Rev. Goodwin Talks of Crafting the Journey Together

Rev. Goodwin Talks of Crafting the Journey Together

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In a video message posted Monday, Executive Conference Minister the Rev. Darrell Goodwin talked about the importance of honoring the historic roots of the Southern New England Conference, while also crafting a journey forward together.

Speaking of the new Conference, the Rev. Goodwin said "we know that not everyone is emotionally or mentally there yet."

"What that means is though new things will, of course, happen in the Southern New England Conference," he said. "That does not mean we will simply throw away or pay homage to that which has already been. It's my understanding that what has been the historic Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island conferences are indeed the foundation of what now we can build together. It is not something that we're running toward that never existed, but I hope we can build on the wondrous movement of the spirit that's already been occurring in these three historic conferences, that hopefully now have become a part of a beautiful stream that will flow together."

"Some people's understanding of Conference is that Conference just comes to the local church to figure what you will do to invest in our ministry. I want to share with you, my philosophy is different," he said. "The Conference does not exist without you. The Conference has no vision without you. You see my friends it is the work that you've already been doing. It's the ways in which you've already been welcoming all of God's children. It's the ways in which you've already been connecting with your towns and your cities and the people of God - those who are a part of our tradition and those who don't even know what the United Church of Christ is about. You've been doing the work. So my role and my goal is to hear the stories and the testimonies of the amazing work that you're already involved in."

"This is a journey we are crafting together," he said. "I am not coming with a map already planned because the map, my friends, has to be informed by you. Here are the couple of things that I ask of you. In addition to your prayer shawls (see previous message), share with me your stories, share with me the stories of how your local church is already moving the needle forward towards justice for all of God's people."

"Then share with me your commitments. What's the type of vision and mission you want us to flow through and into as the Southern New England Conference? And let me know how you plan to be a part of that, whether it's through the ideas or maybe it's the facilitation of these things happening or collectively together as we fund these things so that they can occur and we make sure that collectively we're able to move justice forward. And inform me about your "why," why are you doing the work that your local church is called to do so that it, my friends can inform our "why." We are only who we are, because we've discerned that it might be better if we walk this thing together. So let us pray, let us share our stories, firm up our understanding of commitment. Tell me, and the Conference, what's your "why" so that it can be a part of the fabric of our "why" together.

Author

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Tiffany Vail

Tiffany is the Director of Media and Communications for the Southern New England Conference. 

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