Fall meeting for administrative professionals provides practical training

By Amy Forbus
Editor

The Arkansas chapter of the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS) gathered Sept. 22 for its fall meeting, held in the Kendall Center of Philander Smith College. More than 40 attendees received instruction and information from four presenters.

Workplace organization is a passion for Michelle Moore, who serves the Arkansas Conference as director of program and marketing for camp and retreat ministries as well as youth and young adult ministries coordinator. She presented several options for maintaining daily and long-term task lists, managing inbox and calendar content, keeping one’s physical office space organized and managing time to accommodate workload. Her website, www.nomoremanicmondays.com, contains an “office” section with more tips for work organization.

The Rev. Mary Jane Cole speaks to PAUMCS members about ways they can address the various forms of grief they encounter as part of their work in the church.

The Rev. Mary Jane Cole speaks to PAUMCS members about ways they can address the various forms of grief they encounter as part of their work in the church.

The Rev. Mary Jane Cole, a Little Rock-based spiritual director, presented on dealing with various forms of grief church staff members encounter. Reminding them that the root meaning of “goodbye” is “go with God,” she encouraged them to use their gifts and abilities to deal with the goodbyes of ministry—whether a death of a parishioner or a change in church staff—while walking alongside those in pain.

“Remember, the grieving person is the expert on grief,” she said. “We are not.”

Two of the day’s presenters came from the Arkansas Conference Center for Vitality (CFV). The Rev. Dr. Blake Bradford provided an overview of the CFV and its resources, inviting participants to visit vitality.arumc.org to get more information about how the Center can help them in their work and to watch pieces of the Grow By One Summit held in April.

Cathy Hall Hughes, lay program coordinator for the CFV, focused on the need for making a cultural shift in local church hospitality, so that it becomes centered on making connections between people in addition to simply offering a welcome.

Cathy Hall Hughes of the Center for Vitality stresses the importance of changing the culture of church hospitality. AUM PHOTOS BY AMY FORBUS

Cathy Hall Hughes of the Center for Vitality stresses the importance of changing the culture of church hospitality.
AUM PHOTOS BY AMY FORBUS

“The church isn’t just a place where we work, it’s a space where we do our ministry,” she said. She shared some examples of how to extend hospitality in particular situations, and also sent participants home with business card-sized reminders of some of the methods they reviewed.

PAUMCS membership and events are open to all church administrative assistants and staff with related roles. The Arkansas chapter’s new president is Kathy Bracke of Christ of the Hills UMC Hot Springs Village; to reach her, e-mail kathy.bracke@arumc.org or call 501-922-4503.