IMN is more than an interfaith association of transitional colleagues working with congregations during times of transition. IMN is a community of practice. Members have knowledge, expertise, stories, successes, and challenges to share about working effectively with congregations during times of transition.  The IMN Member Support Team offers a new opportunity for IMN Members to be in community with one another.

The IMN Virtual Café Conversations are monthly opportunities to participate in a conversation about a transitional ministry topic. As a IMN member benefit, these conversations are open to settled clergy, interim clergy, lay leaders, transitional clergy, and judicatories. Using Zoom video conferencing, or your telephone, you will be in a topic-specific 90-minute conversation with your colleagues and a host with experience on that topic.


Managing Staff Remotely/Virtually
Rev. Margret O’Neall
August 2, 2023 
1-2:30 pm ET

Leading a staff team, creating clear expectations, coaching for success, holding boundaries for work processes and products …. Staff management in a congregational setting can be challenging in the easiest of times.  Complexity increases when the clergy leader is working virtually, perhaps from a substantial distance; when staff are working fully or partially from home; when new uses of technology bring a shift in processes and expectations.  We bring our questions, our experiences, our insights to share as we draw on our collective wisdom in changing times.

Rev. Dr. Margret A. O’Neall (she/her) is a Unitarian Universalist Accredited Interim Minister serving churches in times of transition and development.  She serves on the IMN Board and faculty.  Margret holds academic degrees in Community Development and Sociology and earned her Master of Divinity from Meadville-Lombard Theological School.  She entered intentional transitional ministry following a 35-year career working in the public and private sectors, and her call to ministry follows her passion for the transformational process that individuals and organizations may engage with intention in times of change.


No Congregation to Small
Rev. Todd Yonkman
September 6, 2023
1-2:30 pm ET

In these times, many congregations are thinking they are “too small” to do any number of things. And yet, many small congregations are finding ways to do creative things with their buildings, with their leadership, with spiritual renewal and creating impact in their communities. While the reality of reduced membership, shrinking funds, building upkeep and maintenance, fewer volunteers, etc. must be acknowledged, there may be alternatives yet unexplored. This is an opportunity to share and hear from others with experience of working with and in smaller congregations.

Rev. Todd Yonkman a pastor, author, and coach who works with individuals teams, and organizations in creating new, life-giving futures. He has been engaged in professional ministry for the past 25 years serving congregations in the midwest and northeast as a settled pastor, Transitional Senior Minister, Senior Co-Minister, and church planter. Todd is currently serving as Designated Term Transitional.

Taking Care of Yourself in Times of Stress
The Rev. Dr. John DeWitt Stonesifer
September 12, 2023
1-2:30 PM ET

John Stonesifer will host a focused conversation on caring for yourself, which will include best practices, group input and discussion, as well as highlighting the Karpman Triangle to help better understand ministry dynamics – all with the focus of providing wise care for ourselves and thus for others.

The Rev. Dr. John DeWitt Stonesifer is an Episcopal priest with 38 years of service in ordained ministry. His focus the last twenty- five years has been on interim ministry. This has lead him to serve in parish, life-care community and school settings, having recently completed his 25th interim position.

John is a graduate of Clemson University (B.A.) and the Virginia Theological Seminary (M. Div.). Post-graduate work has included studies in marketing and church management, having earned his MBA from the Templeton Institute, and being named a Templeton Fellow. He also earned his Doctorate in Ministry (D.Min) from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary for his work on interim leadership. Additional areas of study have included Appreciative Inquiry with Clergy Leadership Institute, Mediation Training with the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, and credentials as a life and business coach.

John has been an IMN faculty member the last eighteen years and is currently serving his second term on the IMN Board of Directors.

Congregations Behaving Badly
Rev. Pegi Ridout
October 4, 2023
1-2:30 PM ET

By definition this is a conversation, so what participants bring to the café will shape the content.

In response to anxiety and fear, many congregations are experiencing a rise in unacceptable behaviors, bullying among them. How do we as leaders respond to congregants exhibiting their not-best selves? How do we sustain a “non-anxious” presence? What do we do to limit the disruption such behavior creates? What steps can we take toward health for congregations and for ourselves?

Rev. Pegi Ridout (she/her) has been an Intentional Interim Minister for the past 2 decades serving seven congregations and a retreat centre. In 40+ years of ordained ministry in the United Church of Canada, she has served a variety of rural, urban and suburban churches, in Southwestern and Niagara regions of Ontario, Canada. As well as being a member of the IMN Faculty, she coaches interims, is a conflict mediator, and facilitates work in intercultural competency and racial justice.

Part-Time Service without Full-Time Obligation
Rabbi Dennis Ross
November 1, 2023
1-2:30 pm ET

 Part-time service sounds appealing, for the possibility of achieving a work-life balance that may be unattainable in a full-time position. Yet the narrative, “I’m overworked, underpaid and underappreciated,” also rises for some part-time clergy. This conversation will explore pitfalls — and how to avoid them — and suggest ways of finding fulfillment in meaningful part-time service.

Rabbi Dennis Ross, LMSW, LCSW, has two decades of experience training clergy as director of Concerned Clergy for Choice at Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, where he pioneered and leads capacity-building educational programs that provide clergy with media, lobbying, pastoral care, and educational skills. Rabbi Ross also trains interim clergy from diverse faiths as a faculty member of the Interim Ministry Network, where he also sits on that national interfaith board. He additionally develops curriculum and trains interim rabbis through the Central Conference of American Rabbis and leads ongoing clergy networking and support groups for both organizations. He is the author of five books, including his most recent, A Year with Martin Buber, released by the Jewish Publication Society.

Networking and Your Next Assignment
Rev. Chris Hart
December 6, 2023
1-2:30 pm ET

It’s easy to become isolated, disconnected, and to feel like we are a Lone Wolf in ministry yet we proclaim from the pulpit “No One Walks Alone”.  Transitioning into and through new positions is often challenging. Let’s gather together and explore best practices and tips around how we live being connected as we transition vocationaly.

Pastor Chris is a poet, storyteller,  process theologian, Professional Transition Specialist, consultant, revitalization pastor, artist and a frisky fusion of science and faith. He is committed to helping the church of today emerge into the twenty second century. Pastor Chris is dedicated to the excellent Transitional Ministry and is a faculty member with the Interim Ministry Network.  He uses an empowering and adaptive leadership style to help communities of faith to grow, and change. He is passionate about worship that is fresh, creative, engaging, and participatory.

Maintaining Relationships Across the Miles
Rev. Terri Thornton
1-2:30 PM ET

There is the work of the Interim Minister, and then there’s the life of the Interim Minister on the road. How do you maintain a balanced physical, emotional, and spiritual life, as well as your relationships with your significant other and family, while living in “not really your home?” What are the practicalities of housing and maintaining two distinct living situations? How do you determine what is a reasonable distance away from home base you’re willing to consider for Interim positions? What are the struggles and financial considerations of living in a secondary locale? Should you accept living in the Rectory or choose other space? What should the congregation provide and what should you ask for in your contract? What if you’re not used to living alone for an extended period of time.

Café Registration

These offerings are FREE to Current IMN members. The first 15 members registering for each IMN Virtual Café are guaranteed a spot in the conversation. Others after the first 15, will be saved for future dates of the topic.  To register click on the topic below and add to cart. Complete the information on the shopping cart and SUBMIT.

We will contact you in a separate email with confirmation and the Zoom details.

Managing Staff Remotely/Virtually
August 2, 2023-1:00 pm ET

No Congregation To Small
September 6, 2023-1:00 pm ET

Taking Care of Yourself in Times of Stress
September 12, 2023 - 1:00 pm ET

Congregations Behaving Badly
October 4, 2023 - 1:00 pm ET

Part-Time Service without Full-Time Obligation
November 1, 2023 - 1:00 pm ET

Networking and Your Next Assignment
December 6, 2023 - 1:00 pm ET