A Message from the Moderator
“But anyone who needs wisdom should ask God, whose very nature is to give to everyone without a second thought, without keeping score. Wisdom will certainly be given to those who ask.” (James 1:5, CEB)
Most situations we face in life can be put into a category of definitely right or definitely wrong. But then there are times such as the transition our conference is going through when these labels do not apply. Such times require godly discernment.
“Godly discernment“ is sound judgement; the ability to see through the gray areas to a course of action that is good, beneficial to the overall well-being of all those involved and pleasing to God.
Since the earliest days of the Christian Church, leaders have had to depend upon spiritual discernment to distinguish between that which was and was not inspired by God. As we are well-aware, there have clearly been times when church leaders chose wrong.
We want to get it right! Therefore, during this time of transition and discernment we are trusting that “God is Still Speaking” through us in the Southeast Conference. We believe that the wisdom and counsel of all of us is a valuable resource. And of course, we will be in prayer seeking God’s help to guide us to place the Divine want us to go.
We go forward in hope because we do not believe that God wants us unaware of God’s direction or stuck in the gray areas of transition. The insight and discernment God have for us most likely will not come to us overnight. But if we ask for it, trust that “God is still speaking” through us and strive to walk each day in the light of God’s love … we will come through this transition with discernment that leads us to the place God has for the Southeast Conference.
After all, we are promised “Wisdom will certainly be given to those who ask!”
Rev. J R Finney II
Hanging Together in Covenant
A message from one of our Consulting Conference Ministers
The beauty of the UCC is that our congregations and conferences are free to direct their affairs as they see fit, but in challenging times we are not left alone. Covenant means that we freely enter into commitments one to another. The UCC and the Conference Ministers are committed to the welfare of the Southeast Conference.
The Southeast Conference is currently experiencing one of those challenges, yet these are the times that offer us the potential to become a stronger and more healthy Conference. Recently, Conference Ministers from your three adjoining conferences gathered with Associate Conference Minister Heather Fosburgh and Rev. J.R. Finney, Chair, Board of Directors in order to ensure an effective time of transition for the Southeast Conference.
A couple things are already clear to me in the brief time I have been involved with the Southeast Conference. First, your conference is brimming with potential. Located in the South with its growing population, there is ample opportunity for congregations to grow in membership and in their support for the Conference. Second, Reverend Fosburgh is extremely well organized and fully capable of leading this conference in the interim as you seek additional leadership.
The road ahead for the Southeast Conference is doable for those willing to undertake faithful action. Times of transition are the very best times to undertake positive change. You can be confident that your conference leadership is and will be faithful in their work.
The best is yet to be.
Dr. Don Longbottom
South Central, UCC