With an ongoing pandemic, political divisions and other uncertainties, our world and our culture have changed. So has our church. As we move forward we want to bring the best of our past into a future of transformation. The Supportive Ministries of the Conference have adapted to help congregations move into that future. Consider participating in one of these offerings to support your ministry. Congregations can apply for Catalyst Grants to offset the cost of these programs.
The purpose of Supportive Ministries is to identify and develop resources to support clergy and congregations during this liminal time.
Appreciative Inquiry – Better ways of leading change are spreading throughout the world. Appreciative Inquiry is a positive approach to a process of Discovery, Dreaming, Design and Destiny for engaging people at any or all levels to produce effective, positive change. Contact Art and Cathy Wille. The cost is $2,500 for 4-5 sessions with your congregation.
Coaching – Trained coaches work one-on-one with clergy to equip them to thrive in ministry by building on their strengths, identifying vision and priorities, and working toward ministry goals. Catalyst is currently offering five free coaching sessions to Conference Clergy. For information contact Tim Perkins. The cost is $30 per session after the initial free sessions.
Communities of Practice – Clergy groups meet with a trained facilitator to help them “do better what they do.” Clergy interact and gather wisdom from the perspectives and practices of others in the group. The Wisconsin Conference has 16 Clergy COPs and 3 Christian Educator COPs. For information contact Jane Anderson. The cost is $250 for 9 sessions.
Conflict Transformation – A trained team of UCC clergy and lay members is available to improve communication, the pattern of interaction within a congregation or to help a congregation with strained or negative relationships. Contact your Associate Conference Minister.
Faith Formation and Youth Ministry Leader Support – A Damascus Project cohort with regular Zoom gatherings of lay and clergy leaders who share ideas and resources, ask questions, and receive peer support. Participants can join whenever they are able. Resources and ideas are posted and catalogued in the Damascus Project cohort. To join or for information contact Lisa Hart.
Five Practices for Fruitful Congregations – Provides congregations a laser focus on their hospitality, worship, mission and service, stewardship, and faith development. Since 2006, 41 of our congregations have participated and developed plans to enhance their fruitfulness. Contact Cathy Wille (NE & NW Associations) or Bonnie Andrews (SE & SW Associations). Costs range from $100 to $1,000 depending on the level of facilitation.
Readiness 360 – A congregation-wide online assessment survey measuring perceptions of spiritual intensity, relationships, mission alignment and cultural openness. A follow-up process helps identify where members may be ready to start a new ministry or program, how to get unstuck, build on strengths and shift from maintenance to mission. To date 7 congregations have participated in this process. Contact Bob Ullman. Cost for the survey and facilitated discussion is $350.
WISE – A WISE congregation for mental health is one that is Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive and Engaged with those who are affected by mental health challenges. To learn about the process to become a WISE congregation contact Lisa Hart.