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Study and Discernment III

By October 20, 2016December 20th, 2016No Comments

Study and Discernment –

Regional Conversation dates scheduled.

Nov. 12 at Macomb: 10-12noon at FCC Macomb
Nov. 29 at Bloomington:  Tuesday, November 29 at 7:00 pm at Centennial Christian Church in Bloomington
Dec. 13 at Mattoon: Tuesday, December 13 at 7:00 pm. Marshall Ave Christian Church in Mattoon
Jan. 8 at Mt Carmel: Sunday, January 8 at 6:00 pm at First Christian Church in Mt Carmel
Jan. 9 at Marion: Monday, January 9 at 7:00 pm at First Christian Church in Marion
Jan. 11 at Peoria Memorial: Wednesday, January 11 at 7:00 pm at Memorial Christian Church in Peoria
Jan 17. at Springfield: Tuesday, January 17 at 7:00 pm at Parkway Christian Church in Springfield


Download the Documents

Hamm – The Death of Middle Judicatories

Hamm – The Resurrection of Middle Judicatories

Handout for Regional Conversations

Slides for Regional Conversations

Agenda for our Regional Conversations

  1. Welcome, Prayer, Overview, and Introductions
  2. Background – how this came to be, what we’ve done
  3. Timeline of tentative activities
  4. Our goals for tonight and beyond – share information and listen – listen to you and to God about the next chapter
  5. Dick Hamm material – what is the Regional church?
  6. History and current situation in the life of the church
  7. Small group discussion – your thoughts?
  8. Review and Wrap Up


Discussion Guide for Regional Conversations (Time: less than 2 hours)

Pre-meeting assignment—Read “The Death of Middle Judicatories” and “The Resurrection of Middle Judicatories” by the Rev. Dr. Dick Hamm.

Welcome and Prayer and Overview of the Evening



Introduce Facilitators and Introduce Participants sharing names, church affiliation two words to describe their congregation.
Background: In late summer a Study and Discernment Committee was created to clarify and articulate the new vision of what God is calling is to do in partnership and ministry as Regional Church. Further, to answer the questions of what staff will be needed to facilitate that mission. Currently we have two Regional Ministers serving 135 congregations. Located from Danville to Quincy and Metropolis to Milwaukee. The first step was a retreat facilitated by Dick Hamm on 8/29/16 at First Christian Church in Bloomington.


As a result, the following timeline was established –


Timeline of tentative activities:

Now through January – Gatherings held in various locations within the region

January- Key learnings, new insights, and core values will be examined.

February- A retreat will be held to develop a Vision proposal that will be recommended to the Regional Church Council

March – A report will be made to the March Regional Church Council meeting for feedback/conversation

April/May-Discussion to address the structural changes needed and the best way to staff to accomplish the Vision. Share the Vision, Structure, and Staffing recommendations with the Council for approval.

June+ Share the Vision with the region.


Short Term Objectives:

  • To share information regarding the Study and Discernment Committee’s work at the Regional Assembly
  • To hold gatherings within the region to collect information/feedback to help clarify the vision
  • To create the best structure and staffing model to accomplish the vision


Facts and Trends shared by Dick Hamm – see slides


What is Regional Church ministry?

Give examples and a range of ministry activity.

The Design of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)


Dick’s PowerPoint slides/handouts include these titles:

  1. “Six Generations Are Active Today”- Identifies/describes the six generations/trends of congregational members. Deeper reflection could reveal, “Why” those trends exist and how the church can respond/engage/and shape those conversations.
  2. “The Legacy of the Builders Generation”-Contrasts the styles of boards, committees, and worship;
  3. Highlights the “generational change of people over/under age 60
  4. “Some Profound Differences between the Modern and Post-Modern Eras”- Compares/contrasts universal thought, societal norms, communication, etc.
  5. The Three Most Important Questions –
  6. “Regional Responsibilities”- Lists the responsibilities of regional staff in various areas such as communications, ministry, programming, and mission. Methodologies- Using all of these “clinics, chaplaincy, consulting, and coaching,” and moving towards “communities of learning.”
  7. Approaches – Then and Now – Moving away from “Hub and Spoke” approach and moving toward a “Network and Brokering model.”
  8. “Roles of Regional Staff in a Network Model”- Share current duties of the Regional staff; gives ideas of how to use elders/lay leaders/etc. to not only do the work, but to develop relationships

Small Group Discussion (Time: 45-55 minutes)

Break into small groups of 3 to 5 groups by counting off 1, 2, 3 etc. All 1’s together, 2’s together, and so forth.

We’re asking for your input into vital questions that will help determine the “vision” for the Regional church.

  1. What does the Regional church do well? What are our challenges? Or – Tell us a story – when it’s at its best, what does the Region church do?
  1. What would you say is unique about the ministry of our Regional church?
  1. What is it that makes church “church”? What are the core values and actions that differentiate us from other social groups?
  1. What is our covenant with each other as congregations/region? How do we express (live out) this relatedness? How can this be strengthened by congregations/Pastors/Regional staff?
  1. Given what we have heard—-What is God calling us to be and to do in our current context? What is our mission?

Or – tell us another story – If the Regional church is fulfilling God’s call, what bigger, better ministry will it be doing three years from now? What is our God-sized vision?
Review and Wrap Up (Time: 15-20 minutes)

Ask each reporter to share a synopsis of the group’s discussion. Ask for their copy of the responses.

Next steps – how we will use the information you’ve given us tonight

Thank you and good night!


Closing Prayer