Update: What’s been happening with the FACT process?
October 16, 2015 / By Susan Ranous
I hope you have had the opportunity to read the full FACT report, which has been available on the Upper New York Conference website. As you may recall, five teams were created based on five basic categories of concerns that were identified in the FACT report. Those teams have been busy meeting over the last several months. Some work has been done by the FACT teams and others in our Conference, and much work remains ongoing.
The presentation of UNY 2.0 at the 2015 session of Annual Conference was an exciting and interesting way to hear about what is being done in the Conference to increase leadership capacity, identify leadership competencies, and assist congregations in being vital.
Here’s an update from the various teams:
- The Board of Ordained Ministry (BOOM) has a process of clergy recruitment, enlistment, licensing, commissioning, and ordination in place.
- The team is exploring how intentional conversations about pastor/staff-parish relations committees, district superintendents, and pastors can direct development of lifelong clergy training, in addition to encouraging participation in development opportunities.
- The Board of Laity is assessing the leadership competencies presented at AC session and will brainstorm ideas for an “instrument” designed to assess the effectiveness of lay-led ministries.
United Methodist Ethos
- There has been an increase in UM Ethos from the Communications Ministry Area.
- District superintendents are working on a training piece that can be used at charge conferences with clergy and laity.
- More importantly, these training pieces will be taken back to the local churches by the clergy and laity present at charge conferences to share in the understanding of UM Ethos.
- An online survey has been circulated to identify issues and concerns in our Conference.
- A letter was drafted to be sent to Sessions Committee, encouraging that group to consider various options for the 2016 Annual Conference session.
- There has been conversation about various ways of conducting holy conferencing and conversation at the Annual Conference sessions.
- The Conference’s financial staff – Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) – and the FACT team have worked throughout the spring and summer.
- The 2010 audit has been completed, and the audits for 2011, 2012, and 2013 are in process. This is an important part of financial transparency.
- A team of CFA members, district superintendents, and Conference staff has been meeting and is forming teams to identify and meet with churches (on a district-by-district basis) to have conversations about what is impacting churches and what the Conference, districts, and local churches can do with regards to ministry shares, direct bills, and stewardship.
- Regular monthly reporting has been in place, with many groups and teams receiving up-to-date financial information.
- A team is being formed to work closely with Director of Communications Stephen J. Hustedt regarding ways to prioritize communications sent throughout the Conference.
- A strategic communications plan is in the pipeline to be worked on.
Please continue to keep these teams and the Conference in your prayers as we do the work that will enable our Conference to work together to be the Conference that God has called the Upper New York area to be!
Susan Ranous is the FACT Project Manager and a member of the Upper New York Conference.