The picture above was taken while I attended a National UCC Conference in San Antonio, Texas this past week, where the world is still quite verdant and green and temperatures were in the upper 70's for much of the week. As we move toward a collaboration model of doing conference work together in new ways with the Southern New England Conferences I shared a dinner out with the staff of the Connecticut Conference, as we together imagine what sort of birthing might happen in this New Year ahead. This bi-annual Conference (called AM21) gathers all of the Conference Ministers, Associate Conference Ministers, and this year, many of the Chairs of Committees on Ministry, together to share best practices around Search and Call. Part of our work together was a review of the work of the Habakkuk group which has been working on revisions and updates to the UCC Manual and Ministry for the past many months. We heard about many changes that have been included in the draft MOM document and were invited to continue sharing our questions and concerns.
I returned from a mild and green Texas to a cold and gray Rhode Island and was shocked to realize that we are in the middle of Advent already! This morning a brief reflection by Meister Eckhart from Whom God Hid Nothing helped me consider this birth that we await each year. Eckhart writes:"The eternal birth which God bore and bears unceasingly in eternity is now born in time, in human nature. St. Augustine says this birth is always happening. But if it does not happen in me, what does it profit me? What matters is that it shall happen in me."
As I move into the waiting and preparing for the birth of our Savior again this year I am invited to consider what needs birthing in me this December and what God may have in store for us in this New Year ahead... What sort of birth may need to happen for you at this season? How do we prepare for this eternal birth? May we each get ready and prepare ourselves to be awake and alert for this amazing thing that is happening all around us.
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