The National Association of Congregational Churches (NACCC) and the Ohio Association of Congregational Christian Churches welcomed 237 people representing 103 churches from 25 states to Cleveland, Ohio for its 65th annual meeting. This year’s them, Jesus, the heart of it all, was selected by the Ohio Association host team.
Highlights of the remarkably meaningful meeting included the Congregational Lecture by the Rev. Dr. John Tamilio III speaking on what is unique about our Congregational heritage; three Bible Lectures from the Rev. Dr. Brett Younger on the Book of Mark describing how we are all would-be disciples and surprising saints in trying to follow Jesus Christ; and a plenary session workshop led by the Rev Dr. Charles Warnock on The Promising Future of Small Churches. Several significant workshops and presentations were offered to attendees on a variety of topics. The Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies held a graduation ceremony for two seminary graduates, Joel Boyd and Joy Matos. Presentations by eleven missionaries sponsored by the NACCC brought the delegates up to date on the work of their missions.
New this year, all four business meetings opened and closed each session with a speaker describing the personal impact the NACCC has had on their lives. Sharing their “NA Moment” were Miriam Bryant, Marshalltown, IA; Barbara Mullen, South Bend, IN; Andrew McHenry, Paradise, CA; Ron Toliver, Toulon, IL; Charles Sagay, Cameroon, Africa; Tom Van Tassell, Spencer, IA; Liz Philbrook, Yarmouth Port, MA; and Doug Gray, Squantum, MA.
Five Congregational churches were received into membership including Bethany Congregational Church of Quincy, MA, Congregational Christian Church of Ravena, NY, Crystal Congregational Church of Crystal, MI, Little White Church of Malta, MT, and Righteous Chapel Church of Lake Worth, FL. In the final business session the Board of Directors Citation was presented to Mark Jensen and the two winners of the Harry Butman Award were Terry Bobzien and Marty Hall.
A special thank you for this year’s eventful meeting goes to the Ohio Association and Patrick Hunt, especially for the evening boat ride dinner and dance cruise on Lake Erie, as well as Michael Chittum and the entire staff of the NACCC. We are grateful and say loudly—Jesus is the heart of it all.