Welcome to the wonderful world of the Michigan Conference, where, when you’ve seen one church, you’ve seen one church. We have churches by cherry orchards, rust belts, tourist towns of fudge shops and food deserts without grocery stores, vacation mansions alongside a serious shortage of affordable housing, and pure recreational lakes down the road from cities whose drinking water is dirty. From city apartments, farmhouses, lake cottages, vacation mansions and, we make our spiritual homes together in 135 churches that include all the rich contrasts of our beautiful state.
Since becoming Conference Minister in 2022, you can see from my speaking schedule that I have spent most weekends visiting them. I can testify that no matter the size or setting, you will find a fascinating and faithful spiritual home here, whether you are looking for a place to worship or a place to preach. We can have the oldest congregation in a small town and be the first in that same town to welcome the queer community. We have new church starts without the burden of a building, meeting online or in coffee shops. We have historic churches whose stained glass windows, woodwork and masonry are a blessing of art and transcendence to their communities. We have congregations that are unapologetically black and congregations that have Alpine festivals.
In large cities, rural villages, sprawling suburbs and fertile forests, our churches bear witness to the God who is still speaking, who desires justice and who welcomes all, no matter what, no matter who, no matter where you are on life’s journey. In the Michigan Conference, our Christian tradition may be two thousand years old but our thinking is not. If that sounds like you, come join us.
Peace and Blessings,
Relying on the Holy Spirit, the Michigan Conference began the search for a full-time Associate Conference Minister of Church Vitality and Transition in July. We are excited to share that Rev. Lawrence T. Richardson will join our Conference Staff starting January 1, 2024.
“Our national search effort drew so many strong applications for this position, I was grateful to have the input and insights of our Search Advisory Team, as we discerned which way to go. In the end, we felt that Pastor Lawrence Richardson would bring specific skills we were looking for to compliment our excellent team in these challenging times for the institutional church. As an experienced coach for new church pastors, who has started and grown his own, Lawrence’s extensive training in church growth and vitality, his technological savvy, experience with the national UCC, and his training in development all stood out. But first and foremost, he is a pastor, who has a heart for pastoring and a deep love for the church. As we sorted through impressive profiles from across the country, we came to see that the person God was calling had already moved to Michigan two years ago!”
~ Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel, Conference Minister
Where do you see God is still speaking?