Volume 17, No. 19 | May 19, 2021

Equipping a courageous Church alive with Christ’s transforming love
Associate Conference Minister Search Committee Appointed
The Board of Directors appointed a committee at its May meeting to begin a search for a settled Associate Conference Minister.

This committee will receive applications for the position, conduct interviews, and recommend a final candidate to the Board for approval. The committee held its first meeting on Sunday evening and aims to bring its recommendation to the Board no later than October.

We give thanks for these individuals who have accepted this important role in the life of our Conference:

  • Rev. Paul Bauch (Peace UCC, Rochester)
  • Rev. Nikki Frontz (Linden Hills UCC, Minneapolis)
  • Dr. Lisa Lindesmith (Robbinsdale Parkway UCC, Robbinsdale)
  • Cindy Lemke (First Congregational UCC, Wadena)
  • Rev. Matt Orendorff (Federated Church, Morris)
  • Rev. Shari Prestemon, Conference Minister
Conference News & Events
Building Peace and Connection One Paper Crane at a Time

Last fall, members of First Congregational UCC in Grand Marais wondered together how they might stay connected through the pandemic, beyond online worship. Rev. Enno K. Limvere, the congregation's Designated Pastor, remembered the story of 1,000 cranes, based on a young girl's life in Hiroshima.

"I got to thinking about the fact that an estimated 250,000 people died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which was about how many people in this country had died of Covid at the time," Rev. Limvere says. "I thought the story could help us learn how to talk to our kids about death and disruption. And luckily, I remembered from my college days as a camp counselor how to make paper cranes."

The idea took hold and through weekly Zoom calls and a YouTube video, families learned how to make their own paper cranes. Members delivered 30-40 cranes per week and one fourth grader was inspired to make 95 of them. In the end, the church reached its goal of filling the sanctuary with the peace and presence of the 1,000 beautiful paper cranes!

Note: Rev. Limvere will be installed this Sunday, May 23. We wish him well, and thank the wonderful people in the First Congregational UCC Grand Marais for sharing their story.
New Annual Meeting Workshops Added

The one thing everyone always wants at Annual Meeting is MORE workshops!

This year, with a virtual meeting, that is possible. Instead of just two opportunities to attend workshops, this year there are ten! Opportunities include topics such as intersectionality, helping your church be generous, sustainability, justice work, immigration, UCC history, spiritual practice, and a presentation of the 2020/21 budget. Presenters are all talented and engaging presenters in their areas of expertise. 

By signing up as either a delegate or guest of the Annual Meeting, you will receive the Zoom code to attend any or all of the 10 workshops that you want to attend on June 7 - June 10.  See a full list of workshops, presenters and the details HERE. To register for Annual Meeting, click HERE
A Requiem of Healing: Honoring the Spirit of George Floyd, One Year Later

The Amos Task Force of the Minnesota Conference UCC is hosting a “requiem of healing” on Sunday, May 23, 7-8:30 pm, to remember the death of George Floyd one year later and to honor the legacy of transformation his death has inspired. Local activists and artists will grace this time together. REGISTRATION is required.
Share Your Videos and Pictures for "Courageous Church!"
Our theme for Annual Meeting this year is "Courageous Church!" based on Joshua 1:9, "I hereby command you: "Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

So, as part of our worship time together on Sunday during the Annual Meeting, we plan to share videos or pictures with captions of what being a "Courageous Church" means to your particular congregation/context. Case in point, pictured in this article: Courageous Church at First United in Little Falls is worshipping online and learning how to use Zoom!

This will be a great way for us to see how courage takes many forms across our diverse Conference. Please share your information with us by emailing Sandy Kellen at sandyk@uccmn.org no later than May 12. Thank you for being the Courageous Church that you are!
Join A Monthly Round Table Discussion

The Ministry Lab invites congregational leaders of all kinds from all kinds of settings to join monthly Round Table discussions tackling the numerous and fluctuating joys and challenges of emerging from Covid into a more just and sustainable future. Avoid going back to a "normal" that wasn't working: get inspired and inspire others with your great ideas; network and find collegial support. MORE
Outdoor Ministry Plans Educational Journey to Enbridge Line 3 Site

Wednesday, May 26

Outdoor Ministry, MN Conference invites you to participate in an educational journey to Palisade, MN, the place where Enbridge Line 3 and the Water Protectors collide for the rights to sacred lands that cross the Mississippi, rice lakes, and one of the most important watershed systems in the world. Congregations, families, and individuals may register for one or both events. Download an info sheet.
Check Out the UCC's Upcoming Offerings

Tuesdays for Nurture
Tue, May 25, 2:30 pm CT — TikTok Ministry: Faith in the World

Wednesdays with the World

Thursdays for the Soul

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

  • 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 United Church of Christ National Setting is offering financial assistance to local churches whose ministries have been challenged by the pandemic. See the process.

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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.