United Church of Christ New York Metropolitan Association
      2010 Metro Association Spring Meeting


Interim New York Conference Ministerís Message
Report to the Annual Meeting Ė April 24, 2010

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1

The snow has melted—little green shoots are popping up everywhere—the weather toys with us alternating between cold and warm--we’ve set our clocks ahead--spring is fully upon us. I have never lived anywhere where there were not four distinct seasons of the year, and I am absolutely certain I would miss the experience.  Seasons change.  Time elapses.  There is a certain and solid rhythm of life—dependable and sure. 

One of the rites of spring for me as I was growing up was watching my father get ready for the planting season.   He would test the soil—not with fancy equipment but with his hands—as he scooped up some dirt and rolled it around—if it formed a clump, the soil was not yet dry enough to receive the seeds.  I have used this same technique in my own garden (though I will admit to a few plants that were mudded in because I was just too eager to get going).  Nothing makes me happier than digging in the dirt—either planting or weeding--and then watching the flowers unfold and the produce ripen.  It is a reminder that for everything there is indeed a season.

One of the gifts of an interim time—whether it is in the local congregation or at the conference level—is the permission we have to review current practices and to try new things.  As I reviewed the statistics from our monthly e-newsletter, I discovered that it was not proving itself overall to be an effective communication tool with an average read rate of under 35%.   Given that reality, we are shifting our communication dollars to explore ways in which we can be serving our congregations and associations more effectively.   The two items that were widely read, the theological reflection and the message from the conference minister, will continue on a monthly basis.   If you are signed up on the conference mailing list, you will also receive items of interest as they emerge.  I promise you that we will not turn into “spammers” but we hope to use this communication tool to keep you abreast of activities and opportunities that are available to you.  You can also keep updated on current events & workshops by visiting our website at www.uccny.org

I am also accepting applications for a part-time (20 hours a month) Communications Coordinator who will maintain our website, oversee our office technologies, resource our media center which we hope to have up and running by September,  and be available to help local churches update their own technologies (for a reasonable fee).  If you, or someone you know, would be interested in learning more about this position, please contact me at ritaroot@uccny.org.  It is my hope to have this person in place by June 1, 2010.

I invite you to attend our annual meeting at Silver Bay from June 4-6; it is a wonderful time to see old friends, meet new people and to learn more about the unfolding events here in the New York Conference.  Registration is available on our website:  www.uccny.org

Blessings & peace,