Associate Conference Minister Dale Hempen today announced that he will be retiring at the end of 2011, after having served the Massachusetts Conference for more than 13 years.
“I am filled with gratitude to God for these years of both blessings and challenge. Thank you! The hymn that comes to mind expressing my gratitude is, ‘My Life flows on in endless song…how can I keep from singing?’ Hempen wrote in an email sent today to clergy, Conference and Association lay leaders and churches.
“To all of you, who helped envision the future for our Beloved United Church of Christ for the Local, Regional, Conference or National setting, press on in this important work!” Hempen wrote.
Hempen is the Associate Conference Minister working with the three Associations and 74 churches of the Southeast Region of the Conference.
“What a blessing it has been over the past thirteen years for the Conference to have benefitted from Dale’s ministry, faithfulness, wisdom and leadership!” said Conference Minister and President Jim Antal, in a letter accompanying Hempen’s.
"Steady as a mountain amidst the winds of change, Dale has offered the churches and pastors of the Southeast region his deep experience, his flexibility, his insight and his humor. Along the way, he has made all these gifts available to all the churches and pastors of the Conference by coordinating our search and call efforts, assuring that churches between settled pastors are served by a skilled interim minister, and managing the Boundary Awareness Training program,” Antal said
“We will all miss him, and we wish Dale and Cheryl all the happiness and fulfillment promised by retirement,” Antal said.
The Conference Board of Directors will discuss Hempen’s retirement and what the next steps will be for staffing at its meeting next week.