To Churches, Pastors, Local Church Leaders, and Colleagues in Ministry with the Southeast Conference:
There is much happening in the Southeast Conference that you need to be aware of. First—please note (and look for a separate postcard mailing) that as of January 1, our new mailing address will be Post Office Box 1950, Decatur GA 30031-1950. Please use this address for all remittances, contributions, and correspondence.
A reminder that we will close the Conference books on January 10, 2017. Please ensure that any contributions or remittances are received by that date to ensure that the totals are included on your 2016 giving report. Any contributions received after that date will be listed as gifts for 2017 totals.
The Conference office is moving to a virtual office as of January 1, 2017. The office is not closing, just moving to a different kind of work space. Please note the new telephone numbers to contact the office and conference minister directly.
It is extremely important for all local churches to complete the annual report form that comes out in January. We know that our UCC Yearbook data is not current. We need every church to report back this year. Heather Bardole, Conference Registrar and Administrator, will be contacting each church to assist you in completing this critical task. We will also be asking each church to provide a copy of your constitution and by-laws and most recent annual report and/or budget.
We have worked hard to improve our website, electronic newsletter, and Facebook page to make sure that we are communicating well. We are working on cleaning up old address lists for both email and postal mail. Knowing the leadership in local churches is also important to our efforts to make sure we are communicating effectively.
We have been moving toward a more computer and internet centered ministry for two years. The Board of Directors meets through a web meeting portal every two months and the Executive Committee in the months in between board meetings. The Commission on Ministry and most of the ministry teams working in the Commission are using web meetings to accomplish their work. Email and voicemail have proven to be effective means of communicating with churches and church leaders.
The Commission on Ministry is working to develop requirements for continued standing which will include an Annual Information Review so that we can update records and ministerial information on a regular basis. This will likely include requirements for regular boundary training and continuing education for clergy. The Commission is also working on a process to do periodic support consultations with clergy and provide UCC identity materials and information on UCC history and polity for the use of local congregations.
The three years under June Boutwell’s leadership as Designated Conference Minister has resulted in a stronger Board, greater understanding and functioning within the Conference bylaws, ensured that designated funds are properly segregated and accounted for, established skills and experience considerations in the nominating process to ensure a well-equipped and knowledgeable Board membership, and strengthened and renewed relationships within the Conference.
The Board will be announcing the name of the Interim Conference Minister within a few weeks. The process of transformation and renewing the ministries of the Southeast Conference will continue under this new leadership. Now that the Conference is in a more stable administrative and financial situation, the interim period will be a time to do the visioning and strategic planning necessary to enable the Southeast Conference and all within its bounds to discern the ministry to which God is calling us. Remember God is Still Speaking, Y’all.
Feel free to direct any comments, questions, concerns, or suggestions to either the Designated Conference Minister or Moderator of the Conference.
Rev. J R Finney II
Moderator of the Southeast Conference
Chair of the Board of Directors
Rev. June Boutwell
Designated Conference Minister