NACCC – more like a potluck than a denomination

Celebrate NACCC Omaha banner As I write this, Jami and I have just returned from the 60th Annual Meeting of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches. Doesn’t that long name sound like a mouthful? What I found most interesting out of the entire meeting is not the content of the business meetings, but the fellowship.A few weeks ago, I was trying to describe what our National Association was like. It’s technically a denomination (we have a home office in Oak Creek, Wisconsin), but we don’t act like a denomination. We don’t have a college – we ask ministers to take classes in Congregational history and polity.

We don’t have a retirement plan for our ministers – ministers are invited to enroll in the American Baptist retirement fund, the MMBB.

We don’t have our own missionaries – we find others who are doing God’s work, and support them there. We’re a lot more like a National Potluck than a denomination.

And here’s the thing: potlucks only work if everyone contributes. Have you ever been to a potluck where no one brought anything to eat, and maybe just a few cans of soda? I have (ahem, 25 years of youth ministry), and it’s a dismal sight… especially for those who were planning on actually eating something of substance. But if no one is willing to contribute, then the potluck looks pretty bare.

I am so thankful to you all for allowing Jami and I to contribute to the National Association; it definitely recharges my spiritual batteries to hear excellent Bible teaching, to learn about Congregational history, to spend time encouraging others and being encouraged from all over the country. Please look forward with me to the next Pacific Northwest meeting which will be in Anchorage, Alaska from April 30-May 2, 2015 (we’re planning on having some kind of electronic two-way video connection like we did with Ingle Chapel), and for the 61st Annual Meeting of the National Association in Salt Lake City, Utah. Jami and I are planning on driving down, and we’d love to have a convoy!

One of our strengths is that we do not all believe exactly the same thing; there is variety in the NACCC… just like a good potluck should have. As the Word says, in Hebrews 13:16: “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”

Keep Following Jesus,
Pastor Ed

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