The end of the Fall Conference, “Rollin’ Together: Serving Each Other in Unity” will be the end of my term on the Board and my service as Conference Planning Liaison for Great Lakes Region. It has truly been a joy to serve with a creative, dedicated group of people who have endless energy and enthusiasm for how to serve our region and Unity as a movement. The whole theme of Great Lakes Conference 2019 is about Service. It is our heartfelt desire that you will leave the Conference renewed, refreshed and re-dedicated to the generous service that you give to your ministries, to your congregants, to each other as ministers and licensed Unity teachers.
When we gathered as a planning team this year, our question was how do we serve all the churches in our region. We are a large region with some really big churches and many much smaller ones. How can we design a program that meets the needs of all these Unity folk? We are so incredibly blessed to have as our major presenter the Rev. Charline E. Manuel who I was honored to share an Air BNB with at the 2018 Toronto Parliament of World Religions last November. You really get to know someone when you live with them in a foreign country for 5 days!
Rev. Charline is top notch and she will provide wonderful information and experiences for us at our Fall Conference. Her book, The Power of One Accord, is a must for those working with or on Church Boards! She has already provided workshops for churches in our Region and they were enthusiastically generous in their praise for her work. Rev. Charline is planning for us to have a number of practical “take aways” from our Fall Conference so that we can effectively minister and support each other, minister to minister, teacher to teacher, one caring human to another.
We are also thrilled to have a wonderful vocalist who was recommended by Rev. Charline. Ms. Maryel Epps has sung with Billie Taylor, Bob Dylan, Clark Terry, Dizzie Gillespie, David Lee Roth, Patti Labelle and opened for Prince! She promises to rock the house and be truly amazing! We are so blessed to have her join us for this Conference. She is delighted to be working with Rev. Charline, so this should be a great time for all.
And then to top it all off, something new and different this year is the Riverboat Cruise on the Mississippi River! Instead of our usual banquet, we are going on a Cruise on the Mississippi. There is a buffet meal and live music and dancing during our three hour cruise on Wednesday evening. And if you don’t want to dance, you can go above decks and just watch the stars and the riverbank go by as we roll down the Mighty Mississippi! I loved the idea that the Great Lakes Conference is on a Great River this year since so many of are nowhere near a Great Lake.
We will also have our usual Memorial Service on Tuesday evening to remember all who have made their transition this past year. If you know of a Licensed Unity Teacher or Unity Minister in the region who has passed, please contact Rev. Grace Nicodemus at email@example.com . We want to make sure that everyone is remembered during this service and honored for service to the Region and to Unity.
We are in a new location in Moline, Ill., at a new venue The Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center. It is about 7 hours driving distance from most locations in the Region. Rev. Pat from Minneapolis was so thrilled to have a one-day trip to the GLUR Conference that he said he would bring a big group! If you decide to fly, the hotel has a shuttle from the Regional Airport, which is only three miles south of Moline.
There is a paved Riverwalk, which is just outside the Stoney Creek Hotel that goes right along the Mississippi River for those who want a little outdoor walking or jogging time. We have a great room rate and it includes breakfast for no additional charge. There are excellent restaurants in the area and we are hoping to have extra special Whitey’s Ice Cream for our Ice Cream Social. They actually have an Almond Joy flavor with chocolate and coconut!! How heavenly is that???
Finally, it is with deep gratitude for the joy of serving you on the Great Lakes Board that I step down after the Fall 2019 Conference. Thank you for the memories, the fun and the joy for the past two years. It has been my deep honor to serve and a pleasure to work on behalf of the Great Lakes Region! They don’t call us “Great” for nothing, you know!
Blessings on the Path,
Rev. Deb Hill-Davis
Unity of Ames