How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways…
Elizabeth Barrett Browning penned her poem, Sonnet 43, in 1850, from which the above line comes. If you haven’t read her love poem to her husband-to-be I heartily encourage it to you and the rich imagery it shares. For myself, it came to mind immediately as I thought about what I might highlight in this update to the conference.
The Conference and the Associations are working hard to “love you” by collaborating on many levels, discerning what is best done cooperatively through joint and individual initiative. I hope you take time to careful “count the ways” you see the love of God, through Christ, made real at every level of the church. With the One Heart working group continuing to invest significant energy in making the “vision” document from 2018 come to life through adaptations, reframing, and implementation of new strategies and initiatives; combined with each level of the Church examining all that it does, some of the resultant conversations have taken shape in a long list of initiatives and specific actions.
Anti-racism Network. Conference Inclusion Team (Mental Health and Accessible to All Initiatives). Faith Formation Working Group. Generosity and Stewardship Working Group. Communications Initiative. Direct actions like the Board of Directors voting to have “virtual office” space only, moving out of the Columbus location by the end of the year saving significant resources. The Conference has accepted the offer of United Church Homes to house our financial bookkeeping. The Outdoor Ministry program is adjusting to life with COVID and the summer Camp 2.0 virtual program was well received; site improvements are on the horizon as architectural plans are being produced for Templed Hills additions. New compensation guidelines will be presented to the Annual Gathering as well as a budget that looks to be helpful in gauging the resources available for our future ministry together. These are only a few named that are conference wide, not to mention all the wonderful work being done at the Association level that is available to all. At the Annual Meeting you will get to see and hear the remarkable story of what is happening around the Conference and the wider church as we engage in the theme, “From Pandemics to Possibilities” mentioned by David Long Higgins.
Elizabeth says, “How do I love thee, let me count the ways”. How do we love one another? We do it in so very many ways, for we know we are a people that were “first loved” by God, through Christ. We are living out the call to love God and neighbor with all that we are.
Annual Gathering Needs:
Would you like to be part of a virtual choir?
Are you a chaplain and would you be willing to host one of our virtual break out rooms (we need 15 persons)?
Would you be willing to be a back up “tech deacon” so that if need calls you can aid in the technical demands a virtual meeting requires?
If you have interest in any of these things, please contact the conference office at email@example.com