Celebrating #JAM2019

Installation of Revs Ellis Arnold, Darrell Goodwin, Samantha Houser and Jonna Jensen

What a celebration we had at our first-ever Joint Annual Meeting of the Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota Conferences UCC! More than 250 participants (IA – 75; NE – 89; SD – 63) had tremendous opportunities for connection, collaboration and creativity — building relationships across conferences as well as time to conduct business meetings separately.

We heard inspiring preaching from the Rev. Dr. Chris Davies, team leader of the UCC’s Faith INFO Team, and the Rev. Brigit Stevens, executive conference minister of the Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota Conferences UCC. We worshipped amidst the backdrop of the inspiring new sanctuary of Countryside Community Church UCC, a part of the Tri-Faith Initiative. We had time to connect around the topics meaningful to those gathered during our open space time. We conducted business as separate conferences. We gathered for storytelling during our Saturday banquet. During our closing worship, we celebrated the installation and new ministries of our four associate conference ministers: The Revs. Ellis Arnold, Darrell Goodwin, Samantha Houser and Jonna Jensen. We poured out our gifts through our offering of $3,085.60 for disaster relief to be split between three conference disaster ministry funds (IA – $1,697.08, NE – $833.11, SD – $555.41; the split is based on the percentage of church membership in each conference as recorded in annual yearbook data.)

Thank you to so many who made this event a success — especially the hard-working and gracious staff and volunteers with our three conferences and our hosts Countryside Community Church UCC! Thank you to our many vendors who supported the event financially. It truly takes a village to host a Joint Annual Meeting.

If you missed our gathering, or want to relive the joy of it, you can find photos and videos on our Facebook pages including, but not limited to:

We experienced so much laughter and shed a few tears with friends old and new! Next year promises to have all the feels and all the excitement of this past weekend. Save the dates for our 2020 annual meetings:

Iowa Annual Meeting: June 19-21, 2020, First Christian Church, West Des Moines, IA

Nebraska Annual Meeting: June 12-14, 2020, Grand Island UCC

South Dakota Annual Meeting: June 5-7, 2020, Placerville Camp, Rapid City (Including 100th Anniversary Celebration of Placerville Camp)

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