SCC Annual Meeting…New Orleans May 31-June 1, 2019
People frequently tell me that their favorite city to visit is New Orleans. On a recent visit, Mary Ann and I visited the WWII museum and were deeply moved by the sacrifices made by our parents and grandparents in defense of liberty and human rights. No, they did not use the term, human rights, back then but that was the reality. WWII was a worldwide struggle to protect the individual against the philosophy of fascism that sought to make the individual a mere commodity to be used and abused by the collective. Come to New Orleans, visit the noble exploits of our previous generation and while you are there, support your church that is fighting the same struggle for the value of the individual. Come and be present with your larger faith community. Let us connect not as individuals but as a family.
Finance and Budget Issues
The conference which includes both Slumber Falls and the historic conference functions has ended this past year with a significant budgetary shortfall. There are of course multiple explanations for this situation as times are challenging for both our congregations and the individuals who support them. Nevertheless, when I arrived almost three years ago now, I came with an emphasis on pastors and the local congregations. My assumption was and is that if you take care of these…they will take care of their associations and conference. It is up to all of us to make our conference stronger, one person or one congregation cannot do it alone. It takes a village. Let us make a concerted effort to focus on this mission as there is strength in numbers. I ask whosoever is able to enhance the support that you so graciously give to help develop and enrich the South Central Conference.
I have long treasured the words of the Psalmist and nowhere more than Psalm 139. My sense is that the writer recognizes even though we travel far, we are never outside the grace of God. Although there are times in this life when we may struggle with the challenges of this life…our loving Creator is present. Every human being, famous or not, has moments of self-doubt. Every pastor of every congregation no matter how large or prosperous has moments of fear, anxiety, and discouragement. It is in such moments that our Creator, Friend, and Lord is there with us, beside us, and within us. Thanks be to God who is infinitely loving.
Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you
Let us not despair for God is with us.
Peace and Grace,