Breakfast with the President - - - Collaboration

I was part of a group of 40 or so area UCC folks gathered at Elmhurst College for breakfast and conversation this morning with the new President and General Minister of the United Church of Christ, Rev. Geoffrey Black.

The spinach frittata was delightful.

Rev. Black made some opening remarks before inviting us into a time of questions and conversation. For the most part, the questions and conversation time felt like pastor show and tell, with too many folks describing what they were doing in their local congregations. (OK -- who did I offend now . . . ) I think that a few asked some deeper questions and offered some very helpful comments, too. I wish there was more of that.

Throughout the show and tell, questions and comment time, I kept thinking of one word Rev. Black used several times in his opening remarks:


He said that he was noticing a new spirit of collaboration among those who serve in the UCC's four covenanted ministries. He spoke of a need for continued and growing collaboration in our denomination's future.

I agree wholeheartedly.

I've seen and experienced far too much territorialism, together with a lack of trust, in ministry settings:

  • Local Church
  • Association
  • Conference
  • National
I think there are good reasons why ministries have developed and continue to maintain territories. Yet in the bigger picture, the presence of territorialism, together with a lack of trust, is a ministry destroyer.

I hope that during Rev. Black's tenure as UCC President and General Minister we develop workshops, training, resources and a continued spirit of collaboration.

Might we also be bold enough to take a step to be in collaboration across denominations, across religions, and across the divide between believers and atheists?

I'd love to collaborate with others in working on this, participating in it, being trained in it, sharing it . . . living it.

And I'd like to have that spinach frittatta again, too.


max said...

i am very offended. actually i couldn't agree more with the show and tell comment. but alas, after we got going the discussion took a turn for the best. especially after i decided to talk, right?

Kirk said...

No joke -- your comments were the turning point!