A Word from DS Laura Merrill 09.17.21


As I write this, I’m about to drive to the fourth of four social gatherings I’ve held with clergy this month–2 for coffee, and 2 for happy hour. My hope was that we would have relaxed, non-agenda time to be together. Some preachers have met each other for the first time, and others have caught up on existing friendships. I am glad for those who were able to attend and am so grateful for spaces where we can be present with and for each other, even in the midst of COVID. My plan is to do more of this kind of gathering. In the meantime, district pastors and professionals will also have the chance to be together on September 28, with Bishop Schnase.

The main purpose of these events is relationship. Certainly there are things for us to learn, information for us to receive and process. But my heart is convinced that during this time of fatigue, overwhelming information, and rapid change, what we need most is each other. We need each other’s presence and prayers and assurance. We need to hear each other’s stories and remember that we are not alone.

So thanks for being there, wherever you are, and do not forget that you are a part of a bigger body, one woven together by love. My hope is that this is part of what will get us through.

Grace and peace,Laura