Community News
Building the Neighborhood
Reflections Upon our Annual Gathering
By Rev. Chad R. Abbott,
Conference Minister

This past week our Annual Gathering Planning Team announced its opening of registration under the theme of Building the Neighborhood. I wanted to share some reflections upon this theme and our sacred gathered time together this coming June.
Fred Rogers is famous for having said “Always look for the helpers. There will always be helpers.” Having just made my way through the recent documentary on Fred Rogers’ life and ministry (with tears shed of course), this particular quote seems to always resonate with me. While our theme is not necessarily a “Mr. Rogers” theme per se, it does have some overtones of his work and ministry. During hard times in this country, it was his voice that taught generations of children what it means to both love a neighbor and need a neighbor. Reflecting upon loving a neighbor and needing a neighbor stands at the heart of our conference annual gathering this year. 

Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” 
Luke 10:36-37 (NRSV)
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MID Spotlight

Jen Einspahr – Northwest Association
I am a MID in the Northwest Association and a member of Zion UCC in South Bend, Indiana. I am a student at Eden Theological Seminary in Saint Louis, Missouri with a projected graduation date of May 2020. I find living so far from my home church a challenge. However, attending seminary is a joy for me. Being a seminary student has provided me with opportunities such as attending the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference. I am currently serving as a student pastor at a UCC church in Saint Louis, Missouri. I am passionate about issues of peace and social justice; each opportunity to engage in this important work is another step towards my future. I am still discerning what I may be called to do in the future, but am confident that when the time is right, I will be shown an opportunity for my gifts to continue to blossom.
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