In this time of Covid-19 coziness and transitions what better way to spend the weekend than in a virtual world with the General Council members. Pastor Steve Osborn, CO, Ericessen Cooper, NY, Andrew Camenga, PA, Dr Ralph Macintosh, CA, and myself, Patti Wethington, MI are your current General Council members. Paula Davis, NY serves as the secretary and faithfully captures the essential content and action items. She keeps the meeting information organized and files the documents in a repository for safe keeping and easy access for reference needs. The General Council partners with the Director of Finance Ron Ochs, WI; Executive Director Carl Greene who among many responsibilities leads and supports the work of the Coordinating Leadership team (CLT).
We travel to various locations during the year and this month we were scheduled to meet in Janesville, WI. Our team has been following our national and local Covid-19 safe practices, so we were all tucked in our homes and utilized a Zoom virtual connection. Our agenda was long and detailed which caused me to wonder if we could cover all issues and complete the essential discussion by the end of each session. God is good, we were succinct, focused and the sessions were productive. Among the many topics addressed it was very encouraging to hear from Directors John, Nick, Jeremiah, and Jenny regarding the major leadership objectives they champion. One area of current interest involves plans for an ongoing team that will be ready to respond to emergent situations needing swift attention through a Crisis Management Plan. There will be a standing team ready to assess a rising concern, pull in those who are informed or vested and swiftly responded to the issues or situation.
Another discussion addressed a plan in replacing this summer’s General Conference in person event and translating that happening to a “Virtual General Conference” session. This will allow to facilitate reporting of goals and accomplishments for the past year and will include our vision for next steps as well as spiritual content. Our directors have been working on presentations that will create an opportunity to hear about the work that God is doing throughout our Conference of churches, and be encouraged by the Word and by song.
We are greatly encouraged by the forward progress reported in the Church Revitalization process actively being pursued by many new churches. The Church Planting objective is strengthening and gaining momentum. Carl has expressed himself in very candid presentations to encourage our awareness of ways we can engage in spreading God’s Word with simple and practical demonstrations of ways to engage through his short video presentations. All focused on Gospel Saturation. In addition, there is great anticipation with the commitment of almost 60 church members across the United States and Canada who have participated in the Amplify 2020 conference that was facilitated by Nick Kersten. Pray for our participants and watch for news of their learning and inspiration in the coming weeks.
We as a team watch for God’s leading, anticipating His ongoing guidance while engaging in the work of sharing God’s love with each new contact, equipping our tool belts with resources to meet today’s challenges, and prayerfully covering our pastors and leaders. We desire to be armed to respond to Gods leading in all things good, challenging, sometimes scary times. Always have hope!
Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous, Do not fear or be in dread…for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
- Patti Wethington