From the Moderator

With the naming of Rev. Char Burch as the Transitional Conference Minister, I’d take the time to share the process the Board to make this appointment.

When seeking an Interim, Designated or Settled Conference Minister, the Board appoints a search committee to find the best qualified nominee for which the conference elects.  However, in the event there is a sudden vacancy in the Conference Minister position, the Board appoints an Acting Conference Minister; with the assistance of the National UCC Staff which provides the Conference with a person that has been vetted to serve in this capacity.

Knowing that our conference was already in a time of transition and to give the SEC Board the opportunity to take time for critical conversations and discernment, Lee Albertson of the national staff sought to provide the SEC with temporary Conference Minister help from 3 neighboring Conference Ministers to act as Consulting Conference Ministers from August 17 through December 31.  The Council of Conference Ministers provided the SEC with a grant to cover travel costs these consulting ministers would incur providing the SEC assistance during this time.

This allowed the SEC Board to utilize our time at our annual New Board Orientation and Retreat in September to have some much-needed conversations about what the Conference needed in this vital position of leadership at this time.  Lee Albertson recommended we consider Rev. Char Burch for the position of Acting Conference Minister, who has an extensive background in serving churches and conferences in this role. At our Board Retreat, we were able to meet and have preliminary conversations with Rev. Burch.

Along with the discussions from our Board retreat, the feedback from the “Conversation with Colleagues” held in Atlanta, and feedback from the AL/TN Association in Montgomery in late October; the Board met in early November to finalize our conversations and prepare a job description that would reflect the hopes and needs of the conference.

At our regularly scheduled SEC Board meeting on December 4, 201, the Board voted unanimously to appoint Reverend Charlene (Char) Burch as our Transitional Conference Minister.  We chose this title instead of Acting Conference Minister as we believe it more accurately reflects the work she is being called to do in our Conference.

This is the intentionality with which the Board used to make this appointment. As part of her initial Start Up Strategy, Char intends to have an active presence in every area of the conference.  We hope you will take the opportunity to meet her and provide her with your input and constructive feedback to help her in her leadership moving the SEC forward in God’s work.

Blessings. J R