By Revs. Don Dewey and Susan Gonzales-Dewey, Co-Regional Ministers
In 1964, Grammy Hall of Fame songwriter Bob Dylan released the hit song: “The Times They Are A Changin'" in response to the unrest sweeping the country at that time. In this present turbulent time, where there seems to be an ever increasing polarization and a growing absence of basic civility, Dylan’s song appears to be relevant again for a new era of challenge and change.
As we prepare for our upcoming Regional Assembly, there is always so much excitement leading up to our time together as a Regional family. Every year we have the opportunity to come together for a time of worship, learning, fellowship and inspiration to strengthen our individual as well collective ministry as Disciples of Christ.
This year is no different. However, because of this growing divisiveness in our nation that seems to be undermining our basic values and creating fear and discord in every sector of our communities, our call as Disciples to be a community of wholeness in a fragmented world is needed more than ever.
Therefore, our Regional Assembly planning team has chosen as our theme: COURAGE, based on two important scriptures: Micah 6:8 and Mathew 5:13-16. We believe as followers of Jesus Christ that we are called to be courageous in giving witness through our lives and our words of what it means to live as a beloved human family. We need to be courageous in lifting up the values of love, compassion, justice and peace so that we can be active participants in God’s redemptive mission in the world.
To guide us in this important conversation the team has broken down our theme into four key areas which will be the focus of our worship and keynotes: Courage to Listen, Courage to Change, Courage to Speak and Courage to Act.
We are thrilled to announce that two of our keynote speakers this year will the Rev. Dr. William Barbour, Disciples of Christ leader for the new Poor Peoples Campaign and the Rev. Terri Hord Owens, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)! These two powerful voices will be addressing our Assembly on what it means to be courageous as we seek to follow in the way of Jesus. Read more about our keynote speakers.
This Regional Assembly will be our last assembly as your Regional Ministers and so we look forward to this opportunity to gather with you one more time and celebrate both the challenges and the changes in the ministry we have done together. We pray that this will be a time in which we can all be inspired to face the future with courage and hope as we answer our call to be salt and light in the world, living humbly, seeking righteousness, and doing justice.
Yes, the times, they are a changin’!
Together on the journey,
Don and Susan
Your Regional Ministers