We Are Building Collaborative Ministry -- Globally and Locally

Voice of the Conference Minister

by Rev. Edward Davis (D. Min.) A Pastoral Epistle

Blessings! In the life of my ministry I have always expressed a spirit of collaboration and partnership. In my previous settings I formed many of them and I am currently working on

some now. My doctoral dissertation was on collaboration, "Building a Collaborative Community: A Creative Collaborative Leadership Model." We developed our current theme in the Southern Conference "Building a Stronger Southern Conference by working together in Faith, Trust and Love," and, we developed "Widening the Circle of Leadership" which has gotten many people involved in our collective works.

This is why I am excited about two events that will be happening in the Southern Conference this month and in September. As most of you know, we have a long standing partnership with the Church of the Rhineland in Germany. We have, over the years, had a cultural exchange with them. We have sent clergy to Germany for cultural and spiritual immersion, and likewise they have also sent representatives for the same purpose. This weekend the Southern Conference will be hosting a delegation of individuals from Germany. They will be here for multiple dialogues around issues of immigration and migration, climate change, racism and others. They will worship in our congregations and celebrate our partnership.

I am grateful to Rev. Nancy Allison [Ph.D.] (Holy Covenant UCC of Charlotte), Rev. William Sowers (Hedrick's Grove UCC in Lexington), Rev. Carol Hallman (First UCC in Salisbury), Rev. Ervin Milton (Union Chapel UCC in Burlington), Rev. Dian Jackson Davis (Mt. Zion UCC in Rockingham), Rev. Cameron Barr (United Church of Chapel Hill) and Rev. Eddie Weathers (ENCA ACM) for their willingness to host our guests. If you are so inclined, please come out to these congregations and greet them.

All above pastors/congregations plan to share worship encounters this Sunday, August 18, with representatives of the German Church delegation. Contact respective pastors for further information.

In addition, there will be an opportunity next week for dialogue at:

Black Lake Retreat Center (contact Rev. Ken Clapp (D.Min.);
at the SOC office in Burlington on Wednesday (11:30 am - 1:30 pm);
and at St. Stephens UCC in Greensboro on Thursday (10:00 am - 1:00 pm

The second event is our collaborative partnership with Land of the Sky UCC, who will be having and hosting a Collaborative Leadership event at the church. Our General Minister and President, Rev. John Dorhauer (D.Min.), along with many others, will be leading and sharing in workshops and panel discussions over a two day period. You have seen the information on our website and the e-News in past weeks promoting this event.

Please come out and support these two initiatives and experience exciting times of collaboration with others who will help us experience the importance of working together.