As we launch ourselves into this new program year, with all its complexities and challenges, I invite you to remember all the other people for whom you thank God. For a while now, you have been distracted by your own hurts and disappointments in the events of the last year and there is still effort needed in working through that. Meanwhile, there are a plethora of wonderful things that have continued to happen in your midst: work with missions, work with youth and children, opportunities for worship on Sunday and Faithful Fridays, welcome offered to newcomers in the community. Remember to thank God for all of them and for everyone who contributes to this lively work.
I’m excited to be here with you, to worship with you, and to work with you to continue FCCB’s long history of faith formation and mission. We hope to be hiring a new person(s) to work with youth and children very soon. I am ready to take the lead in a confirmation program for your 8th and 9th graders as soon as we figure out a reasonable calendar for it. And, we’ll be offering membership classes to new friends in our midst. Our Adult Education program will start up with a Forum coming next weekend with Susan Cottrell, founder of an organization called “Freed Hearts” that supports LGBTQ youth and their families in faith.
This upcoming week, Sally and I both will attend the Conference-wide Clergy Convocation at Rock Point Center. Our resource person will be the Rev. John Dorhauer, the new General Minister and President of the UCC. I’m pleased to have the opportunity to meet more of the leadership of the Vermont Conference of the United Church of Christ.