On Saturday May 4, the Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Together, As One Boards met for an all-day retreat at First Congregational Church UCC in Woodstock, CT.  Our day consisted of worship, community building, sharing the good news from our Historic Boards, and the ongoing work of TA1.  We discussed the General Synod Resolution, vision and values, engaging our passion for TA1, and the name of our new Conference.

What struck me about the day is that it felt like a both/and moment.  What I mean by that is that we are in this moment of celebrating what will be and grieving what has been.  We are waiting for God and running the race.  We are in the already and not yet.  So it’s not either we celebrate what will be, or we grieve what has been.  We can do both, acknowledging that we are all bringing a complexity of thoughts and feelings to these gatherings.

As Parker Palmer reflected in The Promise of Paradox, “From international relations to what goes on in the workplace to raising a teenager, we find ourselves living between reality and possibility, between what is and what could and should be.  But if we are willing actively to ‘hang in there’ with a country, a colleague, or a child—holding the unresolved tension between reality and possibility and inviting something new into being—we have a chance to participate in the evolution of a better reality.”

For the United Church of Christ in Southern New England, Together, As One is about the creation of a better reality.  Yet, we are in the tense moment right now between reality and possibility, inviting something brand new into being.  Gathering on Saturday with Board Members from our Historic Conferences and our Together, As One Board was about celebrating this moment in which we find ourselves.  Celebrating this chance we all have to participate in creating a better reality.  The work continues.  God is with us.  And I’m grateful to take part.

Rev. Lauren Lorincz
Pastor of Colchester Federated Church in Colchester, CT
CTUCC Conference Board Member & Together, As One Board Member

(Part of this reflection can be found on the SNEUCC blog.)