Saturday, June 07, 2008

New Conference Letter

A new letter from the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference. Maybe things can get turned around.

Dear Colleagues,

Can you come up with a helpful metaphor for what a healthy conference would look like? Would it be more like a network? a web? a “family”? an organization? What do you want from your connection with the conference? Can you name specific needs your church has that the conference might meet?

Our K-O conference is undergoing stress related to governance and personnel, how we make decisions, and how decisions are communicated. There are some serious conflicts that need to be addressed. It is possible to let reason, patience, compassion, and wisdom prevail even through this process of conflict and tension. This can be a time of reflection and learning for each one of us. Rather than escalate the drama through unhealthy actions, let’s strive to be our best selves now more than ever.

Our conference leaders have been in conversation with our General Minister and President, Rev. John Thomas, throughout this confused and confusing time. He has been extremely helpful to all of us. Rev. Jane Heckels, who serves as his assistant, will meet with our conference council on Friday, June 13th from 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. at the parish house behind the conference office. John Thomas recommended Jane because of her expertise in the area of conference relations. Rev. Heckles will work with our council with the goal of developing better strategies for communication and healing. We have a full agenda planned for that meeting, and we will resist the temptation to force any hasty decisions. This will be an open meeting. After consulting with various individuals, Jane Heckles will assist us in mapping out a detailed plan for working through the questions we face.

The next meeting of the conference council is set for Tuesday, June 24th at the Club House Inn & Suites. We need to go ahead and keep the plans for that meeting as well. We hope to review and approve the plan recommended by Jane Heckles then, and accomplish some initial steps of that plan.

Now is the time to come together as people of faith. Our council, committees, and ministries need willing workers to volunteer and strengthen our conference. Please prayerfully consider your own willingness to serve and encourage potential, new leaders to get involved. Don’t hesitate to contact me, our nominating committee, or others on the council to discuss ways you can help. Now is a good time to discern the best models and strategies for our conference. Your input is needed.

Kathy McCallie
Conference Council President

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