These words by Robert Robinson, sung at our 157th Convention, encapsulate the overwhelming sense of blessing experienced at our gathering:
* First time meeting in Bemidji, in an arena on top of ice, under a jumbo-tron screen surrounded and supported by the warm hospitality of the Northwest Mission Area folks.
*Generous individuals offered their gifts to serve on our Elected Bodies and we affirmed the transformative ministry of The Rev. Denzil A. Carty.
*We learned that our financial health continues to be strong including a significant increase of participants in our Pooled Investment Fund which has doubled in the last five years to nearly $33 million.
*Missional Innovative Partnership Grants were launched, providing exciting possibility for our faith communities to build capacity as they engage God’s mission in their neighborhoods.
*We heard inspiring preaching by The Rev. Dr. Mark Olson who encouraged us to “keep showing up”. And the wonderful moment when Doug Sparks was presented with a Whipple Cross.
*Transitions in ECMN were highlighted with special note to the number of clergy who have been ordained for 30 years.
*Rob Zeaske from Second Harvest Heartland gave a phenomenal presentation confirming that he, too, believes we can End Hunger in Minnesota.
*There were great opportunities for learning, networking, and resource sharing.
*Music, prayer, and praise were consistently offered – with lots of appreciation to Eilert Helm and Coke Smith.
Our “Fount of every blessing” in ECMN overflowed at Convention and I am truly grateful to all for being a part of that blessing!
P.S. I also let Convention know that my name was put forth for consideration for nomination of the next Presiding Bishop and that I am declining this gracious offer as I feel called to continue to serve in Minnesota.