Let’s Talk: About Justice

By Conference Minister Diane Weible This is the fourth part in a series about impressions and thoughts from the trip I took to Alabama with the other Conference Ministers in November. We visited Civil Rights sites in Selma, Montgomery and Birmingham. On Monday, the day we honored the birth and life of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I went to see the movie “Just Mercy”. Having been to the Equal Justice Initiative sites in Alabama in November, I was particularly moved by one of Bryan Stevenson’s quotes that I heard repeatedly when I was there in November and…
Read More

Stewarding Abundance: A 2020 Vision

By Associate Conference Minsiter Daniel Ross-Jones It may only be 14 days into the year when I sit down to write this article, yet already I think we are all going to be exhausted by ‘clever’ references to 2020 vision by the time we write the book on this first year of the decade. So forgive me as I already continue the metaphor here. During the 2010s, Christian practice shifted in ways that accelerated many numerous trends that had already been emerging. The rate of change seemed to increase exponentially, and indeed that was the case in a number of…
Read More

Let’s Talk: Voter Registration

By Conference Minister Diane Weible This is the third part in a series about impressions and thoughts from the trip I took to Alabama with the other Conference Ministers in November. We visited Civil Rights sites in Selma, Montgomery and Birmingham. As the 2020 Presidential Race heats up and the first Democratic primaries are just around the corner, I’m thinking a lot about the right to vote. I still remember one of the first primary elections I voted in. Our polling place was at the Catholic School just up the street from my neighborhood. During primary elections, you had to…
Read More

Let’s Talk: About the Evolution of Slavery

By Conference Minister Diane Weible This is the second part in a series about impressions and thoughts from the trip I took to Alabama with the other Conference Ministers in November. We visited Civil Rights sites in Selma, Montgomery and Birmingham. One of the things that made a huge impression on me last month when Conference Ministers visited the Civil Rights sites in Montgomery, Selma and Birmingham, Alabama, was that slavery did not end with the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation or even the 1865 passage of the 13th Amendment. Slavery just evolved. After slavery was abolished there was a very short-lived…
Read More

Let’s Talk: About Race

Our Let’s Talk article this week is by Rev. Cheryl Ward, inviting us to sacred and difficult conversations on race. This initiative is part of the work we have agreed to at our last Annual Gathering—a commitment to difficult conversations in the hopes of bringing awareness and forward movement in hearing other stories and seeing how we are called individually and together to work for racial justice and equality. We invite your participation in this work. Please click HERE to respond to a brief survey indicating your interest and availability to be part of these small group conversations in the…
Read More

Let’s Talk: About the Grandfather Clause

By Conference Minister Diane Weible This is the first part in a series about impressions and thoughts from the trip I took to Alabama with the other Conference Ministers in November. We visited Civil Rights sites in Selma, Montgomery and Birmingham. When I was a child, the term “Grandfather Clause” always bothered me. But, not for the reasons it should have bothered me. Whenever someone says, “It was Grandfathered in…” or mentions, “the Grandfather clause,” I quickly say, “Grandparent—It was Grandparented in” or “the Grandparent clause”. I have always been proud of my correction of what I considered to be…
Read More

Let’s Talk: About Moving and Our New Conference Office

By Associate Conference Minister Daniel Ross-Jones As many of you know by now, your Conference staff is once again on the move. We learned a few months ago that the lease for the Conference House, our beloved ministry home for the past two years, was not being renewed. Moving is never a simple task. Finding a space that works for our evolving ministry needs was only one part of moving, and it will come as a surprise to no one who has moved in the past few years that aligning price, space, value, and amenities within our Bay Area geography…
Read More

Let’s Talk: 2020 Annual Gathering Theme

By Conference Minister Diane Weible Last week in our newsletter, our Moderator, Eppie Encabo, shared information about our 2020 Annual Gathering plans. Today I want to take some time to explain the theme, “The Elephant in the Room.” The decision for the theme comes from a well-known parable that originated in India, “The Blind Men and the Elephant.” The origins of this can be traced to sacred texts of the Buddhist, Hindu and Jain faith traditions. In this parable, several blind men come across an elephant and because they have never encountered an elephant before, they use their sense of…
Read More

Let’s Talk: About the Fires

By Conference Minister Diane Weible My heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by the fires that broke out this past weekend. From the loss of homes and businesses, to the very real and imminent fire danger, to being packed up and ready to go if told to evacuate, to wanting to offer their church building for those evacuated but knowing that they too might soon be in the evacuation zone which would mean disrupting people a second time, to medical devices that couldn’t run without power, to trips to urgent care to get relief from the smoke.…
Read More