By Paula Brunk Kuhns, Leadership Discernment Committee


•    How do people get chosen to serve as Moderator or on the Leadership Board?
•    What about the other conference committees –the Ministerial Council, the SEED Project, the Development Team, or the Dialogue Resource Team?
•    What is the process for finding people?

What excellent questions! Perhaps you have asked them yourself.

A couple of years ago, the Leadership Board felt that it would be good to have a clear process of discernment in calling out leaders from across the conference. The Leadership Discernment group was formed to carry out this work. Our process is something like this:

1.    The chair of each board or committee determines what skill sets are needed in the next two years. Perhaps a visionary, or someone with a pastoral heart, or an analytical thinker, or someone with financial acumen. This information is shared with Leadership Discernment.

2.    The Leadership Discernment group analyzes the make-up of the current committees, paying attention to the balance of male/female, ages, ethnicities, regional representation, and even traditional/progressive theologies. The goal is to have broad diversity on each committee that reflects the diversity within our conference.

3.    An announcement about the open positions is placed in the Zing! and sent out to churches. This announcement simply asks everyone to send in names of people who might fit well in one of these leadership positions. Self-nominations are also welcome. This is the work of everyone in the Conference! That means YOU!

4.    Names are gathered, and then the Leadership Discernment group discerns! Considering the nominations and the desired skill sets, are there people that rise to the top of the list? A reference check is completed with the pastor or Conference Minister for each person being considered.

5.    Through conversation and prayer, we come to consensus on whom to invite. We ask folks to prayerfully consider the invitation, and we pray for them as they discern.

Currently the Leadership Discernment group is made up of Paula Brunk Kuhns (Beth-El), Nelda Thelin (Emmanuel, Leadership Board member), Linford and Mary Etta King (acting/transitional Conference Ministers), and Karen Cox (moderator). While between the five of us we may know a good number of people across the conference, we truly depend on you to suggest names. Thank you in advance for your part in this process.



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