Volume 18, No. 41 | November 16, 2022

View as Webpage

Equipping a courageous Church alive with Christ’s transforming love

Conference Holds First "Covenant Day"

The Conference held its first “Covenant Day” on November 12, hosted by First Congregational UCC in Alexandria.

Nine churches joined us for a wonderful day of worship, workshops, and rich conversations. These days recognize and strengthen the beautiful covenant we share. View more photos from the day on the Conference's Facebook page.

Watch COMMAntary to register for our next Covenant Day on February 4 in the Twin Cities!

It’s HERE, Give to the Max 2022!

Give to the Max 2022 is this Thursday, November 17, and we are excited that your contribution will help support key Conference ministries, including climate justice, church renewal, and leadership development ministries this year.

And remember, several anonymous Conference donors have pledged to match gifts up to $4,250 from other donors. Don’t let this opportunity to raise a total of $8,500 go by!

There are three easy ways to give:

  • Write a check to maximize your gift by avoiding electronic payment transaction fees. Just write “Give to the Max” in the memo line and mail it to the Conference; or

  • Use the DONATE button on the Conference website, choose INDIVIDUAL GIVING, click on “Make an Individual Gift Online,” and fill in your gift amount in the “Friends of the Conference” section; or

  • Use the DONATE button on Minnesota Conference’s Give to the Max page!

Thank you for supporting the Minnesota Conference!

Conference News & Events

Spark Enthusiasm and Passion for Serving the Church & Community

Many congregations are struggling to recruit and retain effective lay leadership. Burnout is high and fear for the future of local church ministry palpable. Over the years, we have observed that lay people who come to the Damascus Project return to their congregations energized, excited about ministry and ready to take on leadership roles.

If you are longing to spark enthusiasm and passion for serving the church and wider community within your congregation, we hope you will consider participating in a Damascus Project Q & A Session on November 29, 11:00 am. RSVP today. A special course discount for your members will be provided to all who attend.

Church Leaders: Become a Time Boss!

January 10, 2023; 2:00-3:30 PM CT

Ministry Lab Members: freewill donation; Non-member fee: $25

Make space for self-care while challenging cultural norms and creating gracious boundaries in this Ministry Lab workshop. Rev. Nicole Havelka, a leadership coach and mindful meditation teacher, will help you step back, name your self-care needs and priorities, empower you to manage your time for work-life balance, and introduce you to mindfulness practices that will sustain you through stress-filled times and spark transformation. LEARN MORE & REGISTER

Last Chance to Register for "Boundary Basics"

Tuesday, November 29 (registration closes November 22)


Register now for the in-person Power and Boundary Training with Associate Conference Ministers Kevin Brown and Kelly Gallagher. Review the basics while learning new understandings of boundaries in this post-pandemic, media-driven world.

This Power and Boundary Training will meet the standing requirements for authorized ministers in the Minnesota Conference and will run the required five hours in addition to lunch and breaks.

Understanding the UCC Financial Covenant

Churches and individuals often ask about the covenantal relationship between Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM), Per Capita Annual Dues, and the four special UCC offerings. This new one-page handout could be helpful as your congregations starts working on your 2023 budget. And of course, if you have any questions, please contact Bob Olsen at 612.230.3375 or development@uccmn.org.

Register for July 2023 Youth Trip to Washington, D.C.

Students from Conference congregations currently enrolled in grades 8-12 will travel to Washington, D.C., for a service-learning experience focused on the work of legislative advocacy. Youth will:

  • Lobby members of congress and their staff about issues selected by the youth
  • Visit monuments, memorials, and museums such as the Frederick Douglas National Historic Site, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and U.S. Holocaust Museum and Memorial
  • Learn about root causes of systemic oppression through direct service
  • Have time for fun, reflection, and conversations that matter!


The Ministry Lab Shares Psalm 148 Video Reflection

The Ministry Lab is creating a video reflection based on Psalm 148 that will be free for member congregations to enjoy as a sermon, contemplative practice, or celebratory opening or closing throughout the seasons of Christmas and Epiphany. The Lab would like to include your photos, images, or drawings! Share your favorite images, inspired by Psalm 148 (NRSV or The Message) by Sunday, December 4, HERE. The Psalm 148 Reflection Video will be available by Christmas Day!

Register HERE to receive the link as soon as it is ready.

Unlock the Mysteries of Faith in Faith Foundations

12-week learning intensive with the Damascus Project

January 12 – April 20, 2023

Cost: $325

(use discount code EARLYBIRD for 20% off until December 15)

WATCH a video from one of the instructors!

So much has changed in the last three years that it is easy to feel adrift or alone in faith. What do I believe? Does God care? Who is Jesus, really? If God is a loving God, what do I do with all this chaos and loss? 

If this sounds like you, then consider joining the winter cohort of Faith Foundations. Those who participate will:

  • Gain tools for reading and interpreting scripture?
  • Meet like-minded believers on a similar journey of faith? 
  • Connect events from the past with God’s dream for our future?
  • Ground faith in scripture and tradition within a vibrant, hybrid (online and on zoom) learning community


Joys & Concerns

Lauren Baske-Davis will be installed at First UCC Northfield (300 Union St) Sunday, November 20, at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend.

Upcoming Conference Events
More Resources & Opportunities

  • 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 faith formation, racial justice, and more.

Like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on news, events, jobs and more.

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.