A summary from Board Chair Scott Jones:
On September 6th and 7th the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Conference and our Tri-Conference staff joined together for a Board retreat in Schuyler at the beautiful Benedictine Retreat Center. Friday afternoon and evening were spent discussing needs and priorities, beginning from our Why and How statements developed last spring. A long list of needs was developed and in the coming weeks and months we will sort those into priorities, including which can be accomplished in the next year and which will be longer term. Here are some of the highlights of the meeting (these are not official minutes).
Saturday we spent hearing reports and updates and making some decisions. We first heard from Aidan Spencer, the new Communications Specialist, and ACM Ellis Arnold about the new Conference website which should launch in November. The new website is one of the final pieces of the transition to the Tri-Conference that we’ve been waiting on, so are glad it will be live soon.
We have created a task force of Steve Gerdes, Barry Hemmerling, and Pat Lamberty to work on updating our Bylaws. Another group is working on our Clip Higgins Scholarship Funds. We will also be working on the bigger picture of how we train and develop leaders in the Conference, and these funds are an important tool in addressing that larger issue.
We heard updates on 3 Great Loves, Disaster Relief, and other projects. Currently there are disaster relief funds available from the Conference, and we need to develop, in coordination with the national UCC Disaster Relief Ministries, the best procedures for getting those distributed to people in need. For now, if your church has a disaster relief need or ministry, please contact ACM Darrell Goodwin.
Conference Board Chair Scott Jones has asked Charlene Wozny to lead an effort exploring how our conference can become designated as Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive, and Engaged (WISE) for Mental Health from the UCC Mental Health Network. Of particular focus will be how to address mental health needs in rural communities where providers and resources are often limited.
We have appointed an Annual Gathering Planning Team and discussed ideas for themes, speakers, etc.
Updates about Youth and Outdoor Ministry, Kaleo on the River, and Cotner College also developed into a larger conversation about our partnerships with the Disciples of Christ Region and how we do both youth ministry and lay education.
We have identified many topics that need further conversation either by the Board or smaller groups of people, as we live into our call to be God’s people in this time and place.
The next Board Meeting is Saturday, November 9th at Vine Congregational in Lincoln. If you have questions about any of these topics, please feel free to contact Board Chair Scott Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or ACM Darrell Goodwin at email@example.com.