Wednesday, October 12, 2016

2016 Governance Implementation Team Report

This is a preview copy of the 2016 Annual Report about the activities of the Governance Implementation Team (GIT). This report will be part of the Meeting Book all members have access to in preparation for the Abiding Love Congregation Meeting on November 13, 2016.

Activities of the Abiding Love Lutheran Church Governance Implementation Team
Prepared for the November 13, 2016 Congregational Meeting

The Governance Implementation Team (GIT) is authorized by the ALLC Congregation Council to plan revisions to the Abiding Love governance structure and processes. This report provides details about what has been accomplished, how we got here, and a preview of plans for the next few months. The large number of moving parts related Governance change can seem quite complicated. The following summarizes what the team has been up to.

The key elements of the governance change process are:
   Structural and functional revisions to the ALLC Council that allow it to serve as a planning and visioning body dealing with policy and the future of the congregation rather than the details of operations management. The common phrase for this process is known as policy-based governance.
   Staffing additions and modifications that provide professional leadership support in key ministry programs.
   The development of Ministry Areas comprised of church volunteers operating with authority under the guidance of a Ministry Area director, and supported by dedicated staff.
   An eventual reduction in the amount of time the pastoral staff spends on administrative duties.
The three phases of the Implementation Team’s work are shown in bullet form below:
   Phase 1— Mid 2013 through January 2014, chaired by Greta Rymal.
This initial phase was an exploratory and evaluation process, which reviewed possible needs and  reasons for changes in the congregation’s governance structure, and analyzed possible options. Stagnating congregation growth and symptoms of volunteer burnout motivated the council to commission this group in 2013. This group reported its progress to the new Congregation Council in January 2014.
   Explored existing governance structure, evaluate problems and limitations.
   Explored organizational and congregational governance alternatives.
   Communicated with the church Council about its finding and recommendations.
   Phase 2— April 2014 through December 2015 
This group considered and recommended to council a new model of church governance.  The group followed up with comprehensive church-wide communication of the council approved governance change recommendations. The changes, including the establishment of ministry areas and a timetable, were approved in a congregational meeting. George Glaser chaired the group in 2014and Leslie Van Leeuwen chaired it in 2015.
   Decided on a governance model fitting the congregational needs.
   Named specific Ministry Areas and their functions.
   Developed a committee tasked with exploring the actual functioning of a visioning” and policy-based Council (what does it look like, and what does it do?)
   Advised the Council on structural recommendations, timetables, and staffing issues. 

   Phase 3—Begun in January 2016, this phase will continue for an indeterminate period as Abiding Love moves forward with the changes approved by the Council and congregation members at the November 2015 Congregational Meeting. The Phase 3 group has the responsibility for working with the Council, staff, congregation members and the Synod in planning and assisting in the implementation of the governance changes. George Glaser is chair of the group in 2016.
   Assists the Council in their initial task of creating new Ministry Areas (MAs) for Fellowship and Outreach, to be followed by other MAs including Worship Life and Children’s Services.
   Works with the Council Task Force, which is developing plans for the structure and functions of the redesigned Congregational Council.
   Works with the Staffing Committee in their work developing a plan that takes into account staffing needs.

Current Timeline for Approval of Revised Constitution & Bylaws
   Committee Recommendations Draft (October 2016) 
   Committee Recommendations Final (November 2016) 
   Presentation of the plan to congregational Council (December 2016)
   Synod Notification of plan (January 2017)
   Town halls/Small group Educational activities (February 2017) 
   Notice to Congregation (mid-March 2017)
   Congregational Meeting (end of March 2017)

The Governance Implementation Team communicates with the congregation on a regular basis through postings on the Governance Blog, accessible through the Abiding Love home page at Check it every month or so, and post questions and comments on that page as a way of staying informed about this important process.

Submitted by George Glaser
Chair, 2016 Governance Implementation Team

Friday, October 7, 2016

Governance Implementation Team Update—October 6, 2016

Blessings to all,

The Governance Implementation Team (GIT) is now at the point where we are vigorously working on revisions of the two major governance documents of our congregation: the Constitution and the Bylaws. Steve Kikta has been doing work on these items since we started looking at the governance issue in 2013. Now things are really starting to rev up as the GIT and the Council Task Force are in the process of preparing new language for these documents that will be presented to the Synod for its approval in January 2017, and to the congregation for approval in early spring 2017.

The existing ALLC Constitution and the draft of the revised Constitution contain language required by the ELCA for all congregations. However, there are several constitutional articles regarding the governance structure and process that can be handled more flexibly by moving details to the Bylaws, and that is the direction the planning groups are using in this revision process.

Look for a full report from the GIT in the Congregational Reports at the November congregational meeting. In the meantime, feel free to contact any members of the GIT, or post a comment or question on the blog.

Yours in Christ,
George Glaser