North Central Jurisdiction Mission Council

September 25-26, 2017

Holiday Inn Meeting Room


Chair Jodi Cataldo began Introductions at 7:30 pm, inviting everyone to relate their God- sightings. Those present were Jim Searls, Paul White, Benson Heisler, Kristen Krogman, Young-Mee Park, Allison Curtis, Nitza Dovenspike, Ryan Russell, Jodi Cataldo, Bishop Julius Trimble, Gail Burgess, Lonnie Chaffin, Steve Court, Dominic Mejia, Laura Witkowski, Doug Damron and Chris Winkler.                                              

The Devotions were led by Vice Chair Ryan Russell, reading from To Bless this Space Between Us by John O’Donoahue.  We broke into groups of 3-4 to reflect on the reading, then Ryan led us in prayer.

Jodi outlined the changes we made in funding last year, specifically going to zero-based funding and developing a new application and evaluation process.  One of the new ideas was a Concept Application to be reviewed by a Review Team.  Those that passed the Concept Team were then given a Grant Application.

Ryan Russell further reviewed the Feedback from the Concept Review Team providing a spreadsheet that outlined the groups receiving grants in 2013-2016, 2016, 2017 and recommended for 2018.  The total amount for the quadrennium is $500,000. Total requests for 2018 amount to $264,400.

The questions we used for evaluations did not seem to correlate with the applications.  We may need to ask the questions better to get the answers we are looking for.  During our time of self-evaluation, we need to look at these questions again.  Have we really made changes?  Or are we just adding another level of questions?

Jim noted that many applications came in at the last minute and may have been just thrown together.

The meeting was recessed until 8:30 Tuesday morning.

The September 26 session opened at 8:30 with Devotions led by Bishop Julius Trimble who asked how we can be missional, not just committed to mission.  He based his question on readings from Acts 1:8 and the book Shaped by God’s Heart by Milfred Manchia It was noted that we cannot be missional unless we are connected. J  Relationship building is critical to missions.  Bishop Trimble read from Developing an Intentional Discipleship System that emphasized authentic, organic and consistent relations.

Joys and concerns were lifted up in prayer by Bishop Trimble.

Bishop Trimble provided a Report from the College of Bishops meeting in Columbus.  Several retired Bishops attended, including Bishop Judith Craig who has been ill. Bishop Palmer was at the meeting of the Commission on a Way Forward in Berlin. Bishop Trimble noted that there will be at least one retirement in 2020.  We may also lose an episcopal area.  He also noted that they had met with DCM’s.

Bishop Trimble read the following statement on race developed at this meeting:   

Events in recent weeks in our country have made evident the deep persistence of racism in our society.  As United Methodist leaders, we commit ourselves to continuing our on-going work to identify, resist, and dismantle racism in our churches, communities and world, building on work which began at the Jurisdictional Conference of 2016.  We understand such work to be the work of discipleship, of growing in love of God and neighbor in the name and Spirit of Jesus Christ who is our peace and who breaks down barriers of hatred that divide (Ephesians 2:14).

 Benton Heisler provided a Report from DCMs who had met with the College of Bishops in September. Among other items, they had reviewed the State of the Black Church, Racial Healing and Developing Courageous Leaders.   Steve lauded the building of relationship that occurs when the College of Bishops and the DCM’s meet together.

Steve Court noted that a Concept Plan on a Racial Healing Initiative from the Bishops and DCM’s had been developed as the two groups worked as a team.  The role of DCM’s is changing; they want to understand and enable the missional priorities of the conference.

Bishop Trimble emphasized that the Concept Plan has grown out of conversations at the Jurisdictional in 2016 as well as events that are very current .  It was noted that the Executive Committee of the of the Mission Council met with the College of Bishops and representatives of the DCM’s in January.

NOTE: At this time, we were joined by Alex Plum via teleconference.

Doug Damron/Chris Winkler moved that the Mission Council, College of Bishops, DCMs and Lay Leaders meet together in the fall of 2019.  (Steve Court moved that we set aside $50,000 for this in our budget; this motion was withdrawn.)  Chris Winkler/Steve Court moved that we ask the executive committee to make the arrangements for this.  Amendment passed,18/0.  Main motion passed, 18/0.  We will invite all participants to plan on this activity. (September 15-18, 2019 in East Ohio are the dates set by the Bishops; perhaps we could meet with them on the 18th and have our meeting on the 19th.) 17/1 We need to be intentional in pre-planning this meeting.  Those willing to help define the outcome of the meeting: Nitza Dovenspike and Chris Winkler, Steve Court, Benson Heisler and Bishop Trimble.  Steve Court will convene this group.                                           

Lonnie Chaffin presented a request for an NCJ Gathering of Special Session Delegates prior to the February 2019 General Conference Special Session.  Questions around this request include: Where shall we meet?  Who will plan for this?  How involved will the College of Bishops be?  Those who attended in 2016 found it very useful.  Chris Winkler/Nitza Dovenspike moved that the Mission Council sponsor the NCJ Gathering of Special Session Delegates with an invitation to the College of Bishops to co-sponsor in the fall of 2018. Steve Court/Lonnie Chaffin moved to amend to have the Mission Council Executive Committee investigate budgetary possibilities. Amendment passed,18/0.  Main motion passed, 18/0. (Note: The College of Bishops will meet in Indianapolis on September 17-19 in 2018.  This could be held in conjunction with this, or it could be stand-alone.)

Following a mid-morning break, Paul White reported that the 2020 Jurisdictional Conference will be held July 15-18 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  He reminded us that we have more responsibilities than in 2016 and has recommended that we set up a committee to look at the Rules.  (They could meet electronically.)  This committee would include Paul; he invited suggestions from members for persons to be on the committee.

Jim Searls/ moved to approve the minutes from the September, 2017 Council meeting. Motion carried, 17/0.

Treasurer Lonnie Chaffin noted that we have liability coverage.  We do not file taxes because we have no employees.  He asked for a committee to review a list of potential auditors and make a selection of one to audit our books.  Jim Searls/Benton Heisler moved that Lonnie ask conference treasurers to see if at least three would be willing to serve on this committee and make the recommendation.  Motion carried, 17/0.

Total Revenue is at $128,815.58; all conferences expect to be at 100% by the end of the year.  We have spent $117,478.65 and have $11,336.93 in the bank. Lonnie reported that the amount in Reserves is currently $450,341.78.  Chris Winkler/ Doug Damron moved that the money in reserves be considered when looking at expenses for events we are planning. (It was noted that we will be hosting General Conference in 2020, so some of the reserves will go to that.  Also, we did pass a deficit budget in 2016.) Motion carried, 17/1.

Lonnie had added items not in the budget in the area of Financial Management (audit, insurance, etc).  The stipend for the treasurer is $3,000 per year; this is the amount listed in the budget under treasurer.  Lonnie moved that we amend the budget to add a line in the amount of $20,000 for Financial management.  Seconded by Ryan Russell. Motion passed, 18/0

Jim Searls/ Bishop Trimble moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report.  Motion carried, 18/0

Jodi noted that we may need to revise the questions we ask and the questions we use to evaluate.  During lunch Nitza will meet with Dom, Alison and Alex to discuss these revisions.  Executive Committee will also meet over lunch.


Review of Progress Reports/Grant Requests

Paul White spoke to the UMVIM NCJ and UMVIM NCJ-Disaster Response reports/requests. First, Jodi read a report from Tammy Kuntz in an email received Monday evening.  Tammy noted that Jason Frazier will be staying on with Disaster Response. Also, Care Ministry Training is no longer with UMCOR. Tammy is the NCJ-UMVIM coordinator.  She replaced Lorna Jost.  Mission Council has a good relationship with UMVIM and we are kept informed of activities.  Tammy and Jason made it to most NCJ Annual Conferences this year; this was well-received.  Total Request for 2018: $55,000.  Average scores were 3.

Gail Burgess reported that NCJ Center for Hispanic Ministries, Inc. has been expanding its ministry to more conferences.  They involve clergy and laity in the trainings. Request: $11,000. Average score is 3.0.  Comments were “not innovative, but important”.  It was noted that agencies should be in contact with those in the conference offices as well as individuals in the conference.

Nitza Dovenspike attended the NCJ Hispanic Caucus meeting last month.  Focus in the conference was on preparing immigrants to deal with the current climate and uncertainties.  The group is focused on leadership, although they continue to work on involvement for laity.  They also are focusing on youth, women and men.  A retreat for men was held.  Youth are meeting together for the third year.  Not all conferences are participating yet.  There is not overall acceptance of the Hispanic/Latino National Plan. As connectors, we need to help bridge the conference structures and ministries.        Nitza noted that it’s not easy but we should not give up. Request: $11,000. Score: 3. Comments: Strong application.

Bishop Trimble offered a prayer before lunch.  A group picture was taken and two groups met during lunch.

The meeting reconvened at 1 pm.

Review of Progress Reports/Grant Requests

Jodi Cataldo noted that she is happy with the work done by NCJ Native American Course of Study.  They do a good job and the participants love it.  Request: $113,400.

Score was 3.4, well-articulated.  Apparently CONAM is not submitting a separate request this year; they are sponsoring the Water Event in 2017.

NE Region Native American International Caucus has not spent any money in 2017, but have a request for 2018.  Average: 2.7.  This is the group that sponsors Peg-Leg which is held in September..

Young Mee Park shared information about NCJ Korean Ministries.  She noted the challenges that meet Korean pastors.  Tasks of the NCJ Korean Ministries include raising funds, sponsoring a Young People’s event in Chicago over Thanksgiving weekend (500 persons in 2016), leadership development, working with laity leaders.  They partner with others in planning events. Request: $36,000.  Average score: 3.  NCJ College of Bishops will be traveling to South Korea in 2018.  Several groups are making one week spiritual and cultural immersion.

Kristen Krogman noted that she has no report regarding NCJ CORR.  They provided a Mid-Year Progress Report, but no application.  Pam McDavid had contacted Jodi with a request for re-allocation of funds to send folks to Congregational Development classes.  As we understand it, no one went to these classes.  There is also mention of cultural competencies in a request          , but no follow up.

Ryan Russell reported on NCJ Youth.  They had plans for 2017 Training Events, but did not get enough persons to sign up to make it successful. The funds from 2017 were not used with the exception of a down payment; it is hoped this can be returned.  A Concept Application for 2018 requests funds to send twelve persons to the 2018 Global Young People’s Convocation.  The Executive Committee has approved this as a Grant Application for $8,000.

Steve Court spoke to the NCJ Racial Healing Initiative which is requesting $20,000 to establish a group made up of two persons from every conference that will be trained to address issues of racial healing.  (The cost is for the training event; $15,000 to cover participant expenses and $5,000 for the convener.)  Each conference would need to set up their own goals based on what is needed in that conference.  We will all be unapologetically anti-racist in the NCJ; each conference will determine the ways they will address and respond to what is happening in their areas.  Bishop Trimble, Rev. Jerry DeVine and Rev. Dee Stickley-Minor will be responsible for convening this group after all have been named.

Lonnie Chafin provided a Review of Budget Parameters for Grants.  We awarded $155,000 in 2017; $18,000 is remaining from that.  Our forecast is $121,000 for each of the next three years, including 2018.  We have requests for $264,400.  We need to respond to current needs and encourage new and innovative ideas; that is why we are not just awarding amounts for the entire quadrennium.

Doug Damron/ Dom Mejia moved that we grant $20,000 to the Racial Healing Initiative. Motion carried, 17/0.

Following a twenty-minute break that included a tour of the Indiana Conference, we started the work of Awarding Grants.

2017 Granted Requested 2018 Grants Connector
Hispanic Caucus $11,000.00 $11,000.00 $10,000.00 Nitza Dovenspike
Hispanic Ministries $11,000.00 $11,000.00 $9,000.00 GailBurgess
NACOS $32,000.00 $113,400.00 $20,000.00 Jodi Cataldo
NE Native Am Peg Leg $7,500.00 $10,000.00 $5,000.00 Gifty Smith
Korean $30,000.00 $36,000.00 $30,000.00 Young Mee Park
UMVIM Response $25,000.00 $40,000.00 $20,000.00 Paul White
UMVIM Coordinator $0.00 $15,000.00 $10,000.00 Paul White
CORR $5,000.00 $0.00 Kristen Krogman
Congregational Development $15,500.00 $0.00
Young People $10,000.00 $8,000.00 $8,000.00 Ryan Russell
Racial Healing $20,000.00 $20,000.00 Dom Mejia

We need to be mindful of the upcoming costs for the Jurisdictional Conference in 2020 and the Pre-General Conference Meeting in 2018. Spending $132,000 means we will have spent over half of the budget for the quadrennium.

Chris Winkler/Ryan Russell moved to set the 2018 amounts as above, totaling $132,000.  Motion carried, 17/0.

Bishop Julius Trimble led us through a Self-Evaluation of Concept/Grant Process.  Last fall we rated the Concepts, this spring we did not.  It was difficult to look at concept without any evaluations to review.  We need to revise the rubric and application so that they remain aligned. The energy around outcome-based goals and new ideas seemed to be lost; we were not faithful to our original plan.  We did not create a training module/video.  Laura noted that only ten persons actually responded to provide the evaluations.       Because folks did not meet the deadline, there was a limited amount of time to review all the applications. Some groups felt two months were not long enough to write up the proposal.  Thanks to those who were connectors; this is a very important task.  It would be good to have written reports from connectors who cannot attend the September meeting.  Connectors help to hold groups accountable while also helping to keep Mission Council accountable in providing assistance.

It is the policy of the Council that those not meeting the deadlines will not be considered in September. In order to be flexible when new ideas arise, the Executive Committee has the authority to make these decisions.

It was also suggested that a video be put together in which the goals of the Mission Council and the need for new, innovative ideas be raised.

Laura and Chris will join the Concept Review Group.  (Alex, Nitza, Steve and Ryan are currently on this review committee.)

Jodi questioned whether the Council wants to continue to be involved in the decisions as to amounts spent.  This seems to be the right time for connectors to participate.  Still, if there are more applications it may be necessary for the executive committee to make recommendations.

At the request of Bishop Trimble, members were asked to rate the success of the meeting. Two word comments shared include: mostly effective, good and effective, healthy pace, informative and efficient, respected and valued, efficient, more prayer, smooth and good communication, supported, team building, on task, collegial with good leadership, huge progress, year two, hopeful, good schedule, less cumbersome, more familiar and in tune.

Bishop Trimble then led us in prayer.  He also shared with us information on the Breaking Barriers HIV and AIDS Ministry Training Event in Indianapolis on October 25-27, 2018.  The hope is that each jurisdiction will send at least 5-6 persons.

Adjustments to Concept/Grant Process and Grant Rubrics/Approvals Process          

Nitza gave a report from the Ad hoc committee.  The Concept Application and Evaluation tool would not change.  They were suggesting some changes in the Application.  This includes the four questions from the Concept Application, but asking for expansion and explanation.  It’s important to have the information from the Concept Application in the Grant Application.  There will now be nine questions on the Application:

  1. Please describe your project in 250 words or less.
  2. What are the opportunities or challenges you are seeking to overcome or address?
  3. How does your ministry plan fulfill one or more of the four priorities of the United Methodist Church (Engaging in ministry with the poor; Improving Global Health; Developing principled Christian leaders; Creating new and renewed congregations)?
  4. Please list the short-term (knowledge, skills, attitude changes); intermediate (behavior changes); long-term (impact, relationship) outcomes you aim to achieve. (One year from now what will be different if this project succeeds?)
  5. What partnerships and contacts do you have with specific annual conferences in the NCJ?
  6. In what specific ways does this ministry provide a benefit and outcome not able to be accomplished by conferences?
  7. What is your agency’s total anticipated budget for 2018?
  8. What is the amount being requested from the Mission Council in 2018?
  9. Briefly justify how these funds will be spent.

The rubric is available for all applicants to refer to when writing the application.  Connectors should be notified when an application is received.

The text will be given to Jim to put into the online applications.

We will suggest that applicants attach links to something online (social media, websites, and other digital resources).


1/15/18                        2017 Progress Reports Due (Will send out Request by 12/1/17)

Begin submitting Concepts

January-February        Connectors make contact with 2018 recipients

January 23-24             Executive Team meet with College of Bishops, Chicago

April 15                       Concept Application Due

May 15                        Concept Review Committee Reviews – 1 pm CDT

June 26                        Executive Committee meets via phone conference at 1 pm CDT

July 1                          Application Links Made Available

August                        Connectors make contact to see progress

August 31                   Applications due, then sent out to MC members

Lonnie will send out a financial report

September 12              Evaluations done

September 18-20         College of Bishops meets in Indianapolis

September 20-21         (Tentative)       Mission Council, possibly Indianapolis

September 22              2019 GC Delegate Meeting, possibly Chicago or Indianapolis

2019: September 17-20           TENTATIVE

NCJ Leadership Conversation – East Ohio (Cleveland)

Meet with College of Bishops, DCM’s, Lay Leaders

2020: July 15-18                                 Jurisdictional Conference, Fort Wayne

Planning for Remainder of Quadrennium

We returned from supper at 6:10 pm. and discussed some of the arrangements for the Delegation meeting in 2018 and the NCJ Leadership Conversation in 2019.

  We will ask the College of Bishops to co-sponsor the GC Delegation Meeting in the fall of 2018. The Executive Committee will investigate budgetary possibilities and work with the College of Bishops in planning.  The College of Bishops is meeting in Indianapolis on Sept. 17-19 in 2018.  The date of the Delegation Meeting could dovetail with this.  We could have it in Indianapolis or the Chicago area.

             Nitza Dovenspike, Chris Winkler, Steve Court, Benson Heisler and Bishop Trimble will help define the outcome of the meeting of the Mission Council, College of Bishops, DCMs and Lay Leaders meeting in the fall of 2019.  Steve Court will convene this group.  We will invite all participants to help plan this activity. September 15-18, 2019 in East Ohio are the dates set for the College of Bishops meeting; perhaps we could meet with them on the18th and have the Mission Council meeting on the 19th.


Benton Heisler offered the Closing Prayer.  Meeting adjourned at 7:35 pm     

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