NEW YEAR, NEW MODEL: Simplified Board Model Update

A little over a year ago, I was approached to join the Nominations and Lay Leadership Team. At the time, the invitation was an answer to a prayer. I was seeking a place to serve and was excited to begin.


Very quickly, it became clear that the team’s brief was, if not daunting, certainly challenging. Many of us were not completely familiar with the concept of a Simplified Board Model. However, over a period of a few months, we took time to read, discuss, and question. We came to understand the model and became convinced of its rightness for PUMC. One of PUMC’s core values is engaged growth, described as “a journey of discipleship” which allows us through service (among other things) “to strengthen and grow our beloved PUMC community... .” The permission-giving culture of the Simplified Board Model frees leaders to focus more on their areas of service, ministry, and discipleship. This is one of its most appealing features and one that struck the NLL in its fitness to move PUMC toward one of its stated goals.

Throughout the process of discernment and reflection, the NLL received questions and suggestions from the congregation. One comment, from Vasanth Victor, stuck with me. He suggested that, if the model is to succeed, the right spirit of unity, mutual accountability, and individual commitment to the common good must be created on the Leadership Board. In seeking candidates for the Leadership (and Discipleship) Board we sought to identify and approach people who, we felt, would strive to do this. We are grateful to all those who have accepted nominations and particularly so to Iona Harding (LB) and LaVerna Albury (DB) who will serve as chairpersons.


On Friday, October 21st, the Church Conference adopted the resolution to modify PUMC’s

organizational plan of governance, utilizing the simplified, accountable structure. It went into effect on January 1st, 2023.


This is exciting news. The Leadership and Discipleship Boards are peopled with wonderful, devoted members. They now have an opportunity to implement the vision implied in their covenant. Please keep them in your prayers as they do so.


It has been humbling to participate in the NLL this year. Thank you to Jenny for her guidance and leadership and to the team (LaVerna Albury, Barbara Fox, Doug Fullman, Yvonne Macdonald, Michele Tuck Ponder, and Hyelim Yoon) whose wisdom and experience have been invaluable. Thank you too to Tyler for the logistical support he has given us.

Get Engaged!


Which of the above ministry opportunities inspire you? Which ones do you feel might push you in ways you’d like to grow? Let us know!


Email Lindsey Donaldson (ldonaldson27 at with your ideas of how you might like to become more engaged with Princeton United Methodist Church. Perhaps it is getting involved with one of the listed ministry opportunities or maybe one that is not on the list. Either way, a huge component of our vision is to get more people, more engaged, doing the things that feed them. We look forward to hearing from you!