The First 60 Days

During the first 60 days of our time together we have been talking about important matters:

– Expecting Greater Things
– Being Disciples of Jesus Christ
– The Memphis and Tennessee Conferences as a Mission Field
– Aligning the Cabinet, the Board of Ordained Ministry, and the Connectional Ministry Teams
– Creating a Culture of Call, a Culture of Leadership, and a Missional Identity
– Wonderful Ministry is taking place across the Nashville Area of the United Methodist Church!

In a variety of settings and conversations we are thinking together about Missional Excellence—Congregational Excellence—Pastoral Excellence. In Philippians 4:8 Paul writes: “If anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise.”

Also, this week, the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (GBPHB) and the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) have been providing leadership with the Memphis Conference and the Tennessee Conference assisting us in discovering our best way forward. Wednesday (Memphis Conference) and Thursday (Tennessee Conference) a group of leaders met with the Financial Advisory Consulting Team—known as FACT—to look at our current realities, past history, sustainability, and the promise for the future. The team interviewed 30 persons from each conference with a wide range of questions seeking input from the grassroots. The FACT Team came as a result of conversations which emerged out of the Unity Committee to help determine the appropriate direction for ministry and mission in each annual conference. The FACT Team brings a level of objectivity to the process of analysis.


Gil Rendle

In December the FACT Team will return to report their findings and offer strategies to move our conferences forward. That we are doing this work at the outset of our work together will serve us well. In January, Gil Rendle will begin consulting with the Unity Committee to lead us in focusing our life together around Mission. If we determine it is best to link the two conferences in a more formal way, Mission must set the agenda, not money.

With these two separate processes unfolding this Fall and Winter, we will have a better sense about our next steps into the future.

These are good days and I give thanks to God for you.

“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 CEB

4 Comments on “The First 60 Days”

  1. Mike Barker says:

    Who were the 30 people interviewed by the FACT committee from the Memphis Conference? Some of the rest of us (who were not advised of this process) might have some ideas as well!!!! There seems to be a lack of facing reality when addressing pension and health costs.

    • ksparq says:

      Mr. Barker, thank you for reading and for your comment. The Bishop has forwarded this list to post in reply to your comment.

      Memphis FACT Groups:
      Joe Geary, Harold Nation, Johnny Jeffords, James Finger, Roger Hopson, Sharon Karamoko, Gerry Campbell, Joe Beal, Steve Cavitt, Randy Cooper, Barry Henson, Mary Mooney, Charles Gilliand, Joey Reed, John Bonson, Sandra Bryant, David Comperry, Deb Suddarth, Cynthia Davis, Susan Sharpe, Sky McCracken, Greg Waldrop, Sandra Clay, Richard Clark, David Reed

      Tennessee FACT Groups:
      Willie Burchfield, Stephen Handy, Bettye Lewis,Opal Ransom, Joy Lewter, Jim Beaty, John Collett, LeNoir Culbertson, Jay Archer, Tom Halliburton, Karen Barrineau, Harriet Bryan, Lynn Hill, Tommy Ward, Holly Neal, Brian Brooks, Ingram Howard, Tim Moss, Betty Alexander, Jacob Armstrong, Jim Allen, Max Mayo, Michael Williams, Cornelia Clark, Don Ladd

      Bishop contact and info:
      > website info, Memphis Conference site

  2. stevestonesr says:

    For my money the baseline issue about merging the two conferences is it’s just good stewardship-and that definitly affects our mission for Chrost’s sake.

  3. Retha & Tom Freeman says:

    Thank you for including in your postings. Please note that
    my e-mail address has changed to Pease and
    grace, Retha & Tom Freeman