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Although the year 2020 has been challenging, the Southeast Conference is blessed for your support that has allowed the work of the Conference to remain constant and vital. Below are a few reflections of things that have been able to happen this past year because of your support.
- The first three months of the year provided opportunities to travel and visit churches! In addition, 50 clergy and spouses participated in a Clergy Wellness Retreat at the DuBose Conference Center in Monteagle, TN.
- As the pandemic spread, staff worked diligently to discover how best to support our churches and clergy: making personal phone calls, setting up regular Zoom opportunities for clergy to gather, and increasing our social media communication.
- Staff studied the CDC guidelines and other reports regarding health safety measures, working hard to assist local churches navigate through the recommendations regarding gatherings while continuing to provide semi-monthly virtual conversations addressing in-person worship and alternatives.
- We worked to direct clergy and local churches toward grants that could assist with finances.
- We provided extra virtual opportunities to strengthen the ministries of our local churches – meetings/workshops like “Tips for Online Worship;” “Identifying Mental Health Concerns,” and “Local Church Bylaws”.
- We navigated the technology and offered our first Virtual Annual Meeting with more delegates attending than in previous years.
- We have continued to work with churches and pastors as they navigate the search and call process during pandemic times, as well as celebrated ordinations, installations, and services of farewell virtually.
- Staff had opportunities to preach and also provide a virtual presence for local church online worship.
- The Board of Directors has moved ahead with confidence, appointing a Search Committee for a new Conference Minister with the hope of having a candidate for the virtual Conference Annual Meeting June 18-19, 2021.
Even though the pandemic has prevented some activities, it has resulted in an increased virtual connection across our many geographic miles. This will continue moving forward beyond the pandemic.
Our “Friends of the Conference” Fund supplements local church giving to Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM). As we continue the work of being the Southeast Conference, your support of this Fund is an important part of our fiscal health. As the year ends and a new year begins, please consider a gift to ensure our vital ministry together. Gifts can be made via a check payable to the Southeast Conference with “Friends” in the memo (P.O. Box 1950, Decatur, GA 30031) or through the Conference website (www.secucc.org).
May the year ahead bring you good health, peace, and joy!
Rev. Char Burch,
Transitional Conference Minister