Buenos Días, Familia de Dios (Good day to you, my Family in Christ):
These are Days of New Beginnings in the Illinois Conference. I am very clear that our NUMBER 1 PRIORITY is to SERVE YOU, our local churches, associations and the People of God in Illinois.
It’s been a wild two weeks and I love it. As I write, this is day 16 of my tenure as your Interim Conference Minister. Since my arrival, I have had the honor of attending 11 events across the Conference, where I have had the privilege of meeting you, the People of God.
During the presidential campaign of 1992, James Carville coined the phrase, “It’s the economy stupid.” Let me rephrase that to my personal understanding of ministry. No matter where we serve or what role we are presently in as pastors and laity, “It’s all about sincere relationships based upon mutual respect and care for each other.” Relationships matter!
When I met with the search committee, I stated to them that I will go where I am invited, because the only way that I know how to be in relationship to others is to show up, be present to others and get to know them by genuinely being curious about their lives and ministry. I would love to attend an event at your church, association or a community justice event in your community. I’m also booking preaching engagements for next year. Know that I will do everything possible to honor requests sent my way.
Lastly, I want you to know that I pray for you, your communities of faith and our diverse young people. I am so grateful that each and every one of you and your communities are a faithful expression of the United Church of Christ within your context. I also want to thank you for your faithful contributions to Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM).
Rev. Justo González II
Interim Conference Minister
Ministro de la Conferencia Interino