Rev. Dr. Barrie Tritle updated the 2018 Annual Conference Session Saturday on the Aligning Resources Team's work for the Healthy Conference Initiative (HCI) component of the Conference's Strategic Priorities.
The Iowa Conference has been on a journey towards greater health for the past several years, he explained.
"From the adoption of our strategic priorities to the approval of the mission, vision and Conference goal," Tritle said, "Operational Teams across the state have worked diligently to align our systems and structure to create and support vital communities of faith and transformational leaders."
"The healthy process implemented through these Operational Teams has encouraged collaborative ministry and equipped our leaders and local churches to adapt and thrive in our ever-changing ministry environment," he said.
Marva Philipsen and Rev. Nick Grove joined Tritle in his presentation in sharing Operational Team testimonies.
This July 1, Tritle explained that the Conference will begin another chapter in the HCI with the addition of three directors focused on the specific ministries outlined in the strategic priorities.
There will be a Director of New Communities of Faith, a Director of Congregational Excellence, and a Director of Clergy and Leadership Excellence. Further, four of the current Field Outreach Ministers will become Interim Associates of Congregational Excellence.
"This will be a transition from a district-centered staffing model to a conference-wide congregational excellence strategy," said Tritle.
Rev. Dr. Jaye Johnson also spoke about benefits of the L3 program (Loving, Learning, and Leading) in the HCI.
Tritle advised the Conference attendees that during the 2018 Annual Conference Session, the Bishop's Operational Team and Alignment Team would be presenting changes to the Rules of Order and Plan of Organization that reflect the newly aligned staffing structure.
"The recommended changes will allow the Conference to have the necessary flexibility to continue the adaptive process," Tritle stated, "something that makes possible a Conference structure focused on our mission, vision, and strategic priorities."
Through the HCI, Operational Teams have begun to implement processes supporting proactive communication and collaboration across the Conference, explained Tritle.
"The ministry and mission of the Conference have experienced greater synergy through our collective, intentional focus on the mission, vision, priorities and Conference goal," he said.
He gave the example of how through the collaboration of the Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) and the Bishop's Operational Team, in the recent staff alignment process, there would be a projected reduction of nearly $400,000 to the 2019 apportionment budget.
"As the Conference Connectional Ministries Council (CCMC) puts the ministry of God into action throughout the Conference and across the world, CCMC has been working, over the past several years, to create coalitions and collaborative partnerships," reported Tritle. "CCMC has encouraged boards and agencies to seek out alternative revenue streams, and they have worked closely with CFA to create a sustainable budget that will continue to support the ministry of the Conference."
"By aligning our resources towards our strategic priorities," he continued, "the Conference has made a serious commitment to the mission and vision for The United Methodist Church in Iowa."
"As we continue to develop spiritual leaders, create transformational environments, and implement adaptive processes," Tritle concluded, "we are God's hope made real in the world."
He asked for continued prayers from the Conference as the HCI process moved forward.
Additional information regarding the Healthy Conference Initiative and the recent staffing alignment announcements is available at www.iaumc.org/slinews
, along with a video conversation highlighting the collaborative work of the Operational Teams at https://youtu.be/J78nZgypnY4