Farewell Thoughts

Farewell Thoughts

Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho, and the LORD showed him the whole land: Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negeb, and the Plain—that is, the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees—as far as Zoar. The LORD said to him, ‘This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, “I will give it to your descendants”; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.’ ~ Deuteronomy 34:1 – 4

Now, of course, I am no Moses but as I sit down to write this final blog as your Bridge Conference Minister of our Southern New England Conference, this passage from Deuteronomy came to me. I feel as if I can see the promised land, but will not be crossing over into that new land with all of you.

It has been a long journey. When I was first asked in 2017 to join the group working on the coming together of the three southern New England conferences, I had no idea where it would lead. But I know that I felt called to that work, particularly to the work of the vision sub-committee. Being a part of the creation of the vision that now informs all the work of our new conference was for me a real blessing, one that has led to everything that has come after. That vision of actually living the love and justice of Jesus continues to inspire the conference staff and many of the churches of the conference:
  • To make disciples of Jesus,
  • To make God’s love and justice real,
  • To bring new life as agents of change and
  • To seek covenant partnerships to work together for the common good.
This past year, I have witnessed the staff of this new conference coming together in inspiring ways to make that vision a reality and it has been a blessing to be a part of it. When the sun rose on that first official day, January 1, 2020, I could feel the excitement of the possibility of doing a new thing. We Bridge Conference Ministers had been charged with aligning the staff of the conference in a way that would support the realization of that vision and our efforts to achieve that had only begun when all our plans were put on hold to respond to the needs of our churches as we all had to deal with an unprecedented pandemic. The response of our staff to pull together to redefine our work and to do it from our homes, filled my heart. I cannot say enough about how this group of people worked tirelessly and creatively to support churches who were themselves recreating church in a landscape that had everyone sequestered in their homes.

Today, as I prepare to leave this BCM role, the work of creating a new way of ministry for this new conference goes on. I knew that the creation of a new conference defined by the vision would continue after the end of my tenure but carrying that work forward while we are still in the throes of the twin pandemics of COVID and racism is challenging beyond measure. And yet, I am certain that the Holy Spirit has been present all along the way as we called new people to lead this work going forward. I am fairly convinced that the staff that will come together in 2021 to continue this work is just the right one for such a time as this. And so, I am leaving this role as Bridge Conference Minister confident that our new leadership and staff will indeed take us all to the promised land where living the love and justice of Jesus will be the norm. And unlike Moses, I will indeed be able to live there as well. May it be so.


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Marilyn Baugh Kendrix

The Rev. Marilyn Kendrix is Bridge Conference Minister. Kendrix, a 2013 graduate of Yale Divinity, earned that school’s Henry Hallam Tweedy Prize for exceptional promise in pastoral leadership, the highest prize conferred on a graduating student ...

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