President's Report to the 2020 Annual Meeting Released

President's Report to the 2020 Annual Meeting Released

The following Board President's Report has been prepared for the Annual Meeting, to be held Sept. 26, 2020:

By Rev. Jocelyn B. Gardner Spencer​
Since our last Annual Meeting in November 2019, your SNEUCC Board of Directors has been hard at work, seeking always to embody the four principles of our Conference vision statement:
  • Forming disciples of Jesus
  • Embracing adaptive change
  • Living God’s love and justice
  • Creating covenant partnerships
 The Holy Spirit clearly knew what she was about when she snuck in that point about “adaptive change.”  Indeed, in light of the still-unfolding Covid-19 pandemic and our national reckoning around racial justice, we have been called to adapt in ways we had never envisioned—as have our local churches, our clergy, our staff, and all our members and partners.  The Board and staff of the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ have showed up faithfully, meeting the challenges of such a time as this with grace, devotion, perseverance, and tremendous love.
Some of the accomplishments of the past year include:
  • Finalizing organizational documents and filing appropriate paperwork to bring the Southern New England Conference into legal existence.
  • Celebrating the January 1, 2020, launch of the new Conference with liturgical resources for use in our congregations.
  • Building our organizational infrastructure by establishing policies to ensure that our operations are consistent with our values.
  • Engaging in the ongoing work of learning, repentance, growth, and transformation around racial justice, asking questions about where white supremacy is embedded in us as individuals and as an institution, and seeking to participate in God’s transformation of our hearts, our church, and our world, moving always in the direction of equity and justice.
  • Conducting a successful RIP Medical Dept fundraising campaign.
  • Discerning how our Conference is called to adapt and serve in the context of the pandemic.
  • Working with the Bridge Conference Ministers to develop our new staffing model, moving through several rounds of adaptation due to global and financial circumstances, and supporting the ongoing transition into the new model.
  • Supporting the discernment of the Executive Conference Minister Search Committee and confirming the nomination of Rev. Darrell Goodwin, pending the affirmative vote of the Annual Meeting.
  • Keeping our vision statement always at the forefront by identifying a “vision keeper” for each meeting, whose role it is to reflect on how we are embodying the four principles of the vision in our work together as a Board and hold us accountable to the priorities we have named.
I am profoundly grateful for the Board members with whom I have the privilege to serve, and for the devoted efforts of our Conference staff members as they give life to our ministries.  I am grateful for Dawn Hammond, Patti Babcock, and Sioux Wilusz, who are eminently organized in their support of the Board’s efforts.  I am grateful for Dr. Donique McIntosh, who challenges and encourages us in the work of racial justice.  I am grateful for the leadership of our Bridge Conference Ministers, Rev. Marilyn Kendrix and Rev. Don Remick, and for the work of Rev. Kent Siladi during the first half of this year.  And I am grateful for all that the future holds under the leadership of Rev. Darrell Goodwin, our ECM candidate.  It is a gift to serve alongside such colleagues.
Thank you for the trust you place in us, and in me.  May the Spirit continue to bless and guide us all.
Grace and peace,

Rev. Jocelyn B. Gardner Spencer
President, Southern New England Conference
Senior Minister, United Church on the Green, New Haven CT
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