Please mark your calendars for the 50th Annual Meeting of the Southeast Conference to be held at Piedmont College on June 10-11. There will be a gathering for authorized ministers on Thursday through Friday morning. With all the administrative changes in the Conference Office, we are far behind the planning cycle. We hope to have the on-line registration up by the end of April and will send out notification when it is available.
A 50th Planning Committee has met and decided on a theme of “Southeast Conference UCC Celebrating Jubilee.” Jubilee is an important theological and biblical theme. In Hebrew understanding, every 50 years all land was returned to its original owner, slaves were to be freed so that they might serve God, and all the land was to lie fallow to rest and prepare for a season of greater growth and prosperity. In Roman Catholic tradition, it is a year of forgiveness of sins and reconciliation between adversaries. It is a time of solidarity, hope, justice and commitment to serve god with joy and in peace with other Christian sisters and brothers. And in the African American community, it is about liberation from oppression and slavery. Benjamin Chavez described it as a time to carry the concepts of unity and community outside the church and into the streets as a method for curing social ills and furthering economic empowerment. At a Jubilee celebration in Los Angeles in 1994, he said, “We have to leave a legacy for our young people to take hold,” he told the crowd. “We have to lift them up because if we don’t, who will?” he asked. “If you take for granted your progress, you will lose it,” he warned. “If you take for granted your life, you’ll lose it.”
As we enter a season of change and looking at who is serving and where that ministry is located, it is a time for us to reset, to consider the period of growth and prosperity that God has prepared for us. It is a time to consider the actions of our past and how that is helpful and hindering our future.
Stay tuned for more information including opportunities to buy an ad in the official program book, a published history of the Southeast Conference, workshops that address our history and our ministry, a gathering of persons preparing for authorized ministry in the UCC, and a gathering of our clergy, as well as special music and speakers who will help us appreciate our heritage. Rev. John Dorhauer, UCC General Minister and President will be present with us as well as representatives from other UCC Conferences in the Southern Region.