Volume 16, No. 34 | August 26, 2020

Equipping a courageous Church alive with Christ’s transforming love
"Justice Talk to Justice Walk": Webinar Series Continues September 15 & October 1
Henry Banks
Jim Bear Jacobs
As our Conference strives to deepen our commitment to anti-racism work and grow our understanding, our webinar series will continue this fall with two dynamic presentations. Each will help us look at elements of our own history here in Minnesota and explore the impact of these narratives on our current struggle for racial equity and justice.

September 15: "Facing Our Past, Present, & Future: The Duluth Lynchings and Anti-Racism Work" with Henry Banks, community activist and organizer from Duluth, MN

October 1: "Refusing to Fight for Crumbs: Exploring the intersections of Indigenous and Black Justice" with Jim Bear Jacobs, a member of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation and director of racial justice and community engagement at the Minnesota Council of Churches
First Congregational UCC in New York Mills Puts Building to Use for Benefit of Community
When First Congregational UCC in New York Mills realized that many families in its community lacked reliable wifi at home, the church decided to open its doors to help children with distance learning should school go online.

"It's clearly a need," says Rev. Sheri Nelson, "so we said 'Why not?' We have a building and wifi that we use only sporadically. Why not put our building to use for something so important?"

The church will open two Sunday school rooms and its fellowship room to allow three to four families to use wifi at any given time. Children can go to school online, and parents will rotate supervision so that every parent doesn't have to skip work.

"Once we made the decision, we were all jazzed about how we could spark other churches imaginations," says Nelson. "What a great way to put church to work for our communities."

Is your congregation doing some creative things to serve your community in new ways during this challenging time? Let us know your story! Send a note to our communications specialist, Kathy Graves, at communications@uccmn.org
Conference News & Info

The Minnesota Conference of the UCC is offering a new Courage to Lead series to help faith leaders (ordained and lay) call forth their best heart and soul for ministry.

Using an extended, virtual model, the course will meet seven times over the course of five months. The cost for the retreat series is $400 (this can be payable in two equal installments by September 30, 2020, and January 31, 2021). Participants from the Minnesota Conference UCC are eligible for a $200 discount. Learn more and register.
Annual Campaigns 101 Webinar

Two sessions to choose from: Tuesday, Sept. 1, or Monday, Sept. 14, 5:30-7:00 pm

The Minnesota Conference UCC is excited to invite our churches to join our Wisconsin neighbors in this webinar to develop and strengthen plans for a successful fall stewardship campaign. Several churches that joined this webinar last year reported improved results from their pledge campaigns.

Designed for pastors and lay leaders planning an annual pledge campaign, the webinar will explore ways to create an effective campaign. We will reflect on core purpose of a campaign, discuss practical steps leaders can take, and explore creative ideas to design a campaign uniquely suited to your congregation. Invite others in your congregation, too!
There is no fee for participating in this webinar, however registration is required to receive the link to join the webinar.

A Capital Campaign in COVID-19?!

Monday, August 31, at 1 pm

You can't be serious, right?! Really?! Is this even possible?! Join Cornerstone Fund for a free, one-hour webinar to discuss this very question. Both local church leaders and thought leaders in faith-based giving will discuss how to—even in the face of a pandemic—continue to focus on the capital needs of a congregation. Plus you will hear how the definition of capital is expanding, from technology infrastructure to HVAC systems and air filtration, to building modifications (and more). The webinar is free, but registration is required.
Financial Assistance for Congregations from Conference and National Setting

The United Church of Christ National Setting is offering financial assistance to local churches whose ministries have been challenged by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Applications are now being accepted. See the process described here.

Applications are being accepted from Minnesota Conference UCC congregations for the Pandemic Relief Loan Program. Access the application and further details here. The application deadline for this loan program has been extended to December 31, 2020.

Congregations may also apply for emergency grants to cover operating expenses, technology needs, or community ministries; grants to cover the cost of website development; or counseling assistance grants for authorized ministers.
Joys & Concerns
Rev. Dr. Anita Bradshaw's father-in-law died in Florida August 19. While his health had been fragile, his death was unexpected. The Minnesota Conference extends sympathy to Anita's wife, Sherrie, and to Anita in the face of this loss, and lifts them up with prayers for peace and joy in a hard time.

Rev. Herbert Feierabend died peacefully this month in Mission, Texas. He had suffered from Parkinson's Disease and Lewy Body Dementia and was tended by his wife of 66 years, Beverly. Herb served at Friedens Church and at Pilgrim Point, as well as in Wisconsin, where he had standing. The Minnesota Conference extends its sympathy to Beverly and to Laura, their daughter who is a member of Chapel Hills in Edina.
Clergy Clusters
The Twin Cities Clergy Cluster will not resume meeting at this time. Metro-area clergy are encouraged to continue participating in Zoom conversations offered by the Minnesota Conference Tuesdays at 11:00 am. Zoom chats for chaplains are offered Tuesdays at 11:00.
Tell Us Your News!
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.

Check out the employment opportunities portion of our website for all open positions.
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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.