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From Your Synod Executive...

I recently celebrated my fourth anniversary as your Synod executive, so I’ve been thinking about where our ministries have been, and where they are going, When I began this call, the General Assembly Administrative Commission was managing our affairs and had stopped almost all activity of the Synod in order to address our disorder.

 

As we began to rebuild the ministries, we looked for ministries that looked to support presbyteries and churches, rather than ministries that served on behalf of presbyteries and churches.  We also strove for ministries whose impacts are wide (touching many leaders, churches, and presbyteries), rather than deep (only affecting a smaller range but much more substantially).  We re-initiated the scholarships and grants programs, began offering monthly preaching workshops, and partnered with other ministries to offer leadership equipping in a variety of areas.

 

In October ‘21, the Synod embraced our over-arching theme:  “In our Synod, we’ll try anything to equip leaders who are attending to God’s creative, emerging future.” We promised to work toward the following ministry focus areas:

  1. Encouraging and Supporting Faith Communities to be Vital

  2. Eradicating Structural Racism and Modeling Inclusion

  3. Experimenting with New Ways to Be Church and to Live Out our Faith

  4. Connecting Presbyteries to Reach Focus Areas 1-3 above

 

 

Three years later, we have made progress on some of these goals, but still have a lot of room to grow.  The opportunity to build our staff with the director of Cultivating the Gift of Preaching (the Lilly Grant), the CRE Coordinator, and the upcoming Associate For Racial Justice has clarified our priorities going forward

 

At our upcoming Synod assembly on May 7, our commissioners will be considering a refined set of ministry focus areas for 2025-28 that reflect these clarified priorities.  We hope that these will continue to guide us into the future, so we can support your churches and presbyteries even more effectively.  Our overarching theme remains the same; here are the new focus areas:

  • Supporting and Equipping Leadership for the Church

  • Strengthening Our Most Vulnerable Congregations

  • Developing Anti-Racist Practices and Structures

  • Eradicating Systemic Poverty

  • Connecting Synods, Presbyteries, Churches, and Leaders

 

You can learn more about these proposed ministry focus areas here.  You’re also welcome to attend the assembly, held by zoom on 5/7/24 at 4:30 eastern. Register here: Meeting Registration - Zoom

 

I’m grateful for where we have been, and where, by God’s grace, we are headed.

 

Your partner in ministry,

 


     

 




Rev. Charles B Hardwick, PhD  

Executive    

309-530-4578

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