ECMN Convention 2014 Wrap-Up

JLM_9880 copy“Come, thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace; streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.”

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.

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