Rev. Goodwin began by reminding viewers of a prayer request he made when he started serving as Executive Conference Minister last January. At that time, he asked folks to join him in praying for the conference staff by sending prayer shawls to the offices in Hartford and Framingham. He shared that all staff have been offered a prayer shawl, and he that he has sent pocket prayer shawls to the other Conference Ministers of the United Church of Christ.
For 2022, Rev. Goodwin requested that all join him in a different prayer each week in January. He asked that these prayers be shared in church bulletins or as announcements on social media. For the first week, he asked for prayers for the lay people in the conference.
"I'm going to be inviting you to pray for the lay people who are part of our congregations, the people who are the backbone of making sure that all the vision and ministry that we hope to accomplish together as a Southern New England Conference is actualized in conjunction and in partnership with our clergy," Goodwin said.
For the second week, Rev. Goodwin asked for prayers for all authorized ministers and Members In Discernment, those who are on their way to ministry, those who are in service and those who have retired from service.
For week three, Rev. Goodwin asked for payers for local churches, the associations, and for all covenant partners.
"My friends, I truly believe in prayer," he said. "And we are sowing into each other by lifting one another, lifting up our concerns, but just to let each other know, we are thinking and we are holding space for one another."
Finally, for week four, Rev. Goodwin asked for prayers for the conference staff. He stated that he would be asking staff to pray for all in the conference as well.
"In prayer, we enter into 2022 with some of the same concerns that we had in 202," said Rev. Goodwin.
He recognized that many of the same problem exists - how to gather safely and how to put the most vulnerable in the forefront of our ministry. He asked that churches continue pay attention to local guidance and guidance from Debbie Ringen, Minister of Health and Wellness. He stated that the Conference offices would remain closes at this time and that staff would continue to be available to churches either virtually or in person following any Covid protocols that are need.
He finished by offering hints at some of the events planned for 2022. Along with several of our usual gatherings, he mentioned programs involving Dr. Diane Schmidt and Bishop Ivette Flunder, along with revivals for authorized ministers. He concluded with a request for all in the conference to join him in voicing ideas for ways to market the Southern New England Conference.
"How do we share the good news that we have hundreds of churches that are willing and able to accept all of God's people into a safe place of worship?" he asked.
For more, watch the entire video here:
Drew Page is the Media and Data Manager for the Southern New England Conference, and a member of the Conference's Communications Team. He writes and edits news, blogs, and devotionals, produces video, and spends a week each summer as a Dean at Silver...