The Pennsylvania Southeast Conference held its annual Fall Meeting on November 18th, hosted by friends at First UCC in Schuylkill Haven, who fed us an exceptional meal and outdid themselves with hospitality.

The meeting opened with worship and the renewal of baptismal vows to reconnect us to God’s covenant with us and ours with each other.

Highlighted by the theme “Covenant Connections” the meeting focused on both the business of the conference and stories of covenant connections between churches, their members and the communities they serve including Islamic neighbors, individuals with dementia and veteran groups.

Conference Minister, Rev. William (Bill) P. Worley reviewed the proposed amendments to the United Church of Christ’s Constitution and By-laws and presented the UCC’s latest outreach “3 Great Loves” (Love of Neighbor, Love of Children, Love of Creation). He also brought the delegates up to date on the progress being made on PSEC’s 2020 Vision statement.

A report by Rev. Dr. Joanne Marchetto, member of Penn Northeast Conference and member of the Joint Conference Vision and Development Team, explained the current path the two conferences are taking in this possible joint conference process and reminded anyone who was interested in filling out a survey to please do so.

Reports from the PSEC Treasurer and PSEC Endowment Committee were reviewed as was the proposed 2018 Budget.

Rev. Sharon Morris, Associate Conference Minister reported on the following Church and Ministry updates: Revised Marks on Ministry, Ordained Ministerial Code, Local Church Profile and that the Committees on Ministry are in covenantal relationship with all parties.

Votes were taken on motions to ratify the UCC Constitution and By-Law amendments and to adopt the 2018 PSEC Budget. Both motions passed.

Together we accomplished work that had to get done. More importantly, however, we shared hugs and prayers, renewed friendships and offered words of assurance. We celebrated God’s love and the connections that make us this odd and wondrous gathering called The Church. We begged for the Holy Spirit to touch the world where it is needed most.

If you missed this meeting, make sure you’re at Spring Annual Meeting 2018. We will have a much better meeting with you! So, place the dates on your calendar now– June 1-3, 2018 at West Chester University. See you there!