UCC General Minister Nominee to Give Annual Meeting Keynote

UCC General Minister Nominee to Give Annual Meeting Keynote

The Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson, the nominee for United Church of Christ General Minister and President, will give the Keynote Address at the 4th Annual Meeting of the Southern New England Conference on June 17 in Worcester.

If elected by the UCC’s General Synod in July, Rev. Thompson will be the first woman, and the first woman of African descent, to lead the denomination.

“The Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson brings a pastoral call to the United Church of Christ.  I am thrilled that we in Southern New England have the opportunity to learn from her and worship beside her as we witness her historic nomination to the General Minister and Presidency of the United Church of Christ,” said the Rev. Dr. Chris Davies, Executive Minister for Programs and Initiatives.

Registration will open soon for the meeting, the first in-person Annual Meeting of the Conference since it officially came into being on Jan. 1, 2020. The meeting will be held at the DCU Center in Worcester, with a hybrid option. The theme of the meeting, taken from Mark 16: 1-4, is “Roll Away the Stone.” Information about the meeting is being posted at www.sneucc.org/2023am as details are finalized. Currently, information is posted for submitting resolutions (March 20 is the deadline), registering for vendor space and reserving hotel rooms.

“I recently had an opportunity to hear Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia preach at the United Church of Christ Board of Directors meeting and was moved, inspired, and clear that her call to the church toward justice and action was a word for our churches in Southern New England,” said Rev. Darrell Goodwin, Executive Conference Minister. “It is an honor to be one of the first conferences to welcome her as the nominee for General Minister and President and her visit will give us the opportunity to get to know her better before General Synod.”

Rev. Goodwin interviewed Rev. Thompson as part of his God Talks series of videos last year - that video can be viewed here.

Rev. Thompson currently serves as UCC Associate General Minister. In that role, she leads Wider Church Ministries and serves as co-executive of Global Ministries. She has served in the national setting for more than a decade, as Minister for Racial Justice, then Minister for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations. In those positions, she helped foster “Sacred Conversations on Race,” implement the A.C.T. Now to End Racism initiative and promote racial justice and ecumenical relations on a global scale.
Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson and Rev. Darrell Goodwin

Before her national service, Rev. Thompson was Minister for Disaster Response and Recovery for the Florida Conference. And before that, she became the first female pastor of African descent in the Conference when she was called to the new-start, 15-member New Hope UCC in DeLand, Fla.

In accepting her nomination, Rev. Thompson talked about a vision for the future of the UCC that embodies the values at the heart of her work: religious multiplicity and diversity, justice for marginalized communities world-wide and broader affirmation of spiritual practices beyond mainline Christianity.

“My hope is that we, the UCC, will begin to live more fully into what it means to be a church that proclaims to be God-centered and Spirit-filled,” Rev. Thompson said after the UCC Board voted to nominate her. “It’s not just about the head, but also about the heart. How do we become mission-minded? How do we show up? How do we be present for communities that are on the margins ­— not just here, but globally?”



tiffany vail cropped.jpg
Tiffany Vail

Tiffany Vail is the Director of Media & Communications for the Southern New England Conference.

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