|The Rev. Ineke Mitchell and General|
by Eric Anderson
HARTFORD (10/03/2012) -- The Rev. Ineke K. Mitchell, Regional Minister for the Northwest Central Region, has submitted her resignation from the Conference staff, Interim Conference Minister the Rev. Charles L. Wildman announced today. She will take up her new call as interim senior minister of the United Congregational Church UCC in Tolland on January 1, 2013.
"We deeply appreciate Ineke's years of dedicated service and thank her for all the gifts of skill and dedication she has given us," Wildman said in an email announcement to CTUCC church leaders. "We wish God's blessings on her as she enters this next phase of her ministry, and are so very glad that she will continue to serve here within the Connecticut Conference."
Rev. Mitchell began her service as a Regional Minister on February 1, 2006, when the Conference had five Regions. She led the effort to make the MissionInsite community demographics tool available to CTUCC congregations as well as becoming well known to the clergy she served for her holiday gatherings featuring her homemade soups.
Asked what excites her about her new call, she promptly said, "Baptizing babies. And adults, too," with a big smile.
"Worship leadership, and being in relationship with a particular community of faith," she reflected, "are what I've really missed: Looking out over the congregation and knowing some of the stories of the people in the pews."
The three months before her departure, she hopes, will give her ample opportunity to hand off her ministry well. In addition to assembling and organizing the mountains of information her successor will need, she has plenty of goodbyes to make.
She will, to the regret of the two-legged members of the Conference staff, be taking her four-legged colleague, General, with her. The members of the Tolland Church will soon have the benefit of his special gifts. General, the first ministry service dog trained by NEADS of Princeton, Massachusetts, has brought a great deal of comfort to the distressed and a great deal of calm to the anxious in conversations, worship services, and committee meetings since he joined Ineke in 2010.
Rev. Wildman said that the Conference will seek an Interim Regional Minister for the Northwest Central Region, and will begin that process as quickly as possible. Plans for that, for covering ministry needs in the region if necessary, and for a celebration of Ineke's service, are in their beginning stages, and will be shared as they come together.
The Rev. Eric S. Anderson is Minister of Communications and Technology for the Connecticut Conference UCC.