Connectional Table meets to strategize for new quadrennium
The Western North Carolina Conference Connectional Table met on Thursday, November 10th
at the Memorial Conference Center to begin its work for the new quadrennium.
Bishop Paul Leeland began the meeting with a devotion and prayer, then moved into a time of vision casting with the group.
Leeland stated the Connectional Table is the way our diverse teams and ministry areas of the conference can come together and focus on the common mission of the conference. It is our hope that by coming together with a common mission, all of our churches and leadership might “burst with pride about the ministries offered in our conference as represented by our missional giving and apportionments.”
The vision discussed in the meeting was one of partnerships: Partnerships between laity and clergy in the local church, as well as churches and the conference leadership, with a common mission of making disciples for the transformation of the world.
The Connectional Table is joined by a common understanding of commitment to personal and social holiness; to the three simple rules of “doing no harm, doing good and staying in love with God”; and to the four areas of focus. These four areas developing leadership, creating new places for new people, ministry with the poor, and improving global health currently guide the entire denomination in missional outreach.
Bishop Leeland reiterated the theme that he has shared with the cabinet, extended cabinet, and other groups, by sharing his hope that “Every congregation, no matter the location or size, can be missional and invitational.” Leeland emphasized that “Congregational vitality is not about getting people to show up, it is about allowing us to respond to God’s Presence; a Presence which honors obedience.”
Focusing on the basic functions of the Connectional Table, there was a common consensus the needs of our conference could best be served by 1) Leading our conference into new and emerging ministries that keep faith with our Kingdom journey; 2) Evaluating and reflecting on our work regularly for the purpose of readjusting the path forward; and 3) Aligning our resources in a way that allow for realistic recommendations related to our ministry.
The Connectional Table further agreed to include an annual strategic meeting focused primarily on the direction and purpose of their ministry, planning on new and emerging ministries, annual reflection on conference ministries already identified to strengthen the local church, and confirming the needed resources for such ministries.
The proposed schedule for 2017 includes meeting s designated on January 21st
, April 8th
, July 22nd
and October 21st
and calendared in a way that can increase the partnership of lay leadership within our conference.
List of the Members of the Connectional Table
Resources for Vital Congregations
Lewis Center for Church Leadership
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor
GBHEM Leadership Resources
Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church
Englewood Book Review
Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations
Ted Talks: The Golden Circle
Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability
Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability
Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians
Be A Disciple
A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network
Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations
Living As United Methodist Christians
Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials
Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today
John Wesley Sermons: Anthology
Get Their Name
Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit
Canoeing the Mountains
Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People
Community: The Structure of Belonging
RESOURCES TO CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY:
Institute for Emerging Issues
Congregations 4 Children
The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants
The Duke Endowment
The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:
- Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
- Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.
We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at email@example.com.