Dear Friends in Christ Jesus:
We bring greetings of peace and good will to all in the Central Rocky Mountain Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the good name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Through the Regional Church Board and at Regional Spring Feast (2014), the Governance Review Task Force was appointed to review how we govern ourselves in the Central Rocky Mountain Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and to make recommendations to how we do ministry to meet the intent of the Future Story as written by the Visioning Team approximately six years ago. We are at the beginning of a two year project of reviewing how we do ministry in our beloved Regional Church, and then recommending to the Regional Board how we should move forward into the future God is calling us.
Now, it is time to hear from you. We need your wisdom. That is why we (the Governance Review Task Force) have put together this evaluation process of the Future Story. The survey questions are designed to gather your input to help us evaluate where we are in the Future Story.
Simply put: The Future Story focuses on a regional structure with four core values (diversity, communication, innovation, empowerment), and three core ministries (congregational life, ministerial life, regional life). Please take time to read, reflect, pray and then respond to the questions in the survey.
Our timeline is to collect your comments through September and October, 2014, and then begin to sort through all responses for some form of consensus.
Thank you, in advance, for sharing your insights about Christ’s ministry through the church.
Douglas E. Goodwin, pastor
First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Sheridan, Wyoming
Chairman of the Governance Review Task Force
To help with clarifications, please contact the Regional Office at 303-561-1790 or firstname.lastname@example.org to be put in contact with one of our Task Force members: Connie Bennett-Day, Sandie Dell, Vinnetta Golphin-Wilkerson, Cynthia McBride, Diane Ashton, Selena Wright, Dan Woods, George Dockery.
If you would like to read the CRMR Future Story before you begin or as you are
completing the survey, click here for the full text of the Future Story.
- a region-wide evaluation of our buildings and our demographics and the creation of a comprehensive plan addressing the interrelated issues of new church development, stewardship of resources, growth, and transformation
- the planting of eight congregations varying in size, location, and ethnicity, each with strong regional support and support from at least one local congregation
- using the website as a place where Elders can speak to other Elders in the region, Board chairs to other Board chairs, deacons to deacons, youth leaders to youth leaders, etc.
- pairing sister-churches for ongoing mutual support and relationship building
- linking congregations with particular strengths or spiritual gifts with congregations who might benefit from that expertise or insight
- creating support networks for churches facing similar crises or opportunities
- a web-based resource library (like Craigslist) for sharing educational materials and music
- the creation of a network of technologically minded individuals helping congregations set up their own email databases, web sites, and power point systems
- an Education and Training team to work with congregations on specific topics for twenty-first century ministry in areas such as worship, theology, justice, conflict, stewardship, evangelism, mission and ethics
- the establishment of a curriculum for intentional mutual care and shared wisdom among all clergy, those serving in local congregations, those in specialized ministries and those in retirement
- regular retreats for clergy, led by local and national Disciples pastors and scholars and by ecumenical leaders, a place to encounter cutting edge resources and current theological discussions
- new approaches to licensing and the development of a program to take theological, spiritual and practical education to the laity of our congregations
- review of standing procedures for clergy and implementation of electronic filing system
- a mentoring system for all seminary students, newly ordained ministers, ministers new to the region and licensed ministers, and for the calling forth of new pastoral leaders, as well as a support system for ministers transitioning into retirement
- a review of our search and call process with the goal of attracting the highest quality of pastors to hear God’s call to locate in this region
- the creation of multiple forms of Communication in order to reach as many people as possible in as many ways as possible: traditional mailings, an improved, comprehensive, user-friendly, interactive website with links to all congregational websites and to partner web sites including the General Church, email notifications using regularly updated databases containing all clergy – ordained, licensed, active, retired, specialized, congregational, senior and associate, Board and Elder chairs or equivalent, youth leaders, and church administrators, direct forms of Communication such as Twitter and Facebook, enhanced contact through Skype, teleconferencing, conference calls and webinars o the addition of bilingual communiqués and links
- the creation of a group of Regional Elders gifted for ministries of listening and for communicating information, care, and attention
- using an Outdoor Ministries model for building regional relationships among all age groups: re-visioning Men’s and Women’s ministries to meet diverse needs across generations and cultures; the creation or enhancement of alternative camp and retreat ministries to families, singles, seniors, musicians, and other groups with various affinities; the creation of interest groups in areas such as literature, meditation, the arts, outdoor activities, liturgy, theology, justice, etc.; the creation of a camp and conference alumni group for continuing relationships and dialogue beyond the camping years
- the enhancement and creation of region-wide mission trips and service projects, and educational tools to raise awareness about local, national and global justice issues and how individuals and congregations can get involved
- a network of individuals and groups committed to praying for the relationships and ministries of the region, with a prayer page on the website
- the establishment of a Spring Feast, replacing Regional Assembly, to include a service day at a church in need, a worship service, a celebration of our ministries, an articulation of, and recommitment to, the theological vision of the region, space for real, intentional, intergenerational conversation, and a meal that might range from a potluck to a barbeque to a black-tie affair
- providing qualified childcare, and, where appropriate, the involvement of our children and our youth, at all region-wide events and involving youth in planning for these events
- shared office space with several congregations around the region contributing to decentralization and planning for a regional retreat center that can belong to everyone in the region and double as additional regional office space
- using technology to involve as many people as possible around our large region, including youth, in dialogue and planning, while reducing expensive, time consuming travel
- working in cooperation with bordering regions and ecumenical partners to create connections between neighboring congregations in remote locations and to establish collaborative inter-regional, inter-denominational local and global ministries
We thank you sincerely for taking the time to share your thoughts and insights with us as we move
forward together as the Central Rocky Mountain Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).