The sun was shining as the Florida Conference met on October 25, 2015 to discuss: Facing the Crisis: Sustaining a Green Faith. And, yes, there was a lot information shared about solar energy and the issues in Florida related to solar power. But the day included much more. There was a keynote presentation highlighting several green initiatives that churches can tie into. There were workshops including how to save money at your church by being green and the Biblical and faith imperatives that call for environmental action. There were ideas shared about how to be green advocates for policies that protect creation.
The Fall Gathering was a chance to connect with old friends and make new ones. And in the midst of the wonderful hospitality offered by the First Congregational Church of Winter Park, the Conference even did some business. A budget was endorsed for 2016 and the finishing touches were put on a plan to restructure the finance ministries of the Conference. Conference initiatives include a process for applying for grant funding for special projects, the continuation of Disaster Ministries with a new funding model, creating a new center at 9300 University that is a green build rehabilitation project which is becoming a model for others, and a soul feeding retreat ahead for authorized ministers of the conference.
LUCC is grateful to Carol Shores and Lucille Ruga who attended the day long gathering as lay delegates from the congregation. Rev. Kim Wells was a clergy delegate and also serves as the moderator of the Florida Conference.
The enriching, energetic day ended with worship which included installing the Rev. Leslie Etheredge as the Western Regional Minister of the Florida Conference and an inspiring sermon by the Rev. Meighan Pritchard, UCC Minister for Environmental Justice and pastor of Prospect UCC in Seattle, WA sharing inspiring stories to sustain our hope and calling upon us to support one another in sustaining a green faith.