After serving for four months, my biggest surprise as District President also surprises many of our professional church workers and lay leaders: Visiting our 160-plus churches and mission congregations in a three-year cycle is one of the primary expectations of District Presidents.

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In the Ohio District, our churches are looking for hope.

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KW-WebPic-Oct2018-1Before answering the five questions I'm asked most often about the transition between presidents, I want to share my appreciation for our retiring President, Rev. Terry Cripe.

Little known fact: President Cripe did not choose me to serve on his staff. I accepted the call to serve as a Mission and Ministry Facilitator a month before President Cripe was elected. Because he was so supportive of my work, most everyone assumed he brought me onboard.

During the past twelve years, I was impressed with how President Cripe maintained his studies of the Scriptures and Confessions. And, yes, we've talked about how he managed it.

When President Cripe said he would support an initiative, he was unwavering in that support. Even when we struggled with mission work, such as in Appalachia, he stood behind the work.

Finally, as staff members, we were expected to work independently. However, the handful of times I really needed to speak with the president, President Cripe always quickly returned my calls. Always.

Thank you, President Terry Cripe, for allowing me to serve on your staff for more than a decade. May our Lord richly bless your next season of life.

The Top Five Questions in the Transition

Here are the five questions I'm being asked the most right now, in descending order of how often I'm asked.

Q. Will you find a replacement for the Executive Director of Mission and Ministry position?

A. The short answer is, "yes." I'm working with district leaders to define the specific roles for the mission and ministry staff. I'm also paying close attention to District finances.

Q. Do you think you can lead a staff?

A. Yes, the church I left to come to the Ohio District had more staff than the District. The first church I served was a multi-site congregation, so I have coordinated staff in multiple locations.

Q. Do you have any experience with policy-based governance, since the District has a Board of Directors?

A. One of my roles as a Mission and Ministry Facilitator was leading churches through the process of adopting policy-based governance. The church we started in Phoenix developed a policy-based model for church plants. Those governance documents are being used by new church starts in several Districts.

Q. What are your highest priorities the first ninety days serving as District President?

A. My highest priority is visiting churches and circuits where I've spent the least amount of time the past five years. Next, completing the strategic ministry plan with the staff. This will allow us to set priorities for the triennium, such as improving communications, etc. In addition, working with the Vice Presidents and Circuit Visitors to identify the training or resources they need to better serve congregations.

Q. Where will you live?

A. Good question. We don't know yet. What we do know is, we own a house in Marysville, OH. After moving to Ohio in 2006, it took until this February to sell our house in Phoenix. After 11 years and five renters, we have learned our lesson. If we were to move, we would sell our current home first.


Photo from the Installation at the District Convention taken by Hope Boring.