Connectional Table welcomes new members

May 29, 2018

When the Connectional Table met on May 16, 2018, it welcomed three new at-large clergy members: the Rev. Ernest Belisle, who serves South Yarmouth (MA) UMC;  the Rev. Ho-Soon Han, who serves New London UMC and Christ UMC in Groton, CT, and Pastor Dan Randall, who is set to be ordained in June and serves New Hope UMC in North Adams, MA.

They replace three clergy members who recently left the Connectional Table for health and personal reasons.

These at-large members are nominated by the Committee on Leadership/Nominations from a pool recommended by the Board of Ordained Ministry (BOM). At-large lay members are recommended by the Board of Laity.

The new members nominations must be approved by the Annual Conference in June; their terms officially begin July 1.

The Rev. Effie McAvoy also joins the Connectional Table as the representative from the Conference Commission on Religion and Race (CCORR).

The Connectional Table needs to elect a co-chair from among the clergy; the lay co-chair is Joan Klein. Connectional Table members opted to continue to discern about that choice. They will also have to choose a recording secretary.

One responsibility of the Connectional Table is to ensure that groups are functioning in alignment with the Conference’s five critical values as outlined in the Strategic Plan.

Each Connectional Table member is assigned to a critical value group and acts as a liaison to the boards and committees under that group. The boards and committees in each group are listed in the Strategic Plan Appendix A (click the link above).

The assignments are as follows:
Spiritual Life – Steve Dry and Dan Randall.
Vital Faith Communities –  Ho-Soon Han and Joan Klein.
Diversity and Inclusivity – Ernest Belisle, Effie McAvoy, and Won Suh Park.
Leadership Development and Accountability –  Bishop Devadhar, Mark Demers, BOM co-chair; Rene Perez, Central MA DS and Dean of the Cabinet; Erica Robinson-Johnson, Director of Connectional Ministries/Assistant to the Bishop, and Conference Lay Leader Rene Wilbur.
Stewardship – Bill Burnside, Conference Treasurer,  and Bernie Campbell, chair of the Conference Trustees.

The Connectional Table set the dates for the fall retreat with the leaders of conference boards and committees. It will be Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28-29, 2018. The location has not yet been finalized, but may be the new Conference Center in Methuen, MA, which includes a training and program space.

At the annual retreat, members of the Connectional Table offer some leadership training and help boards and committees to set priorities and goals. (Click the link to read about the 2017 Retreat). Groups will also learn more about the procedures and expectations of the Connectional Table around submitting budget requests. The Connectional Table is responsible for reviewing and making recommendations about the programming budget (Fund 2).

Table members also approved spending $500 from the Connectional Table’s budget to support Rev. McAvoy and CCORR member Rev. Bob Stewart’s attendance at a recent training event in New Hampshire.

The Connectional Table maintains a discretionary fund to assist groups that incur unexpected costs as they grow and develop. The CCORR is being rebuilt and revitalized; it was given the minimum amount of funding – $500 – for 2018.

The Connectional Table’s next meeting will be the Fall Retreat.