Massachusetts Conference Minister and President Jim Antal announced today that the Conference will not conduct a search to replace Associate Conference Minister Dale Hempen upon his retirement at the end of the year but will instead reconfigure the existing staff to take over his duties.
The Conference Board of Directors approved the plan at its meeting this weekend.
The plan calls for increasing Associate Conference Minister Don Remick's role from part-time to full-time and having him take over Hempen's responsibilities in the Southeast. His responsibility for the Northeast Area churches will be transferred to Associate Conference Minister Wendy Vander Hart, who will also continue to work with the Metropolitan Boston Association churches.
"This proposal allows us to retain the best wider-church staff in the UCC in a reconfigured arrangement that has the promise of being sustainable for at least a few years," Antal said in an email today announcing the plan. "As we live into God’s future together, I believe that we all recognize that the Conference can’t continue to do the same things we’ve always done. It’s not just because the Conference no longer has the resources we once had. It’s also because God is calling us to do new things, and to become a new creation."