by J R Finney II, Board Moderator
No matter how much we hear it, “change” is usually not a welcome word for a person, a church or a conference. Yet, change is the one constant in life. In a recent meeting in Orlando with other UCC Board Moderators and Conference Ministers, I listened to the challenges and opportunities that were the topic of all our discussions. The conversations centered on changes needed to ensure the ministry and mission of the UCC and its conferences to not just survive but thrive.
We know that financial resources are and will continue to be a challenge, but perhaps the greatest resources available to us to accomplish the ministry and mission is not being tapped effectively and fully. We need a renewed outreach to enlist volunteers within our congregations for conference work. There are many areas of ministry in the Southeast Conference not active or effective not because of a lack of finances but a lack of volunteers. The change and challenge we face in this SEC must include effectively tapping into our volunteer base.
In speaking of those who gave generously to the ministry and mission of others, Apostle Paul says, in II. Cor. 8:5 “They exceeded our expectations, because they gave themselves to the Lord first and to us, consistent with God’s will.” As our conference face the challenges of the future, we need much more volunteerism from with our churches in the conference to help others know that “God is still speaking.”