What is Mission Shaped Future? (Why do we call it Mission Shaped Future?)
Our goal in creating a new conference is that the Mountain Sky Area will re-ignite a Christian movement that begins with grace, offers abundant life, and reclaims the life-changing love of Jesus Christ for ALL people.
We call it Mission Shaped Future (MSF) because of the need to keep our mission in mind as we cast visions and goals for our future here in our geographic areas.
As we work to develop a plan for the new Mountain Sky Conference, we keep the following values in front of us at all times: As disciples of Jesus Christ in the Mountain Sky Area, we value operating in simplicity and with transparency, breaking barriers and crossing boundaries for the sake of unity and love, and seeking consensus as we honor diverse voices and ideas.
What does Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain have in common or share?
The Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain annual conferences share seven staff members that include the resident bishop, executive assistant, Wyoming District superintendent, district administrative assistant, director of communications, information technology support technician, and the vital congregations developer. Further, clergy are appointed and assigned cross-conference between Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone.
Who are on the teams? How were members chosen?
The purpose of each working team is to develop individual pieces of the Mission Shaped Future proposal for the creation of the new Mountain Sky Conference. Working teams will also help identify opportunities for deeper collaboration between the two Conferences in the near term.
There are currently six teams for the Mission Shaped Future process in 2017. Clergy Excellence, Communication, Conference organization, asset prop, leadership excellence, congregational development. Members were chosen through collaboration with the cabinet and other networks. The teams are somewhat fluid and are continuously working on bringing more voices in at certain areas and times.
Why should we come together? What are the benefits? Is this a merger?
The Mountain Sky Area Shared Futures Committee has discerned that God is calling the Rocky Mountain Conference and Yellowstone Annual Conference to a new relationship together that would involve streamlined operations. This shared future is about creating something new and more vital than our current reality and is much bigger than "merger," although it includes organizational merger.
This work creates an opportunity to re-imagine and re-think the purpose of the annual conference and develop a system which would lead us to a stronger future which neither annual conference can achieve alone. Local churches will also discover affinity with churches throughout the Mountain Sky Area and be able to take advantage of more creative alignment of resources. Human and financial resources might be freed from administrative functions and used to engage in adaptive ministry challenges in local congregations and communities. There will also be the opportunity for new relationships among clergy, laity and local churches.
With our vast distances, how are we going to connect and collaborate?
The Mountain Sky Area will connect and collaborate through a variety of platforms. We are capitalizing on technology to carry out its mission and ministry over a four-state geography. MondoPads -- or large smart TVs -- have been set up at strategic sites in the Mountain Sky Area to offer groups a rallying point to participate in trainings and meetings. In addition, Zoom Video Conferencing provides individuals a way to connect and collaborate from their homes or churches. Live streaming and social media have allowed congregations to experience events and worship together.
Sisters and brothers in the Mountain Sky Area, I’m pleased to report that for the last several months, more than 50 lay and clergy from the Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone annual conferences have been working hard to develop a plan for the creation of a new conference ...
This report will be presented during Annual Conference. You may download a copy using the following link. (link)
The work of the Mountain Sky Area Mission Shaped Future team has progressed since both Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone Conferences endorsed this process at their 2016 annual conferences. We have been in a season of organizing ourselves for the large task at hand.