Volume 17, No. 36 | September 15, 2021

Equipping a courageous Church alive with Christ’s transforming love
Minnesota Conference Names New Associate Conference Minister
We are delighted to announce our call to a new settled Associate Conference Minister. The Reverend Kelly Gallagher will begin her ministry with the Minnesota Conference UCC on January 10.

Rev. Gallagher will move to Minnesota from Massachusetts, where she previously served for eight years as Associate Conference Minister in that Conference. She brings with her deep experience in supporting congregations and their leadership and leading Committee on Ministry work. She also brings demonstrated commitment to the work of racial equity and the prophetic witness of the Church.

“I am overjoyed to be joining the staff of the Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ,” Rev. Gallagher said. “I truly felt the Holy Spirit in this process as I learned about the Conference, discussed the possibility with friends, and entered into conversation with the search committee. In my discernment, I found myself awed and humbled over and over by the work of the Conference and the churches on racism, the environment, and faithful presence in the world. I look forward to meeting everyone as I settle in, and dreaming together about the future of the church in the Minnesota Conference.”

Conference Minister Shari Prestemon said, “The Search Committee was prayerful and discerning in its work and was unanimous and enthusiastic in recommending Rev. Gallagher as our ACM candidate. She is personable and engaging, loves the local church, works hard to build relationships, and will bring gifts to our staff team that will enrich and strengthen us. Her passion for racial justice and other issues we also care about deeply in the Minnesota Conference is authentic and deep. I’m extremely excited to welcome her to our staff team and know she will be a blessing to us.”
Conference News & Events
Three Great Resources for Church Stewardship Campaigns
Is your church stewardship campaign stuck in SO-SO fundraising (doing the same thing year after year and getting the Same Old–Same Old results)? Are you ready to take this year’s stewardship campaign to new levels? Here are three terrific tools to assess how you are doing. We encourage you to check out all three.
Congregational Economic Evaluation Tool – The survey helps leaders compare their stewardship and financial practices to other faith communities and to identify best practices they can implement. SEE THE SURVEY HERE
Cultivating Generous Congregations Seminar – The seminar offers pastors and leaders an opportunity to explore faithful, practical, and tested ways to promote generosity. INFO AND REGISTRATION HERE
“Don't Beg - Rethinking the Stewardship Sermon” — A Bible study for pastors as we think through options for sermons on stewardship for a fall pledge campaign. Henri Nouwen’s observation will guide us: “Fundraising is precisely the opposite of begging. Rather, we are declaring, ‘We have a vision that is amazing and exciting.’" Oct. 6, 5 pm ET/4 pm CT. REGISTER HERE
Anti-racism Training: New Dates Offered to Accommodate Demand!

October 13 & 20, 5:30 to 8:30 pm
Attend at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities or online
Registration fee: $75
Led by Okogyeamon, co-founder of ASDIC

The two September sessions are full so sign up today for the new cohorts added in October. This Antiracism Study Dialogue Circle (ASDIC) workshop is interactive and experiential. We will explore the ways that racial dynamics play out in and about us, every day, in both personal and institutional spaces. This training is open to everyone and meets the requirement for the Minnesota Conference UCC Diversity/Anti-Racism Education for Authorized Ministers.

Friday, October 22, 10 am–noon
Saturday, October 23, 10 am–noon and 1–3 pm; all times CT

If you are seeking inspiration and creative renewal, "Grit and Grace: Creativity, Spirituality, and Justice Work” is for you!

Writer and composer Amanda Udis-Kessler's virtual workshop is an ideal opportunity for clergy, lay leaders, and all people of faith. Workshop time will include conversations, individual exercises, pair and small-group discussions, and creative opportunities supported with spiritual grounding practices. During the workshop as well as the two weeks before and after, participants will build supportive community through conversations about creativity.

Power & Boundary Training

Oct 20 & 21, 9:30 am–noon

The Conference will utilize the services of LeaderWise to provide online power and boundary training on Wednesday and Thursday, October 20 & 21, from 9:30 am–noon both day. The fee is $50.

If you have questions or would like additional information, please email the Registrar for the Conference, Catherine Cejda, at catherinec@uccmn.org. To ensure that your training is recorded, please email your certificate of completion to Catherine at the same email.
Access to The Ministry Lab's Free Worship Services Ends Sept 19

Access to The Ministry Lab's three free worship services will be closing after Sunday, September 19, so we can honor our copyright agreements with contributors. Now is the time to take advantage! If you are interested in new services, please contact The Ministry Lab with what would be most helpful to you and your congregation.
Resources & Clergy Clusters

  • Send story ideas, insights and more to communications@uccmn.org. COMMAntary is published on Wednesdays; submissions are due the Monday prior to publication at noon.

  • The Conference website offers a wealth of resources related to Covid, racial justice, and more.

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This newsletter is brought to you by generous contribution to Our Church's Wider Mission.

The Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ (UCC) equips a courageous Church alive with Christ’s transforming love. Through advice, support, and resources, we strengthen the 126 congregations throughout the state to do the redemptive work of God in the world.