Ecclesiastes 3:1 – For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
As the former Vice Moderator of the Conference and now as Moderator, I have been a firsthand witness to the energy invested these last few years leading us into a new season of our life. Previously to that, each of our Associations and the Conference over the 17 years I have been back in northwest Ohio have been rethinking processes and practices. For our camps, now singularly, our camp, a season of change has occurred and will continue to unfold in all its splendor as changing seasons do.
For some, all these changes, aren’t new. For others, it is about time they were done. For others, it may be brand new to them as they have no previous experience with “what was” and they experience “us” with eagerness and joy or curiosity. For still others, it is another season in the rhythm of seasons where experience has taught, ‘go with the flow’. For still others It can be an anxious time as some like settledness more than disruption. And for yet others, it is time to “strike, while the iron is hot”.
For myself – violating a professional writing friend’s caution to never talk about the weather in a newsletter article – I do take time to observe the seasons of God’s creation. Right now, I am watching the leaves fall (I think colors are better on semi cloudy days than full sunny days while my wife prefers it the other way around). I rake the leaves in piles and must make the decision, do I jump in them or mulch them with my mower, or both, or neither? I think about whether to cover the roses bushes (or not), put up plastic around my screen porch (or not). Do I try and invite a few friends over for one last “outdoor” party, (or not)? I will make decisions about these things, just not today.
So, with heartfelt apologies to my writer friend for talking about leaves, let’s affirm something by our observations surrounding the seasons of our lives, not just the leaves please, but more like Ecclesiastes. Know that the time ahead for the Heartland Conference will have all varying degrees of seasons: anticipation and anxiety, frustration and fruitfulness, loving and longing, energy and lethargy, faithlessness and faithfulness and more than can be named here. Together, as part of God’s creation, as tenders of this great creation and its seasons, let’s keep in touch with all the ways we experience it and what our options might be in this season of our life as a newly named Heartland Conference. Let us value all the perspectives. Your Board of Directors thoughtfully considers the pace of what we do and hopes to be your advocates for a life together that considers all for whom we have charge.
Our next Board of Directors meeting will be December 6, 10 am-3 pm, and we will spend time with Heather Kimmel, General Counsel and Secretary of our UCC Corporation, around the theme of “Good Governance”. We will be brought up to date on best practices and see what things we need to begin addressing immediately and long term in this season of our lives together. I want to encourage you to always feel free to contact me, our Transitional Conference Minister, Rev. Dave Long-Higgins, and any of the leadership team of the Conference or the Associations to share your observations of how you experience things going and what your observations might offer to the “us” in covenant together as the Heartland Conference.
Blessings and Peace, Dave Plant, Moderator