by Cleo Graham
This is one of a series of reflections on the joint gathering of the board members of Together, As One Board with the members of the boards of the historic Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences. Find them all here.
"I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:19.
On May 4, 2019, three Conferences or four Boards gathered to worship and build, to break bread and share, to discern and discover our path forward. We asked questions and reflected on related comments as we continued the search for our new Conference's name. What shall we call that which Prophet Isaiah claimed God calls a "new thing?" We prayed and sang, we praised and thanked God. We laughed and listened to one another. We tracked our progress on a timeline as if we were on a glorious marathon. We waited for the Lord who renewed our strength and kept us dancing with the holy breath that propelled us forward, back and in the middle of our community building exercises. We are more than acquaintances we are spiritual siblings.
We celebrated the Good News of the Historic Boards, the old, the new TA1 or Together as One Boards. We focused on our vision, mission, values, and passions while searching, mapping and marking the road to discipleship. We found strength through our relationships with God and one another that inspires us to a culture of adaptive leadership. Our voices filled the room far more significantly than when we first gathered more than two years ago. There was a constant humming as we knitted our stories and our passions together. We share a common destiny and agape love for our new thing!
"Speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into the one who is the head – into Christ – from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body's growth in building itself up in love."
The Rev. Cleo Graham is Associate Pastor of the Beneficent Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Providence, RI
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