Being at National Youth Event in Orlando the last week in July was a place of powerful hope for me. Being with over 3,000 young people, the adults who accompanied them, and some of their families as well as colleagues from the national settings of the UCC and Disciples of Christ and other Conference Ministers, reminded me, once again, how much I love and value what this particular Christian community offers to me and to the world.
I hope you read the article with excerpts from the journal of youth from Church of the Savior in Knoxville. They have captured the excitement, wonder, and appreciation for who we are as a church gathered. The theme, “Believe,” from Hebrews 11:1 was a reminder to me that even as we are in transition, God will make all things possible as long as we are paying attention to God’s desires for ministry in this conference and this region and this denomination. The translation we used for the event read, “Faith is the confidence that what we believe will actually happen.”
As the Board of Directors meets for retreat on September 9 and 10 to begin to understand their role in the life and ministry of this Conference, we will begin to shape what we believe will happen in this ministry. I am excited to work with these committed and experienced leaders as they work toward a 2017 balanced budget and calling an interim conference minister.
The work I intend to do in the last few months of my designated term will provide for a solid administrative foundation for the entry of the interim minister when that person is called. The treasurer and accountant are working to establish a separate investment account for the donor designated funds. I am pleased to report that many more churches are making quarterly contributions to Our Church’s Wider Mission which has helped to stabilize cash flow and operations. Thank you so much for your attention and contribution to this critical need in our operations.
The Commission on Ministry met in July and completed a restructuring of its work. There are now three teams that will work with all aspects of church and ministry. Watch for more information as they move into their new structure. Clergy should anticipate receiving an annual information review form and attention to specialized ministers establishing a four way covenant. Our accountability to pastors and churches is only as effective as the covenants and relationships we honor with one another.
We will keep you informed about changes in Conference life as the Board does its work. Help us believe with your prayers and questions.