This is one of the few places in the gospels where Jesus acts like the leader of an institution: articulating a vision, recruiting staff, telling them how to do the job, cautioning them about risks and pitfalls, and letting them know what to expect. “Together, As One” is a movement toward unity among the three United Church of Christ Conferences in Southern New England. It calls for leadership that is both Gospel-visionary and institutionally effective. God’s people and God’s churches need to be organized in order to accomplish God’s mission for the church in the world. The key is for institutional leadership to always exist for the sake of the mission. When the mission of the institution becomes sustaining the institution itself, the institution falls apart.
Jesus calls each of the churches in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut by name. Jesus gives us the power to resist and overcome the life-destroying forces all around us. Jesus gives all of us voice to proclaim the Good News of God’s unconditional healing love in every community. Jesus commits to providing us with the resources we need to do God’s mission. Jesus invites us to bring God’s peace to every household. Jesus also affirms that God is responsible for the outcome. Our role is to live as God calls us to live.
The purpose of Together, As One, is “To love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and our neighbors as ourselves.” God calls us to do this one thing in a thousand ways and a thousand places, faithful always to God’s call and to the integrity of those with whom we minister. Let’s get started.
Rev. Dr. Michael Ciba is the Senior Regional Minister for the CT Conference, UCC.
Many Voices, One Mission is a regular series highlighting the ministries of the
CT, MA, and RI Conference of the United Church of Christ.
Michael Ciba is the Team Leader and Southwest Area Conference Minister of the Southern New England Conference. He works with CT churches in the Fairfield East, Fairfield West, Litchfield South, Naugatuck Valley, and New Haven Associations and the ...