CTL Director Takes Leave; New Search & Call Associate Named

CTL Director Takes Leave; New Search & Call Associate Named


Bridget Johnson, who founded and has led the Southern New England Conference’s Center for Transformational Leadership, is leaving the staff as of March 15 for another position.

Johnson said her position at the Conference has been a blessing.

“I really had thought this role within the Conference would be the last chapter in my career.  I was so surprised when I was approached by a former colleague with an invitation to join the team she was putting together,” Johnson said.

Johnson has accepted a role as the Director of Partnerships and Business Development for the ChIPs Network, a nonprofit organization that advances and connects women in technology, law and policy.

A business consultant who had previously worked with churches around the strategic use of their space, Johnson was brought on with the formation of the new Conference to head up the Innovation Team, dedicated to the “Bring New Life as Agents of Change” pillar of the Conference’s Vision statement.  She transitioned that team into the Center for Transformational Leadership (CTL).

“Bridget’s business acumen and tenacity were needed in the season of standing up a new center in the SNEUCC.  She did that in such a marvelous way, and kicked off some critical programs. Serving as the first director of the CTL, Bridget has left an indelible mark,” said Rev. Dr. Audrey Price, Executive Minister for Strategic Operations. “I am grateful for her work in the Conference and extend blessings in her new endeavor.”

Recent CTL programming has included the free online Lunch and Learn programs, and the recent Small Church Summit, an online event attended by more than 80 people.  The CTL has also worked together with the Together We Thrive program, and they are together hosting the “Negotiating a Liminal Season” online event with Susan Beaumont on March 29.

“I want to thank Rev. Dr. Audrey Price for her guidance and (Executive Conference Minister) Rev. Darrell Goodwin for his vision, enthusiasm and leadership,” Johnson said. “And, I would add, the success of the CTL would not have happened without Karen Ziel and Elisa Wilson on the team.”

Price said an interim director for the CTL will be named until a settled director is hired.

Jill Ford Moves into Search and Call Role

Jill Ford, who has worked for the historic Connecticut Conference and then the Southern New England Conference for the past five years, has moved into the Search and Call Program Associate role. Martha Goodman, who departed two weeks ago, previously served in this position. Upon her departure, Ford served as the interim associate.

In this Search and Call role, Ford supports the Area Conference Minister team in their work with churches and clergy in the search process. She will also continue to support the Fund for Ministers, which provides support for clergy retired from service in Connecticut.

“Jill is a creative team player who brings an astute understanding of processes, a keen attention to detail, and a deep love of the church to this work. We are delighted to have her fulfilling this role,” said Liz Garrigan-Byerly, who is the Search and Call Shepherd for the ACM Team.

Ford supported search and call in the historic Connecticut Conference before taking on the role of Program Support Associate for the Area Conference Ministers serving the South Central and Southwest regions of the new Conference.

“Having done this work for the historic Connecticut Conference, I’m excited for the opportunity to get to know more of the churches and clergy in the larger Southern New England Conference,” said Ford, a member of the First Congregational Church in Granby, CT.

“Having served in my local church on two different search committees years ago, I have a keen understanding of how important the Conference’s role is in working both with clergy and with churches who are seeking pastoral leadership,” she said.

Rev. Dr. Price said the Conference will begin a search for a new Program Support Associate in the South Central and Southwest Regions. In the meantime, clergy and churches in those regions who need assistance can be in touch with their Area Conference Ministers, Rev. Isaac Lawson in South Central and Rev. Dr. Michael Ciba in the Southwest Region. Contact information can be found here.

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