Make It Plain:Authorizing Ministry in the 21st CenturyNovember 30 – December 3, 2016San Antonio, Texas
The changing landscapes of church and denominational life in the 21st century impact the form and function of ministry, including the ways in which the United Church of Christ calls, authorizes and oversees ministers. Consequently, our Manual on Ministry – which saw its last revision in 2002 and its last significant rewrite of content in 1986 – has been due for an intentional re-imagination to meet the needs of the Church and especially of Committees on Ministry.
In 2013, the Ministerial Excellence, Support & Authorization (MESA) Ministry Team of the National Offices solicited nominations for, and then formed in 2014, the Habakkuk Group: a 17-member denomination-wide committee of persons from many walks of church life, tasked in the language of Habakkuk 2:2 to write the vision of authorized ministry and make it plain for the life of the United Church of Christ.
The Habakkuk Group built its work on prayer and theological reflection, listening for the Spirit in the Church and in the world, and now brings its work to AM21 for continued conversation and collaboration. AM21 – a biennial gathering of conference staff hosted by the MESA Ministry Team to explore the work of ministerial formation, ongoing oversight, and search and call – is being expanded for 2016 to include all those whose work connects to ministry authorization: conference staff, seminary presidents and deans, regional theological education deans, Committee on Ministry members, national staff and the staff of affiliated entities.
The focus of AM21 2016 (and regional AM21s in 2017) will be on the materials developed by the Habakkuk Group toward a new and adaptive, theologically grounded, Committee on Ministry-empowering Manual on Ministry. In addition to the Manual on Ministry, AM21 2016 will cover new materials related to search and call.
So we invite you to envision yourself in San Antonio, Texas, during the week after Thanksgiving for AM21 and the collaborative work that brings out the best of the United Church of Christ. See yourself strolling the River Walk, touring the Alamo, savoring Mexican cuisine, and digging deep into Spirit-full conversations with colleagues as we share in the work of authorizing ministry for the 21st century.
Faithfully,Rev. Holly MillerShankMESA Team Leader
If you have any questions regarding the AM21 event, including difficulties with registration or requests for travel scholarships, please contact Holly MillerShank (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rachel Hackenberg (email@example.com).
Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - Saturday, December 3, 2016
Sheraton Gunter205 East Houston StreetSan Antonio, Texas 78205USA
Tuesday, November 29 – Wednesday, November 30: Pre-Events
Wednesday, November 30: AM21
Thursday, December 1: AM21
Friday, December 2: AM21
Saturday, December 3: AM21
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