Tuesday, July 1, 2014

honoring some of our NACCC leadership

Claudia Kniefel, recipient of Executive Committee honors

Rev. Dr. Neil Hunt, outgoing moderator

Leadership Selfie

NACCC general meeting - Tuesday afternoon

2015 Annual Meeting & Conference Presentation

5 things you need to know about SLC -
1. you can't find a good cup of coffee
   not true: check out Jack Mormon Brewing Co.; Bjorns Brew Gourmet Coffee
2. SLC is all Mormon
   not true: Islam, Buddhist, Hindu, Zen, Pagan, Catholic, Baptist, and even some Congregationalists!
3. SLC is a 'dry' town
   not true: there are 118 bars in the city; 12 local breweries
4. SLC is not very diverse
   not true: lots and lots of different ethnic cultures represented; 2013 National League of Cities Diversity Award winner
5. Congregationalism has a brief history in Utah
   not true: FCC is celebrating 150th anniversary; first non-LDS community in Utah (1865)

Plan to extend your trip - there are wonderful opportunities for vacation
 - lots of national parks, stunning beauty

Honor 2014 Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies grads
- alternative to building a brick-and-mortar seminary
- each student attends 3 Congregational classes
- each student completes a rigorous research project
- each student is well-trained, and prepared to minister in NACCC churches
- not just church ministry, CFTS grads are prepared to minister in many ways

Sarah, CFTS grad

Ian, CFTS grad

Sights and Sounds ala Lee

It's no easy thing managing two projectors, two video cameras and a full sound board. Especially not in a space you don't own, relying on equipment you don't own, serving people who like to make changes on the fly. Please take the time to say thanks.


A(nother) new beginning...

Living, breathing organizations keep moving forward.  Our scriptural focus this week has been on the promise of God to be with us, a need most critical in times of transition.  We have taken a great step forward as an association, much as we have from time to time in our history over these past sixty years, and as the Congregational Way for many years before.

We will continue our transformation into a new structure by focusing on a single Executive Director.  I have been a part of the process of fleshing out such an idea and I am a strong advocate for this approach, but also of the methodology we have used to get here.

We sought to use a crucial new role in our association: the year-round delegate.  We reached out with information and for feedback, seeking clarity and unity in our work.  We held off any 'final draft' until we had exhausted that avenue as far as we could tell.  It meant that not all churches were treated equally, except that all churches were included IF they had such a delegate.  It was a risk, but one based on our new structure, honoring and forging a new path for possible future use.  With prayerful hearts, we can use this all again and again to find new shared wisdom together.

Now in our third Bible lecture, we are looking at the Beatitudes and several other verses, Matthew 5:3-10, 43-45 and 7:12, turning to our neighbors for discussion.  Our best wisdom begins when we turn to our neighbors, all of our neighbors, and share, speaking and listening and listening together.  Our community that gathers us

Our Bible lecturer, Dr. Richard Cleaves has been in and out of our business meetings, but has been guided to a message for us that has spoken as clearly as if he had written our agenda and made our motions and resolutions.  This is God's work, a clear testament to the moving of the Spirit and the gifts of seeking that voice that can guide, unite and empower us.

As I reflect on this morning, and where we have been together, I am hopeful in more ways than ever about where we are going, because, truly, the Lord God is with us wherever we go.

Dr. Cleaves' full lectures are listed on his blog:  click here to read all of his notes, up until this morning, and soon to be joined by today's work too: http://withyouwhereveryougo.blogspot.co.uk/

from Bible lecture #3 - issues of identity

The Bible lectures, along with some of the slides, are posted on Dr. Cleaves' website:

They are heartily recommended.

In the Beatitudes, you could read "blessed are" as "Get up, go ahead, do something, move..." - which adds a refreshing perspective to the words of Jesus.

NACCC general meeting - Tuesday morning

Business Session 3

Credentials Report - Dian Cummins
- California has the most delegates
- People's Church has the most representatives

Vote on Resolutions by the Executive Committee - Becci Dawson Cox
* Motion 2014 EC 041 - first resolution is about the Stragegic Staffing plan to move to a one executive model
-amendment to resolution: the NACCC should adopt the single executive model with necessary staff support (change from very specific motion including language about flowcharts, to this more simplified version) - amendment is adopted.
- Discussion on Resolution from the floor:
  - the vision of the NACCC right now is about moving to a one executive model; if it doesn't work, we can always change it later (it's not set in stone for the future) - as we go, God is with us; let's just go foward and see what God will do
  - request that the Executive Committee actively seek input from churches AS the job descriptions, etc, are being developed
  - what will happen to the current staff? New jobs will be created; current staff will not immediately lose their jobs
  - the open search process is curcial for the integrity of the current Dean, who is very competent; preparations for understanding the work of the gathered group are important, and being prepared beforehand is important, as well as dealing with the matters as we have them AT the meeting
  - change is difficult; story of Ruth and Naomi - her decision was made without knowing how it was going to turn out; we need to make the right decision and vote FOR the resolution
  - a proposal to postpone the vote for one year; giving all churches opportuntiy to discuss these changes and give feedback; much discussion from the floor; proposal to postpone is defeated
  - concern that the work of the Center for Congregational Leadership would fade if the Dean became the single executive
  - why would the instructional responsiblities of the Center For Theological Studies separated from the executive position
** after much discussion, the question was called to vote on the first resolution for the Stragegic Staffing plan to move to a one executive model, with necessary staff support; motion is adopted.

* Motion 2013 EC 042 - The EC / BoD should appoint a search committee to fill the position of an Executive Director (plus additional language about how the committee will be staffed, what they'll do, etc.); motion is adopted

Financial Report

Introduction of the 2014-2015 Budget

Art from the Hilton Omaha

Lots of interesting and beautiful art in the hotel this year, and even more outside. Omaha has an artistic sensibility that really surprised and delighted me.



Richard Cleaves lectures online

Our Bible Lecturer at the NACCC Annual Meeting updates his lectures on one of his blogs. This was posted earlier. However, yesterday's lecture is now online also. Enjoy!