We did it! We agreed that God is calling our three Conferences into a new adventure in mission and ministry. We agreed that our impact on Southern New England can be greater in this new cooperative experiment. We were compelled by the vision of coming together as one.
Maya Angelou in the poem, “Alone” wrote:
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong
That nobody, But nobody
Can make it out here alone.
~ (From Oh Pray My Wings Are Gonna Fit Me Well By Maya Angelou. Copyright © 1975 by Maya Angelou)
Following the vote at our June Annual Meeting I addressed the gathering with these words:
This new initiative begins right here, right now. How exciting is it that we all get to work to create a new Conference of the United Church of Christ? Creators of things new rejoice! Sustainers of all that works now, rejoice! Sharers of best practices – be ready to share!
Let us commit to prayers, actions and the real work that lies ahead to make this part of God’s world more just, more compassionate and more loving.
Let us be gentle with one another as we will make mistakes along the way. Let us commit to innovative and adaptive mindsets as we continue to be upheld by our histories, tradition and commitments to the common good.
Let us discern, let us listen, let us adapt and change, let us preserve that which has value in our proclamation of the Gospel and let us relinquish those habits and traditions which have clouded our vision and ability to live with authenticity.
As we move beyond the artificial boundaries of state lines let us also work to remove the boundaries that separate us from one another.
The work towards the creation of the new has begun. The Together As One Board of Directors has met to introduce themselves to one another and to hear their commitments and alignment with our mission, purpose and values. A Governance Team has been convened by the new officers and they are working on issues related to General Synod in 2019. Members of our staffs are working hard at completing the due diligence reports. The three Conference Ministers are meeting regularly. The new TA1 Board will meet for a daylong retreat in September. The three Conference “lead staffs” will meet in October. It’s all coming together and while the temptation to be overwhelmed by it all is ever present, we are in God’s good and abiding hands.
We know we can’t make it alone. We need one another. As we step out into the water of the uncharted waters we pray for God’s guidance, wisdom and support. Let us work together as one people united in the belief that we are invited to “live the love and justice of Jesus.” Come, Holy Spirit, come!”
It is true God that none of us makes it out here alone. Abide with us as we together seek ways to be your faithful people. Guide us, lead us and show us the way forward. We are grateful for one another and for your love which will not let us go.
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