Jottings from June: January 1, 2016

Rev. June BoutwellA new year! New beginnings! Epiphany!

The new year is a time for possibilities and resolutions. Unfortunately for many of us, neither seem to come to fruition. And, despite our hopes and wishes, a new year does not mean that all that has burdened us in the past year magically disappears. Sometimes our resolutions are ways to address what we carry forward, like too much weight or bad habits or not enough time with family or not enough time in prayer. But no matter how much we wish for these changes, we know they don’t come without some hard work and perseverance.

We are entering the last year of my designated term and there is much that we need to do in the remaining months and especially in 2016. We will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of our establishment as a Conference in the United Church of Christ. But we have much work to do to honor that legacy of ministry and to remember how we got here and what that history encourages us to do and be as we move into the future God envisions for this ministry.

There are critical needs in the Southeast Conference if we are to continue a viable and sustainable ministry. We have need of contributions of funding, expertise, skills, experience, and much prayer as we see our way forward. The nominating committee will be seeking people to step up and offer their time and talents. We will have a grand celebration at Annual Meeting which will require the investment of resources and creativity and people to attend the party. The Board of Directors will continue to envision our needs for ministry and seek to chart a course that will address those needs. But we also need to hear the needs of the people to make sure that we are hearing the voices of the whole community.

And we need to begin to think about transitions—in structure, in bylaws, in personnel, in ministries, in society, in our own lives. We each have an agenda for the coming months in our personal lives and I hope that you will be able to contribute to the agenda for the work of the Southeast Conference as well as we seek to celebrate and create.

Happy New Year!