Members of the Connectional Table met Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, to conduct some business before its annual retreat for the leaders of Conference boards and committees on Saturday (Click the link to read about the retreat
At that meeting, Connectional Table members considered two requests for funding, elected a new co-chair to replace Rev. Ho-Soon Han, who stepped down earlier this year, and set meeting dates.
Members postponed making a decision on a request from the Conference Commission on Religion and Race (CCORR) for $2,500 for RISE Together
, a mentorship program for clergywomen of color. The Connectional Table will seek more information and revisit the request at its meeting on Nov. 19, 2019.
Members approved, in part, a request for funding from the Open Spirit Task Force. The
OSTF was approved by the 2019 Annual Conference; the formation of the task force did not include a budget.
OSTF asked for $3,300 for 2019 and $22,500 for 2020 – $15,000 of which was for a two-day retreat in January 2020.
Members cited a lack of specificity regarding the retreat request, and raised several questions including: Were other retreat locations (besides Rolling Ridge) considered? Would participants be responsible for any share of the cost? Is the Task Force utilizing the skills and wisdom of consultants and others currently serving on the team rather than seeking outside expertise?
The Connectional Table’s budget for emerging requests is $10,000 annually.
In light of the above, members approved $1,000 for the OSTF for 2019. The Conference Council on Finance and Administration will provide $2,500 from the Annual Conference task force budget line and the Connectional Table will provide $2,500 from its budget for OSTF in 2020.
Connectional Table members also elected a new co-chair. The Rev. Dan Randall will serve as co-chair along with Joan Klein, laity.
Rev. Randall was the only clergy present who was eligible to be nominated as co-chair (Rev. Ernest Belisle was not at the meeting). Rev. Randall named the fact that as a white male he was not comfortable being placed in this leadership role without a commitment by the
Connectional Table to increasing diversity on the team in the future.
The Board of Ordained Ministry nominates six clergy, three of which will be chosen to serve on the Connectional Table for the next quadrennium. Rev. Randall agreed to serve as co-chair through June 30, 2020 when the new nominees could be considered.
Lay members to the Connectional Table are nominated by the Board of Laity. As with the clergy, six are nominated and three are chosen to serve.
The Connectional Table scheduled the following meetings:
5 p.m. Nov. 19, 2019, conference call
7 p.m. Jan. 16, 2020, conference call
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 14, 2020 at the Conference Center to consider the 2021 budget requests from boards and committees under Fund 2.