General Minister and President, Rev. Terri Hord Owens takes a moment to share about her travel this spring and the wider work the church is engaged with both nationally and internationally with ecumenical partners.
The resources mentioned in this video are linked in the brief transcript below.
Hello Disciples, this is your General Minister and President, Terri Hord Owens. It’s been a few weeks since we’ve chatted and I wanted to give you an update on where I’ve been over the last couple of months.
In April the General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) met for the first time in person in since February 2020. We met in Cincinnati, OH and deliberated and discussed and approved important matters of business to go before the General Assembly which will meet for the first time in four years in Louisville, Kentucky July 29th through August 1st. Oh I’m looking forward to seeing you all there and I hope that you’ll be able to join us as we gather together to worship, learn, discern, and fellowship together for the first time in four years.
Immediately after General Board I was part of a General Ministries Global Ministries delegation that went to Israel Palestine. The delegation included leaders from the Disciples, United Church of Christ and the United Church of Canada. We visited churches and holy sites in the area but we also visited with Christians and some of our Palestinian partners. I first visited Bethlehem in 1998 and was thrilled as any Christian is to visit the place where Jesus was born. On this trip nearly 25 years later I was struck by the erection of a huge wall that now separates Israeli citizens from Palestinians. All around there are walls and separation. I hope that you’ll take time to read the Compelled to Witness resolution that is before the General Assembly that provides a lot of background about what’s currently happening in Israel Palestine but I’m grateful and so very proud of the work being done by Global Ministries not only in Israel Palestine but around the world as we minister literally from our doorsteps to the very ends of the earth.
The National Council of Churches of which I serve as the Treasurer of the Governing Board met in Washington D.C for its annual meeting with our friends at National City Christian Church. There the Rev. Stephanie Kendall, the new pastor there, welcomed us and we celebrated the beginning of a two-year celebration marching towards the 75th Anniversary of the National Council of Churches. I’m really excited about the revitalization of a Health and Wellness Task Force in which member communions like ours are being invited to engage so that Christian communions in the U.S in particular will be able to work together for education and advocacy on matters of health and wellness. And I’m delighted that our own National Benevolent Associationwill be represented on that task force.
In addition to this important work both within our church and across the ecumenical Christian world, I had the opportunity to participate in a dialogue in New York between religious leaders in the U.S and religious leaders in Egypt. Again Global Ministries providing leadership to curate that gathering and us having the opportunity to sit and listen to our friends in Egypt and to share with them the context here in the United States.
I’m also excited that I’ve had the opportunity to travel, to visit preach and celebrate with so many of our congregations celebrating milestone anniversaries, pastoral installations, and even one Regional Minister installation in Kansas. That Regional Minister installation was the 11th Regional Minister that I have had the privilege of helping to install in my six years as General Minister and President.
There’s so much happening in the life of the church I could go on and on but I hope that you’ll stay tuned to all of our social media channels as we continue to update you about what’s happening in the life of our church, have conversations with leaders across the life of our church, and now as we prepare to get ready for General Assembly. I hope that you’ll be praying for a whole church—that our gathering would be fruitful, productive, that our gathering would reignite our dedication to be the church that we say we are, to be that church that imagines itself as a new church in for a new world.
God bless you and I look forward to seeing you in Louisville. Stay tuned to this important channel to get more information in the weeks ahead and remember God loves you and so do I. God bless you.