COMC Liaisons to Churches
Per the New Castle Presbytery Manual, the Committee on Ministers & Congregations (COMC) shall be made up of 18 members, as equally divided between ministers and Ruling Elders and as geographically diverse as possible and will be resourced by the NCP Connectional Presbyter.
COMC liaisons conduct rounding visits to establish and foster trust between a congregation and presbytery and help each congregation see more clearly who they are as a faith community in their contexts and community.
Suggestions for COMC Round Visits
Before the Visit and Making Contact
- Volunteer for churches you are familiar with: If you have a personal history that is appropriate and positive with a congregation, moderator, clerk or particular session members and is respectful of the healthy boundaries volunteer to be the COMC visitor for that church. You have the possibility of having a leg up on trust and more easily establishing rapport and a relationship than with total strangers.
- Contact both clerk of session and the moderator as soon as possible with the request via email (template below). Be polite, concise and invitational in tone but with pastoral authority behind it.
- Use this email subject line: Committee on Ministry and Congregations Liaison Visit
- If you don’t hear back within a few days, call both the moderator and clerk leaving messages referencing the e-mail sent on the respective date.
Preparing for the Meeting
- Set up and confirm with the moderator and/or clerk via e-mail or phone the agreed upon details.
- Give the choice to the moderator the choice of location and negotiate as needed.
- Be up front that a good conversation/dialogue will take a bit of time. Try to hold to 30-45 minutes.
- Send out the rounding questions or the form to the clerk and moderator with instructions for it to be distributed to the session ahead of time so that some thought can be given to it.
- Re-confirm the meeting with the moderator and/or clerk a few days beforehand and remind them about distributing the rounding questions ahead of time.
Sample Initial e-mail Communication to Moderator and Clerk
TO: e-mail addresses
Subject: Committee on Ministry Liaison Visit
Good afternoon (names),
I am the COMC liaison for (Church name). Our process now is to meet with the sessions and pastors of the churches assigned to us. I hope to meet with you all in (Month). Can you let me know when the session meets in (Month) to see if that will work?
I’ll attach the questions we cover for discussion so that you have this resource toshare with the other session members. We find it best if you can docket approximately 30 minutes for this conversation. I look forward to hearing from you and hearing about the (Church Name)!
Grace and peace to you and your congregation,
(Your Name) Committee on Ministry and Congregations Liaison
(Note: be sure you have included information about how you can be contacted, phonenumber etc. You can use a standard inserted email signature that includes your full name and contact information, professional title, and credentials.)
*For contact information, call the Presbytery office at (302) 366-0595.