Pastor's Annual Report 2016

Pastor's Annual Report

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Pastor's Report

Church Conference

University United Methodist Church
November 8, 2016

This has been a year marked by change/ transitions and the prospect of more changes to come in 2017. I began my appointment at University United Methodist Church on July 1, 2016 after serving Georgetown United Methodist Church for nine years. On our arrival/ Julie and I were warmly welcomed by the congregation. We are grateful for that welcome. Julie and I conducted fourteen small group meetings as a way to get acquainted with people in the congregation. It was a good way to meet people and to hear their stories/ celebrations and concerns. We appreciate the efforts of the Staff-Parish Relations Committee and the various hosts and hostesses who arranged for these small group meetings.

I have been very impressed with the staff at our church. They are all wonderful to work with. They are professional and caring. The staff members have been very helpful. I look forward to working with all of them in the future. They work hard to serve the congregation and the community. The staff has been very helpful in my transition.

Most of my time has been devoted to learning about the community and the congregation. I have also spent a great deal of time on the Vital Church Initiative process. We have a very good VCI team. I am confident that they will be very effective in implementing the prescriptions that the congregation voted to implement. I understand that transitioning to new ways of thinking about and carrying out ministry can be challenging. I am confident, though that the transitions will be treated with a high regard for the sensitivities and traditions of the congregation.

In addition to implementing the VCI prescriptions/1 am also looking forward to developing a new and productive relationship with the Wesley Foundation. I appreciate the ministry and gifts of Rev. Chu and value him as a friend and a ministry colleague. I am hopeful that the congregation will work together with MSU Wesley so that we might all take an active and productive role in ministry with our single largest constituency in East Lansing.

2016 has been a year of transition and learning for me. It has presented some interesting challenges but they have all been worthwhile. I look forward to 2017 with great hope and excitement.

Rev. William C. Bills


Pastor's Continuing Education Report - 2016

In February and April I completed sessions two and three of the Advanced Clergy Clinic in Family Systems Theory at the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center in Lombard/ IL. (The first session was in November of last year.) Each session is three days long and consists of lectures, case studies and small group work in Family Systems Theory. 1 am taking the Advanced Clergy Clinic in Family Systems Theory again this year. I also attend a one day seminar on Family Systems Theory six times per year with Rev. Dr. Larry Foster. On August 23rd and 24th I attended the Michigan Area School for Pastoral Ministry, held at the Kellogg Center. On October 7th I attended the Michigan Area training event for healthy boundaries at Portage:

Pathfinder UMC. This training is required for clergy every four years. On October 28th and 29th I attended the Jesus Seminar on the Road event in Ft. Wayne, Indiana/ entitled "A Progressive Jesus for Progressive Religion."

Books Read:

The Necessary Nine Kotan and Farr
Saying Goodbye White
A Change of Pastors Mead
Two Kinds of Faith Buber
Generation to Generation Friedman
A New Kind of Christianity McClaren
Holy Clarity Drummond
Joining God, Remaking the Church, Changing the World Roxburgh
How the Swans Came to the Lake Fields
Jesus and Empire Horsely
The Sermon Without End Alien and Alien
Ten Prescriptions for a Healthy Church Kotan and Farr
The Canon (The Basics of Science) Angier
The Bored and Apathetic Church Member Savage
Effective Staffing for Vital Churches Easum
9 Things a Leader Must Do Cloud
Just Say Yes! Schnase
Half Truths Hamilton
Healthy Congregations: A Systems Approach Steinke