Vision Forward Team: Provocative Proposals Challenge


Vision Forward Team

(this page's info as a PDF)
Deadline for proposals
Wednesday, March 29, 2023


There will be two Zoom 
informational sessions.
6 pm Thursday, March 9, 2023
6 pm Tuesday, March 14, 2023

The Vision Forward Team is inviting ALL members of the New England Conference to dream about our future together! 

As we prepare for the 2023 May district conferences and the June annual conference session, we're crowdsourcing ideas through the Provocative Proposal Challenge during the month of March. 

Share your big wish, bold dream, or whacky idea with the Vision Forward Team. Together, we're "advancing the strategic imagination of the New England Conference and becoming the beloved community." 

Why do we need these proposals?

The Vision Forward Team is “crowdsourcing” Provocative Proposals that will help advance the vision, mission, and ministry of the people called United Methodist in New England.

The Vision Forward Team was created by the 2021 Annual Conference in order “to advance the strategic imagination and mission for the Annual Conference.”

The 2022 Annual Conference adopted this draft Vision Statement: Local churches and individuals are valued, empowered, and equipped to connect strengths and assets to build God's beloved community.

The proposals from throughout the Conference will contribute to the Vision Forward Team’s recommendations to the 2023 Annual Conference.

What makes a proposal "provocative"?

1. Proposes system-wide change
2. Supports innovation in local ministries
3. Speaks to the larger vision of the New England Conference
4. Reflects our values and commitment to intersectional justice, healing, and building trust
5. Stimulates excitement, discomfort ... and even anger
6. Addresses a particular concern or problem

Where are we along our journey?

The 2022 Annual Conference adopted two critical pieces of legislation:

  1. The “New England Declaration: Declaring Our Commitment to Love, Liberation, Freedom, and Full Inclusion” (RS-22-228)
  2. “Renewing Our Vision as the New England Conference” RS-22-229 calls for the development of strategies and structures pertaining to:
  • Intersectional Justice, Reparations, and Reinvestment
  • Leadership Development, Reorganizing, and Restructuring
  • Asset Deployment, Resourcing, and Equipping

How can you help? Curious? Interested?

  1. Write down your idea in a couple sentences, a paragraph, or a page. Please be sure to indicate the problem/issue that your Provocative Proposal addresses.
  2. Collaborate with a friend or colleague
  3. Submit your Provocative Proposal via email by Wednesday, March 29, 2023

What happens after submission?

A member of the Vision Forward Team may follow up with you with questions or to seek

The Vision Forward Team will consider the proposals with these questions in mind:

  • What are the most pressing needs, concerns, and challenges facing our network (connection) of churches and people in New England?
  • What is the Vision Forward Team uniquely enabled to do that cannot be done by another group in the conference?