Healthier Congregations Team

Healthier Congregations Team (A team is a group of people linked in a common purpose of equipping, empowering and supporting congregations and neighborhoods.)

Healthier Congregations Vision Statement

We equip and empower congregations and neighborhoods to support one another for the risky work of discerning how to share God’s love more fully in our community, build healthier relationships, explore new ways of being church together, and live as a sign of hope for the world.

Healthier Congregations Coordinating Council (1 year term, renewable):

RE Karen Bolinger (Bethany)
2018

RE Ann Haag (Third)
2018

TE Kevin Hershey (Twelve Corners)
2018

TE Ed Hoener (Scottsville Union)
2018

RE Karen Kingsbury (Laurelton)
2018

RE Sue Tedesco (South
2018

RE Kay VanNostrand (Lyndonville)
2018


Healthier Congregations Team

Working Groups & Coordinating Council

Working Group (Working Groups are especially appropriate for conducting their identified responsibilities, objectives and goals.)

  1. Grants Working Group
  2. Relationships Working Group
  3. Communications/Connections Working Group
  4. Tools & Training Events Working Group
  5. Resource Center Working GroupLink to Healthier Congregations Team: Working groups proposal

Coordinating Council (provides oversight and support to working groups; equips Working Groups for their ministries; provides communication between Working Groups and The Big Picture Team.)

Healthier Congregations Team:  Working Groups Proposal


An Invitation to Serve from the Healthier Congregations Team:  Seeking members for all Working Groups, in particular Relationships & Communications/Connections

Healthier Congregations Team Update

Provided by Karen Bolinger & Ed Hoener, Healthier Congregations Team Coordinating Council

Back in October of last year, four of our Presbytery’s program committees – Mission & Advocacy, Resource & Education, Stewardship, and Congregational Development – began exploring a new way to do their work with a different focus and with collaboration.

The different focus arose from the question, “How can we be more effective together, to help our congregations become healthier?”   We noticed that there are ways that the separate work each committee was doing could be combined in ways that would be more proactive and helpful for the congregations in our Presbytery. We realized that there are more effective ways to help congregations than the traditional Triennial visits. We recognized the great potential that exists in our Neighborhoods – getting churches together to share what’s working in their congregations, and combining resources and support.  We determined that an entity like the Healthier Congregations Team could be helpful by creating a system that will increase access – for congregations and neighborhoods – to the tools, resources, grants and education they might need to support their various ministries.

As we continued the process of discerning and formulating this new approach to ministry with our congregations, the following Vision statement was created to guide it.

“We – the Healthier Congregations Team – equip and empower congregations and neighborhoods to support one another for the risky work of discerning how to share God’s love more fully in our community, build healthier relationships, explore new ways of being church together, and live as a sign of hope for the world.”

In one of my (Ed) previous churches, there was a guy who has a counterpart in most of our churches.  It’s the person who knows where everything is. It’s the person who knows all the people in the church and all their stories. It’s the person who fixes things that break down – and does most of it anonymously. In the church I’m thinking of, his name was Jack and he had a saying that fits the new approach that has just begun.  His favorite saying to me was, “There’s people who go to meetings and there’s doers. I’m a doer. Just let me know what needs to be done!

In May about 32 people gathered to discern and answer God’s call to become part of one of the 5 working groups that we’ve seen in the following illustration

What we’re talking about is gifts based ministry. What we’re seeing is groups of people who want to do productive work that they care about..  The question is, “What are you passionate about?”  Is it providing grants that will enable congregations to learn how to engage their challenges?  Is it to provide the financial wherewithal to implement opportunities for mission?   Is it developing authentic relationships with and among congregations?  Is it learning what their real assets and needs truly are, so they can be specifically helped from a place of friendship and support? Do you have a great working knowledge of the latest resources to equip congregations for leadership development, transformation, evangelism and community outreach?  Would you love to bring that knowledge to the congregations that want it?   Are you adept with social media, Facebook, and Instagram and would you love to help congregations become adept as well?  Do you love to plan events that can inspire, instruct and empower people to do their work more efficiently and effectively?

The opportunity is now here- to pray and listen for God’s call, and to join others in doing the work you were made to do – that you’d love to do. If you have questions, there are people you can contact:

GRANTS: Kevin Hershey [email protected]; Karen Bolinger [email protected]

RELATIONSHIPS: Ed Hoener [email protected];

Kay VanNostrand [email protected]

TOOLS & TRAINING: Karen Kingsbury [email protected]

COMMUNICATIONS/CONNECTIONS: [email protected]

RESOURCE CENTER: [email protected]


Sound Interesting?  Want to participate in a Working Group??  Please contact Susan Orr Presbyter for Healthier Congregations/Stated Clerk [email protected] or via telephone at 585-242-0099.