September 19, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Kim Jenne, Director of Connectional Ministries
kjenne@moumethodist.org
(573) 441-1770
 
Mission Council Approves New Conference Vision
 
COLUMBIA, Mo. – September 19, 2017 – The Mission Council affirmed Bishop Bob Farr’s new vision for the Missouri Annual Conference during their September 11-12 visioning retreat. The vision will now read: The Missouri Conference will relentlessly lead our churches to become outwardly focused and spiritually centered Christ followers. The Conference’s mission remains making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
           
The Mission Council also began the next step in developing a plan for meeting the mission of the church. The group heard a report of the listening tour that began last September. Click here to read a topline version of the two-phased listening tour. In all, the listening tour engaged over 500 clergy and laity in the nine districts of the Conference. The 43 listening sessions were composed of 51%-49% lay/clergy and 51%-49% men/women. Eight percent of participants in listening sessions were people of color. Eighty 360-degree (in-depth) interviews included 16% people of color with 68%-32% clergy/lay breakdown.
           
The retreat was facilitated by clergy coach Doug Anderson, a retired clergyperson from the Indiana Conference. The 20-member council brainstormed major goals for the next quadrennium and potentially beyond. The Cabinet will now take that direction and begin developing an implementation plan to meet those goals. The council anticipates seeing a more developed plan at their November 21 meeting with the goal of sharing the plan with the Conference in January 2018. The anticipated timeline includes the following benchmarks:
 
September Mission Council retreat
September-November    Cabinet work on strategies per direction of Mission Council
November Mission Council discussion of strategic plan
January Conference launch of communication plan
 
“It is an exciting time in the life of our Conference as we consider a new focus for our vision that directs us to an outward focus for our congregations and identifies spiritual development for our laity,” said Conference Lay Leader Amy Thompson. “I look forward to being a voice for our laity as I work with the Cabinet and Mission Council.”

The Mission Council acts on behalf of the Annual Conference between sessions in order to give general direction, guidance, and alignment of resources in support of the mission and vision. The Council’s work this month also included affirming the Conference’s understanding of the local church as the primary vehicle to make disciples. In addition to the core practices of Congregational and Pastoral Excellence by which the Conference aligns its work, the council added Lay Leadership as an essential component.
 

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