Mass Conference Annual Meeting Delegate Report
Mike and I were the lay delegates to the 217th Annual Meeting, held in Amherst, MA on June 17 and 18th. We have both been to several Annual Meetings and Super Saturdays during the many years we have been members of PACC. I often come home from these meetings with a few thoughts – but THIS TIME – I returned with several WOW moments. The major theme of this Annual Meeting was “BE BOLD.”
The guest preacher this year was the dynamic and enthusiastic Otis Moss III. He is the Minister of the Trinity United Church of Christ in the South Side of Chicago. Not only did he get my blood pumping with enthusiasm, he was also very funny. So, having said that, these are my take-away moments:
The main point I took from Rev. Moss is that we need to be BOLD enough to try new things to attract new people to the church. The demographic he talked about in both of his speeches and his focus group were the Millennials, people reaching young adulthood around the year 2000. They are tech savvy, quite aware of our country’s socio-economic challenges and want to be active in something that will have a positive effect on the world. Some are looking for a faith center for themselves and their growing families. It is these people that we need to attract if we are to be a growing and living church, especially as we all get older. Do we want these young folks to come to PACC or go to another more progressive, active, socially conscious church?
The answer is growth. If we don’t attract new members, where they are coming from, we will eventually fade out, as we all seem to be getting older at the same pace. Church is not a one-size-fits-all thing but if we are willing to get our egos out of any disagreements, we should carefully think about/discern whether something will maintain PACC’s integrity and encourage PACC’S growth and longevity. Therefore, when we do things for the right reason, with our hearts and minds confident in our work, we can TRUST GOD AND BE BOLD.
You can find additional highlights from Annual Meeting at www.macucc.org/2016am
Yours in Peace,
Betty Gitlin-Rich, Membership Co-Deacon