Please note that the office will be closed Monday, September 5, 2022 in observance of Labor Day.
A colleague recently expressed how hard it is to hold ministry lightly, and that phrase, that image has lingered with me long after the conversation. I find I keep playing with it, pondering it, looking through its lens. As someone who knows the appeal of control and the danger of perfectionism, I have long tried to lean away from my strong urge to hold what I do and those I love just a little too tightly. I’ve repeatedly quoted – to myself and to others – Marge Piercy’s line about loving with “hands wide open.” However, to be quite honest, I do not hold my work nor those I love with “hands wide open” – it would feel a bit callous and more than a little careless. Holding lightly, though, rings true for me, as a practice and a goal.
That doesn’t mean that it’s not hard. In this time, when so many individuals and congregations struggle with anxiety and when unhealthy and unjust systems diminish our ability to nurture flourishing communities, it’s not surprising if we who engage in various ministries in the church and in the world tighten our grasp. There’s so much to be done! How do we learn to hold lightly both the fierce urgency of this moment and the painstaking work of tending to slow growth? How do we equip and mentor others, with care that doesn’t constrain but, instead, honors their gifts and helps them to develop as unique and creative leaders? How do we learn to hold our beloved church lightly, so that the Spirit can stir and shape it to be what the world needs in the coming years?
As I begin this practice, I use its lens to catch a glimpse of divine mystery. Does God to hold us and this world lightly? What would that mean? And what implications might that have for how we follow the way of Jesus?
– Rev. Dr. Marjorie Purnine
Rev. Dr. Marjorie Purnine Associate Conference Minister for Leadership Development Dean of the New York School of Ministry New York Conference, United Church of Christ
Prayers and Reflection During the Annual Meeting, we took time to pause, reflect, and remember all of those who we hold dear to us that have transitioned in the last year or more. It is important for us all to allow for space to mourn, and to know that we are not alone in our moments of sorrow. If you feel you need a helping hand in grieving/mental health wellness, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The NY Conference sends our prayers for Mr. Gary VanKennen and Rev. Peter Cook as they represent our Conference and the UCC at the World Council of Churches General Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany.
NY UCC Conference Connection
What’s Happening at Your Local Church?
~ New York Conference Happenings now delivered on Fridays! ~
Have your church happenings included and shared throughout the New York Conference.
Please note items received by Tuesday will be posted in that Friday’s mailing. Anything received after may be pushed to the following week. The New York Conference may not publish all submissions received.
CONFERENCE TRANSITIONAL CORNER
WE NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU!
As our conference moves forward in this time of transition, your Transitional Conference Minister (TCM) and your Board are eager to hear from you as our transitional “plan” would not be complete without the input and insight of you, the members of the New York Conference.
To facilitate meaningful and manageable dialogue, TCM Rev. Dr. Marsha Williams and Conference Moderator, Rev. Judy Van Kennen, are hosting Association-wide Town Hall Zoom meetings. This will be your opportunity to share your ideas, thoughts, hopes and dreams for the future of our conference.
Where are we headed? What are the challenges before us? What ministries should we prioritize in the coming years?
Please see the schedule of upcoming Town Hall gatherings. If you don’t see your association listed, DON’T PANIC! We are scheduling time with every association which will be announced soon.
Mark your calendars and plan to join Marsha and Judy for faithful and fruitful conversation.
Association Town Hall Gathering Dates & Zoom Information:
September 7, 2022 – 6:00 pm Hudson-Mohawk Association