On September 9-11, 2019, the Board of Ordained Ministry in partnership with the Office of Ministry will launch the first group for the newly-created Reflecting, Equipping, and Flourishing Process. Dr. Brian Law, chairperson for the Board of Ordained Ministry ("the Board"), shared in his Annual Conference report the following:"The work that we do in licensing and credentialing candidates for ministry is about helping people identify and celebrate new adventures. The Board helps individuals identify and live out their call to ministry. The Board also helps people transition from ministry to another phase of life. Whether it is because of medical issues, retirement or change of call, the Board is there to help in the celebrations in the life of the clergy in The West Ohio Conference." The Reflecting, Equipping, and Flourishing (REF) Process will be an extension of that same work of helping people effectively live out their call to ministry.
Law also talked about the new requirement for this process in the Book of Discipline: "Paragraph 349 says that every annual conference is responsible for the creation and implementation of an eight-year assessment and vocational renewal process for all clergy. The Eight Year Assessment is an intentional opportunity for in-depth renewal for clergy who serve under appointment. This process is designed to create 'a grace-filled space' where clergy can reflect on her/his ministry career and listen for God's voice. This process is to be in place by January 1, 2020."
The initial work of this team was to establish a name other than the "Eight Year Assessment" and to identify a scriptural reference. The name chosen was "The Reflecting, Equipping, and Flourishing Process." Our scriptural foundation comes from James 1:22-25 - "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues in it - not forgetting what they have heard but doing it - they will be blessed in what they do."
The mission is to help clergy identify strengths and build upon them and to further examine possible shortcomings and to increase effectiveness in those areas.
For The West Ohio Conference, every year, about 50-60 clergy who have been credentialed for at least eight years and are serving in local churches, will be invited to attend the Reflecting, Equipping, and Flourishing Process event. This includes associate members, ordained deacons and ordained elders. The process will then be ongoing, circling back around to clergy every eight years. The groups are carefully thought out to reflect roles, districts, and length of time in ministry. Each clergy person will have someone to walk alongside them as they reflect on call, develop new ways to re-tool, and further the work of flourishing in ministry. The District Superintendents will meet with the Staff/Parish Relations Committees to explain the process and answer any questions specific to their local church and/or ministry settings.
We look forward to working with all our clergy on an ongoing basis. For more details, please clickhere or call the Office of Ministry with questions or concerns at 614-844-6200. Your prayers and support for our clergy, congregations, communities, and the entire connection are appreciated as we move into this new process.
-Dr. Brian Law, Chairperson, Board of Ordained Ministry,
and Rev. Donnetta Peaks, Director, Office of Ministry