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Help for pastoral transitions

Leaders in transition pass a baton

Michigan Conference staff, with the assistance of Michigan Conference Communication, are producing webinars with practical information on how to be in ministry during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Office of Congregational Vibrancy is offering two 90-minute webinars that encourage and equip pastors and churches for healthy transitions. 

On July 1, 2020 there will be 74 changes of leadership across The Michigan Conference. In this year of physical-distancing, pastor transitions are even more complex.

Two free webinars — “Saying Hello/Saying Goodbye” —  focus on departure and arrival of leadership. The webinar on Monday, May 4, will be helpful for SPRCs, church leaders, and pastors. The May 6 webinar is for pastors passing the baton.

Webinars feature the Rev. Dirk Elliott, Michigan Conference Director of Church Vibrancy, and his guest, Jim Ozier, author of “The Changeover Zone.” Registration is required. See details below.

Those wanting more extensive assistance in their pastoral transition may also participate in New Beginnings Online Workshops. In light of the Stay Home, Stay Safe Order, the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry is offering these Zoom workshops for clergy,
administrative assistants, and SPRC teams. The experience will include videos and group discussions on the transition process. Click here for full information and registration. Registration deadline is May 6.


Monday, May 4 | 7:00 PM
Saying Hello/Saying Goodbye: Creating a great pastor transition.

Are you in transition this year? A pastor entering or leaving an appointment? A church leader adapting to a change in leadership? “Saying Hello/Saying Goodbye: Creating a great pastor transition” is a free 90-minute webinar that addresses key questions to encourage healthy transition for pastors and congregations alike. For pastors; learn how to leave or arrive in a manner that sets up success. Discover how to make the most of your honeymoon time without fatal errors. For church leaders; chart ways of navigating between arriving and departing pastors to encourage healthy transitions. The webinar features Michigan Conference Director of Church Vibrancy, Dirk Elliott and his guest presenter, Jim Ozier, author of, “The Changeover Zone.” Registration required. Click here to submit your questions in advance

Register for webinar
Wednesday, May 6 | 3 PM
Saying Hello/Saying Goodbye: Passing the pastoral baton

When it comes to a change of appointment, it’s the transition that determines success! How the pastoral transition baton is passed plays a critical role for the church to charge into its future, even in the midst of COVID-19 and denominational uncertainty. A clean hand-off or dropping the baton. Learn how to arrive or depart in a manner that secures success. Discover how to make the most of your honeymoon time without fatal errors. The Webinar features Michigan Conference Director of Church Vibrancy, Dirk Elliott, and his guest, Jim Ozier, author of, “The Changeover Zone.” Pastors will receive registration information by email soon. 

These additional webinars are available on Michigan Conference UMC’s Videos on Vimeo (links below) and in the Health Crisis Toolbox.