The Northwest Conference Ministerial Association is all the active clergy, missionaries and retired ministers who are ordained, commissioned or hold ministerial license in The Evangelical Covenant Church, and who are serving and/or living within the geographic boundaries of the Northwest Conference. Currently, there are around 275 members in the Association. Said members pay annual dues which are divided between the Conference Association and the denominational Covenant Ministerium.
What does the NWCMA do?
Good question. We are a community of Covenant Clergy that seeks to encourage, support and care for each other. In addition to our annual meeting in the spring, we hold an annual retreat each fall, encourage our members to meet in smaller district or “cluster” groups and oversee a crisis fund to help with urgent financial needs. We also have a network of communication coordinated by our Clergy Care Committee.
The association’s Committee of Ministerial Standing interviews and recommends candidates for ordination and commissioning and ministerial license.
How’s it going?
Thanks for asking. We are grateful for the amazing group of pastors and staff we have in our conference. We have strong participation in our annual retreat, generous giving to the crisis fund, and faithful payment of association dues (for the most part).
We are also thankful for the wonderful partnership we continue to have with the Northwest Conference staff. The Conference has supplied our ministerial association with excellent resources for continuing education both at our fall retreat and for special events. The staff continues to be a blessing to us with wise counsel and other assistance.
We are particularly excited about a new initiative coming out of the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence program. In partnership with the SPE office, the association is working on a plan to make spiritual directors more available to the pastors of our conference. Spiritual directors are specially trained to help people listen more intentionally to the voice of the Holy Spirit in their lives. The plan will be to make directors available at our fall retreat and our spring annual meeting, as well as to encourage and facilitate ongoing spiritual direction as much as possible. We have identified pastors in the conference who already have this training and are working to establish communication channels to encourage use of this fruitful resource.
How can church leaders help?
Please support your pastor’s participation in the life of our community. Your shepherds need the support and encouragement of their peers. Our association holds a fall retreat each year for pastors and spouses, as well as our annual meeting each April.
Please encourage your pastor(s) to continue to learn and grow and to take time to recharge and be renewed spiritually.
And don’t forget to pray for your pastors and staff every day. We rely on your prayers.