I want to report back to you on the highlights of the UCC Southwest Annual Conference that Clint, Pastor Dick, and I attended by Zoom over April 23-25. First, our own Scott Greenwood was also in attendance as he serves as the conference treasurer and gave a wonderful and uplifting report on the financial health of the conference. Because of the recent sale of several church properties, the conference has plenty of money and is able, among funding other new conference-wide ministries, to offer churches a $5000 grant for upgrading the technology we need to continue to offer meaningful virtual worship!
In fact, the theme of this year’s annual conference was hybrid worship models. Perhaps if there is any silver lining for the church in this age of COVID-19, it is how it has catapulted us into the future of extending worship via technology to get progressive Christian message out beyond the walls of our own sanctuaries. Brent Jensen will continue to video our worship and Three Good Minutes services even after we return to meeting in person on Oct. 3. We have expanded our reach, and our services will still be available virtually across the country and around the world! We were also inspired to see the creative ways our sister churches have done ministry during the pandemic. One church in Albuquerque even did a socially-distanced baptism with ropes and buckets! We enjoyed seeing a film clip of this.
A hearing that Clint and I attended involved a tweaking of conference by-laws to reflect more inclusive language in its on-going efforts to decenter whiteness and incorporate varied voices from all of its southwestern regions. Be assured that our conference is actively grappling with the legacy of racism among other social ills in our society.
The conference concluded on Sunday, April 25 with an uplifting worship service you can access on YouTube by clicking here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sOYi3gajA0. Don’t miss the clip of our own Scott Greenwood, the inspiring music, and Conference Minister Rev. Dr. Bill Lyon’s excellent message.
In His Service,