This joint meeting will offer participants a chance to worship and share communion with neighbors from all over southern New England. UCC General Minister & President John Dorhauer will speak about the future of our church. The meeting will also offer church delegates a time to exercise their voices in voting on matters that will impact their churches, including the Together, As One resolution proposed by the three Conference's Boards of Directors. This resolution calls for delegates to endorse the formation of a new conference, and to authorize the development of a detailed proposal for the new conference, which would come back to the annual meetings for approval in 2018.
Not sure what this Together, As One proposal is about? Find the full text of the resolution here. There are also three more opportunities for delegates to join online forums, or webinars, open to anyone who would like to join a discussion about the proposal to form a new Conference. These forums will be held online on June 7th at 7:00 PM, June 8th at 1:00 PM, and June 8th at 7:00 PM. To register for one of these webinars, visit this information page and click the link under the date and time you wish to attend. More information about the Together, As One resolution, including blog posts featuring the voices of people from all three states, can be found here. Below is a short video looking at the Together, As One proposal from another perspective.
Although only delegates can vote on the proposal, the Tri-Conference Annual Meeting is open to everyone. Anyone who wishes to be a part of this historic event should register by next Monday.
The Rev. Gordon Bates, a retired pastor who still serves as Minister of Visitation at First Church of Christ, Glastonbury, CT, has been to decades of annual meetings and says this meeting will play an important part in the future of our church:
This merged meeting of the three lower New England Conferences can be perceived and interpreted in many ways. After almost sixty years in the ministry and well over two/thirds of them with the UCC, I view it as a transitional gathering, pointing us toward a new future. The context of the UCC, along with every other denomination, has changed and continues to do so. Change is constant, of course, but there are changes and there are CHANGES. This could be the beginning of a paradigm shift (which I believe it is) or it could be just a first step in some administrative consolidations and shared programs. Either way, it is a must attend event. If at all possible, BE THERE.
Read more about the proposal for the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences to join together in forming a new conference.
Drew Page is a member of the Conference's Communications Team. He writes and edits news, blogs, and devotionals, produces video, and spends a week each summer deaning at Silver Lake Conference Center with his wife, Debby.