The Board of Directors of the Metro Association was blessed with more volunteers for the Blue Ribbon Committee than could be appointed. Thanks to all who were willing to share their time and talent.
Those appointed are:
Margaret Blamberg - Plymouth
Rev. James Campbell - Broadway
Barbara Cody - Chappaqua
Brigitte Ermansons - Rockville Center (Liaison to the Metro Board)
Rev. Susan Gibson - Pelham
Margaret Gotwals - Judson
Lennox Grant - Evangel
Rev. Bob Gunn - Broadway
Clifford John- Union, Harlem
Rev. Freeman Palmer - Middle Collegiate
Rev. Dr. Christopher Ponnuraj - Bedford Park
Claudette Spence - Corona
Susan Switzer - Riverside/Emanuael UCC
Rev. David Tucker - New Hyde Park
Mary Beth Walker - Grace
In addition, the Board asked five of our other pastors to serve as an "on call" Sounding Board
for the work of the Blue Ribbon Committee. They are:
Rev. Patrick Duggan - South Hempstead
Rev. Elice Higginbotham- Chappaqua
Rev. Bill Nye - All Souls Bethlehem
Rev Henry Simmons - St. Albans
Rev. Phil Washburn - Scarsdale
The primary standard the Board invoked in choosing these appointments was making sure that as many different congregations as possible are represented. Another concern was that the Committee not become too "clergy dominated". As well, the Board was committed to having a Committee that represents the diverse giftedness of the Metro Association. Finally, there was a desire to include folks with a long history with the Association as well as people who bring fresh insights to our life together.
The "organizing meeting" for the Committee was Tuesday, March 14.
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Metro Board To Appoint Blue Ribbon Committee
By Michael Caine, Regional Conference Minister
The Metropolitan Association's Board of Directors is in the final stages of appointing the members of the Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC).
The BRC is an ad hoc body being empowered by the Board of Directors to study the current and future mission and ministries of the Association. The BRC, as the end of its work, will bring recommendations for changes in the Association's life and ministry to a future Association meeting. Serving on the BRC is an opportunity to influence the responses of our Association in the face of the challenges and opportunities of our changing mission context.
Once the Board has heard back from the leaders whose names were suggested for serving on the BRC, and the Board has a complete roster of people able to serve, it will choose the members so that the BRC will have the talent and diversity worthy of the work the Association is expecting from it. The Board is committed to supporting the BRC in doing the work needed to provide us the well-researched, visionary and mission-focused suggestions for the whole Association's consideration.
The Board of Directors intends to name the members of the BRC at its meeting on Tuesday, 28. February. And the initial meeting of the BRC is scheduled at Broadway United Church of Christ (93 rd and Broadway, Manhattan) for Tuesday, March 14 at 7 pm.
The Board of Directors has developed the following description of the BRC's "opening assignment" The Board understands that as the BRC gets into its work, its sense of what it is doing and aiming for will develop and change.
Please keep your eyes and ears open for future reports of the work of the BRC... and your hearts praying for their service to the Association as we look ahead to strengthening our mission in the future.
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS' "Opening Assignment" FOR THE BLUE RIBBON COMMITTEE:
PURPOSE: The Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC) will research the challenges and opportunities of the Metro. Association's current and future mission context. The BRC's goal will be to develop recommendations for increased efficiency/effectiveness in mission, structure, program, staffing, communication, technology, space usage, funding and efforts to prompt congregational revitalization and new church starts. These recommendations will be presented for consideration by the whole Association at a future meeting, ideally, if possible, the Fall 2006 meeting.
PROCESS: The Board of Directors expects the work of the BRC will include:
- mastery of the Association's current situation, including: mission, structure, programs, staffing, communication, technology, space usage, funding, obligations, income/expenses;
- an overview investigation of the health and strength of our member congregations, particularly focusing on their membership, ministries and stewardship;
- research into the information technologies of the Association, its congregations and leaders, to determine more efficient and cost effective means of communication and working together, including the possibilities of virtual meetings and offices;
- polling congregations' and Association leadership on help they need and expect from the Association;
- evaluation of the variety of hopes/concerns expressed by various leaders and constituencies within the Association;
- studying the Board of Directors considerations over the last years about what this Association needs to be/do to enable its congregations to be healthier and more effective;
- understanding the Association's history and past mission commitments, but, nonetheless, beginning from scratch to consider what God and the church need from this Association now and in the future;
- looking for innovative solutions other UCC or ecumenical partner judicatories have found in similar situations;
- strengthening the covenant accountability of our leaders, boards/committees and member congregations to the ministries which we can undertake together;
- furthering the celebration of the Association's diversity (something rare and precious within the whole United Church of Christ;
- keeping the Association regularly updated about the procedures and findings.
It is assumed that BRC will have monthly meetings during the life of its service. There will likely be work to be done between meetings. The BRC might also schedule hearings or other gatherings to involve the wider Association. Meetings can be held regularly at Broadway United Church of Christ in Manhattan if that suits the BRC's membership. Ideally, the BRC's recommendations will be presented to the Fall 2006 Meeting
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