From the Transitional Conference Minister

Grace and peace! Advent to me is a time of mystery. It is an opportunity to acknowledge that there is much beyond our control, but we are not alone. It is the reminder that God is with us always, but at times we need to wait for that glimpse that appears – and wait with hope. We are about to celebrate the answer to our hope as we celebrate Christmas and God’s presence through Jesus. This is foundational to us as Christians,  informing how we move into the future.

I am excited and honored to serve you as the Transitional Conference Minister during the coming months, providing an opportunity to be the people of God in the midst of uncertainty. In many ways, these are exciting times because we are called to be grounded in what is most important as followers of Jesus; and to be open to new insights in the midst of change.

My husband and I had the joy of moving to Pleasant Hill, TN two years ago. But for the past 36 years, I have been involved in interim/transitional ministry serving in local churches, as well as Conference staff positions. I have served as Interim Conference Minister or Interim Associate Conference Minister in eight different Conferences (Northern California Nevada, Pacific Northwest, Hawaii, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri Mid-South, Penn Central, and Penn West Conferences).

From these experiences, I maintain three particular understandings that continue to inform my ministry:

  1. There is no one way to be a UCC Conference;
  2. The world of the church is changing rapidly and we are challenged to support one another through the changes;
  3. God continues to be present with miracles and insights through all the transitions.

I will begin as the Transitional Conference Minister on January 1, 2019. At that time, I will be seeking your assistance. We are a diverse Conference in many ways and I am looking forward to making connections with churches and pastors, and discovering how we can be supportive of one another. My position is half-time, so I will also be seeking expedient ways to make those connections. However, I am confident that we can work together to make it happen.

Meanwhile, may the Advent/Christmas season bring you a sense of the mystery, hope, and joy of our faith.

Char Burch