A Word from our General Presbyter – January 10

A Word from our General Presbyter – January 10

By Ed Thompson

The Greek god Janus has two faces. One looks backward, and the other looks forward. This month is named after Janus perhaps because in January we look backward to the past year as well as forward to the year ahead. In looking back on my goals for 2018, I planned to:

1. Strengthen relationship between congregations and the presbytery by visiting 35 churches for worship, preaching 25 times, aiming to visit at least 20 churches that I have not visited before.
I actually visited 42 different churches, preaching 28 times, and was able to visit 17 churches that I had not visited before. Overall, I’d probably give myself a B+.

2. Provide pastoral care and support to the pastors of the presbytery by meeting with 30 different pastors, at least 15 of whom I have not visited/met with before.
I actually met with 30 different pastors, meeting that part of the goal, but only 10 of them were pastors that I had not visited with before. That probably comes out to a B.

3. Provide guidance and support to presbytery staff members by meeting with each person individually twice a year, once for reflecting on the prior year’s activities and setting goals for the year ahead and once mid-year to reflect on where they were in meeting those goals.
Since I did this, I could give myself an A. However, I need to work with them to be more intentional about setting goals, so that probably drops it to an A-.

4. Work on Personal Growth and Renewal by attend two different continuing education events in 2018 with at least one dealing with staff management and supervision.
I only made it to one continuing education event in 2018, but that one did deal with staff management and supervision. It was a GA year and I also attended the Mid-Council Leader’s Gathering, both of which have some aspects of continuing education to them. I’d probably give myself a B- or a C+.

5. Support the work of the new Program Director at Bluestone by having monthly check-ins with Sarah Specht and weekly overnight visits to Bluestone during the camping season. 
I was able to do this monthly through June but didn’t really check in with Sarah following the summer camp season other than the mid-year check-in, so I didn’t do as much as I had planned to do. I did make it to three out of four weeks of summer camp, missing a week because of General Assembly. This probably rates as a B-/C+.

6. Strengthen vitality of Leadership Team, Ministry Committee, and Relations Committee by
a) developing a list of 30-40 churches for Triennial Visits in 2018 and checking in with the with chair of the Relations Committee before each meeting.
I did this, although in hindsight I needed to do more. Probably A-, B+.
b) developing a new way of tracking churches in the vacancy process to keep better track of where they are in the process.
This is still a work in progress. C
c) be more consistent in helping Leadership Team develop a Strategic Plan for 2018-2023. 
I tried but didn’t seem to get anywhere. C

For 2019, my goals are:

1. Strengthen relationship between congregations and the presbytery by visiting 35 churches for worship, preaching 25 times, aiming to visit at least 15 churches that I have not visited before.
The longer I’m here, the fewer new churches there are to visit.

2. Provide pastoral care and support to the pastors of the presbytery by meeting with 30 different pastors, at least 15 of whom I have not visited/met with before.
I intend to focus on connecting with new members of the presbytery.

3. Provide guidance and support to presbytery staff members by meeting with each person individually twice a year, once for reflecting on the prior year’s activities and setting goals for the year ahead and once mid-year to reflect on where they are in meeting those goals.
The focus this year will be on having better, clearer goals and to write up reports following these meetings.

4. Work on Personal Growth and Renewal by attending two different continuing education events in 2019 with at least one event dealing with staff management and supervision.
This is a year for Big Tent, and I’m planning to go to that. I probably need to attend another workshop dealing with staff management and supervision since this is not an area of strength. It would be good to attend another continuing education event as well.

5. Be more intentional in my work by finding a coach and then meeting monthly with him/her.
I hope this will help me to be more intentional about my work.

6. Help Leadership Team be more effective by meeting with the chair of Leadership Team and the Stated Clerk prior to each meeting.
I hope this will give more continuity to the work of the Leadership Team.

7. Help churches find pastors more quickly by working with the Ministry Committee as they refine process for calling a pastor.
This is a continuing work in progress.

What goals did you set for 2018? What worked out well, and where did you fall short?

What are your goals for 2019? What do you need to focus on this year?

2019-01-10T16:58:36+00:00January 10th, 2019|Newsletter Articles|

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