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REFLECTING ON CORE ISSUES IN THE TRANSITION FOLLOWING A LONG-TERM PASTOR - Interim Pastor Janet S. Peterman

COMING SOON!

REFLECTING ON CORE ISSUES IN THE TRANSITION FOLLOWING A LONG-TERM PASTOR

A workshop led by Interim Pastor Janet S. Peterman
October 18, 2022
1:00 to 2:30  pm Eastern

Our training in systems dynamics as intentional interim pastors helps us to understand the interrelatedness of pastoral changes and other shifts in a congregation. Before beginning transitional ministry, ELCA Pastor Janet Peterman served one inner city congregation for 24 years. Four of seven of the interim placements she served after have followed long-term settled pastors. Through these combined experiences, Pastor Peterman has perceived a pattern in the core issues facing congregations and their leaders in transitions following long term pastorates. Focusing on these core issues makes transitional work more effective.

In this webinar, we will consider the typical dynamics that occur in the role of the Pastor as pastoral tenures stretch beyond 12-15 years; how that pastoral shift causes a shift in others’ roles around them; and the cluster of issues facing a congregation and its leaders as the Pastor leaves. These include grief, though not simply understood as sadness; difficulty with understanding congregational identity, apart from the departing leader; leadership struggles; boundary issues; special care needed in defining the role of the new pastoral leader sought; and difficulties often experienced when teams choose a new pastor.

The session will be interactive. Tools, best practices, and resources will be shared by the instructor. Participants are also invited to bring resources to share.

Janet S. Peterman is an inner-city ELCA (Lutheran) pastor living with her family in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the eastern US. She has served the last 16 years of her ministry in seven (7) intentional ministry settings in 3 synods. She has reached the Professional Transition Specialist (PTS) level of accreditation through the Interim Ministry Network (IMN). When not in active ministry, she gardens, bikes, hikes and takes joy in friends, family and photography.

LOVE DRENCHED ACCOUNTABILITY Presenter: Rev. Cynthia Vermillion-Foster

COMING SOON!

LOVE DRENCHED ACCOUNTABILITY
Presenter: Rev. Cynthia Vermillion-Foster 

Accountability can be a challenging concept.  It is not unusual for spiritual communities to avoid accountability in an effort to be kind or loving, which creates another set of challenges.  At other times, people hold “accountability” conversations that are unclear, unhelpful and sometimes harsh and blaming.  This 1.5-hour webinar explores the nature of accountability, and how to infuse accountability conversations with deep love and respect.

Rev. Cynthia Vermillion-Foster creates spaces for individuals and communities to discover, and unleash their full potential. An ordained Unity minister of 25 years, Cynthia served as the Director of Member Services for Unity Worldwide Ministries for 5 years.  Prior to this, she served as the Regional Consultant and Regional Representative for Canada for 10 years.  In these roles, Cynthia had the privilege of supporting, coaching and consulting with ministries throughout the US and Canada.  Cynthia also served on the UWM’s Ethics Review Team for 10 years including 2 years as Chair of the team.  With her husband, Rev. Don Foster, Cynthia served ministries in Chantilly, VA and Hamilton, ON.  She is the 2016 recipient of Unity Worldwide Ministries’ Myrtle Fillmore Award and Unity Canada’s 2017 Northern Lights Award.

Cynthia has a keen awareness of organizational systems and a passion for creating organizational health, vitality and sustainability.  She has completed IMN’s training and is currently serving as an intentional interim at Unity Spiritual Center of Springfield, MO

Cynthia has a passion for learning and is a skilled teacher and coach.  In her role as Director of Member Services she was involved in training and supporting the UWM certified consultants, developed a number of E-Learning Courses, taught the Interpersonal Skills intensive for Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute’s ministerial students, and was a presenter at the Interim Ministry Network’s 2020 virtual conference.

Cynthia’s first career was as a ballet dancer.  The metaphors of dance and movement continue to inspire Cynthia on the spiritual journey, she views as an ongoing dance of discovery and growth.

Beyond Wishful Thinking: Leading Congregations with Unsustainable Futures - Rev. Diane Kenaston

Beyond Wishful Thinking: Leading Congregations with Unsustainable Futures
Presenter: Rev. Diane Kenaston 

August 16, 2022
1:00 to 2:30  pm Eastern

Interim ministers can find themselves leading congregations with a reality gap: the congregation is not facing reality for the present and/or the future. Congregations in denial about the current state of their congregation can have identity issues.  What they see in themselves fails to match today’s reality. This occurs, for example, when a clergyperson enters a congregation and realizes they can’t afford to be staffed at their current level. When congregations do face their current reality, they can still have a reality gap as they think about their future. Struggling congregations can suffer from “wishful thinking” where they pin their hopes on a magical “turn-around” future. These congregations in numerical decline create unrealistic expectations for their next pastor. Others approach the future more realistically but they feel hopeless and don’t know what to do next. The congregation waffles between “positive thinking” (wishfulness) and “negative thinking” (hopelessness) – and in either case, they don’t feel they have any agency over their future. This webinar will make the case that perpetuating wishful thinking is a betrayal of the theological claim of hope.

Ministers who suspect that closure, merger, or other major changes could be in their congregation’s future must hold up a mirror to the congregation, help them to face reality, and move from wishful thinking to the hope grounded in their sacred stories. They will need to equip congregations with the spiritual practices that will sustain them through massive upheaval. Some interim ministers will be laying the groundwork for the next settled pastor to lead changes like closing, merging, restarting, or relocating. Other interim ministers, however, may need to lead an intentional discernment process and guide the congregation through dissolution. There is a continuum of possible responses. Regardless of where they find themselves on this continuum, interim ministers who enter these conversations must expand the concept of “healthy farewell” from the exit of one clergyperson to facilitating healthy farewells for an entire congregation and its institutional identity.

Rev. Diane Kenaston (she/her) is a United Methodist elder with ten years of experience pastoring churches in West Virginia and Missouri in the United States. She is now a clergy coach based out of Cambridge, United Kingdom, and a founding member of the Good Friday Collaborative, a ministry supporting congregational leaders whose churches are faithfully concluding existing ministry.

Diane led the merger process of legacy University United Methodist Church into the new Grace United Methodist Church, St. Louis. She has also facilitated the sale of two parsonages and a charge realignment. Diane is currently working on a devotional book for Christians whose churches are merging, closing, relocating, restarting, or discerning their next steps. She has previously been published in the books We Pray With Her, Speaking Truth, and Holy Contradictions: What’s Next for the People Called United Methodist.
Diane’s fieldwork project for the Interim Ministry Network focused on helping congregations to end well. She is passionate about cultivating communities of justice and peace. Her ministry is grounded in family systems theory and asset-based community development. She currently serves on the board for Young Clergy Women International. Diane and her clergy spouse have one very energetic three-year-old child. Contact Diane through her website at www.dianekenaston.com

CIRCLES OF TRUST: TRANSITIONING MINISTRY OUTREACH, PERSONAL SPIRITUAL PRACTICE Presenter: Barbara Coeyman

CIRCLES OF TRUST:
TRANSITIONING MINISTRY OUTREACH, PERSONAL SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

Presenter: Barbara Coeyman

“Circles of Trust” is a small group ministry which explores the inner teacher in each of us and builds compassionate relationships with others. Through personal reflection, deep listening, open and honest questions, and clearness committees, we build trust in our authentic selves and in one another. “Circles of Trust” draws from the spiritual writing of Quaker Parker Palmer.

This webinar will be an introduction to some of the practices in the “Circle of Trust” method, to include explanation of the Touchstones, the covenant on which this program is built; habits of deep listening; and discernment of a reading or poetry which invites exploration of the theme of “transitioning.” This practice which expands habit of compassionate communication offers helpful resources for the toolbox of interim ministry and also builds interpersonal connections among participants in the Circle. For more about the “Circles of Trust” practice, see Parker Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward An Undivided Life.

Rev. Dr. Barbara Coeyman is an Accredited Interim Minister in the Unitarian Universalist Association. She is also a credentialed Facilitator with the Center for Courage and Renewal (CCR), the sponsoring institution of “Circles of Trust.” A member of IMN for the past decades, she has led several workshops during annual IMN conferences. She is completing a two-year interim at the UU Church of Muncie Indiana, her eighth transitioning ministry position. For more on CCR, see www.couragerenewal.org.

CHALLENGES, PROBLEMS AND CONFLICTS IN THE SYSTEM Presenter: REV. LIEVE VAN den AMEELE

CHALLENGES, PROBLEMS AND CONFLICTS IN THE SYSTEM

Presenter:  REV. LIEVE VAN den AMEELE

When do we need Adjustment thru Conversation and when is Mediation appropriate?

As a matter of fact, we tend to see problems all around: Major problems – minor problems, and what to do? The narratives of our day and age tend to thrive on problems, whereas oftentimes a serious conversation could lead to workable adjustments. And thus add to more happiness and satisfaction down the road.

My primary goal as a Congregational Consultant is to slow down the process, look more carefully and facilitate deep listening. As a trained Transition Minister, my focus (regarding potential problems) is on: what can we handle within the system and what needs an all sided view from the outside (= facilitator)?

On the other hand, a lack of resources or different opinions about how to deal with occurring issues, is not necessarily a reason to call on Mediation or any other big problem solving. In fact the simple idea of having a problem, may send the anxiety beyond measuring. More so in belief an conscience  based systems.

In this webinar/workshop we will look at the difference between normal outcomes, tasks, challenges and problems. We will also look at the flow that brings us down the scale and eventually up again.

In the second part we will look at Mediation. How does it work in different steps and when is it applicable and promising enough to give it a try?

Rev. Lieve Van den Ameele is an ordained minister in the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau, Germany – partner church to the UCC (New York Conference). She is a trained Interim Minister and Professional Transitional Specialist with IMN. Lieve has served as a local pastor in Belgium and Germany. And has been a settled pastor as well as an Interim Minister. She is a trained Congregational Consultant and has facilitated in many congregational settings. She is a co-host to an VSG and also to the International VSG with IMN. She lives in Bad Ems – in the Koblenz area.

INTELLEGENT TRANSISTION - Rev. John Throop

Intellegent Transistion
Presenter:  Rev. John Throop

We know from interim ministry training—especially through IMN—that there’s a defined process for congregational transition hidden within the process are dynamics of change requiring attention by the interim minister and judicatory supervisors. There’s a transitional quotient. We’re familiar with IQ (intelligence quotient) that measures how a person deals with “hard data.” More recently, we have learned how to gauge EQ (emotional quotient), known as “emotional intelligence.” One more practice: SQ (spiritual quotient)—the spiritual readiness of a congregation. This webinar explores how these three approaches can bring about effective and lasting transition—and, perhaps, transformation.

 

Hiding in Plain Sight: The Spirituality of Martin Buber- Presenter: Rabbi Dennis Ross

Rabbi Dennis Ross, author of the newly published, A Year with Martin Buber: Wisdom from the Weekly Torah Portion, will describe how the teachings of the great twentieth-century Jewish thinker Martin Buber bring us to spirituality in the daily routine.

Presenter:
Rabbi Dennis Ross is the author of the newly published A Year with Martin Buber: Wisdom on the Weekly Torah Portion for the Jewish Publication Society’s Daily Inspiration Series. He has also written God in Our Relationships: Spirituality between People from the Teachings of Martin BuberWhen a Lie Is Not a Sin: The Hebrew Bible’s Framework for Deciding (Jewish Lights), All Politics Is Religious: Speaking Faith to the Media, Policy Makers and Community (SkyLight Paths), and The Ten Commandments: From the Shadow of Eden to the Promise of Canaan (Bibal). Rabbi Ross has written for the New York Times, the Boston GlobeForward and other publications.

Rabbi Ross. MSW, LCSW, is an Intentional Interim Rabbi in the greater New York City area with specialized training and experience supporting congregations in transition. He is now at Temple Am Echad, Lynbrook, N.Y. and has served synagogues in Manhattan, Chappaqua, Neponsit, Monroe and Albany, N. Y., Summit, N. J., Washington, D. C., and Pittsfield and Worcester, Mass. He is Acting Interim Program Specialist at the Central Conference of American Rabbis where he develops, trains and supports interim rabbis. He is a member of the interfaith Board of the Interim Ministry Network devoted to advancing best practices for clergy in interim pulpits.

Rabbi Ross also directs Concerned Clergy for Choice at Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts. He travels from the Northeast to speak with Jewish groups and many other faith communities about Jewish spirituality, reproductive rights and other topics.

His web site is www.DennisRoss.net.

Theological Worlds Presenter: Rev. Holly MillerShank
Have you ever wondered why some worship services are better attended than others? Why do some church members gravitate towards certain hymns? Or how to discuss the theological underpinnings to the annual budget? In general, there are four theological worlds present in most congregations. Based off of the work of W. Paul Jones and Lee Barrett, Rev. Holly MillerShank will explore these theological worlds and how they influence the worshiping and community life of congregants and congregations. Participants will explore their own preferences and how to incorporate meaningful elements into church life to honor and feed the spiritual longings of each theological world.
It's Not Your Parents' Church - Presenter: Norman Bendroth

In 1988 General Motors tried to market its Oldsmobile brand to a younger generation to boost their lagging sales and overcome the perception that an Olds was and old man’s car. After showing a sporty new model, the background voice pronounced, “It’s not your father’s Oldsmobile.” Unfortunately, the strategy didn’t work, and the stolid Oldsmobile was dropped from GM’s line. Many of our congregations find themselves in a similar situation. The church and synagogue today is not the one they grew up in. This webinar will explore how the culture has changed, the church has changed, and the mission has changed in the past half-century and how it impacts ministry today. It is designed not only to inform transitional leaders, but to also help local congregations understand our current context.

Church Amalgamations Presenter: Helen Prior

How Well Can You See Your Story is a ninety minute ZOOM based practical application that builds a reflective skill set that, with practice, puts the participant both on the dance floor and in the balcony. Bill Thomas teaches holding a short written narrative in conversation with a visual expression of the stimulus and response found within that story. The dance floor is the experience of the story and the visual expression (found in Thomas’ Anxiety Response Chart) interprets the story as if observing from the balcony with a wider perspective. The webinar participant will develop a competence in self-reflective practice that delivers a visual balcony perspective while engaged in the action of the dance floor.

Thomas will demonstrate a basic visual practice that interprets stimulus and response from the narrative using the tripartite brain (Automatic Pilot, House of Emotion, Thinking Cap). Using  Core Values / Guiding Principles as well as Systems Theory, the Capacity Challenge is identified and a Learning Statement developed.

An eleven minute video from the movie Adventure in Baltimore serves as a case study and recaps the fictional story set in 1905 of Dr. Andrew Shelton, an Episcopal Priest. How well participants can see Dr. Shelton’s story will help them see their own story.

HOW WELL CAN YOU SEE YOUR STORY? Presenter: The Rev. William Carl Thomas

How Well Can You See Your Story is a ninety minute ZOOM based practical application that builds a reflective skill set that, with practice, puts the participant both on the dance floor and in the balcony. Bill Thomas teaches holding a short written narrative in conversation with a visual expression of the stimulus and response found within that story. The dance floor is the experience of the story and the visual expression (found in Thomas’ Anxiety Response Chart) interprets the story as if observing from the balcony with a wider perspective. The webinar participant will develop a competence in self-reflective practice that delivers a visual balcony perspective while engaged in the action of the dance floor.

Thomas will demonstrate a basic visual practice that interprets stimulus and response from the narrative using the tripartite brain (Automatic Pilot, House of Emotion, Thinking Cap). Using  Core Values / Guiding Principles as well as Systems Theory, the Capacity Challenge is identified and a Learning Statement developed.

An eleven minute video from the movie Adventure in Baltimore serves as a case study and recaps the fictional story set in 1905 of Dr. Andrew Shelton, an Episcopal Priest. How well participants can see Dr. Shelton’s story will help them see their own story.

Agreements and Contracting Presenter: Arlen Vernava

Agreement-making – what many names “contracting” – invites Practitioner and Faith Community into relationship. More than fiduciary due diligence, Agreement-making joins you to one another, the first moves in establishing mutual trust and respect. Here the Practitioner discerns if they can help and the Faith Community expresses the help they need. Here the transition-time journey takes shape.

Agreement-making Webinar will explore this process and provide one framework for discernment and decision.  Bring your questions and plan to share your wisdom.

Biblical Stories on Transition Presenter: Michael Remson

The Israelites left Egypt as a group of tribes with a “mixed multitude.”  At Sinai they became a nation united under a set of laws.  Under Joshua that nation became landed, and under Saul and David they transitioned into a kingdom.

In this webinar we will look at aspects of these transitions and discuss what was done well and what mistakes were made.  We will use this discussion to reflect on our own transitional leadership.

Participants should have a Bible at hand.

Change Theories of Transitional Ministry Presenter: Norman Bendroth

William Bridges has said that the hardest part of change for people and institutions is not change per se, but transition. Change is inevitable, but transition is unsettling and scary. The Bible is rich with stories of change and transition and how God worked in the midst of them. This webinar will supplement those stories by looking at four theories of understanding and helping congregations move through transition. It will also equip the pastoral leader to initiate and navigate the change process.

Understanding Your Congregational Finances – "An utterly basic view" Presenter: John Keydel

This webinar is designed to revisit the most basic and foundational aspects of congregational finances: the interlocking elements of the balance sheet and income statement, the role of the planning tool popularly known as the Budget, and some conversation about endowments (vs savings) and designated funds….

Strategic Planning for Congregations Fred Darbonne

Strategic planning is just as critical for congregations as other organizations, even more so for those in transition.  The congregational plan includes the basics of standard strategy practice, adding the work of prayerful discernment of what God is calling the congregation to be and to do right now.  Strategic ministry planning addresses the three questions of “Who are we?” “Who is our neighbor?” and “What is God calling us to do?” posed by Alice Mann and Gil Rendle in their work, Holy ConversationsStrategic Planning as a Spiritual Practice for Congregations.  Strategic planning can be an umbrella methodology for working through the interim ministry focus points and creating a fruitful ministry future.

We will look at the basics of strategic planning and review a sample facilitation process that you can use in your ministry setting. We will discuss the formatting of a strategic plan and a monitoring and implementation process. You will gain a starting foundation for developing your skills in this vital tool.

WORLD CAFÉ – Presenter: Arlen Vernava

Are you a Leader managing transition? Are you part of a Team preparing for change? Are you providing help to an organization/congregation and their leaders in their season of change and transition? And are you one who has little or no familiarity with World Café? Welcome! Your use of this discovery tool:

  • designs and leads meaningful and creative conversation for groups and organizations
  • congregations of all sizes
  • creates collaborative consensus outcomes
  • engages equitably across age cohort, life and education experience, gender, race and culture

A World Café in practice: offers a template for addressing big picture questions like: “what is our organization’s purpose?” and granular decisions: “of these three, what do we choose to do?”  Essentially World Café advances discovery, clarity, and or implementation by and with the “whole” community.

This webinar will best serve practitioners with no World Café leadership experience who are confident facilitators. We will use our time to explore this tool, understand its process and design, and consider implementation for in-person and virtual gatherings.

BONUS VIDEOS/WEBINARS/SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

These webinars are pulled from IMN Conferences or Special Support of the Network.

Current Videos:

  • Roy Oswald’s “Why you Should Develop a Pastor-Parish Relations Committee?”
  • Roy Oswald’s “Why Should YOu Give your Pastor a Sabbatical?

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