July Jottings from June

Too Blessed to be Stressed!

Rev. June BoutwellJune was a very busy month with three Conference Annual Meetings and General Synod, the biennial national gathering of the United Church of Christ. I was privileged to be a part of the South Central Conference Annual Meeting in New Orleans the first week in June to wish Conference Minister Douglas Anders well in his upcoming retirement. Some of you may remember Rev. Anders from Southeast Conference Annual Meeting in 2014.

Then we had our own wonderful Annual Meeting at Piedmont College. We had 19 people at the pre-Meeting Authorized Ministers Retreat, 16 people at the Persons in Exploration/Members in Discernment Retreat, and 108 registrants for the Annual Meeting representing 38 congregations. Our evaluations indicate that it was generally a well-received meeting. We will take all your comments seriously as we plan for next year and our 50th anniversary celebration. If anyone is willing to serve on the planning committee for the anniversary, please let me know.

The Annual Meeting at Southern Conference was their 50th anniversary celebration so I got some wonderful ideas from them as well as celebrating with them. Then I went to General Synod which is always a treat as I get to see friends and colleagues from near and far. We had a superb delegation who worked diligently while we had fun getting to know one another better. We were blessed to be a part of a Southern Region morning caucus with our three sister conferences (Southern, South Central and Florida) and invited to join Minnesota Conference for a morning caucus. Wonderful welcome and hospitality and a chance to hear speakers addressing various items of business before the General Synod.

I will be on vacation starting the holiday time around the 4th of July and will be back in the office Wednesday July 22. I invite your prayers for a time of rest and renewal. We will also be committing my mother’s ashes on the water off the Oregon coast so I invite your prayers for my family as well. May your summer be blessed with all that is good and pleasant.