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Conference Connectional Ministries gathers by Zoom to share, learn

South Carolina Conference Connectional Ministries gathered via Zoom last month for their second meeting of the year.

Held Sept. 11, which was the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America, CCM Convener Ross Chellis took a moment to remember the events that occurred two decades ago.

Drawing from Deuteronomy 8:1-3, and Luke 22:14, he lifted up the heroes who acted so bravely on 9/11, reminding all that God is active, present and faithful in our lives.

He closed with a prayer of remembrance.

Bishop L. Jonathan Holston next offered greetings, urging people to focus on the hope we have in Jesus during times of uncertainty.

Next, CCM Director the Rev. Millie Nelson Smith updated all on the four priorities developed by the bishop’s working group and taken on by Connectional Ministries. These priorities are developing leaders; engaging our communities; connecting with and growing disciples; and measuring and evaluating current realities and missional possibilities.

Conference communications staffer Matt Brodie next updated the body on what disaster recovery teams have been doing, including recent work in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in Louisiana and Mississippi (see article, Page 1). He said flood buckets and health kits are always needed. Brodie shared that three new Early Response Team trailers were purchased recently, and the conference is outfitting these trailers now.

Congregational Specialist the Rev. Jim Arant shared about the latest installment of “Come Follow Me: Disciples Love and Care for Others,” which is available on www.umcsc.org.

Congregational Specialist the Rev. Cathy Joens spoke about the importance of clergy care, lifting up the website umcsc.org/clergycare with resources on spiritual, mental and physical care.

Salkehatchie Director Kathy Hart updated all about Salkehatchie Summer Service, noting camps are being planned for 2022.

Conference communications staffer Dan O’Mara told all about the new “#ITookMyShot” media campaign encouraging people to get vaccinated, as well as reminded the body about the conference’s “Our Response to Racism” initiative at umcsc.org/endracism.

Reports on Forward Focus and the Advocate rounded out the first part of the meeting.

Next, all broke into various ministry areas—advocacy, lay leadership, discipleship and outreach—for discussion. After their separate time, each area reported their update.

Advocacy’s the Rev. Bernie Mazyck noting their group is now part of an alliance with a “cap the rate” payday lending campaign.

Discipleship’s Lee Jordan said their group has broken into task groups and will continue to work through these areas to teach others in their context to make disciples.

Lay Leadership’s Joens shared about their group’s exploration on what it looks like to “get out of the building.”

And Outreach’s Gail Corn noted their group approved funding for Advance Specials for 2022.

The next CCM meeting is Feb. 19, 2022.

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