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Annual Meeting connects 180 around conference through Zoom

In groups of 25, attendees see each other face-to-face.

Annual Meeting had a new face and approach, extending over several days and weeks with worship, Mike Denton’s report, interviews of and by the outgoing moderator Wendy Blight and incoming moderator Hillary Coleman.

The Board of Directors voted the change in leadership before the Annual Meeting worship on Zoom.

In opening music, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” was played by Carter Schafer, originally done for University Congregational UCC in Seattle, playing the song with multiple instruments, adding one at a time as if multiplying himself on screen in the same room.

Conference Minister Mike Denton gives his annual report.

Conference Minister Mike Denton preached on Galatians 6:9 about growing weary doing what is right and working for the good of all people, especially the family of faith.

In the midst of the pandemic, Mike admitted in the April 24 worship that he feels a weariness—tired of being away from friends—but he’s amazed how people turned to new ways to do worship, figuring it out in a few days in time for the start of Lent.

“I wonder every day how long it will be until we are back together, but in a moment of weariness in the midst of creative work, I know if we do not follow through with distancing, there will be more deaths, " he said, aware that staying away from work has economic impact."

Kelle Brown, lower center, sings during closing of service.

Paul said “we are not to weary” in the work for the good of all—serving congregations, communities and the world, speaking for justice, and speaking to the divisiveness that is worse in COVID-19.

“We are finding new ways to do what we do and we believe God is with us in this moment,” he said. “As we serve those who are suffering and oppressed, as we do justice, love kindness and walk humbly, we continue to work for the good of all.”

Outgoing moderator Wendy Blight interviews incoming moderator Hillary Coleman in a video online.

Andy CastroLang, pastor of Westminster Congregational UCC in Spokane, where Annual Meeting was to have been held, offered prayers for the sick, dying and all who aid them—nurses, doctors, cooks, cleaners, scientific researchers, first responders, the quarantined, the lonely, the frightened.  She also prayed for grocery store workers, immigrant workers and truckers who feed the people, and for parents, teachers and children.  She prayed for wise leadership, peace to blossom and justice to roll down

Roberta Rominger of Mercer Island UCC and the Stewardship Committee, reminded participants of the need to continue to support the conference, its camps and congregations, giving by mail or through

Courtney Stange-Tregear, minister of church vitality for the conference, added her reflections, urging participants not to be weary or give up in the work for justice and caring for those in need.

Kelle Brown, pastor of Plymouth UCC, in Seattle sang “Blessed Assurance” with reminder that God will “see us through,” will take broken pieces and make them brand new, and that we are called to love and heal through Jesus “all the day long.”

Hillary then said that Annual Meeting would be available virtually in coming weeks at

There are four segments of the worship, plus interviews as ways to present reports from Mike, Courtney, Wendy and Hillary at .


Pacific NW Conference United Church News - Copyright © Summer 2020


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