I have spent my first month unpacking, getting settled into a routine, learning how to pronounce certain names like “Waukesha” (but don’t ask me to pronounce “Oconomowoc” yet) and meeting many of you! In my first month I have visited nine churches of our region, and I have scheduled most Sundays through mid-June at this point to either visit or preach.
At our Board of Managers meeting on March 5th, I asked the board two questions. The first was “What are your hopes for the Regional Executive Minister for the first six months?” These were some of the responses:
-Make initial contact with all the churches.
-Built relationships in our region, keeping in mind our geographic distribution.
-Connect with pastors and lay leaders.
-Feel welcomed and inspired.
-Feel affirmed in my gifts and skills.
-Reach out if there is anything I need.
-Connect through our methods of communication, including the Synergy.
The responses to this question are excellent ones (thank you, Board of Mangers!), and I wanted to share that indeed, I feel welcomed and inspired, affirmed in my gifts and skills. I am excited to continue meeting you, and I do encourage pastors and lay leaders to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org While my Sundays may be filling up, I am happy to drive and meet people during the week for coffee or to schedule a Zoom call.
The second question I asked was about our board’s priorities coming out of the Strategic plan, and the first priority is leadership. The board brought up the request of some churches to have more training in financial programs and record-keeping. The result of the Board’s conversation is to have a training day in a few months for treasurers in our region. This will go over best practices, tax reporting, program to use, and more. John Jones and I are also in conversation about having a training for church boards and providing resources on restructuring/reorganizing as well as roles and best practices. We will keep you informed as we put together these trainings.
We are also working on opportunities for continuing education for our clergy. Under Ministerial Resourcing on the website, you will find links to some of those training opportunities along with scholarship resources. There may be some trainings that are open to church leaders, and I will share that information as it comes.
My family and I look forward to meeting many of you at the Executive Minister and Family Meet and Greet on Saturday, May 21st from 11-1:30. This is part of the Spring In To Camp. Please let Carolyn Dugan (email@example.com) know if you’d like to attend so lunch will be provided for you.
As we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, may we find signs of new life springing up—both physically and spiritually. May we find the seeds God has planted, in our lives and in the world around us, have begun to break forth. May we have the wisdom to know how to cultivate God’s harvest, and I am so glad to be with you on this journey as the American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin.
Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell