From Dreams & Visions to Leaving Jerusalem….
One of the more powerful stories in the New Testament is that of the story at Pentecost. The rush of a violent wind came upon God’s people and then the Spirit fell upon all of them. All that were gathered from around the region of Jerusalem all began hearing the Good News of Jesus within their own language. The power of this moment was so overwhelming that people thought that those gathered were given into wine. Peter actually spoke up to say that these people were not drunk, but rather captivated by the Spirit that the prophet Joel spoke of in his day. One day the Spirit would fall on the young and old, men and women, and upon all people….dreams and visions will take place and the Spirit of God will set the captives free. We as the Indiana Kentucky Conference have been captivated by the Spirit as we dreamed dreams and experienced visions together. Our Dreams and Visions process, built off this same passage in Joel, has brought us to a place of “next steps.” Our staff, our volunteers, congregations, and conference ministries have already begun taking first steps towards making our dreams and visions a reality. In the story of Pentecost, what is crucial to understand is that once the Spirit came down on that day, the apostles and disciples left Jerusalem to go and build the Church. It was not enough to dream dreams and experience visions without it having an impact. We, as a Conference, are now leaving Jerusalem to build up the Church for a new future.
As part of that process, our Board of Directors has put together a budget that is fixed for four years and within that budget are some contracted positions that help us take steps toward sustainability and movement as a conference. One of those positions is addressing the event coordination of our Annual Gathering. The other position is one that addresses specifically the needs around communication, website design, email, and social media. These were never meant to be put together as permanent staff, but as contracted work to assist our full time and part time staff on a temporary basis. Therefore, as we take steps to leave Jerusalem with the knowledge and wisdom of our Dreams and Visions, we are now aiming to step out into the unknown and to take risks into the next two phases of our journey. The next two phases include Designing and Implementation. Based upon the data received in our Dreams and Visions process we will begin a series of design experiments across the Conference that will help us determine our implementation stage around issues such as how we want to gather, our association structure, committee on ministry resourcing, church vitality, annual gathering reimagining, and a new conference staffing model. Over the course of the next year we will take these experiments as a part of the Designing phase and move them into implementing a new sense of our identity and conference structure from staff to associations to how we relate to other conferences. It is exciting. It is terrifying. It is full of hope!
As a result of us taking these next steps forward, we have agreed to work on a contractual basis with two excellent folks. We welcome, Julie Hayden and Nicole Havelka. Please read about their intended work with us below and let us welcome their work among us as we begin leaving Jerusalem to help build up the Church. 

Rev. Chad R. Abbott
Designated Conference Minister 

Julie Hayden will join the IKC team on a contractual basis to work with our staff and volunteers to coordinate the 2018 Annual Gathering. Julie has done excellent work in event planning in other settings and along with her immense organizational skills, she is also a very talented artist. A member at Friedens UCC on the south side of Indianapolis, she is a wife to Pastor Marc Hayden, a mother of three, and also a grandmother. Julie has already begun working with our Conference Minister, Conference Administrator, and Annual Gathering Planning Team in putting together a clear direction for organizing this coming year’s Annual Gathering. The contracted work for the Event Coordinator position with us was built into the 2017/18 budget and will end after an evaluation of the Annual Gathering in June with the potential to have it renewed for the following year Annual Gathering. Welcome to you, Julie!  

The Indiana-Kentucky Conference excitedly announces that Rev. Nicole Havelka will join its team in a consulting role as the Consulting Minister for Communications, Community Building and Conference Structure.
Havelka, an experienced wider church staffer and consultant, will serve in this 15-hour/week position beginning now through June 2018. She will join in working with volunteer and paid staff as we implement the solid work of the Dreams and Visions Team by engaging in a series of design experiments that will help the conference move into new ways of communicating, gathering and structuring staff and volunteer teams.
Based on the IKC Dreams and Visions process, some areas in which experiments will be done will likely include:
-     Committee on Ministry Process and Structure;
-     Search and Call Process and Resources;
-     Email, Website, Social Media and other forms of communication
-     Faith Formation, Youth Ministry and Outdoor Ministries
She will also support the ongoing work of volunteer and paid staff in the areas of digital communications and Annual Meeting planning.
“One of the exciting opportunities we have right now as a conference is to use our Dreams and Visions process to begin implementing exciting new ministries and structures that will build our future. Nicole is masterful at knowing how to gather the people, resources, and data necessary for this stage of our journey. I am so excited for all the creativity she brings and how this will help us move into a new future” said Chad Abbott, Conference Minister.
Havelka currently serves half-time as the Minister for Resourcing, Networking and Creativity in the Ohio Conference UCC. Her contract for that position ends in December 2017. She has a long history of serving both local churches and the wider church at the intersection of youth ministry/faith formation and creativity/innovation. She has done this ministry in the Iowa and Michigan conferences as well as the national setting of the UCC. A portion of Nicole’s contract with us that focuses upon communication is already written into the budget under contractual work. The work in experimentation piloting, data gathering, and association structure analysis is above and beyond the contract line item and will be funded either through a few grants or places of transition flexibility within our current budget.
“I believe that the church is not dying, it is being reborn,” Havelka said. “This belief prompts me to support church leaders everywhere I go to do the challenging and thrilling work of creative transformation.”
In her spare time, Nicole, a certified yoga instructor, spends a lot of time on her mat. She extends that practice into the swimming, biking and running necessary for triathlons. She also loves to cook for friends, travel and watch as many Oscar-nominated movies as possible. Learn more about her through her blog: Get to know Nicole through social media by “Liking” her Facebook page , following her on Twitter (@revnhavelka), Pinterest and Instagram .

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