Transform the National Convocation into a more dynamic and proactive structure, responsive to the ministry needs of African Americans.
2. Prepare an advocacy and implementation strategy for the vision plan to include a method for being in partnership with general units, the General Board, regions and Black Church structures by September 1999. The Vision Plan will be disseminated to Black Church and general unit boards. A “dissemination brochure” will be developed and disseminated through Selah, presented to all general unit boards and as many other elements of the church as possible. Letters will be written annually to African Americans serving on general and regional unit boards expressing the National Convocation’s support of them as members of those boards and share a copy of the Vision Plan. An after-session will be scheduled at the 1999 General Assembly for the African American general and regional board members for a face to face meeting with the NCCC Board members and discussion of the Vision for Vital Mission and Ministry made to the 16th Biennial Session program planning committee that African American members of general and regional boards be involved in the Biennial Session offering insights to Board operations.
The Administrative Secretary will prepare and disseminate a brochure on behalf of the Board. The NCCC president, in coordination with the Administrative Secretary will send letters to African Americans serving on general unit and regional boards. NCCC Board members and fellowship groups will be asked to coordinate in the effort to host a General Assembly after-session with African Americans serving on general and regional boards. The program planning committee will schedule a session featuring the African Americans serving on general and regional boards at the 15th Biennial Session. These ministries will be monitored by the Vision Planning Standing Committee.
3. Develop or identify an ongoing needs assessment process to be implemented at the Black Ministers’ retreat, the Biennial Session and Black Church structure events. The results shall be reviewed by the next Biennial Session and recommendations made in response to identifying needs.
4. Implement an ongoing examination and review of the National Convocation structure and operation to determine whether that structure is meeting the evolving vision for mission and ministry and identified needs. Operating under the concept that “form follows function” the Board of Trustees will constantly monitor its form to insure that it adequately addresses the functions outlined in this Vision Plan. The board, through regular reports from the appropriate persons and standing committees assessing the progress of the implementation of the Vision Plan, will asses its structure and make recommendations to the Vision Planning Committee for necessary changes. The Vision Planning Committee will bring recommendations to the board following analysis of needed changes.
5. Develop a National Convocation brochure for distribution to all the Black Church structures to be available to the whole church by September 1999. The NCCC Board of Trustees shall identify resources to publish the brochure and gifted writers to prepare the brochure. This ministry will be monitored by the Vision Planning Standing Committee.
6. Develop a promotional video of the National Convocation of the Christian Church by the 16th Biennial Session. The NCCC Board of Trustees shall identify a task group that will plan and implement such a production. This ministry will be monitored by the Vision Planning Standing Committee.
7. Develop a brochure to be used in the orientation of general staff, identifying the covenant responsibilities as set forth by the merger agreements. The NCCC Board of Trustees shall identify resources to publish the brochure and gifted writers to prepare the brochure by March 2000. This ministry will be monitored by the Vision Planning Standing Committee.
8. Develop an orientation with a focus on the mission and ministry of the African American church and the NCCC Vision Plan for African American members of the Administrative Committee, General Board, general unit and regional boards, commissions and committees of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The NCCC Board of Trustees shall identify a process by which this orientation is developed based on the VVMM. In addition, it will be necessary to provide targeted opportunities for this orientation. This ministry will be monitored by the Vision Planning Standing Committee.
9. Focus on women in ministry by:
9.1: Developing a Convocation theological paper on women in ministry to be used in a dialogical/discernment process at the 16th Biennial Session. The NCCC Board of Trustees shall identify a task group that will develop a follow-up document on the work of the “Ministerial and Nurture and Recruitment Committee.” Have the results of the Ministerial and Nurture Committee study given at the Biennial Session.
[Note: A new thing will be done as part of the opening night worship at the 15th Biennial Session that will be so dynamic that the entire assembly is set on a high plane. Make sure that we follow up on recommendations, etc., that are given at the Biennial Session and have a bound copy made and preserved for historical record. Suggested we see the Black Clergy women’s report … (Womanist Theology) from the Black Ministers’ retreat in Memphis, TN, March 3, 1997. Also see research paper on Women in Ministry written by Minister Delores Carpenter.]
9.2 Identifying five congregations that have successfully called female pastors and share their witness at the next Biennial Session as a means to achieve oneness and counter the discrimination experienced by women in ministry. The NCCC Board of Trustees shall identify a task group to list churches who now have women ministers. The task group shall be given the charge to coordinate the presentation of a witness at the session. Further recommendations may be forwarded to the board as deeper understanding of the issues facing women in ministry are revealed.
11. Host a Black Church structure presidential and leadership conference at the next Biennial Session to promote networking and better relationships. The NCCC Board of Trustees shall communicate with Black Church structures presidents to determine interest in a Saturday morning breakfast meeting, develop a design to enable discussion about the tremendous opportunities facing the Black Church with the intent that a network be formed to enable continual update and resourcing of leadership. The Vision Planning Standing Committee will monitor progress of this ministry.
12. Encourage youth and young adult involvement in the planning and implementation of all the activities of the whole church emphasizing the Biennial Session of the National Convocation, General Assembly, regional, cluster and Black Church structure events. Designate a youth and young adult coordinator from the Board of Trustees youth and young adult representatives and the associates in Homeland Ministries with responsibilities for youth and young adult ministries in the development of a comprehensive ministry for the 15th Biennial Session. Insure that the gifts and graces of the young and young adults are actualized in the various elements of the 15th Biennial Session planning. This ministry will be monitored by the Biennial Session Standing Committee of the Board of Trustees.