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The 2013 session of the Iowa Conference the establishment of a Design Task Force to review the Strategic Priorities and help the Conference to live into them.
Specifically, the session directed “Conference staffing at all levels…be reassessed and redesigned with the support of the Human Resources department and input from communities of faith to address current needs based on our strategic priorities by June 1, 2014.”
The Design Task Force convened in September 2013. “It has taken its responsibilities very seriously discerning areas of focus as it looked at the Strategic Priorities,” observed Joni Mardesen, Conference HR Director/Benefits Officer. “Throughout the past several months they’ve been very busy…and have wanted to determine the process as we move forward in gathering information that will allow us to create the structure around the Strategic Priorities.”
The Design Task Force has enlisted the help of Rev. Ken Ehrman, who works with the Samaritan Center for Congregations. “He regularly assists churches going through this type of process. He has been challenging us to think differently,” Joni Mardesen said.
According to Mardesen, the Design Task Force will be able to present “a process and a plan for moving forward” to the 2014 annual session of the Iowa Conference. “This is work that needs to be well thought out. We will take the necessary time to come forward with a feasible recommendation.” The Design Task Force will be taking the time necessary “to gather the input from the communities of faith.
Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble convened the Design Task Force in September.
The timeline for the Design Task Force’s work includes bringing a report to the 2014 annual session “It’s important that we do the work well,” Mardesen added. “We need to give opportunities to communities of faith to have a voice.” The additional time, to the 2015 annual session, “will be needed to bring a final recommendation, with approval requested, at the 2015 annual session.”