April 1, 2014


  • A suggested reframing of our Mission: “To affirm clergy connexion for the transformation of the Annual Conference.”
  • What is role of Covenant Team to join ongoing conversations about covenant-related issues affecting the wider church? Are folks outside of the team expecting to hear from us?
  • Might we reclaim the historic Methodist understanding of “connexion?”

o   Connexion: “The principle, basic to The United Methodist Church, that all leaders and congregations are connected in a network of loyalties and commitments that support, yet supersede, local concerns.” – from archives.umc.org

  • Connexion implies movement, intersection, intertwining. Cf Latin nexus. Historically, the Conference was the hub of the Methodist connexion (not a Roberts Rules of Order meeting).
  • Regardless of our understanding of “covenant,” what’s broken is our connexion.
  • “Covenant” is often used in ill-defined and punitive ways, i.e. “You have broken the covenant.”
  • There is a difference between “covenant” and “contract.” Even in the church, we often draw up contracts and cloak them in the religious language of covenant.

o   Covenant asks how you relate to one another
o   Contract is an agreement that tends to be task-related, job-related, legalistic and/or heirarchical

  • We are so individualistic that we have diminished what it means to practice communal, covenantal relationships.

Covenant Conference, October 13-14, 2014

Cost — We decided to offer a two-tier registration cost, one that would be a lower “early registration” rate. Amy has the notes on what we decided, and it will be included in next revision of brochure.


  • Save the date
  • Brochure
  • Video
  • WisconsinUMC.org
  • ENews
  • ClergyCovenant.org
  • Presentation at Annual Conference (clergy session and plenary session)
  • Personal invitation and conversation

One possible framework for a conversation (e.g. a session at October event?)

What challenges and/or obstacles might we identify to covenant and/or connexion?

For example:
Isolation (geographical or otherwise)

Then, what antidotes might we identify?

For example:
Itineracy ≤
Ideaology ≤ Authenticity *
Privilege ≤ Connexion
Isolation (geographical or otherwise) ≤ Connexion
Individualism ≤ Collegiality, collaboration
Fear ≤ Safety
Power ≤ Humility, equality
Distrust ≤ Trust
* As in, How can we be authentically “me” and “us”

Another approach would be to ask a CPE-related question:

How do you reflect on this experience/circumstance/etc. as it related to:
o   You
o   God
o   Your peer group
o   Your ministry

Possible pathways forward after October conference

A spring 2015 follow-up event

  • Building on foundation from October 2014 conference
  • Possibility of choosing a moderator for the spring 2015 conference in time to invite him/her as an observer in October 2014, allowing for coherency and continuing between conferences
  • Exploring practical steps of integration/implementation

Reporting to Annual Conference in 2015

Code of Ethics

Eventual implementation of recommendations (by orders/fellowship?)


Here is a summary of agreed-upon tasks we decided today:

  • Amy – sending the invitation letter to our moderators, editing brochure (in consultation with Bill and Steve), arranging for a promotional blurb from Bishop Jung, preparing a Save the Date
  • Bill – preparing publicity video (in consultation with Amy and Steve), posting information about the October event to WisconsinUMC.org
  • Dave – clarifying registration information and forwarding to Amy for inclusion in brochure, asking Katie in the conference office about having our brochure printed
  • Rebecca – arranging for Covenant Team presentation about October event to be included on Clergy Session agenda at Annual Conference
  • Steve – clarifying process to arrange for CEUs to be offered for October event, editing brochure (with Amy and Bill), requesting that Covenant Team presentation about October event be included in Plenary Session agenda at Annual Conference
  • Wesley – updating ClergyCovenant.org with information about October event

Notes on “Connexion”

Provided by Wesley White:

Connexion, connection
Lat. conecto, conectere, conexi, conexus
conjugation: 3rd conjugation
voice: transitive
join/fasten/link together, connect/associate
lead to
Source: “Oxford Latin Dictionary”, 1982 (OLD)

“On a side note, the formation connectio would be impossible in classical Latin: connexion is hence etymologically preferable, if we maintain that words should not be based on folk etymology where possible. At any rate, there was as far as I know no verb connecto in classical Latin, only necto existed; it was probably a medieval or Renaissance invention. This is logical if you consider what the con- has to add to the meaning of necto: nothing. The word with the intended meaning that actually existed in classical Latin was nexus — and even that was, I believe, a late word.” – Cerberus


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