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Annual Meeting

Spring Mtg 2017May 25-26 in Tarrytown, New York

Official Call to Annual Meeting

Authorized Minister Retreat

Keynote Speaker and Authorized Minister Retreat leader



The Call to the Fifty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the New York Conference United Church of Christ

January 31, 2017


To: Churches and Ministers of the NEW YORK CONFERENCE, UCC 


From: Rev. Joseph Medlin, Moderator of the Conference


The Fifty-fourth Annual Meeting of the New York Conference of the United Church of Christ will convene at the Westchester Marriott, 670 White Plains Road, Tarrytown NY 10591, beginning at 2:00 PM on Thursday, May 25, 2017 and will be in session until after the Closing Service of Worship on Friday, May 26, 2017.


Each member Church of the Conference is entitled to representation by two lay delegates. A church of more than 250 members is entitled to representation by one additional lay delegate for each additional 250 members or major fraction thereof.


The Schedule printed below indicates the number of delegates to represent the Churches of various sizes of membership. The standard is provided in the 2015 Yearbook and Directory of the Conference for which each Church provided its own accurate statement of membership.


Number of Members Number of Delegates
 1  -   250
251  -   500
501  -   750
751  -  1000
1001  -  1250
1251  -  1500
1501  -  1750
1751  -  2000
Delegate Designation forms are no longer necessary. At your Annual Meeting or at another appointed time, elect or designate those who are to be your representatives this year. Their names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses should be registered on line with the Conference Office as delegates as soon as possible in advance of May 1, 2017. Registration forms and other pertinent information will be published on our website. We anticipate registration forms and information available on March 16, 2017.
All persons holding ministerial standing in the Conference shall be considered voting delegates. Members of the Conference Board, and moderators and registrars of the Association, during their respective terms, shall also be considered voting delegates.
Business Items
These are the action items that will come before the Annual Meeting of the New York Conference during the Business Sections of our Plenary time together. Action items will be:
  1. Vote on the 2018 Conference Budget
  2. Vote on a slate of Nominees for Conference Board and General Synod Delegates. To be posted on conference website.
  3. Vote on proposed revisions to the By-laws of the Conference (To Be Posted online and sent via email before April 24th).
Other items which may properly come before the gathering.  Please refer to the New York Conference website:, which will be updated with pertinent documents and information.

Authorized Minister Retreat

Prior to the start of Annual Meeting, there will be an Authorized Minister Retreat on May 24 and 25. The retreat will be faciliated by Annual Meeting keynote speaker Jim Herrington. A tentative schedule and outline of what will be covererd at the retreat is provided below.

May 24 

Session One - Off the Map - A Different Way of Leading

Learning Objective: In this session I will assert that effective leadership in the post-modern, post-Christian age will require that leaders learn a different way of leading. Participants will increase their understanding of adaptive leadership and be able to distinguish operational/technical leadership from adaptive leadership.

In Session One I will draw from the historic American story of Lewis and Clark as an illustrative base from which I will describe the difference in operational leadership (on-map leadership) and adaptive leadership (off-map leadership). I will tell congregational stories and stories from the book of Acts to illustrative adaptive leadership skills. I will assert that in the post-Christian world, that effective leaders must become masters of adaptive (off-map) leadership.

Break - 2:30 pm

Session Two - Developing a Culture of Growing Emotional Maturity

Learning Objective: in this session, I will assert that for leaders and congregations to master adaptive leadership, they must simultaneously learn how to foster a culture of growing emotional maturity – first for themselves and then for other leaders in their congregation.

In this session I will review some of the basic ideas of Bowen Family Systems Theory and then challenge the group to take on the task of developing a congregational culture of growing emotional maturity. I will hold up Jesus’ emotional maturity as the maturity to which the church must aspire in this off-map context. Jesus simultaneously experienced his belovedness in God, a deep connection to whoever was in front of him at any given time, and a deep connection to himself. I will tell congregational stories where leaders are working to increase the emotional maturity of all of its leadership.

Session Three - Missional Practices for Off-Map Leadership

Learning Objective: In this session I will assert that there are some missional practices that empower leaders to conduct adaptive leadership experiments in their context. Participants will learn five practices that empower them to map the new mission field that congregations encounter today.

In this session I will describe five basic practices that congregations are engaging (and that require growing emotional maturity). These are practices that help map the unknown territory of the new (post-modern, post-Christian) mission field. I will tell congregational stories of the impact of these practices in various contexts.

Vespers - 8:30 pm


May 25 9:00

Session Four

Learning Objective: In this session I will assert that effective leadership works to generate and sustain creative tension. Participants will consider the impact of developing a narrative of current reality and a narrative of an emerging future and then holding those narratives in creative tension over time.

In this session I will dive more deeply into the description of adaptive leadership, giving specific attention to generating and sustaining creative tension as a requisite skill for leaders to master. Leaders will be challenged to develop clear, shared, and compelling narratives of current reality and of the emerging future to which they are seeking to lead the congregation.

Break 10:15 am

Session Five

Learning Objective: In this session I will assert that self-care is also central to the work of leaders as they go off map with others in their congregation. Participants will develop or renew a plan for self-care that empowers them to thrive as an adaptive, missional leader.

In particular I will reflect on the importance of owning your own story, of developing a rhythm of spiritual practices that not only sustain you but grow you inner strength to face bigger and deeper challenges. And I will describe the importance of doing the off-map leadership with a team.

Closing Worship

Keynote Speaker and Retreat Leader

HerringtonJim Herrington will be the keynote speaker and Authorized Ministry retreat leader for the 2017 Annual Meeting. He has been a pastor for 45 years and has served as a denominational executive and pastor to pastors since 1989. He has worked with hundreds of congregations from a variety of traditions around the challenges of personal and congregational transformation. In 1998 he became the founding Executive Director of Mission Houston, a ministry that works to build unity in the body of Christ across lines that would normally divide. In 2007 he co-founded Faithwalking, a spiritual formation ministry that equips people and congregations to live missionally. Today Faithwalking is an active ministry in the U.S., Canada, and Central America. 

He is the co-author of three books – Leading Congregational Change: A Practical Guide to the Transformational Journey, The Leader’s Journey: Accepting the Call to Personal and Congregational Transformation, and the soon to be published No Quick Fixes: Hopeful Stories of Unlearning Church (Kregel Publications, available May 27, 2017)

Jim lives in Houston and has been married to his best friend for 44 years. They have five children and four grandchildren.

5575 Thompson Rd. • DeWitt, NY 13214 • 315-446-3073 • Fax: 315-446-3076 •