Leadership training equips conference chairs

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Equipping local churches for ministry to make disciples of Jesus Christ while also providing a connection for ministry beyond the local church is the foundational mission of the Northern Illinois Conference. Work over the past year through the Landscape survey and listening sessions has helped us better understand that “equipping” is at the heart of our mission as conference leaders.

leadershiptrainingOn Oct. 15, conference committee chairs and key leaders gathered for a training event at Downers Grove First United Methodist Church titled, “Equip and Empower: Leadership Orientation for Conference Chairs”, to focus on the work ahead in the new quadrennium.

The day highlighted the conference’s mission, vision, core values, and key aspirations as well as our conference culture.

Bishop Sally Dyck opened the event with worship and remarks saying we need to look beyond how “we’ve always done things” and be willing to try something new.

“This is an opportunity to keep changing the culture of our annual conference in ways that will  address the changing landscape that we find around us,” said Bishop Dyck who challenged committee chairs to experiment, evaluate, innovate and work together on the conference’s priorities.

Our Vision: “Making and supporting vital Christians in vital congregations that engage with their communities and the world for peace, justice and mercy.”

Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Connectional Ministries Rev. Arlene Christopherson outlined those priorities which include: equipping both leaders and churches, resourcing struggling churches, rethinking how to be vital churches and cultivating trust within the conference.

“It’s a partnership with the local church and the annual conference,” said Christopherson. “This (training) is an opportunity to set direction, share resources and help us be a team working in coordination with one another.”

Other highlights included presentations on cultural competency from DeKalb District Superintendent Rev. Young-Mee Park, how to hold effective meetings from conference co-lay leader Mark Manzi, using technology for virtual meetings from Rev. Megan Dean, sharing our story (social media, NIC publications, calendaring etc.) from Director of Communications Anne Marie Gerhardt and finance information from Treasurer Lonnie Chafin.

Download the resources shared at the training:

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