This year we are thrilled to present three keynotes at our Heartland Conference Annual Gathering:
Connect. Equip. Support.
Get to know them before the 2021 Annual Gathering:
Keynote Musicians, The Many: The Many is a creative collective that believes there is power in singing together – it changes things inside us and
around us - and their vision is to create music we can sing together that’s honest, full of questions, full of faith and doubt, full of longing. These are not songs about a God who only loves some of us. This is not head in the clouds
“worship music” - but feet on the ground, heart in hands, scars revealed, wild and holy, liturgically-seasoned music of resistance, reconciliation and restoration. This is music made for people to sing with each other, in
churches, in living rooms, in basements and bars...anywhere, everywhere...
in spirit and in truth. The Many features three lead singers, Darren Calhoun, Leslie Michele and Hannah Rand, along with guests and collaborators. Find them online at www.themanyarehere.com.
Keynote Preacher, Rev. Dr. Imani Jones: Rev. Dr. Imani Jones is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. As one half of the “Dynamic Duo” as she and her husband, Rev. Colin Jones are fondly named, Rev. Jones is a sought after preacher with a passion and powerful gift of illuminating the relevance of the biblical narrative in a 21st century context. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Rev. Jones is a graduate of The Ohio State University and Princeton Theological Seminary with Bachelor of Arts, Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees, and has a Doctor of Ministry degree from Ecumenical Theological Seminary. Currently, Rev. Jones is the Clinical Pastoral Education Program Manager for the Chaplaincy Department at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, in Columbus, Ohio.
Rev. Jones has a particular focus on the integration of African American voices in Clinical Pastoral Education curriculum development. She is a Board Certified Chaplain within the Association of Professional Chaplains and a Certified Educator in the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. She and her husband, Rev. Colin Jones are the parents of Tyshon, Colin II and Dominique, and the proud pastors of Advent United Church of Christ in Columbus, OH, where the mission is to “Love God. Love People. Period.” Through engaging in ministry “on the ground,” Rev. Imani Jones ministers to people of all ages and stages of life to be empowered and moved to action through real, relevant and radical ministry.
Keynote Speaker, Rev. Dave Long-Higgins: Rev. Dave Long-Higgins is the current Transitional Conference Minister for the Heartland Conference and the Conference's candidate for settled Conference Minister. In his role, Dave has been called to facilitate a process to strengthen our covenantal collaboration between congregations, associations, institutions of higher education, health and human service ministries, ecumenical and interfaith engagements, as well as partnerships local and global. Dave’s passion is to see individuals and churches grow in their sense of the alive presence of God and all that this calls forth to be signs of good news in the world, so that all may flourish.
Dave has served in a wide variety of capacities throughout the United Church of Christ. He is a graduate of Heidelberg University with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and music (violin performance). His Master of Divinity was earned at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities in New Brighton, Minnesota. He is also a graduate of the Wellstreams Spiritual Direction Program of the Spirituality Network of Columbus (Ohio). Prior to beginning his role with the Conference, Dave was a parish pastor for over 30 years.
Dave and his wife Beth, who is also an ordained UCC clergyperson have two adult children, Andrew and Hannah. When not on the ministry trail Dave enjoys movies, playing violin and guitar, bicycling, travel, writing poetry/prayers, and photography.
Join our keynote presenters live and in-person on September 24 & 25
at First Community UCC's North Campus, Columbus, OH
(remote attendance option will also be available)
as we live into this season of "Say Yes!" at our Annual Gathering.
Registration opens August 1; registration details to come.