Keeping you informed of happenings around the New York Conference, UCC.

Happenings Around Our Conference
My Thoughts
Rev. Ryan Henderson
To Boldly Go
I have always had a soft place in my heart for Science Fiction. Somewhere in the midst of this Advent season I was flipping channels on the TV and caught the opening narrative of the original Star Trek series, in which James T Kirk says "Space: the final frontier.These are the voyages of the Starship, Enterprise. Its mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, and to boldly go where no one has gone before." This resonates with me, as profoundly theological at this moment in time. To Boldly Go!
"To Boldly Go"...but the question becomes: Go where?
Is our going to a location or destination?
In our going to some new hope or future yet to be?
Is boldly going about a journey or a process of travel?
Perhaps going is better than staying where we are? I'm not sure.
A few weeks ago I heard a UCC pastor ponder "that perhaps NOW is the moment in history for which the United Church of Christ was born into being for?" In the face of fear, violence, senseless shooting, natural disaster, homophobia, sexism, racism and general unrest- We, the UCC, are more needed now than ever in the world. If this is true, we must not hide our light under a basket, but let our bold light shine. The Gospel of Jesus Christ compels us to be BOLD and then Go into the world to share the message of radical compassion and love.
I would like to tweak the words of James T Kirk as we embrace the coming of this new year: "2017; a New Year, These are the journeys of the Conference, New York UCC. Its mission: to be united in Spirit, inspired by God's Grace, to Boldly go into the world to welcome all, love all and seek justice for all.
Live long and prosper in the greatest of hope,

Rev. Ryan Henderson
Associate Conference Minister for Youth, Young Adults, and Emerging Ministries Twitter: @revjava
Public Servants Describing Public Service

A UCC Minister from Maine is spearheading a project of collecting essays from public servants, such as ministers, local, state, and federal governmental workers, librarians, etc. The purpose of collecting these essays is to guide a national discourse on what public service means to us as Americans.
Reverend Brian Gruhn writes: "I am asking you to speak directly to the aspects of public service that you see as being most vital, and speaking directly to what we should expect of any public servant looking to serve. It is my hope that this could be the basis for a new dialogue, a dialogue that breaks us out of our current public discourse that is forever stalled by wedge-issues, scandals, false accusations, and flamboyant personalities. This would be an attempt to reset our discourse, to center it around shared values that help us to properly identify the goals of Public Service, identify Public Servants with the ability to honor that work, and separate them from con artists who cannot be trusted to serve the public good, or individuals desperately seeking a pay check more than they seek a higher call.
My goal would be to collect these into a single work and publish it by January 20, 2017, the day our next President takes the oath of office. With that deadline in mind, I would ask for all submissions to be submitted to my personal email:   by Tuesday, January 17, 2017."
2016 Offerings Reminder

The final date to send in your 2016 offerings is January 17, 2017. Any offerings received after this date will be included in the year 2017. To be a 5 for 5 Church in 2016, we must receive offerings from OCWM, One Great Hour of Sharing, Neighbors in Need, Strengthen the Church and The Christmas Fund by January 17, 2017. Thank you for support of the ministries of the New York Conference and the United Church of Christ.
"Day of Remembrance" liturgy and study resource

worship and study resource for the "Day of Remembrance" for Japanese Americans who were exiled and imprisoned during World War II has been prepared by Ellen Godbey Carson of the Hawaii Conference. Ellen is a retired attorney and member of Church of the Crossroads in Honolulu, Hawai'i. She was one of the lead counsel in the class action suit for Americans of Japanese ancestry who were exiled from their homes and imprisoned in racial prison camps by the United States government during World War II. That case assisted in obtaining a Presidential apology to those imprisoned and Congressional redress payments to those who survived.
Permission is granted for use in our churches. Day of Remembrance is typically recognized February 19.
Be part of a Community of Practice

Focus on the praxis of ministry, learn from colleagues, be fed spiritually and physically. The challenge for clergy is often how to find ways to continually be renewed in your own faith and practices. Communities of Practice (CoP) groups are designed to do that and so much more.

Led by trained, experienced facilitators, these groups offer pastors, new ministers, and those in specialized ministry settings an opportunity to find affirmation, support, and accountability within a peer-learning environment. Ministry becomes a shared endeavor and ministers are stronger because of their group experience.

Groups are forming for January. Don't miss out on the opportunity to be a part of this exciting new ministry endeavor. In-person and virtual groups are available.  For more information or to sign-up to participate click here.
Western Area Youth Advisor's event coming in January

The Western Area Youth Advisor's/Minister's Education Event is scheduled for Saturday, January 21 at Ebenezer United Church of Christ in West Seneca, NY. The event is 10:00-4:00 and your $10 registration includes lunch. Topics include trends among teenagers, drug use, LGBTQ and our teens, and worship. Click here for more information and a printable flyer.
Opportunities for Education
American Church History course scheduled

American Church History
Rev. Steven Johnson, Ph.D., instructor
Wednesday evenings, 6:30-9 pm: January 18 & 25; February 1, 8, 15, 22; March 8 & 15
Cost: NY Conference Participants: $250;  Audit: $175; Repeat Course Audit: $100
Participants outside the New York Conference: $275; Audit: $200 (plus the Distance Learning Support fee).
Distance Learning Support fee:  $69 per 20-hour course or $133 per semester.
Registration Deadline: January 10, 2017
This course, required for the Christian Leadership Program, offers an overview of the development of Christian churches in the United States with an emphasis on ideas and events that have shaped the United Church of Christ. Click here for a flyer with registration links. In NYSOM's Christian Leadership Program, the essential elements of a UCC History, Theology, and Polity class (as defined by the Polity Teachers Network) are spread across various courses: American Church History, UCC Polity, Intro to Christian Theology, and Liturgy & Worship. American Church History is the pre-requisite for our UCC Polity course. There is no pre-requisite for American Church History (and no expectation that UCC Polity will be taken). We advise those who need only a UCC History, Theology, and Polity course for authorization to take Rev. David Gaewski's UCC History, Theology, and Polity (offered Saturdays in January and June, via webconferencing) or an equivalent, free-standing course. American Church History fulfills 20 hours of continuing education for authorized ministers seeking to meet CE requirements.
Boundary Awareness Training Refresher Course

Saturday, January 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Oneidea Association will be holding a Boundary Awareness Training Refresher Course on Saturday, January 14, from 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at the Conference Office. Cost is $75, and you need to bring lunch. Register with Oneida Registrar, Diana Pelletier, at Payment will be made the day of the event.
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Covenant Share is the Special Offering approved by the New York Conference in 2013. This offering can be taken up any time during the year. Covenant Share is to be received in the manner as One Great Hour of Sharing and Neighbors in Need. The Covenant Share Offering makes possible ministries specific to the United Church of Christ in New York.

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