Thaddaeus Allen, regional minister for West Virginia, offered the following announcement to Disciples of the Pennsylvania Region regarding the staff sharing plan between the two regions for 2015. It appeared on the home page of the Pennsylvania web site.
My fellow Christians:
Greetings to you and yours in this holy season of Christmas. It is indeed a joyful and important time to consider the Incarnation and the subsequent role of the church that our Lord has established. It is also a joyful and important time to consider the ministry of the church (for it too is incarnate). In particular I write in consideration of the regional church and regional ministry.
In recent days a plan has been put in place for two Disciples regions (West Virginia and Pennsylvania) to practice staff sharing for 2015. The plan will ensure that both regions have a staff, which is an important mark of a faithful regional church. It will allow both regions to enjoy the economic benefit of sharing human resources that are already in place. It will allow the Christian Church in Pennsylvania a moment to regroup as we consider what type of staffing design is best for the regional church moving forward. West Virginia will benefit in a myriad of ways as well as the plan is practiced.
This is not a merger. The plan is a one-year staff sharing arrangement that will be reviewed every quarter to make sure that both West Virginia and Pennsylvania are being properly served. We have agreed to live together and serve together in a way that may serve as a gift for others even beyond these two regions. It is a deepening of relationship that will allow both regions to catch a glimpse of new ways of serving and of doing ministry faithfully and together. Collaboration will be our practice, excellence will be our standard and unity will still be our polar star as we serve the Christ whose birth we celebrate at Christmas.
Ministerial staff will share titles across regional boundaries, and we will employ our support staff in ways that support both regions when able. Hopefully we will enjoy one another and make deeper connections for the cause of Christ as the year unfolds. We will stumble I am sure, but we will be quick to pick each other up. We will grow deeper in the faith, and in our love and devotion for God.
I am excited about this partnership model that has emerged over the last few months as we serve and live together. New birth feels right in this season. Please call with questions, for we are here for each other.