Conference Begins Search Process for Regional Staff

Conference Begins Search Process for Regional Staff

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The Southern New England Conference has recently posted a number of staff positions to the national UCC website, including six for "Area Conference Missioners" who will work with clergy and churches in specific geographic regions.

"One of the most important features of the new SNEUCC conference is the four-part Vision Statement that guides everything we do. The new Area Conference Missioners role will be central to helping our churches and associations to live into our missional work as we embody our Vision and as such, they will be the primary implementers of the mission throughout the Conference," said Bridge Conference Minister the Rev. Marilyn Kendrix. "This name underscores the importance of the role in making the aspirational mission a reality."

After a delay due to the pandemic, the Bridge Conference Ministers have begun restructuring the staff. The new Conference came into being Jan. 1 with the unification of the historic Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island Conferences. The staff of the historic conferences have continued to work, and are now being invited to apply for positions in the new Conference structure.

Both the Connecticut and Massachusetts conferences historically had regional or area ministers who worked with churches, associations and clergy according to geography.  These new positions are similar in that they will be assigned by regions, although those regions have now been redefined for the new Conference as follows:
  • North Central: consists of 104 churches and includes the Windham and Central MA Associations;
  • North Eastern: consists of 112 churches and includes the Metropolitan Boston and Northeast Associations;
  • North Western: consists of 85 churches and includes the Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire Associations
  • South Central: consists of 106 churches and includes the Central CT, Farmington Valley, Hartford, Hartford East, Middlesex, New London and Tolland Associations;
  • South Eastern: consists of 105 churches and includes the Barnstable, Old Colony, Pilgrim and Rhode Island Associations;
  • South Western: consists of 108 churches and includes the Fairfield East, Fairfield West, Litchfield North, Litchfield South, Naugatuck and New Haven Associations and the New Haven East Consociation.
The Area Conference Missioners will continue to be a relational connection and the first point of contact for churches, helping connect them with the resources of the Conference. The new positions are not exactly the same, however. 

"The job description begins with the words ‘agents of transformation,’" said Bridge Conference Minister the Rev. Don Remick. "It focuses their role and ministry on helping the churches and ministries of our Conference be bold, brave and faithful in the ever changing context of ministry. While they will be the primary point of contact, they will be part of a staff team with other specialized positions to which the ACMs will be able to refer congregations depending upon their goals.”

The position postings include one which calls for a team leader. The postings suggest that the North Western Region ACM would be the Team Leader, as there are only 85 churches in that region. However, several of the other regions could be rearranged to allow the Team Leader to be assigned in another region instead.

"One of the new ACMs will serve as a team leader for this group, providing consultative leadership, collaboration with other staff teams, convening their meetings, providing professional development opportunities and aiding in implementing the team in a way that does indeed seek to accomplish the mission," Kendrix said. 

The Area Conference Missioner team leader will report to the new Executive for Missional Implementation, another position that has just been posted

"The primary role of the EMI is to ensure that the staff is implementing the Vision God has given our Conference," Remick said.  "The EMI will serve in much the way that ‘traditional’ Conference Ministers serve, providing for ministry strategy as well as  the day-to-day operations of the Conference. The EMI will serve on the Executive leadership team along with the Executive for Missional Stewardship (CFO) and the Director of Development. This Leadership team will be headed by the Executive Conference Minister."

The position postings can be seen on the  UCC Ministry Opportunities page and on the SNEUCC.org classifieds page

Two search committees are currently being formed: one for the Associate Conference Missioner positions, and another for the Executive for Missional Implementation. The Executive for Missional Implementation search will be open until Aug. 31; the searches for the regional positions until Sept. 30.
 

Author

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Tiffany Vail

Tiffany Vail is the Associate Conference Minister for Communications for the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ. 

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