Hope Fund

Message from the Conference

Friends of the Vermont Conference,

This week, our Vermont Conference Hope Fund Discernment Team met for the very first time. This team has the role of discerning how best to use the money that has been given to the Hope Fund to have the biggest impact on the Vermont Conference over the next ten years. We didn’t want to have our first meeting on Zoom, so we gathered at the Hummingbird Center for Common Ground in Berlin in person for a day long retreat. (I highly recommend this spot if you are looking for a retreat location. The mountain views are spectacular!)

The members of the Team (Caryne Eskridge, Paul Eyer, Lava Mueller, Mary Hoadley, Dan Haugh, Jessica Moore and myself) are a good mix of veteran pastors and pastors starting out in ministry. All have a hopeful spirit about the future of the church! Elise from the Conference Office came along to help us out. We had such a fun and meaningful day!

One book that the group is using in their work is “How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You are Going”, by church consultant Susan Beaumont. In it, discernment is defined as “an ever-increasing capacity to ‘see’ the work of God in the midst of the human situation, so that we can align ourselves with whatever God is doing.“ This is the objective of the Discernment Team. In that spirit, we will be looking for projects that nurture relationships with people who don’t go to church, build disciples, children, youth and adults, and welcome the community, by seeking justice and the common good. We plan to set up a simple Application process for grants that churches and individuals in the Conference can use starting on Jan. 1st.

As we approach this special time of the year, we invite churches in the Conference to consider giving part of their Christmas or Epiphany offerings to support the work of the Hope Fund. May our churches be beacons of hope all throughout the state of Vermont, both now and in the years to come!

Faithfully yours,

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