Conference Leadership Gathers to Explore Foundational Goals

2/3/2017

*By Dr. Larry R. Hygh, Jr.

Leadership from across the California-Nevada Conference recently gathered for a retreat with Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño to begin the quadrennium exploring the Conference's foundational goals and denominational focus areas.  "As leaders of the California-Nevada Conference of The United Methodist Church we gather knowing that we are here to lead God's people on the journey ahead," says Bishop Carcaño. 
 
Bishop Carcaño led the opening worship and preached from Acts 3:1-10, the story of Peter and John at the Beautiful Gate. The daylong retreat, held at the Conference Center in West Sacramento, included the Core Team, Cabinet, administrative bodies, chairs of organizations, and annual conference staff. "God knows, and we know, that the world is in need of those who believe there is a future worth journeying to, in need of leaders to show the way, and in need of those who can shape the world into being a world of mercy, grace, and justice," says Bishop Carcaño. 
 
The Conference's foundational goals are:
  • equip congregations to develop clear paths to discipleship, with depth and relevance to their own context;
  • create a culture of collaboration and innovation; and,
  • create new places for new people, until all people are fully included in the life of the Church.
The Rev. Kathi McShane, convener of the Conference Core Team and pastor of Campbell UMC, says, "The focus of the day was on moving from big statements of vision to measureable outcomes." She says, "It was a day filled with good will and good intentions, and openness about the future, and a day that reminded us that we all have a lot of work to do."
 
McShane says the group that was gathered asked themselves, "How do we set our goals for ministry in the Conference for the next four years, and measure progress for those goals, so that we are taking tangible steps toward that transformed world that we want to be part of in the California-Nevada Conference?"
 
Some of the measurable outcomes by the year 2020 for the annual conference include: a new multicultural congregation engaging no fewer than 1,000 active participants each week; at least five existing congregations growing to no fewer than 1,000 active participants each week; and, at least 20 faith communities with no fewer than 500 active participants each week. 
 
The day included a review of the Conference's strategic direction, history, current vision and goals, and sharing from the mission focus area.  There was also a recap of learning from participants of the denominations "Extended Cabinet Summit" that took place in Jacksonville, Florida, last November. 
 
General Conference 2016 continued with the denomination's four areas of ministry focus.  They are: engaging in ministry with the poor; improving global health; developing principled Christian leaders; and, creating new and renewed congregations.  McShane says, "Our foundational goals really set the values that are important in this conference for getting everything else done…they are our way of intersecting with the four areas of focus." She added, "They are specific with our culture and will drive the way we contribute to the denomination's goals." 
 
Bishop Carcaño says, "We may not have the silver or gold that the world uses to measure what is possible. Let us remember the higher truth: we have Jesus to share; Jesus in whom all things are possible."  She added, "Let us journey forth, committed to being faithful disciples of Jesus the Christ, and faithful leaders of his Church."
 
For the Conference's current statements of strategy, click here.
For Bishop Carcaño's opening sermon, click here.
 
*Hygh is director of communications for the California-Nevada Conference comprised of 370 churches and 78,000 United Methodists in Northern California and Northern Nevada.
 

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