Regional Transition Team (RTT)
The Regional Transition Team (RTT) has prepared their Report to the Regional Church. They are sending it out a week in advance of the Regional Assembly so that it can be reviewed ahead of time.
The report is linked above and we hope that you will take some time to read through it.
The Regional Transition Team and the Regional Assembly Planning Team are looking forward to seeing many of you at the Regional Assembly next Saturday, May 11th to explore this report even further and to worship and fellowship with each other.
Letter from the Regional Transition Team - November 16, 2018
Greetings from the Regional Transition Team (RTT), a working group formed at the 2018 Ohio Regional Assembly! The Regional Assembly voted to create this Team in order to help us listen to ourselves systematically as the regional body. The Team is composed of both lay and clergy from each part of our state. This letter outlines our plan, with an immediate request for your congregation within the coming month.
Reflecting on “Holy and Active Listening,” the Alban Institute writes of the importance not only of pastors listening to congregants, but leaders listening to members:
Leaders often need to remind themselves that when we spend time listening we are doing something indispensable. Listening keeps people from shutting down, withdrawing, and distancing themselves because they do not feel heard and valued. Listening fosters a stronger bond among the congregation’s members, a unity of spirit in the community of faith, and a willingness to risk and disclose the self. At its best, listening creates trust as people share experiences and ideas and come to realize that they also share values, desires, and dreams.
We are blessed to facilitate holy listening within the region. Would that we could all learn to listen well – we believe our world would be more compassionate and filled with peace!
We are launching a two-stage approach to listening. Linked with this letter is a series of questions we hope you and small groups within your congregation will prayerfully consider, discuss, and pray over. Whether in Sunday School, choir rehearsal, committee or board meeting, youth group, or a monthly potluck, we trust these questions will elicit good conversation and helpful opportunity for listening to one another. While there is space to record “answers”, part of the fruit of answering these questions is the holy listening that we can provide to one another. At the same time, it would be helpful to have some thoughts gathered on paper that attempt to represent the many voices within your congregation. The questions can be photocopied and shared widely in the church for different groups to represent different answers. However, we hope the answers are brought forth in community rather than solitary questionnaires filled out by each person. If your congregation should choose to have a meeting just for this purpose, the RTT would love to be a part if we are able. We want to support you all through this sacred task. This is the first stage of our listening.
The second stage, then, will be district listening conferences. To make those happen, we request that in the coming weeks your pastor and/or leadership be in conversation with congregations within your district to set a date in January or February for a two hour meeting. For instance, if you worship in a congregation in district 1, we are requesting the ministers/churches in Bowling Green, Clyde, Delta, Fayette, Fostoria, Holland, Lyons, North Baltimore, Rudolph, Sylvania, Tiffin, Toledo, and Wauseon, arrange the best time for anyone interested to meet. In other words, we do not want to set the meeting dates for you: we are asking you all to determine the best time and place to gather with your neighboring Disciples. A member of the RTT will be in touch to ensure the team is present at each gathering.
These two hour gatherings will be a time of worship, listening, and sharing together. This will be led with members of the RTT, with the ultimate goal of gaining insight and enabling contributions from across the Region. It is our hope that those who attend will come with the answered questions from their congregation and also with a sense of their congregation’s thoughts and feelings. Everyone is welcome to these sessions and encouraged to come, and we especially hope those in leadership are able to attend.
After these listening sessions, the RTT will collate all the information offered and insights gleaned from the various district meetings. This will be shared at a called Regional Assembly to be scheduled for late spring.
We welcome any thoughts and questions you may have at any time in the process. We created a Facebook group open for anyone interested in contacting us (https://www.facebook.com/groups/RTTOhio/). We also are available by phone or email listed below.
We are so thankful for the opportunity to listen with you. As Paul said:
I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:3-6)
This certainly expresses our deep thankfulness of our love and connection with you all as we continue working through our walk with Christ together. As we enter into this season of waiting, I am excited by the new life that is coming around the corner. I cannot imagine a better way to honor Advent than to provide time to be with each other and to listen for how God was, is, and will be working in our midst.
God bless you all as we make this road by walking together in faith,
Regional Transition Team Co-Chairs: