Reorganization at First Congregational Church
New Opportunities for Input
As First Congregational Church keeps pace with a new era of ministry, certain parts of our ministry are not well supported by our current organizational structure. The demands to populate the 22 committees listed in our by-laws can create a lack of meaningful opportunities for service while placing heavy and disproportionate demands on staff and volunteers. The need for reorganization has been discussed within the congregation over the last few years. The need became even more evident as we created a church profile for the Senior Minister search, looked at the organizational structure with the interim minister, and did congregational visioning work.
At a leadership retreat in January 2014, there was a consensus that the church was ready to support a transition to a leaner and more nimble system of governance. The intent of the reorganization is to encourage laity and staff to be innovative and serve as better partners in strengthening our life together, while doing bold ministry in our community and world.
As a first step, the Board of Trustees has reviewed an amendment to the by-laws. The by-law amendment will give us flexibility to experiment with some different approaches to church organization, while keeping in place basic and familiar structures to conduct church business. The congregation will be asked to approve the by-law amendment at the Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 28. It has already been discussed in all of the committees and at the April 29 prioritization meeting. The current version of the by-law amendment to be discussed can be found here.
Everyone is now invited to discuss the amendment with members of the Re-Organization Task Group between 9 and 10 am on the following Sundays: May 4, 11, and 18. At its meeting on May 13, the Board of Trustees, after hearing your input, will review all comments. It will then approve a draft of a final version of the by-law amendment, to be discussed and approved at the Annual Meeting. A more comprehensive interim governance plan will be developed at an All-Church Leadership Retreat on Tuesday, June 10 from 6 to 9 pm.
The Re-Organization Task Group was appointed to help guide the process by the Executive Committee. The Task Group is comprised of: Senior Minister, Peter Cook, Janice Clements, President-Elect, Louise Brewster, and Steve Fuchs. In addition to the above mentioned times, we invite you to directly contact Task Group members with your comments and questions. Your opinions and observations are important to us.