August 27, 2018
Dear Members and Friends of the Desert Southwest Conference,
Grace and peace to you in the name and spirit of Jesus, who offers us abundant life!
At our 2018 Annual Conference session, members of the Implementation Team led us in conversations about “ripples.” The Team used that image to remind us how a small pebble dropped in a body of water can create a movement that grows and expands. There was excitement and energy about the way this image could inspire each of us to create ripples that would contribute to growth and vitality for the Desert Southwest Conference.
The Initiative for Growth and Vitality, supported by our Vision and Values, should have such a ripple effect. Our Vision was generated from responses to a survey and by comments at Holy Huddles around tables at Annual Conference in 2016. And like a ripple, there is excitement and energy about incorporating the Vision and Values in our ministry settings.
The Implementation Team now has completed its work and I am looking ahead to the “next step” of anchoring the Vision and Values in our churches and in all that we do in the Desert Southwest Conference. Key to this next step is the creation of a new team of persons tasked with moving us along even further in our efforts toward growth and vitality. For the moment, I am naming this new team the “Engagement Team.” The team will work to build upon the legacy of the Convergence Team and the Implementation Team. Its goals will include working alongside our Conference Ministry Teams, and ministry settings to:
- Embody and live out our Vision;
- Connect the vision and values to the Initiative for Growth and Vitality;
- Expand the use of the vision and values in our ministry settings;
- Renew the vision and values in order to be relevant;
- Encourage us to do our best in living out our vision and values;
- Focus on that which unites us in ministry and mission for Jesus Christ.
I am pleased to introduce those who have agreed to serve on the Engagement Team. They are:
- Holly Bell
- Susan Brims
- Noah Brown
- Bob Cutlipp
- Valerie Fairchild
- Dee Hicks
- Brandon Huenemann
- Dan Hurlbert, chairperson
- Robin Lee
- Frank Mendoza
- Diamond Pate
- Beth Rambikur
- Cathy Sherry
- Khalif Smith
You will be hearing more about the work of the Engagement Team, with the hope that with their guidance, all churches and ministry settings of our Desert Southwest Conference will be engaged in the exciting journey toward growth and vitality as we live into our vision of becoming the courageous church that God calls us to be as we love like Jesus, act for justice and unite in hope.
As the Engagement Team begins its work, I encourage you to send me your stories about how the Conference Vision and Values is producing Growth and Vitality in your setting. In the sharing of your stories I believe we inspire one another to continue doing the work Christ has called us to do.
I hold you in my prayers always. I ask that you hold the members of the Engagement Team in prayer as well.