Siladi's resignation is effective July 31, and he will begin with the national setting Sept. 1. The other two Bridge Conference Ministers will take on Siladi's responsibilities, with the Rev. Don Remick taking over the justice and witness ministries, and the Rev. Marilyn Kendrix taking on the financial development work.
Siladi began serving as the Connecticut Conference Minister seven years ago, and was one of the lead proponents in the effort to bring that Conference together with the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Conferences. The Southern New England Conference officially came into being Jan. 1, with 2020 serving as a transitional year.
A search team is currently working to find a new Executive Conference Minister for the new Conference, and they hope to have a candidate by the fall. Siladi, Remick and Kendrix had all announced that they would not apply to take on that position, saying new leadership was needed at this time.
Below is Rev. Siladi's letter, and a letter from SNEUCC President the Rev. Jocelyn Gardner-Spencer.
Related:Longtime Conference Minister Kent Siladi named national UCC philanthropy director
ucc.org, June 29, 2020
Dear Members of the Southern New England Conference:
Grace and peace to you in these days of summer and pandemics.
I am writing to let you know that I have resigned my position as Bridge Conference Minister of the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ. My resignation is effective July 31, 2020.
It has been a privilege and a blessing to work as one of your Bridge Conference Ministers. I have been gratified to be a part of the formation of our new Conference and working diligently to establish a vision and four core values that I believe holds us together as a Conference. As I depart, I give thanks for Don Remick and Marilyn Kendrix and the entire staff team that during this time of great challenge have remained diligent in their respective ministries.
I have worked in the Conference setting for 23 years. Beginning as a Regional Minister in Connecticut, serving as the Conference Minister of Florida and Connecticut and now as one of your Bridge Conference Ministers, I have seen significant changes in this form of ministry over these decades of ministry. While there is much to celebrate and recognize over the years the highlight for me has been the building of deep and abiding relationships with pastors and leaders, with churches and Associations. My life has been blessed by the challenges and the joys that have unfolded during this time.
My next part of the journey is my call to serve as the Director of Philanthropy for the United Church of Christ. I will be a part of the OPTIC Team of the national setting (Office of Philanthropy, Technology, Identity and Communication). I will begin my ministry in the national setting on September 1st. I will carry out my responsibilities from a home office here in Connecticut.
Please know that I will be prayerfully supporting the Southern New England Conference over the months and years to come. As you live the love and justice of Jesus and as you make disciples, live justly, adapt and innovate and build partnerships there is hope and promise in what you will do together.
I invite your prayers as I move into this time of transition. May God’s Spirit abide with all of us. May we all live the love and justice of Jesus.
Rev. Kent J. Siladi
Bridge Conference Minister
Dear Friends in the Southern New England Conference:
The SNE UCC Board of Directors has received the resignation of the Rev. Kent Siladi as Bridge Conference Minister of Justice and Finance, effective July 31, 2020. We accept his departure with regret, but also with gratitude for his service among us and with good wishes for his continued journey in ministry.
We are grateful for Kent’s years of service in our Conference, beginning as a local church pastor in Connecticut, then as an Associate Conference Minister, then returning to serve as CT Conference Minister after his sojourn in Florida, and most recently as one of our three Bridge Conference Ministers for the Southern New England Conference. Kent has challenged us to innovate, to amplify our impact in the community, and to recognize and celebrate our interdependence as members of the Body of Christ. His leadership has been essential in the coming-together of the historic Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut Conferences to form the new Southern New England Conference.
Our Conference is blessed to continue with the leadership of our other two Bridge Conference Ministers, the Rev. Marilyn Kendrix and the Rev. Don Remick, as well as many other gifted staff members and a dedicated Board of Directors. In addition to their previous roles, Marilyn will be taking responsibility for our financial leadership, and Don will be taking on leadership of our justice ministries, both in collaboration with excellent staff teams. Though we will miss Kent, we are well positioned to continue our ministries throughout the remainder of this transitional year and beyond. We also look ahead with great anticipation to the outcome of the search for our new Executive Conference Minister; we are grateful for the work of the ECM Search Committee, whose members are even now interviewing excellent candidates and discerning who will be the right leader for the next chapter of our life together.
As Kent departs, we carry with us the question he so often asked when in conversation with our various ministry settings: “What would you do if you were brave?” I pray that Kent will continue to be brave in his new ministry with the national setting of the UCC, and that our still-new Conference will continue to embody bravely the vision to which we are called together: to grow in discipleship, to live the love and justice of Jesus, to be agents of change, and to form covenant partnerships for the good of our communities. In so doing, may we be led by the Spirit and faithful to our call as co-laborers in the building-up of God’s realm, on earth as it is in heaven.
Grace and peace,
Rev. Jocelyn B. Gardner Spencer
President, Southern New England Conference
Senior Minister, United Church on the Green, New Haven CT