Checking in with Associate Minister Erin Gilmore

At the end of January I had the gift of facilitating a conversation about possibilities and aspirations of shared ministry among folks from 3 conferences: Pacific Northwest Conference, Central Pacific Conference, and Montana-Northern Wyoming. A central framework for our conversation was Ronald Heifitz work on technical problems vs. adaptive challenges. Heifitz writes, “The most common leadership failure stems from trying to apply technical solutions to adaptive challenges.”  I use this framework all the time in working with congregations and I continue to be encouraged by the response as people begin to make sense of what they are experiencing and the obstacles they are facing as well as learn what is needed in this adaptive time.

 Some of my favorite resources in this area, “Changing the Conversation: A Third Way for Congregations” by Tony Robinson, “Canoeing the Mountains” by Tod Bolsinger, and, while not directly related to church work, “Emergent Strategy, Shaping Change, Changing Worlds” by Adrienne Maree Brown. And though I haven’t read it yet, this looks like another very timely resources, “How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where you are Going: Leadership in a Liminal Season” by Susan Beaumont. I welcome conversation with those who want to explore further! 

In addition to continuing work on the movement towards a Conference Wide Committee on Ministry, and the Communities of Practice, I am currently spending a few days in Utah. I had the joy of worshipping with Provo Community United Church of Christ on Feb. 9 and was moved by the presence of the Spirit in this community. I also had an opportunity to meet with the newly called pastor of Orem Community UCC, Rev. Kevin Miller and their new Moderator, Ailini Misiluki and was also moved by the commitment and faithfulness I witnessed in both of them.  The Spirit is most definitely moving in Utah County.

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