VIDEO: "For Your Welfare, Not for Harm"
2012 Annual Meeting Address of the Rev. Dr. J. Bennett Guess
by Eric Anderson
MIDDLETOWN (11/12/2012) -- At the Fall Session of the 2012 Connecticut Conference Annual Meeting, keynote speaker the Rev. Dr. J. Bennett Guess, executive minister for Local Church Ministries of the United Church of Christ, evoked the spirit of Jeremiah, quoting the words the prophet sent to those going into exile from Jerusalem. "For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope." In his forty minute address, Guess looked squarely at the challenges and the frustrations of faith communities like the UCC in the 21st century, and declared that it holds promise as well.
"Young people today aren't 'just NOT interested' in church any more, as some claim," he told the assembly. "They aren't willing to play that 'offering charade' where we bless our monetary gifts under allusions that they're being shared 'at home and around the world to further the work of God's mission,' because they don't see that happening."