August saw a number of staff changes at our church. The Rev. Dr. Judith Bennett, retired NY Conference clergy,
has been with us for the last year, learning and growing with us. She is now our volunteer Theologian-in-
Residence. While we are searching for a professional child care coordinator, Amanda Pitre is serving as our
volunteer interim in this position. These changes have been reflected on our weekly “Grace Notes” masthead
since August 14.
Among paid staff, Mr. Bruce Rumford has retired, his last day being August 27th. We are sad for us but happy
for him and Janet. They have immediate travel planned so our farewell event for him will be October 2nd after
morning worship. We have begun the search for his successor.
We have also filled our Outreach Pastor position. Danielle Marie Levine had a “soft launch” at the August 20th
Oyster Festival, meeting and greeting folks there. Her first Sunday was August 21st. Danielle will be with us 15
hours per week with responsibilities in Christian Education, Methodist Youth Fellowship and pastoral care.
I want to thank the Staff-Parish Relations Committee for their diligent work on all these changes. Please keep
their “going” and “coming” in your prayers.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Pastor Brian Bodt
The Staff-Parish Relations (SPR) Committee (1)
The Staff-Parish Committee is the administrative unit in a local church where staff and congregational interests
come together to focus on the mission of the church. Every congregation must have a SPRC to build
relationships among members of the congregation and the staff that are most effective for accomplishing the
mission and purpose of the church.
The SPR Committee has both leadership and management functions in the congregation. Leadership is the role
of “keeping an eye on the big picture.” Even in the midst of meetings or crisis, the SPR Committee must never
forget they are part of the body of Christ, and they must always be aware of the mission of God’s Church. Clear
understanding of your church and prayerful listening to God’s direction will guide both the development of (staff)
job descriptions and the assessment of staff. The SPR Committee operates under God’s leadership to bring
together staff and congregational interests, which includes dealing with both the celebrations and
disappointments inherent in any human family and church.
Who is the SPR Committee?
The Committee members are nominated by the Committee on Lay Leadership and elected by the Charge or
Church Conference. The Committee should be the least homogeneous group in the church. Each person should
represent or relate to various constituencies in the church. The UMC Book of Discipline requires that a lay
member of the annual conference and the Lay Leader be members of the Committee. The Committee is
required to meet at least quarterly (MTMUMC SPR Committee attempts to meet monthly). It may be called to
meet by the Bishop, the District Superintendent, the Pastor, any other person accountable to the
Committee, or the Chairperson of the Committee.
Specific Tasks for the SPR Committee
Educating and reminding both the staff and the congregation to focus on working together toward the mission of
the church by promoting unity and encouraging, strengthening, nurturing, supporting, and respecting the pastor
(s), staff, and their families
Leading conversation between the congregation and the staff/pastor about ministry direction, including
recommendations about staff positions to carry out the work of the church
Developing and recommending written policy and procedures on employment of non-appointed staff, including
provision for insurance, pension, and severance pay.
Assessing job performance of the staff/pastor at least annually for the purpose of realigning staff position
descriptions with the mission of the church
Conferring and consulting with the district superintendent
Supporting lifelong learning and spiritual renewal for all staff (continuing education)
Identifying and supporting individuals from the congregation whom God seems to be calling for ordained ministry.