By Rev. Melinda Quellhorst
Ohio Conference Moderator
My dear church,
This morning as I look out at the beautiful colors of Fall that God has created, I sit in wonder and amazement at all that God has done and continues to do in my life. I ponder the church of my youth and the church when I was in seminary. I think about when I began ordained ministry and how I lead in ministry now. All of these churches have been United Church of Christ churches in all parts of the United States. Times have changed, transformation is happening, the Holy Spirit is working with and through us, and in times in spite of us.
Things are not changing just in the local church. The middle judicatories and the wider church as well are changing in how we lead and how ministry is happening. Some conferences are working together, other conferences are sharing Conference ministers. The Ohio Conference is no different in discerning where God is leading us.
The Board of Directors voted at our meeting in September to put together a process to enact the proposal “Mission First.” A copy of the process adopted by the Board is attached. I hope you will join me in knowing and trusting that this Board will work hard to listen and discern where ministry is being transformed and the process this is going to take.
At the Board of Directors meeting on Dec. 4, we will gather, to discuss and put into action the process that we will be using to have the conversations with the church. We will be including all mission partners of the church from local church, and middle judicatories to national and recognized ministries. My hope is that you will enter these conversations with us, without agenda but with openness to the Holy Spirit.
We look forward to reaching out to our mission partners in the associations, congregations, recognized ministries and our national offices. You have entrusted your Board of Directors with leadership; help us to transform ministry in the Ohio Conference by being open to what God is doing and helping us to do.
Blessings abound, of that I am sure.