By: Rev. MaryAnne Korsch
In preparation for General Conference 2020, many churches across the Dakotas-Minnesota Area participated in the Lydia Project, aimed at providing a warm welcome to delegates and guests as they arrived in Minneapolis by giving all participants the gift of a handmade purple scarf.
Those scarves—all 12,000 of them!—have been in storage at Main Street Church in North Branch for the past three years as plans for General Conference 2020 have been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In light of the fact that General Conference was recently postponed until 2024 and will no longer happen in Minneapolis, many of you have asked: What will happen to the purple scarves?
The Commission on the General Conference would like to use these scarves to honor the work of the Dakotas-Minnesota Host Committee and all stitchers from both annual conferences by distributing them to delegates and guests at General Conference 2024. While the location of that gathering is not yet public, we do know that the planning and preparation work of so many across our conferences will be recognized and honored when the 2024 event takes place.
Scarves will be distributed according to their original intention—to provide a warm welcome, to demonstrate the value of showing hospitality as Jesus did, and to validate our unity of purpose as we seek to bring hope and healing to a broken world in the name of Christ.
The Dakotas-Minnesota Host Committee remains ever grateful for the hours of time and dedication of all who participated in the Lydia Project.
Rev. MaryAnne Korsch is a retired deacon and was a member of the local General Conference 2020 Host Committee. She coordinated the Lydia Project.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church