Threshold Congregations Frequently Asked Questions

What is the threshold congregation program?

In order for our Association to thrive, our congregations must grow -- in numbers, in spiritual depth, in commitment within, and in outreach.  Virtually all of us want a more vibrant, exciting and involved religious experience, and congregations that are ready to embrace that goal could become threshold congregations. The Threshold Congregation program is a regional growth model where we share resources and expertise between vibrant congregations.

In the 2010-2011 year, CERG accepted nine congregations  into this program. In 2011-12, CERG accepted an additional nine congregations to the program.

Who can be a CERG threshold congregation?

CERG threshold congregations are poised to grow.  They are ready to break through to a new level of activity and effectiveness.  They have (or are developing) a strategic plan for growth.  While "seats in the pews" is an easy and important measure of success, we believe that numerical growth is a by-product of other factors.  So we will encourage your congregation to offer tranformative worship experiences, radical hospitality, effective leadership development, social action opportunities, and the inclusion of everyone in the work and life of the congregation.

How can we be a CERG threshold congregation?

The process to become a threshold congregation starts with an Intent to Apply.  Once the minister(s) and Board have approved that, a CERG consultant will work with leaders to develop the whole application.  The full application will provide more detailed information and describe the ways the congregation wants to grow.  It will be reviewed by your District Executive and then by a regional committee.  Those accepted into the program will be notified of this and assigned a consultant to work with.

What are the benefits and responsibilities for CERG threshold congregations?

A threshold congregation will be engaged with regional staff and/or consultants for a three-year period.  In that time, the congregation has the opportunity to implement its own ideas about what it wants to do and how it wants to develop.  The congregation will carefully monitor its progress, and both successes and new problems will be noted, and the congregation will have expert assistance to deal with whatever occurs.

CERG expects that a threshold congregation will become a mentor congregation and a resource to other congregations.  During and after the program, the threshold congregations will offer their experiences and learning to others, in both formal mentoring roles and less formal means of communication.  We believe that whatever is learned, and whatever growth occurs, will be infectious, leading others to follow successful models of new development and growth.

How will the next round CERG threshold congregations be selected?

Congregations will state their Intent to Apply, work with a CERG consultant on the final application, and submit it by the due date  Applications are submitted to your District Executive.  The District Executives will forward the most qualified applications on to the CERG Threshold Selection Team.  The final selection will be made by the four District Executives and the four District Presidents.

How many CERG threshold congregations will be selected this year?

We will accept between 3 and 9 new congregations into the program.  We are committed to establishing an ongoing rolling program of learning and sharing among the congregations in the region, of sustaining each other in growth.

What is the timelime for the process in 2012-13?

The timeline for the 2012-13 is as follows:

  • December 1, 2012 - *Extended due to Hurricane Sandy* - Deadline for Intent to Apply to be submitted to your District Executive Download the Intent to Apply as a word document here.
  • Late November 2012 - Notification of congregations of acceptance to apply.
  • January 18, 2013 - Deadline for full applications to be submitted to your District Executive.
  • March 2013 - Notification of congregations of acceptance into the program and assignment of consultant.
 

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