Our mission is to work alongside you, encouraging awareness, supporting crucial and innovative change towards achieving your goals.
Our vision is to empower thoughtful, creative people and systems towards sustainable change, making a difference in the world for the good of the whole.
Facilitator: Rev. Mike Cooper
Conference Staff person: Rev. Lawrence Richardson
Purpose: Making Space for the Transforming Love of God
The Michigan Conference’s Vital Growth Mission Area Team supports the growth of faithful vitality in your congregation and spurs the growth of new churches in our midst. Here are a number of resources available to your existing congregation or new church start vision:
Church Development Start Up Kit.
Please contact Lisa Soulliere for your own free kit.
Vitality Tool Box created by Associate Conference Minister Rev. Cheryl Burke
Convergence, formerly The Center for Progressive Renewal, supports the reshaping of organizations, congregations and leaders engaged in an age of movement from “organized religion” to “organizing religion” driven by the values of an inclusive, progressive theological vision for a more just world for all.
The Michigan Conference UCC has purchased a Lifetime Access; please use the link below to host your own virtual gathering using these resources.
- Follow the link above
- Scroll to the bottom of the page
- Click “Enroll in Course for $249 FREE”
- Fill out Form
- Enter Code: 2020SUMMIT4EVER
Potentials (Rev. Dr. Claire Bamberg)
The Center for Parish Development provides resources and consulting to transform churches for the sake of God’s mission.
Clergy Leadership Institute and Voyle and Voyle Consulting provide coaching, training and resources for church transformation.
GraceNet provides research, coaching and consulting in the effective spiritual leadership of new and revitalizing congregations.
The United Church of Christ’s Congregational Vitality Team offers a wealth of free, downloadable resources.
Michigan Conference and National Setting Programs & Grants
UCC National Setting New Beginnings
Grants from the Bertha C. Dayton Fund are awarded annually for assisting rural, small town or village churches in Michigan and supporting their pastors and families.
Teachers & Thinkers
- Author Anthony Robinson serves as speaker, teacher and coach in the area of church renewal and vitality.
- Author, speaker and teacher Diana Butler Bass provides insight about the larger cultural trends affecting the church.
Facing the Future Faithfully
Additional resources and good practices around merger, closure, and legacy.
- A story of creating a Legacy of Caring
A church in Wisconsin as part of their larger distribution of legacy assets set up a fund through the Conference Foundation to ‘provide for the on-going pastoral care needs of members who do not join other congregations. Care includes regular visits, as-needed visits (i.e. hospitalization), and a funeral service’. This legacy helps to ease and answer the often-asked questions about care for older, homebound members, or members in nursing homes. A retired pastor has been hired for this ministry. The church created a very complete legacy proposal document that uplifted the church’s mission to the UCC, the local community and spiritual/medical care of UCC members. Contact Rev. Andrew Warner in WI conference for more information.
- Closure and Legacy Coaching:
Indiana-Kentucky Conference trained a group of coaches to work with churches in transition, including closure and legacy. Contact Rev. Monica Ouellette for more information. Several other conferences have coaching or closure/legacy support groups.
Facing Your Church’s Uncertain Future: Helpful Practices for Courageous Conversations & Faithful Decisions has been updated and now is available in a spiral edition.