MODERATOR'S LETTER

Dear Friends and Colleagues in Ministry,.

 

My last correspondence began with the purpose of APIMS,  and how in the past it was a strong viable organization actively working to fulfill its goals and visions. We have many reasons to celebrate "the rock from which we have been hewn."  However, in recent times, as a result of many changes in the church and in interim/transitional ministry, APIMS struggles to survive with dwindling membership and financial resources. 

 

In response to this e-mail, several of you shared your positive feelings as well as thoughts for the future.  These have been greatly appreciated and shared with the entire council. Subsequently, at a recent conference call, council discussed these e-mails, past accomplishments, and future directions.  After much deliberation, the following resolution was unanimously approved as a recommendation to our Annual Meeting in St. Louis.

 

Whereas, a gathering of interim ministry practitioners and educators gathered in 1985 to discuss the formation of a professional entity that would provide information and support to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) regarding practices of interim ministry, and

 

Whereas, a gathering of those committed to the mutual ministries of interim practitioners gathered in 1986 for the purpose of establishing The Association of Presbyterian Interim Ministry Specialists, an association to be chartered as a not-for-profit and related to the larger church through the Vocation Agency, and

 

Whereas, the Association organized itself with By-laws and a Council for executive leadership and developed communication links with the denomination, and

 

Whereas, the Association determined its purpose would be to support its members and future members for the practice of interim ministry by providing information regarding placement and training, and

 

Whereas, the Association developed and maintained a uniform and continuing process facilitation placement of practitioners that continues to this day, and

 

Whereas, the Association has distributed information regarding training and education through its quarterly newsletter for about 25 years, through its website throughout the entire time it has had a web site, through channels of partnership with the Vocation Agency, in partnership with the Interim Ministry Education Consortium, and periodic meetings, and 

 

Whereas, the Association has engaged in active advocacy in support of interim ministry and the use of a “best practices” approach, through a continuing presence at meetings of the General Assembly, through informal conversations with denominational leaders, in sending representatives to hearings on issues relative to interim/transitional ministry practices and policies, and in member-initiated conversations with governing body leaders, and

 

Whereas, the Association has maintained a continuing relationship with our sister entity, the Interim Ministry Network, contributing to the development of intentional interim ministry by participating in that organization’s annual conference, and 

 

Whereas, the Association has provided a practitioner’s handbook including documents in support of “best practices” provided by and for members’ improved practice of this specialized ministry, and

 

Whereas, the Association has consistently provided support and guidance for its members in many ways, seen and unseen, and

 

Whereas, in view of the changes impacting all forms of ministry in the emerging 21st century church, not least of which is a shift to a broadening understanding of the dynamics of transition in times of change, reducing the perception that such an association with its narrower focus is as needful as it once was, and

 

Whereas, the wider church through its various councils has developed regional responses to provision of specialized leadership for congregations in transition, and 

 

Whereas, the Association has accomplished it original purposes and contributed to the development of a cadre of competent practitioners, many of whom served faithfully and yet others that continue to serve even now;

 

Be it resolved, that at the annual meeting of the Association, June 25, 2014, in St. Louis, MO,  by the members present by a majority vote, dissolve the Association, effective at the 2015 annual meeting;  that the current council continue through this transition year; that the moderator appoint a subcommittee of council to carry out the transition work ; and that the website and any remaining assets be transferred to the Interim Ministry Education Consortium.

 

Again we appreciate your feedback and prayers as we seek to move forward with carefulness and wisdom.

 

Peace in Christ, 

 

Bob Agnew, Moderator of APIMS 

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