Delegate Report from the Houston Association Meeting
Our congregation, St. John’s United Church of Christ in Rosenberg, was represented at the April meeting of the Houston Association of the United Church of Christ.
The primary discussions at this meeting were about proposed changes to the Constitution and By-Laws of the South Central Conference of the UCC. The proposals will be presented for a vote at the Annual Meeting in Dallas the second weekend of June. There will be other business, to be sure, and worship and songs!
Proposals regarding the SCC Constitution include a re-written Preamble, update of purpose and “incorporation” terminology, specific definitions for voting privileges, setting geographical boundaries for the conference, and changing item numbers for articles currently in the Constitution.
Included in the proposed SCC By-Laws are a Preamble, definitions for the right to speak and for the right to vote at conference meetings, detailed job description for Conference Minister, church development and renewal, provisions for conference staff including Director of Outdoor Ministry, and some re-numbering of current By-Laws.
The South Central Conference newsletter can be sent to your email box. Please contact the firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be included. It is free and often it is interesting to read. The May 4 communication includes details about the Annual Meeting in June and the proposed Constitution & Bylaws Changes.
Discussion of the terminology “Designated Minister” for the South Central Conference was debated at the Houston Association meeting.
I learned the UCC has a fundraising arm for the denomination, for associations, and for congregations. How do we raise money from “others” to help our congregations and our work? The UCC is able to advise us.
The South Central Conference office will soon be moving to Slumber Falls Camp. Its Hill Country location will afford full-time office staff for the camp and for the administrative office of the SCC. Record keeping and accounting services can be maintained easily for both.
The Rev. Jeremy Albers, Director of Outdoor Ministry, reported Slumber Falls Camp has completed a new pool renovation and a new deck overlooking the Guadalupe River. Also, there is a new chef in the kitchen! Look for new events and activities as SFC programming incorporates retreats, field trips, and overseas travel with service opportunities and Christian education.
We grow and change together in a community centered not on our selves but on God. The United Church of Christ is known for its welcoming stance toward all people. We were early leaders in the Social Gospel movement, taking seriously Jesus’ commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Because we are part of this faith community, we can each minister to one another in beautiful ways. As I imagine the future, and all opportunities big and small, I know that God will be with me. I pray, also, God goes with you.
Sincerely, Ron Gutowsky, your elected delegate.