In its most recent meetings, UniversityUCC’s Church Council has taken important steps to move us through the transition we have been engaged in since Pastor Peter Ilgenfritz retired last year.
At the February 17 meeting, the Council unanimously approved the leadership model recommended by the Staffing Proposal Committee. Subsequently, at its March 18 meeting, the Council formally assigned new roles to each pastor and authorized Tim Croll and Virginia Felton to co-chair the search committee, and to move forward with drafting our church profile and recruiting the members of the search committee.
Minister roles and responsibilities
Both the Futures Task Force and the Staffing Proposal Committee responded to feedback from the congregation regarding our Leadership Team model, which, at its core, embraces the ideal that all three ministers hold an equal level of responsibilities for carrying out the work of the church. The Futures congregational survey revealed that while a majority of those responding (54 percent) commented positively about our team ministry model, 44 percent of respondents either felt it was not working well or had concerns about it. Based on this and other feedback, Church Council explored ways to modify the model to increase its clarity, effectiveness and accountability to the congregation and to ensure that a unified vision would carry us forward.
The leadership model adopted by the Council defines the expectations of all leadership team members and assigns specific roles and responsibilities to each minister while retaining the team’s essentially flat structure.
The role of “Minister of Care and Outreach” will be held by Rev. Dr. Catherine Foote. Pastor Catherine has broad responsibility for the congregational care and outreach ministry of UCUCC: to empower the congregation and its individual members to live out our covenant in the areas of caring for one another and of promoting God’s reign of justice and peace in the world, and to help people find their vocation and opportunity for ministries (both small short-term callings and big life-time vocational discernment).
The role of “Minister of Worship and Christian Formation” will be held by Rev. Amy Roon. Pastor Amy has broad responsibility for leading the congregation in faithful and meaningful worship and in providing Christian Formation (or what some may think of as “Christian Education opportunities to members of all ages to deepen their understanding of the Sacred. She is responsible for designing, developing, and implementing a vision for leading the church in engaging in worship, working together with others to provide meaningful and faithful worship. In addition, Pastor Amy has broad responsibility for providing meaningful educational programs to help members of all ages learn of God’s love and care and call for our lives.
The role of “Bridge Minister of Vision and Stewardship” will be held by Rev. Todd Smiedendorf until a new minister is called to fill this position. In this role, Pastor Todd has responsibility for helping the congregation discern and articulate its vision and for developing strategies, goals, and outcomes that embody that vision. He also has broad responsibility for leading the congregation in our covenant to live responsibly within creation, sharing with gratitude the gifts we are given. The Minister of Vision and Stewardship will also have responsibility for developing, monitoring, and reporting to church leaders the effective management of the ministry of UCUCC, including ensuring that the activities of all Leadership Team members (individual and team functioning) are in line with the vision and goals of the congregation.
The Minister of Vision and Stewardship will have the specific responsibility of working with the Church Council. the Personnel Committee and the Leadership Parish Relations Committee to equip them to effectively supervise, evaluate and assist the leadership team. Click here for more information: Leadership Team Roles
The Church Council views these three pastoral roles as requiring specific skill sets and experience, thus defining the qualities needed for each position going forward. Thus, in the search for a new minister, the search committee will seek a minister to specifically fill the role of permanent Minister of Vision and Stewardship.
Minister search to move forward
Now that questions and concerns around our Leadership Team model have been addressed, we are able to move into our formal search process. Given the uncertainty of the times we find ourselves in with respect to the corona virus, however, we will need to take a little time to define what our time frame will be.
Virginia Felton and Tim Croll are undertaking the process of assembling our church profile, which is the main document that prospective candidates use to learn about our church and our requirements. They will also begin recruiting a search committee. We expect to impanel a diverse committee of a workable size, representative of the wide range of perspectives within the congregation.