On Wednesday, the extended cabinet of the North Georgia Conference and Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson participated in a day-long "on-boarding" session. The session was led by Claire Bowen, a lay person in the North Georgia Conference, who specializes in this process when a new person is named to lead a corporation or large organization like a United Methodist conference. She is a lifelong United Methodist and a member of Peachtree Road UMC in Atlanta.
"The on-boarding process that the cabinet experienced with Bishop Sue is extremely helpful," said Rev. Herzen Andone, Director of Connectional Ministries. "It allowed us to ask key questions and express ideas that helped to establish a connection and create common ground upon which to build trust and understanding."
Bowen previously led the two-day new bishops training at Lake Junaluska after the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference concluded in July and is facilitating this process with all five of the new bishops and their cabinets in the SEJ.
The on-boarding process is comprised of two sessions. In the first session she asks a series of 12 questions to the group in an open forum model where everyone has the opportunity to answer and give responses. The bishop is purposefully not present to allow for a safe place for all constructive comments. Between the two sessions she meets with the bishop to review and clarify anything explored. In the second session the bishop responds line by line to all comments to specifically address every person's questions and concerns. Bowen is in the room only to monitor time and document conversation.
North Georgia is her fourth Annual Conference to work with since August. She will conclude her sessions with new United Methodist bishops and cabinets with Bishop Sharma Lewis and the Virginia Conference cabinet.