Conference Staff Travel to Resume

Conference Staff Travel to Resume

Executive Conference Minister the Rev. Darrell Goodwin announced on Tuesday that Conference staff will resume preaching and meeting with congregations in person starting Feb. 14, following a pause in staff travel that came about in response to the Omicron surge in COVID cases.

"We'll still be modeling COVID protocols, and so we'll come to your congregation masked," he said. "We'll ask you what your COVID protocols are and what you have going on in place to ensure the safety of our Conference staff, but also the safety of all of the beloved folks who are fellowshipping and connecting with you. And we still reserve the right after we hear what your protocols are to discern whether or not the Conference staff person feels safe joining you in worship. If we cannot join you physically in worship, we will be delighted to send you a video so that we can still be able to connect with you. And we still walk through the belief that though a building may not be open, ministry is still occurring. So please be in conversation with the conference staff person who's supposed to be in fellowship and connection with you so that we can make sure that we are on the same page."

In this video message, Rev. Goodwin also encouraged churches - in light of Black History Month - to think about how to make their churches anti-racist, in practice, in reading and in education. In particular, he encouraged connection with other congregations through Churches Uniting in Christ, a covenantal partnership composed of 11 denominations, including the United Church of Christ.  These denominations have pledged to "live more closely together in expressing their unity in Christ and combating racism."

Rev. Goodwin urged local congregations to visit the Churches Uniting in Christ website to see if there are sibling organizations in their own communities.

"Reach out to them, share with them the covenant of the Churches Uniting in Christ, and then discern how you might partner," he said. "Some of the agreements that we made were that we might have joint worship, that we might combine our efforts around justice. So part of our, ecumenism is going to be you as a, a local church, reaching out to one of these organizations and discerning how we might do this transformative work of living the love and justice of Jesus together."

Finally, Rev. Goodwin announced that he and Dawn Hammond, Executive Minister for Policy and Finance, will give a State of the Conference budgetary update on Feb. 28 at noon. Registration to receive the Zoom link is available here.

Watch the full video here:

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