Blessed are you.
Blessed are you who are downtrodden and tired, challenged and uncertain, for you are a Resurrection People.
Blessed are you called pastor and chaplain and organizer and teacher, for all the ways you illuminate and articulate the faith, for your own faithfulness when weariness overwhelms, for standing humbly in places of pain, for using your gifts to the glory of God.
Blessed are you, the Moderators and Treasurers and Secretaries and Council Members and Boards, for your willingness to lead as volunteers, for your abiding love of the church and all the ways you show up for it, for the difficult decisions you must carry, for the precious value you have in our life as Church.
Blessed are you, my Conference staff colleagues, you whose calling it is to equip and support, to nudge and to accompany: for your resilience, your sense of humor, your inspiring dedication, your many and great gifts.
Blessed are you who stand up for justice, who imagine a world that is good and just and beautiful and Christ-like; who dare to raise a prophet’s voice in sanctuary pulpits and busy streets, in city halls and state capitols; who are courageous and consumed with holy impatience.
Blessed are you who mourn: the loss of precious loved ones, the unraveling of our nation, the uncertain future of your church home.
Blessed are you who believe: that God’s love for us endures, that all of Creation is precious, that Resurrection is our unending song and our unquenchable hope.
Blessed are you, O Church, struggling or thriving, rural or urban, small or large: for you are God’s beloved and imperfect vessel, called and sent to be signs of love and hope and mercy incarnate in a broken and hurting world.
Blessed are you. And you. And you. And you. For all you are and all God calls you to still be. For your faithfulness. For your loving and learning. For your tender relationships and beloved community. For being the Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ together.
Blessed are you.
(These blessings were written by Conference Minister Shari Prestemon and originally delivered as part of her State of the Conference address at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Conference UCC on June 10, 2022.)