"Where My Wife Keeps Her Shoes"
Rev. Justin Nierer, Vitality Ministry Council
As many of you know and as many of you might not know, my wife and I are blessed with a son who is now seven years old and at the time of this writing is practicing in our living room to be a ninja pastor, which is a ninja with a wicked swing-kick but gets to help with weekly video announcements as much as possible. Recently we set up a time for him to have a Zoom meeting with some of his friends from school. Everything was going great, he was showing all of them his Legos, his toys, his favorite Nerf gun etc. We let him go on his own for about 10 minutes until we heard, in a voice of excited explanation, “and this is where my mom keeps all her shoes!”
Zoom meetings and various options have become our new reality as I know it has for many of you. Not very long ago the Vitality Council (which I have the incredible honor to chair) had to make the difficult decision to cancel all three of the regional convocations. It was a heart-breaking decision to say the least. The Vitality Council, with the continuing support of Laura Wright and the Oak Creek office, work tirelessly for months to put together amazing and enriching events for the pastors of the NACCC.
We had discussed doing something online instead but Convocation is much more than a speaker or the gathering of information. Convocation is about rest, worship, fellowship, and learning. These things together can simply not be replicated online. If we were to have tried, the end result would have been stale and not at the level the Vitality Council is known for.
This is also the reason we refused to present any awards online. When the Vitality council presents awards such as the Harry and Jeanette Butman, or the Russell preaching award, we want to make sure that the person receiving that award is honored by his/her friends and colleagues in person. There is nothing like being able to congratulate someone that has just received the Butman award, to shake their hand and to hear, from their heart, their deep love and devotion to Congregationalism.
The Vitality council is working hard to make the Convocations of 2021 something that will be ministry changing and we get to celebrate that accomplishment at the annual meeting and conference. As I sit here and write this, I look forward to Spokane 2021. I look forward to it more than I can put into words. I look forward to seeing all of you in person once again, to shake your hand, to give you a big hug and to celebrate our love of the NACCC and Congregationalism together.