Simon’s Says ~ from Alan

About twenty-five years ago, while I was serving my congregation in western Connecticut, I received a a delightful note that really touched me.  It was signed by the Rev. Davida Foy Crabtree, then Connecticut Conference Minister, and though it was a touch wordy, the message was simple and direct:  We are praying for you and your congregation.  The Conference staff had begun a practice, during their weekly staff meetings, of deliberately and intentionally praying for the Conference’s constituent churches, and that week they prayed for ours.  I recall thinking, What a wonderful, thoughtful gesture.  The next Sunday, I shared the note with the congregation.

I thought of that note earlier this week because of an email I - we - received.  It was from Connecticut Conference Minister and President Kent Siladi and through it is a touch wordier than Davida’s of twenty-five years ago, the message remains simple, direct, and you can guess what it said:  We are praying for you and your congregation.    (I’ll append the letter at the end of this post since, after all, it is addressed to you!)  Again, I find it a wonderful, thoughtful gesture.

The days of the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ are numbered:  their number is 21.  On November 1 and 2, the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island Conferences will unite to form the Southern New England Conference of the UCC.  In a way, it’s a bittersweet moment: while the Conference itself only dates back to the mid-1950s (meaning it is younger than I am), its predecessor entity can be traced to the 17th century and the earliest settlement by Congregationalists.  So we have a history around here.  But at the same time, the church needs to be nimble and adaptive in order to maintain meaningful ministry, and this is what brings about the SNEC - though it may take a while to get used to the new acronym...

So how nice that in these waning days, Kent and the Conference staff thought of us.  The least we can do is to return the favor, and pray that the coming time of transition will be both fruitful and faithful for us, and our United Church of Christ.




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