainings posted at http://www.ucc.org/ministers_committees-on-ministry and click on the title of the training you want to attend at the time it is scheduled to start.
 
With blessings in this Ordinary, extraordinary time,


Elizabeth Dilley
Minister for Ministers in Local Churches
Ministerial Excellence, Support & Authorization (MESA) Team
Local Church Ministries, United Church of Christt
ucc.org/ministers


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