2014 Fall Leadership Retreat Recap

On September 5 & 6, 28 leaders of the MN Conference gathered together for the annual leadership retreat. Entitled, “Forward Together” the retreat focused on enabling the purpose and vision of the Conference into the future. Members of the Board of Directors, chairs or representatives of Conference committees and teams, and Conference staff and Sandy Lindahl, lead consultant for Ackley Consulting Group came to work together while enjoying the beauty and hospitality of Pilgrim Point Camp. United by prayer and worship, retreat participants engaged in energetic, creative and meaningful dialogue and activities.

Retreat participants identified and confirmed the MN Conference as a connecting, covenantal entity comprised of UCC churches throughout Minnesota; the embodiment of the wider body of Christ. Ms. Janet Bartz and the Rev. Cindy Mueller engaged the group in a review of the Conference purpose, vision, values and priorities and how we are being faithful to our plan. Our core purpose: “inviting and equipping inspired Christian leaders and communities” is supported by five core values: faithfulness, stewardship, empowerment, innovation and justice. The group identified and celebrated the many ways we are currently moving forward together to achieve our four strategic priorities: equip clergy and laity to lead; create and sustain healthy, vital congregations; strengthen faith formation across the generations; and increase our capacity for compassionate service and prophetic witness. Further work identified things we are grateful for from the Conference and national setting of the UCC, the important and essential support and resources provided by the Conference and what is needed in the future.

As has been previously reported, work is underway to consider the feasibility of a future financial campaign to enable critical ministries of the Conference into the future. Ms. Sandy Lindahl and the Rev. Shari Prestemon led the group in activities designed to further define the scope of such a campaign. Ms. Lindahl also reviewed current plans and timelines for the development of a campaign case for support and feasibility study.

Mr. Phil Hatlie facilitated a session on best practices of good governance and Associate Conference Minister for Faith Formation of Children and Youth Wade Zick provided tours of Pilgrim Point Camp to highlight the facility recommendations identified in the report from Kaleidoscope Consulting. Time and activities to build community were also part of the retreat.

Following the retreat, the Board of Directors met to: approve Boyum & Barenscheer as the auditor for the 2013-2014 fiscal year; authorize engagement of a realtor to assist with the sale of conference property in Maple Grove; and establish two workgroups to provide further definition of potential initiatives which might be part a future financial campaign.

…from Ms. Janet Bartz, Congregational Church UCC, Rochester, Vice-Moderator of the Board of Directors