Beloved members and friends of the Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ,
Greetings and blessings from the Board of the Directors. Galatians 6:9 (NIV) says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” The Southeast Conference Board of Directors believes and trust this scripture to be so for our Conference.
The work of the Southeast Conference continues unabated since the amicable resignation of Rev. Marie Bacchiocchi on August 17, 2018. In a spirit of transparency, it is my goal as Moderator and Board Chair to provide regular status updates and to apprise you of any notable activities during this time of transition. Look for a message from me twice a month in the conference newsletter, unless otherwise warranted by special notice.
We have previously made you aware that three neighboring Conference Ministers (Ginny Brown Daniel from Missouri Mid-South, John Vertigan from Florida, and Don Longbottom from South Central) will act as Consulting Conference Ministers to our Board of Directors and to Heather Fosburgh, our Associate Conference Minister. You can learn more about each of the consulting ministers in an article on our website.
Our work with the transition has already begun, as we recently held a virtual meeting with the Consulting Conference Ministers, Lee Albertson of the National UCC Staff, Heather, and me. The purpose of that meeting was to plan which of the conference ministers will serve as lead liaison on individual conference needs.
Our month-to-month consulting arrangement with the Conference Ministers gives the Board breathing space to discern a plan, in consultation with our denominational leadership in Cleveland, for moving forward. The already scheduled Board of Directors retreat of September 20-22 is being reworked to give the Board more opportunity for group discernment and dialogue.
Thankfully, the work of the Conference continues. We look forward to continued growth in the Conference and the Southeast, as your leadership is currently in dialogue with a congregation in Huntsville, AL that has set a date to vote on hopefully entering covenant with SEC/UCC. That congregation’s Pastor and Assistant Pastor are also seeking Privilege of Call.
As the scriptures above encourages, “let us not grow wearing in doing good …” but let’s continue the good work and ministry of the Southeast Conference.
Rev. J R Finney II