SCC Report from our Delegates
The South-Central Conference of the United Church of Christ met May 31-June 1 in New Orleans. We want to thank Immanuel for letting us serve as delegates to the Conference.
Our beginning was not so good, but things improved! We drove in blinding rain from Spring to Lafayette, Louisiana, on May 30. Then the weather cleared, and we arrived at the Jung Hotel in downtown NO. The hotel was beautiful, spacious, and elegant. The first people we saw were John and Han Will; immediately afterward, we ran into Sue and Ron Krueger.
We attended what amounted to three worship services, two business meetings, and a banquet that included a time of recognition for special people. Our own Bill Royster was recognized as the longest serving minister in the conference with 60 years of service and Ron Krueger was recognized for his retirement after 40 years in active ministry.
Throughout the meeting, the music was outstanding with a mixture of traditional hymns combined with songs of gospel and praise, with much physical involvement.
The keynote speaker was Rev. Ron Buford from Congregational UCC in Sunnyvale, California. Rev. Buford is concerned about racism in society. He believes we have made great progress in eliminating racism, but we have a long way to go. Rev. Buford has designed a 12-step program to combat racism, modeled after the Alcoholics Anonymous program. In Buford’s program, the participant is asked to recognize and admit his own racism and to turn to God for aid in overcoming what can be a debilitating addiction to racism. If we have enough interest in our church, we may study a modification of this program later this year.
Business meetings are business meetings: In addition to a multitude of committee reports, we learned about improvements at Slumber Falls Camp, both physically and financially. We learned that two new churches, one at Boerne and one in Houston, have been established. New officers for the Conference Board and the Camp Council were elected.
We heard from Back Bay Mission and recognized the thousands of hygiene kits and school kits sent by our churches.
The last speaker we saw was worth walking from Spring to New Orleans to hear. Rev. Andrew Greenhaw, whose parish is in Southern Louisiana, is young, intelligent, an orator, and a man of faith. The theme of his sermon was simple but well-stated: we are powerless in the face of eminent tragedy, but we always find strength in God, a God for every man no matter his ethnicity. Our denomination will continue to hear from Rev. Greenhaw.
As always, the conference gave a birds eye view of our denomination—a Christian, mission-oriented organization that allows autonomy to individual churches, that preaches God’s love and acceptance for all, that illustrates that “no matter who you are, no matter where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.”