Thursday, June 19, 2008

More K-O Conference Info

So much communication from Kansas-Oklahoma Conference. Never seen this before.

Dear Friends,

We are making good progress toward better communication and more healthy systems in our conference. A personnel committee has formed and is meeting soon to conduct evaluation and consultation around staff issues. Plans are being made for more opportunities for training to learn to work with the current bylaws and structure. We want your involvement in reflecting prayerfully and listening to each other with respect and care.

Below is a concise timeline with an overview of events that have transpired in recent months. We promise an update after each Conference Council meeting and an open-email box policy of receiving questions and comments. The next Conference Council meeting will be held in Wichita on Tuesday, June 24th. This is an open meeting, so all those interested are encouraged to attend. Only council members will be able to vote that day, but everyone will be welcome to speak.

At our meeting on June 13th the council identified many gifts and resources we have that are signs of God’s grace and power among us. We are grateful for the ministry of Jane Heckles and John Thomas whose office with the national staff are generously sharing wisdom, education, and assistance during this time. We are grateful for the great tradition of strong leadership in the past presidents of our Conference Council who gathered to reflect on our history and future. We are grateful for youth and those in youth ministry who shared their vision and commitment in our meeting. We are grateful for David Hansen’s ministry and the dedication of our conference staff. We see God’s healing power in the willingness of each member of the committees, commissions, and councils of our church connection.

Sincerely, Kathy McCallie
Conference Council President

The Timeline to Answer Some of the Most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
about “What Happened” concerning staffing in the K-O Conference in May, 2008

October 2007
Adoption of new Governance Structure

December 2007
Conference Council meeting postponed due to weather

January 2008
January Council meeting postponed due to ice

February 2008
Executive Committee of the Conference Council receives complaints about the performance of the Conference Minister

March 2008
  • March meeting postponed due to projected lack of quorum
  • Executive Committee continues to look into complaints, informs Personnel Committee and sets date for joint meeting w/ PC
April 2008
Executive Committee consults with national UCC and meets with the Personnel Committee on April 8th giving them material about two staff matters

May 1st
  • Personnel Committee placed David Hansen on administrative leave
  • Personnel Committee placed Ira Williams on administrative leave
May 7th
  • Meeting of the Conference Council
  • Executive Council announced that Ira Williams had resigned and it was voted to accept his emailed resignation
  • Executive Council announced that the David Hansen had asked for early retirement pending negotiation of acceptable terms of closure
  • Executive Council and Personnel Committee reported that they had a set of grievances about the Conference Minister that were confidential
  • Conference Council voted to cancel the 2008 summer camp season
  • Conference Council authorized the formation of a group to negotiate the terms of closure with David Hansen
  • Conference Council voted to cancel Ched Meyers invitation to be the guest speaker at Oct ’08 Annual Meeting
  • Conference Council clarified that David Hansen’s administrative leave allowed him to continue the ministry of word and sacrament
  • Conference Council authorized an Interim Search Committee
  • Conference Council appointed Mike Poage Acting Conference Minister for Administration and Fiduciary Matters
May 9th
President Mike Lake sent a letter to the Conference announcing Ira William’s resignation, the Conference Council’s acceptance of David Hansen’s request for early retirement, and Mike Poage’s appointment as Acting Conference Minister.

May 14 & 19
The appointed negotiation committee met twice with David Hansen

May 27th
  • Conference Council met and went into Executive Session
  • They invited David Hansen to come into the meeting
  • The negotiation team presented a report of their work
  • The Conference Council voted to rescind the administrative leave and reinstate David Hansen
  • The Conference Council voted to stop the search for an Interim Conference Minister
  • The Conference Council affirmed the Executive Committee recommendation of inter-staff mediation
  • The Conference Council voted to appoint a new Personnel Committee
  • The Conference Council called for an intentional review of all staff performance, and personnel and administrative practices
  • Mike Lake and Mike Poage resigned from their positions
  • Kathy McCallie, Vice President, began presiding over the Conference Council
  • The Conference Council asked Wayne Ahrens to look out for some physical needs at Camp White
  • The meeting adjourned
  • Nancy Phipps and David Ambler then informed the staff of Council actions
June 1st
A Conference Council letter went out via email and snail mail announcing the rescinding of the former Council decision and reinstatement of David Hansen as Conference Minister

June 3rd
Kathy McCallie and David Hansen asked for assistance from the Office of the General Minister and President of the UCC

June 13
Conference Council met in open session with Rev. Jane Heckles from the Office of Conference Relations of the UCC.

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