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2014 Metro Association Fall Meeting
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>  Metro Association > 2014 Fall Meeting

Metro Association Fall 2014 Meeting
“Being Fully Alive:  Living Your Life God’s Way”

Saturday, November 1, 2014
St. Albans Congregational Church, UCC
172-17 Linden Blvd
St. Albans, NY 11434

“Let us not get in the way of what God will do through us,” urged Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ.  Black noted that we often look for God in “Big Things,” but the best places to find God are in the small, everyday actions of people.  “God is at work in the Metro Association,” he said.  “God is at work in you – and that is the good news,” he concluded.

Geoffrey Black and Henry Simmons
Geoffrey Black and Henry Simmons

Black’s presence at St. Albans Congregational Church, UCC, was a homecoming in many ways.  It was at St. Albans that he started his ministry as an associate of Rev. Robert Ross Johnson, St. Albans’ founding pastor.  Black is a long-time friend of Rev. Dr. Henry T. Simmons, current Senior Minister at St. Albans, and it was Simmons who chaired the search committee that recommended Black be General Minister and President of the UCC.



Tehillah Liturgical Dancers
Tehillah Liturgical Dancers


Black’s sermon, “God at Work,” was part of the inspiring worship in St. Albans’ beautiful sanctuary.  Music, led by Elmer L. Hammond, Jr., St. Albans’ Minister of Music, brought participants to their feet on many occasions.   The Tehillah Liturgical Dancers of the Congregational Church of South Hempstead (another church Black served) proved that movement can be a strong spiritual experience.



Noel Vanek
Noel Vanek

Rev. Dr. Noel Vanek, pastor of the Community Church of the Pelhams, lit the candle of remembrance for clergy and lay leaders of the Metro Association.





Joining in the Music
Joining in the Music

Vocal soloists Rev. Cynthia Jackson and Andre Cox urged us to join in their music as their voices soared heavenward.

Our November 1 offering will be used to provide scholarships for youth in the Metro Association




Peg Mainusch
Peg Mainusch

In declaring a quorum for the business meeting following worship, Registrar Peg Mainusch reported more than 140 persons from 43 churches were in attendance.

Bonnie Duval
Bonnie Duval





Treasurer Bonnie Duval gave another optimistic financial report, commending those who support the Association with their financial gifts and those on the Finance Committee who help steward these gifts.  She said the Finance Committee will host additional workshops, following the success of those presented in August 2014.  In response to questions from the floor, Duval said legal and accounting expenses are up because the Association has hired an accountant who will assist in presenting a balance sheet at the Spring and subsequent meeting.  The proposed budget passed unanimously.

Geoffrey Black
Geoffrey Black

Rev. Black praised the Metro Association for its vibrant actions.  With the permission of Conference Minister Rev. David Gaewski, he announced that the Collegiate Churches will become part of the Metro Association and thus of the UCC in 2015.  He urged us to be part of the June 26-30 General Synod in Cleveland, OH, where there will be special emphasis on “Reading Changes Lives,” a UCC initiative to promote literacy.  In response to a question from the floor, Black reported that after years of moving from 12 national entities, each with its own governance and financial management, the national setting now has a single governance and unified financial management which are working effectively.

David Gaewski
David Gaewski
Rev. Gaewski announced a series of worship institutes which will begin in January 2015 with the study of prayer in worship, led by Rev. Eugene Palmore.  Other events on the horizon include the March 6-8, 2015 State Youth Event at Watson Homestead with Rev. Geoffrey Black as keynoter; April 30 – May 2 Women’s Annual Conference, also at Watson Homestead; NY Conference Annual Meeting June 5 – 7 at Silver Bay Conference Center with Muslim Biblical scholar Dr. Resa Aslan as keynoter.  Gaewski also announced there is about $20,000 remaining in a NY Conference fund to help churches repair damages caused by Superstorm Sandy.

Among other events highlighted at our gathering were the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration on Monday, January 19, 2015, the Boundary Awareness Training on Saturday, January 24, 2015 and the National Youth Event July 26-29, 2016.

Food and Fellowship
Food and Fellowship

As with almost every Metro event, this one closed with food and fellowship.





Reported by
Lucy Werner

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