Saturday, June 14, 2008

Central Atlantic Conference, Univ of Delaware

As many of you know, I am at this year's Central Atlantic Conference's annual meeting in Newark, Delaware. I prolly should have written this post last night but am about to leave shortly and wanted to let you know about this weekend's conference.

Last night started our Conference's theme: Imagine: A New Church is Possible. John Thomas, the soon-to-be retired President and General Minister of our denomination gave a nice sermon with great visuals about how we might imagine a new church. His two visuals were a large tent and a happening parade. We are already doing the first: most all folks are welcome in our tent--in our church, in our lives, in the UCC. A happening parade invites everyone to join us on our journey. The clowns and the acrobats, everyone is invited and encouraged to go with us as we celebrate and make our faith real to our communities.

Today we'll be having workshops, business meetings, and a host of conversations about such an imagining. I am signed up for two workshops: one on how to invite strangers into our church and make our outreach effective. It will also discuss immigration and the church can participate in meaningful outreach to the various immigrants in our communities and two, how to help the church raise its needed resources through fundraising and particular stewardship fundraisers. I had signed up for two other workshops but they were closed when I arrived last night.

I'll write more later (now I want to get down for breakfast before it's over).

Friday, June 13, 2008

It's Official!

As many of you know, last Sunday, June 8, our congregation voted to approve our Open and Affirming (ONA) Resolution. As of this week, we have registered our church with the UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns (our national ONA office in Cleveland), which has posted our church as an Open and Affirming church in the national church directory, the ONA directory, and through local conferences to include the Central Atlantic Conference and the New Jersey Association.

As of yesterday, Thursday, June 12, we were listed as the 765th congregation in the United Church of Christ to declare itself Open and Affirming. Perhaps we could use that number '765' in a creative way--like everyone getting that tattooed on their forearms. ;)

A whole lot of work went into our year-long discernment process and our ONA Discernment Committee deserves a lot of praise and thanks. A special thanks goes to co-chairs Kathy Lindner and Mary Mayer for their valiant and dedicated service.