A Busy Summer Ahead (Steeple 2016.07)
I always find it such a joy to attend the Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Conference of the UCC. I just returned, and am feeling very inspired by the great conversations and presentations, and by getting to know peers whom I have only emailed with in the past. This year’s worship leader was Ken Medema, a pianist, composer, and singer who has been blind from birth. In spite of those challenges, which he freely recognizes, he has composed countless anthems and cantatas over the years, and seems to have an encyclopedic recall of any song he’s ever heard. One of the more surprising gifts he brought was the ability to freestyle perform a new song based on a story or testimony that was just offered. His was an amazing talent. As such, this conference helped remind me of how many people there are in our faith community offering gifts and talents in so many different ways. The day before Annual Meeting I was interviewed for my annual review with the Central Association’s Committee on Ministry, the group that is guiding me through the process toward commissioned ministry in the UCC. It was a perfect juxtaposition: One day I was talking about my past, my future, and my thoughts on serving Christ; the next I was worshiping and dining with colleagues who share my passions in their own churches, and who all bring different thoughts to leadership. It was truly inspiring.