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by Rev. Kim Wood
Being church is a multifaceted commitment. It requires us to be faithful, serve God, follow Christ, and be open to the movement of the Holy Spirit. It compels us to be present, offering care and compassion and loving genuinely. And it calls us to act, responding with the skills, the talents, and the gifts with which God has equipped us to alleviate suffering, participate in bringing about justice and equity for all people, and work toward the fullness of God’s Kin-dom.
As I shared in a previous article, when Rev. Traci Blackmon, Associate General Minister of Justice and Local Church Ministries of the United Church of Christ, came to our recent Annual Meeting in Montgomery, AL, she invited us into a dialogue about ministry and being church together. She then moved us from one large conversation into regional discussions, challenging each group to identify a single issue upon which to focus and act. The purpose of this exercise was not to determine the one most important concern for the church, for we know there are many, and they are often entangled. Instead, the goal was to invite our congregations and ministry settings to begin the process of coming together for maximum impact by starting with one regional/state need. To provide further encouragement, Rev. Blackmon committed financial support from the UCC National Setting to get each region’s team who developed a plan to get started with implementation.
It is time to continue the collaborative work that began at Annual Meeting. Below are invitations to register for a Zoom work session for each of our regions. Each original working group has already adopted a focus that will be utilized to move forward. If you participated in one of the groups at Annual Meeting, please register for the same region. We also ask that designees from congregations and ministry settings who were not represented at this year’s Annual Meeting who are willing to help with planning and implementation register for your specific region. On-site and virtual groups for each region will be combined to create one cohesive group. It is my hope that we have representation from all the congregations and ministry settings in each region.
- Alabama/Mississippi – Tuesday, August 16, 2022 at 6:30 – 8:00 PM Central Time
- Georgia – Tuesday, August 23, 2022 at 6:30 – 8:00 PM Eastern Time
- South Carolina – Monday, August 22, 2022 at 6:30 – 8:00 PM Eastern Time
- Tennessee – Thursday, August 25, 2022 at 7:00 – 8:30 PM Eastern Time / 6:00 – 7:30 PM Central Time