Dear Pastor Parish Relations Committee,

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! We are excited to bring you news from our Missouri Area Annual Conference. Our conference has for some time been a leader in the denomination for Congregational and Pastoral Excellence. We continue to investigate better ways to assist churches to meet their goal of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. There is a new leadership initiative in Missouri and your pastor has been invited.
United Methodist pastors are committed to life long learning. Our conference is offering an excellent choice for continuing education. COMPASS: A Wesleyan Leadership Experience is intended to strengthen leaders of churches that seek to reach new people for Jesus Christ. It is a two-year continuous learning experience. Over the two years of the course COMPASS will build on the core competencies of the pastor. The participants will learn from nationally recognized leaders in the church in four large group gatherings held at 48 hour retreats. In addition, over the two years, there will be four day-aparts for clergy and key laity to work together. All of these retreats will focus on Holiness, Leadership & Worship, Social Holiness/Missional Readiness, and Strategic Planning.
Participants will also meet in seven gatherings of about four hours each. These are referred to as Journey groups and are designed to group pastors with like needs, or affinities. Coaching will be built into all learning events. 
Each participating pastor will need their church’s support. This support will come especially in the area of a commitment to pray for the pastor during this special time of learning. Your pastor will need your encouragement as he/she completes assignments all while meeting the pastoral needs of your congregation. Some pastors will require assistance with child care during this time. Please consider offering that special kindness if it applies to your pastor. There will be tuition for this experience. Many pastors have continuing education funds in their pastoral support package; still, we invite you to consider going beyond that amount to help your pastor be a part of this special program.
Thank you for your service to the connection through your role in the local church.

Grace & Peace,
Bob Farr, Karen Hayden & Suzanne Nicholson 
(Offices of Congregational & Pastoral Excellence)