Governance, Education, and the Minister Body will be the key concerns, writes Nicola Coombe, focaliser/head of the Foundation

The wider leadership retreat at the end of January served, amongst other purposes, to clarify the overarching directions for the year ahead. To create an inspiring focus we described the work as being in service of OneSpirit’s 21st birthday, in the lead-up to our Birthday Convocation in March 2018.

The vision for the 21st Birthday Convocation builds on the warmth and empowerment of more than 20 ‘Close-to-home Convocations’ held throughout the UK, and also in Ireland and Europe, during summer and autumn of 2106. It is itself a project intended to nurture integration and affirmation within OneSpirit — including any healing that this suggests — and all offers of involvement are welcome.

Governance, Education, and the Minister Body broadly describe our overarching areas of strategic focus, with each area working in synergy to express the evolving purpose of OneSpirit.

Within Governance the specific priorities include trustee rectuitment and support; the development of a medium to long-term strategy, now much enabled by working towards a 4 year budget; ongoing updgrading of systems and support processes – both technological and in terms of our staff; and growing a coherent narrative about who we are, to communicate to the world.

In the area of Education – which is our organisation’s core purpose as expressed by our charitable aims – the focus will be on broadening access to the teaching; growing awareness that we are a school serving both our student and minister bodies, and seeking to serve the public too; inquiring about the benefits and downsides of accreditation; and researching to invest into technology-enabled delivery options.

A key project that spans across both Education and our Minister Body is to develop ‘the bridge’ between the space of graduation and being a practising minister. This project is a key thread in evolving the relationship between ministers and the organisation in three aspects: minister education, community development, and professional practice agreements. The work arising from the recent discussion threads in the Facebook Group is interwoven into all three areas of Governance, Education, and the Minister Body.

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