The beginning of May is usually a favorite time for me. Here in Wisconsin the crabapples and other fruit trees are in bloom, trees are leafing out, and warmer weather invites us outside. I love to watch the hostas emerge and unroll their leaves, the perennials growing with the promise of summer flowers, and I even get into the garden to clean up and remove the new crop of weeds. (I don’t do so well when it is hot outside!) All of those things are true this year, except the weather which is grey, cold and rainy, but that will pass, sooner rather than later, we hope.
May is also a time to look forward to summer and that means annual meetings! Conference meetings happen in early-mid June, IMN is a bit later this year, June 19-22 (hooray!), but still mid-June, and General Synod kicks off July (June 30-July 4). I love going to all of these events. Although generally a fairly solitary person, there is something about being with colleagues to learn and celebrate together that stirs my soul and renews my call to ministry among these people. We in AUCCIIM had to choose between two trips to Baltimore this year as both IMN and Synod will be there. Both gatherings will enlarge perspectives, connect people together, and do good work. Each of us has to decide what is important in our life and ministry, and what we can afford to do. But if there are folks who can attend both, we would be thrilled to have you represent us!
Technology is making it possible to get a touch of these events even if you can't make a trip to Baltimore. General Synod has posted videos of the meeting and events for several years. Parts of IMN will be live streamed and then available for later viewing (https://imnedu.org/2017-annual- conference/ac-live-stream/). And, you can join the AUCCIIM meeting via Zoom. We will be live from 4:00 - 5:00 pm EDT, Tuesday, June 20. Watch your email inbox for Zoom details. (See the article submitted by Malcolm Himschoot for more information.)
Social Media Options
At our meeting we will get a look at several platforms for our connections. We have identified and are updating two sites that have been languishing: A Facebook group site accessed as “Association of UCC Intentional Interim Ministers.” We know there are others out there and we will be working to consolidate everything into one. A group site enables enduring posts and conversations and I hope we can make use of that. So check it out and sign up. In addition, a WordPress blog site was started a few years ago but lost active administration almost immediately. That has a new administrator and is open for longer reflections. If you blog elsewhere and want to contribute, we encourage you. And hope that many will follow the site.
In addition to all that, we are excited to be able to show off a new website that will have links to both of the above, as well as containing this newsletter (but we’ll still email it!) and including a bunch of what we hope will be good, useful information. This will go live just before the meeting and we will take a few minutes to page through it. Websites are front doors, a place where AUCCIIM can be found and where we can provide links to the education, best practices, companion organizations, blogs and conversations that we can have together. (You are here! Tell us what you think!)
Looking for New Board Members
In the last two years, the AUCCIIM board has been rejuvenated with new members. It is time for me to step down from leadership as President, and to invite new members onto the Board. We meet for about an hour via Zoom 4 - 6 times a year, so there are few costs. The requirements are simple as well: membership in AUCCIIM and a willingness to engage in conversation about the activities, mission, and connections that AUCCIIM has with members, judicatories, IMN and other training and membership organizations, and the national body through MESA. We have done some good things, especially in the last couple of years, and we carry on a legacy from deeply motivated folks who preceded us. Please consider standing for election to the board, whether you attend in person, or Zoom in.
Blessings through all your transitions - Marlea Gilbert, President