Rev. Goodwin: Our Partnerships Can Change the Terrain of Southern New England

Rev. Goodwin: Our Partnerships Can Change the Terrain of Southern New England

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In a video released Monday, Executive Conference Minister the Rev. Darrell Goodwin talked about the partnerships he has been forming over the last few months with regional business organizations.

"One of the things I've asked myself, after becoming your Executive Conference Minister, is what is the footprint we want to have as the Southern New England Conference? What is the footprint we want to have around crowdsourcing for our local churches, about advocacy for law and legislation in all of our three states, and ultimately, how are we invited to change the terrain of Southern New England?" he said. "One of the ways I think about doing that is how we are showing up in the business community. How we're showing up with many of our partners who service our churches in various ways. And then what is the voice we want to have in those partnerships?"

The Rev. Goodwin listed four organizations the Conference has joined so far: the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce in Massachusetts, and the The Connecticut Gay & Lesbian Chamber.

The Rev. Goodwin said he has met with the presidents of each of these organizations, and has had conversations about what crowdsourcing might look like. Examples he gave were that the Conference might leverage contracts for services for local churches, like website design or digital marketing.

He also said he has had amazing conversations around advocacy.

"We envision that one day I might be standing next to the president of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, who happens to also be a member of a Congregational church, and both of us might be advocating for a fair and livable wage here in the state of Connecticut," he said. "And how might we do that in Massachusetts and Rhode Island as well?"

The Rev. Goodwin also talked about the Conference having hosted a recent Chambe Cafe with the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, where he was able to introduce the Conference as a faith based nonprofit,

"I had the privilege and the honor to share the good news about who we want to be as the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ. I was able to share with them that we want to walk alongside them for LGBT inclusion. We want to walk alongside them in terms of advocating for women's rights. We want to walk alongside them in terms of standing up for climate change and justice. We want to walk alongside them in trying to make this world more and more anti-racist. And it's because of things like that, friends, that we will help to shape the terrain of New England," he said.

"When I'm able to talk about our witness, when I'm able to talk about the good news we want to share, and somebody begins to cry in a professional business meeting because they didn't know a church like us existed than, friends, I think we're doing the dream work," he added.
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