Annual Gathering Highlights
Symposium for Authorized Ministers
Friday, June 7, 1 - 5 pm
Pastoral Excellence: The Massachusetts Conference
Model of Small Groups of Clergy for Mutual Support, Accountability,
and Peer Learning
Authorized ministers are
invited to learn more about the “Massachusetts Model” of peer
support, learning, and accountability that has transformed the
Massachusetts Conference and, through the generosity of a Lilly
Grant, is being shared widely in other conferences of the United
Church of Christ.
The model consists of
groups of five to eight pastors who meet monthly with professional
facilitation. Groups may be organized by geographical convenience,
affinity, or a number of other factors. Meetings include deep
personal sharing in addition to case study learning.
In the Massachusetts
experience, nearly all of their newly authorized ministers are
enrolled and some 70-80% overall are involved. The impact has been
remarkable. Congregations whose pastors are participating are
showing improved ministries in every area studied. Fitness reviews
of clergy misconduct have almost disappeared. The demands on
Association and Conference staff time are decreasing as pastors turn
to one another as their “first line of defense” in difficult
ministry issues. This model is redefining the role of the middle
The Associations of the
Ohio Conference are committed to implementing this model in Ohio, at
first with a few pilot groups in each association, but with hopes
for expanding the program. Come learn about the model and what it
might do for your ministry.
Director, Pastoral Excellence Network
The Pastoral Excellence Network is a
new initiative of the Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis,
and the Lilly Endowment, aimed at expanding the impact of programs
devoted to forming and sustaining pastoral excellence across the
Christina Braudaway-Bauman is a pastor
at heart, with twenty years’ experience in local church ministry.
Chris most recently served as an Associate Pastor and Coordinator of
the Pastoral Residency Program, a mentoring program for new seminary
graduates, at Wellesley Congregational Church (UCC), in Wellesley
Massachusetts. She continues with this congregation, now serving as
Pastor at Large.
Senior Consultant, Trainer,
Facilitator, Speaker, and Clergy Coach - Alban Institute Consulting
Larry Peers is a senior consultant
with the Alban Institute. He serves as a coach with clergy, teaches
seminars on leadership and well-being, and consults with
congregations across the country.
Prior to his work at the Alban
Institute, Larry served as a director of congregational development
and growth with a national denominational office for ten years, as a
minister in a local congregations, and as a therapist. He has worked
on several national congregational research projects and most
recently on the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence project.
For the last ten years,
Chris and Larry together have served on the leadership
team of the Pastoral Excellence Program of the
Massachusetts Conference, UCC. Their new work with the
Pastoral Excellence Network is an extension of this
former work, and is an effort to share its fruits
generously and to continue to build a body of wisdom
about pastoral excellence to strengthen the whole
Your Plate: Choose Your Own Cuisine
Friday, 6:30 p.m.- ?
Choose from one of ten local
restaurants, a variety of cuisines and price points and discover why
Columbus is getting a "foodie" reputation. You'll pay your own
tab, connect with friends and colleagues and meet new people!
We’ll make reservations and arrange for a group host. Sign up
for your preferred restaurant during the Annual Gathering.
Restaurant details and menu links will
be posted here as soon as possible.
Keynote • Wow, Are We
Rev. David Greenhaw,
President, Eden Theological Seminary
Saturday, June 8, 11:45 a.m.
Anyone involved in an endeavor worth its “salt” needs to take a few
moments, every once in a while, to remember that what they are doing
is worthwhile. Even more than just remembering, taking time to
exclaim why what we do matters helps us to do more that matters.
The United Church of Christ has a past worthy of deep respect and
gratitude, it has a present that is worthwhile and important, but
most importantly it has a future that demands our highest and best.
Truck Rodeo • Saturday, June 8, 12:30 - 2:00
Choose your lunch from the
food trucks gathered in the parking lot. Purchase whatever you wish.
(Your registration fee will NOT include this meal.) Enjoy your
selections at tables set up
inside and outside the church, and listen to live music by the
New Song Trio while
Awesome Ministries Workshops
Saturday, June 8, 2:00 -
After lunch on Saturday, choose
from workshops highlighting an outstanding ministry
being carried out by one of our local churches.
Hear the leaders of that
church talk about their ministry.
Talk to them about successes,
challenges and how you might start something similar at your
No pre-registration necessary.
(this workshop will feature ministries from two
Blessed Are the Peacemakers
Program at Washington UCC, Cincinnati
“Blessed Are the Peacemakers” is offered free to
elementary aged children, Monday - Thursday, for 8
weeks during the summer. The program provides
transportation, two healthy meals and one snack a
day and supper on Tuesdays. Community residents
join the children during lunch and Tuesday supper.
The program features worship, Christian education
and small groups focused on life skills training,
conflict resolution, communication, self-esteem,
creativity, community service, recycling, nutrition
education, physical activity and peacemaking. The
Kids in Sacred Conversation group meets weekly for
education on Jesus’ teachings on love and radical
hospitality and discussion of issues of diversity.
The children also receive at least one hour of one
on one tutoring each week in reading, math and
The youth of the church volunteer as Junior Group
Leaders. They help lead the groups, learning
responsibility and pre-employment skills as they
work with the children.
Washington UCC hires three college-age students to
serve as program staff. The program offers the
college-age staff invaluable experience working with
children in poverty, working with families and
having a significant impact on the future of these
The Summer Program includes week-long work camps,
groups of teens and adults from other churches. Work
camp participants do repairs and tasks at the church
and in the community and assist with Summer Program.
Washington UCC has been blessed with many awesome
ministries. The Summer Program is only one of
these. Our newest ministry is Camp Café. It is a
“free lunch” for anyone who comes in between 12:00 –
1:00 Monday through Thursday. Although not the
focus of this ministry, this radical hospitality has
resulted in five new members in the past six months!
After-school children's ministry in the arts at
Trinity UCC, Canton
is Alive! Since its creation in 2010, Trinity
UCC has taken its children's ministry in the arts
from imagination to impact! For many decades they
had a successful weekly after-school choir program
that included choral and handbell choirs, which was
slowly declining in number of participants. They had
to either discontinue the program or "kick it up!"
The music committee wisely chose the latter, and
KidzBeat was created.
September 2010, 80 children in grades K-6 enrolled
in classes that included singing, handbells,
recorder, drama, movement, piano, drumming, visual
art, crafts, story-telling and woodworking, led by
gifted artists from the congregation and community.
Many resources for the classes were provided by
support and partnerships with the local school
system, music stores and the Canton Symphony
vision of KidzBeat is not to focus on the artistic
talent of the student. It is not skill based,
and the classes are not held with an eye on
performance. Children's abilities are not
measured to determine whether they can participate.
Children are introduced to the arts, and they are
helped to grow in appreciation and skill in a
relational environment. Different races live in
different neighborhoods, and rich and poor often
misunderstand one another. KidzBeat uses the arts to
foster connections and cooperation. In
KidzBeat there are no stars or soloists.
Children learn cooperation and teamwork in all they
do. KidzBeat has just completed its third
successful year and is proving that the arts are
important in the lives of children.
are Awesome Ministries!
revitalize congregations as people unite in a common
vision and purpose. A panel of three congregations
that completed campaigns in recent years will share
their experiences: Dublin Community Church, First
Congregational Church of Wellington and North
Congregational UCC of Columbus.
One launched its
campaign as the stock market nose-dived, one saw the
campaign as the biggest thing it had undertaken in
memory, and one utilized its experience to raise
funds for another project after the campaign.
Healthy churches generally have a capital campaign
about once a decade. Let their stories inspire and
inform your congregation.
Sandy Lindahl of Ackley
Consulting Group will moderate the conversation.
Go Into All the
World — Harnessing the Power of Social Media
Jesus tells his
followers in Mark 16:15 "Go into all the world and
preach the gospel to all creation.”
It just so happens that
most of creation is on Facebook!
Are you on Facebook?
How about your church?
This presentation will
deal with life in the digital age, how to get your
church not just using social media, but preaching
the gospel to all of creation.
The discussion will be
led by Luke Lindon, associate pastor of Sylvania
UCC. He will speak of how he uses social media in
his ministry, what sites are popular, and how to
create and maintain an online presence.
The wisdom for ministry
resides in the Ohio Conference. Let your light shine.
On Saturday afternoon, June 8,
congregations with recognized “Awesome Ministries”
will participate in moderated 60-minute workshops.
Pastors or congregation members can nominate their
church’s ministry or others.
Ministries not chosen for one of these
slots will be invited to create an exhibit (usual
exhibit fee waived) or a brief PowerPoint
presentation that will be shown with announcements
at various times during the Gathering.
Churches who are chosen will
participate in a 60-minute moderated workshop
on the afternoon of Saturday, June 8, using whatever
creativity, participants, and interactive technology
they can bring.