The Committee on Ministry held its annual retreat at Christ the King Retreat Center in Buffalo, Minnesota on July 17 and 18. The theme for the retreat was “Strangers No More, Making Connections and Being in Covenant.” The featured speaker at this year’s retreat was Rev. Kathryn Clark, from the UCC headquarters in Cleveland. Rev. Clark is the Minister for Members in Discernment for the Ministerial Excellence, Support and Authorization Ministry Team (otherwise known as MESA). She led sessions on several of the projects that the MESA team is developing. One session centered around the booklet, “Journaling the Journey,” a guide for engaging the Marks of Faithful and Effective Ministry in assessing candidates for ordination or licensed ministry. Rev. Clark also gave the Committee on Ministry an update on new programs and initiatives at MESA including a revisioning of the UCC Manual on Ministry.
The materials in “Journaling the Journey” and the assessment tools for the “Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers” have been created to assist committees on ministry in their work with members in discernment seeking ordination and with individuals seeking to become licensed ministers. The materials also provide valuable guidelines for the work for committees on ministry in providing effective consultation and support to clergy. Kathy Clark did an excellent job of introducing these materials and demonstrating their incorporation into the work of the Committee on Ministry. The Committee was able to make good use of the “Marks” in conducting the Ordination Examination of Kathryn Morin which was done during the retreat. Kathryn passed with flying colors!
Worship services at the retreat center were led by Rev. Kathy Itzin (Parkway UCC, Minneapolis) and Rev. Sara Morse, chair (Hazel Park UCC, St. Paul). Diann Anders provided the music. The COM members who planned and organized the retreat were Sara Morse, Marsha Benshoof, Beth Faeth, and Leon Erstad, with assistance from Marita Karlisch and Rev. Rick Wagner. The facilities at the Retreat Center provided ample opportunities for reflection, connecting with others and relaxation.
…from Leon Erstad, Minnesota Conference UCC Committee on Ministry