NJ Transition Update – January and February

NJ Missional Communities Initial Timeline – January 24, 2020

The NJ Missional Communities Transitions Working Group convened for its first face-to-face meeting on Friday, January 24, 2020 at the New Brunswick Theological Seminary. We got to know each other and oriented ourselves to the overall work ahead. We intend to meet again in February continue organizing for this work. The efforts, some running in parallel, will be organized into four phases.

  1. Completion of design details and navigation of logistics
  2. Adoption of recommendations from the Design & Implementation Team by each presbytery and the Synod’s Mission & Ministry Commission (or the Synod Assembly)
  3. Approval process by the General Assembly (or GA Mid-council Commission)
  4. Begin life in our new Missional Communities

Phase 1 will include:

  • The completion and analysis of the inventory of all the working components, assets, liabilities and real property of the existing presbyteries. These will be presented for approval to the 7 presbyteries.
  • We will work with congregations and presbytery leadership to imagine their new lives together in the envisioned missional communities.
  • We also encourage all presbyteries to concur with OVT-006 On Establishing a General Assembly Administrative Commission on Mid Councils by the May 6, 2020 Although not required for a synod overture, we believe that concurrences from all 7 NJ presbyteries will add weight to this overture, which will enable the future presbytery transitions to be authorized by a commission if approved by the presbyteries and the synod.
  • We hope to propose the final proposal for transition by the end of the summer, allowing all 7 presbyteries to vote on it in time for the Synod Assembly on October 23, 2020.

Phase 2

Phase 2 begins with the affirmative votes of all 7 presbyteries. If any of the 7 do not vote to move forward, some additional time will be needed to re-visit phase 1 to adjust the remaining presbyteries. Working with our legal counsel we will manage the detailed preparation and review of the documents required to execute the transitions. We also need to prepare the overture to the synod assembly and the GA mid-council commission to approve the transitions. Any post-transition items need to be identified and planned for the former presbytery corporations. The resourcing of the transformative work of the new communities will also continue. The potential for shared services will also be explored.

Phase 3

Phase 3 involves the execution of all legal documents, in conjunction will the civil authorities. All financial assets will be transferred to the new presbyteries as described in the approved transition plan. Independently, if any phase 3 items remain pending for the former presbytery corporations, they will need to be managed by a team to be determined during phase 2. We will also begin to see if any of the potential shared services have “legs”.

phase 4

Phase 4 will involve any post-transition administrative functions as deemed necessary during phases 2 and 3. We will begin living into our new missional communities. We will also plan for the future of any shared service which have been identified as viable for use by our new communities.