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Metro Association Spring 2014 Meeting
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>  Metro Association > Metro 2014 Spring Meeting

Metro Association Spring 2014 Meeting
Let Everything That Breathes Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Community Church of the Pelhams
448 Washington Ave.
Pelham, NY 10803

“Praise the Lord” said Rev. Dr. Ruby M. Wilson
“Praise the Lord” said Rev. Dr. Ruby M. Wilson

Rev. Dr. Ruby M. Wilson captured the spirit of the Metro Association Spring Meeting with her sermon which began with the praises in the last Psalms.  She led us through the Parable of the Talents, urging us to follow the lead of the first two servants who took risks with the gifts given to them by their master.  We shouldn’t mimic the third servant who buried his gifts – trapped in the fear of failure.  “Start out, use me, step out in faith,” she urged.  With such actions we, too, can hear “Well done, good and trustworthy servant…enter into the joy of my house.”

Rev. Jack Lohr blessed our offering.
Rev. Jack Lohr blessed our offering.
Member In Discernment Kris Watson asked us to make generous gifts to the morning offering which will support the Metro Association Scholarship Programs.

Associate Conference Minister Rev. Freeman L. Palmer encouraged us to embrace the energy of our youth and the wisdom of our elders.  The Tehillah Liturgical Dancers from the Congregational Church of South Hempstead made it clear there is energy and creativity in the youth of the Metro Association.  The wisdom of our elders was clear in the words of participants from the forty churches in attendance.

Here are some of “The Bells of Hope”.
Here are some of “The Bells of Hope”.

Music filled the sanctuary of the Community Church of the Pelhams – with the organ music of Paul S. Johnson, its Minister of Music; with “The Bells of Hope”, its bell choir; with congregational singing; with the voice of Rev. Cynthia Jackson.

We remembered our former leaders.
We remembered our former leaders.

Host pastor Rev. Dr. Noel Vanek led us in lighting the candle of remembrance for the lives of Rev. Paul William Bradley and other church leaders whose earthly lives ended since our Fall Meeting.

Treasurer Bonnie Duval gave an optimistic financial report, including both an income statement for First Quarter 2014 and a balance sheet as of March 31, 2014.  Meeting participants joined her in thanking the six-person finance committee whose work has assured excellent financial management and transparent reporting.

Registrar Peg Mainusch brought us news of the work of the Committee on Ordination and Ministerial Standing and led us in voting to license three Members in Discernment.

Nominations Chair Jacob Thomas gave the report of the Nominating Committee, commending Executive Administrator Louise Manigault for her help.  Additional nominations from the floor resulted in filling all positions except one member in the 2017 Class of the Social Justice Committee.  Here are the election results.

“We will serve, with God’s help.”
“We will serve, with God’s help.”

Freeman Palmer installed the new officers and committee members:  “Whom shall I send?  Here I Am!  Send Me!” he said.

Palmer, with Associate Conference Minister Ryan Henderson and Search and Call Associate Noel Vanek distributed certificates of appreciation for Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM) contributions and Five-for Five gifts.  (The five UCC offerings are OCWM, Neighbors in Need, Christmas Fund, One Great Hour of Sharing, Strengthen the Church.)

Social Justice Chair Rev. Cheri Kroon announced that this committee will be organizing a project to share resources among churches in the Metro Association. “For example, can you loan a snow blower or a flautist to another church?” she suggested.  Committee members will be reaching out to churches to implement this sharing.

Rev. Anna Taylor-Sweringen, Board President of the Parish Resource Center West, sought to convince us there is new money, old money, more money for ministry – if we learn the language that moves the hearts of our donors.  She and others from the Parish Resource Center are available to help us learn this language.  Visit their web site at http://www.prcli.org  or call them at 631-821-2255.

Rev. Cheri Lovell, Director of Marketing & Strategic Initiatives for United Church Funds, urged us to develop an Endowment Cycle in our church, whether or not we now have an endowment.  This involves developing a gift acceptance policy; identifying an investment policy based on the church’s risk tolerance, diversification goals and performance expectations; creating a spending policy for the endowment; promoting endowments through workshops on wills and planned giving.  Lovell reminded us that each church is competing with the other philanthropic interests of its members.  Lovell can be reached at cheri.lovell@ucfunds.org or 212-729-2622.  Details of the work of United Church Funds can be found at http://www.ucfunds.org.

Host Community Church of the Pelhams set an excellent example of sharing the gifts of hospitality: continental breakfast, lunch and warm, helpful greetings to all who participated in this Spring Meeting.

Reported by
Lucy Pullen Werner


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