Rhode Island Staff is Shifting; Office Closing

Rhode Island Staff is Shifting; Office Closing

Chuck Ericson
By Tiffany Vail
Associate Conference Minister for Communications

With the launch of the Southern New England Conference comes some changes to the staffing in the historic Rhode Island Conference. 

Rev. Chuck Ericson, who has been serving as the the Interim Regional Minister for the Eastern Region of the Connecticut Conference for the past 18 months, began supporting Rhode Island Association churches as well beginning Jan. 1. He will work with churches engaging in the search process, and will staff the Association Executive Committee and the Church and Ministry Committee.

These responsibilities have traditionally been part of the Conference Minister's role in Rhode Island. But as of Jan. 1, Transitional Conference Minister Rev. Marilyn Kendrix shifted to her new role as one of the three Bridge Conference Ministers of the new Conference,

"Chuck and I have been working together to assure a smooth transition," Kendrix said. "Chuck has already attended a Rhode Island Conference Board meeting and a Church and Ministry Committee meeting."

In another change, Rev. Bob Nolan will complete his time of service as part-time Chief Financial Officer for the historic Rhode Island Conference at the end of January, due to the elimination of his position in the new Conference. He has served in that role for two years.

"The three Conference Ministers made the decision that three Chief Financial Officers are not needed in the New Conference, even in the 2020 bridge year," Kendrix said. 

Nolan continues as a member of the new Conference Board of Directors and as a member of the Finance Committee of the new Conference, assuring a smooth transition around financial matters. He has also been elected a member of the historic Rhode Island Conference Board of Directors, which will be responsible for managing restricted endowments and ownership of physical properties, including Irons Homestead.
The historic Conference's office at Edgewood Congregational Church in Cranston, RI, is also closing. Kendrix will be working out of the Hartford, CT, office, beginning Jan. 7.

The work of the three Bridge Conference Ministers will not be defined by geography, but instead by their responsibilities in relation to new Conference's Vision (see related article). As such, Kendrix will be working with the Discipleship Team, which consists of faith formation, outdoor ministry and communications. The staff working in those areas are primarily located in Connecticut and Massachusetts, with the exception of Kristin Putney, the Christian Education and Youth Ministry Consultant currently serving in Rhode Island.

"With Bob and I leaving the Rhode Island office, it naturally followed that the Conference offices would close," Kendrix said. 

Nolan's last day will be Jan. 31, which will allow the needed time to finish up 2019 financials and and make arrangements for closing the office.

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