Volume 18, No. 31 | September 7, 2022

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Equipping a courageous Church alive with Christ’s transforming love

Join the Women's Wilderness Retreat

Camp Amnicom, September 23–25


Join with other women from around Minnesota for a weekend of hiking through wooded hills and marshes and exploring the amazing shore of Lake Superior. With enough participants, there is a chance to paddle on the lake in one of the Montreal canoes or take a leisurely paddle on the Amnicon River that spills into Lake Superior.

Begin and end each day around the campfire with spirit-filled conversations, and drink in the amazing starry sky before heading to bed. Don’t forget to feast on hearty campfire breakfasts and gourmet lunch and dinners provided in the outdoor dining hall. While some may call this “glamping” we want to emphasize that sleeping in a tent (in a bed) is NOT glamorous, but a step above sleeping on the ground!

Granite Falls UCC Celebrates 150 Years

Congratulation to Granite Falls UCC for 150 years of ministry! Please come celebrate with the congregation on September 11. A luncheon follows the service.

RSVP here

Conference News & Events

Register for the Minnesota Conference UCC Clergy Retreat

November 1-3, 2022 (Tue 5 pm – Thu 11:30 am)

Christ the King Retreat Center, Buffalo, MN

$200 private room | $170 shared double room | $100 commuter



After a long season of being apart, and a few rescheduled dates over the last year, we are delighted to host the fall clergy retreat. All actively serving clergy from around the Minnesota Conference UCC are invited to come together with colleagues for a few days of renewal, rest, and reconnection. We will be guided throughout our time by our retreat facilitator, the Rev. Dr. Martha Brunell, and our guest musician, Richard Bruxvoort Colligan.

Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 will be required for all participants, and face masks and physical distancing may be required in some spaces throughout the event. You will find the Conference’s COVID-19 Safety Guidelines here. Please contact Rev. Kevin Brown, Associate Conference Minister, for more information and with any questions.

Last Chance to Register!

Faith Foundations (register by 9/12)

  • Practice talking about faith and what we believe
  • Form a sacred learning community where questions are embraced
  • Dive into the world of the Old Testament
  • Explore a wide range of thoughts and language about God

A Taste of Heavenly Meetings (register by 9/12)

  • Are your church meetings unproductive? Do they last too long?
  • Could “meetings from hell” possibly be weakening your church?
  • Are you curious about how to have more heavenly meetings?

Leadership Skills: Faith-Filled Meetings (register by 9/19)

  • Help your faith community thrive
  • Build community while doing business
  • Include diverse viewpoints
  • Welcome healthy conflict
  • Lead efficient meetings with confidence


September FourTHursday: Caring for Gen-Z in a Post Pandemic World

September 22, noon – 1:30 pm


For many young people, there is no normal to return to after the pandemic. Their entire lives have changed. Our pandemic research focused on what young people are experiencing, how they view the future and, most importantly, what you can do to support them. Dr. Josh Packard, Executive Director of Springtide Research Institute, will join our gathering via Zoom to present and lead a time for questions and conversation. Registration link coming soon!

Faith and Reproductive Choice: a Webinar for Minnesota UCC Clergy and Laity

Thursday, September 29, 7:00-8:30 pm | Free of charge | REGISTER

Many Christians struggle with the issue of abortion morality and find themselves conflicted or confused in today’s intense, polarized political environment. Others support reproductive choice politically, but still feel that abortion is shameful. This webinar invites participants to step back a bit from politics to explore positive positions on abortion in terms of biblical theology of “living beings” and pastoral concerns about people’s real lives. Led by faith leaders with time for Q&A.

Parents & Caregivers as Sexuality Educators

Equipping congregational leaders to facilitate small group sessions with parents and caregivers

Thursday, November 10, 9:30 am – 4 pm | Carondelet Center, St. Paul, MN

Cost: $25 (includes continental breakfast & lunch)

Download your FREE COPY of the resource and REGISTER.

Join colleagues in ministry to learn how to implement a new resource to help parents and caregivers explore their roles as primary sexuality educators of their children.

Partner News & Events

Suicide Prevention Conference for Rural Faith Leaders

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Minnesota Department of Health are sponsoring a free event that brings together rural faith leaders to discuss, learn, and share suicide prevention information and resources.

Who should attend? Rural clergy, spiritual and faith leaders, including chaplains, elders, deacons, sisters, youth pastors, parish nurses, church board members, church staff, and congregational suicide prevention advocates.

When and Where:

Sept 27, 8:30 am – 4 pm, Evangelical Free Church Bemidji | REGISTER

Sept 29, 8:30 am – 4 pm, Mankato Event Center Mankato | REGISTER

Belonging: Welcome Wellbeing

Begins September 13; repeats (with gaps) Tuesdays at 2:00 PM CT


As experiences of isolation, division, and despair engulf so many of us, BELONGING brings us connection, encouragement, and hope. This 7-part webinar series explores: disrupting white supremacy culture with self-care; overcoming leader loneliness; developing emotional awareness in families; bridging generational gaps; reorienting to reality by resting in God; utilizing tech to deepen and broaden community; and sharing song as we embrace diversity. Join one, some, or all 7 events.

Leadership Center for Social Justice Partners with Anti-Racism Study Dialogue Circles for Clergy-specific Anti-Racism Workshops


Are you a clergy member looking for a way to fulfill requirements for six hours of continuing education in anti-racism? The Leadership Center for Social Justice invites you to participate in Discerning Whiteness: The Unacknowledged Barrier. These two clergy-specific workshops will be led by the Anti-Racism Study Dialogue Circles (ASDIC). Two sessions over Zoom on October 13 and October 27 from 9 am-noon CT. Cost is $90. Contact Stella Pearce at spearce@united.edu to register.

Take Care of Yourself, Be Good to Your Ministry, Enrich Your Congregation

October 16-18, Christ the King Retreat Center


Clergy and faith formation leaders — staff and volunteer — are invited to process the past few years as we get inspired to move forward In the Way of Jesus. Renew your spirit with Gracious Idleness in beautiful surroundings; reimagine ministry in workshops full of Scrappy Transformations; and discover joyful and sustainable modes of community through Radical Belonging amongst ecumenical leaders. Scrumptious happy hours; Sara Thomsen's community-building music; and laughter fueled by DangerBoat Productions will be balm for your soul.

Joys & Concerns

Our hearts goes out to Rev. Paul Bauch and families for the loss of their father, Rev. Ardeen (Dean) Bauch on August 15. The service will be at Trinity United Church of Christ in Quincy, IL.


Grace United Church of Christ in Millville invites you to the celebration of installation of Rev. Ana Wilson, M.Div., BCC as pastor on Sunday, September 11, at 2:00 pm at 300 Division Street, Millville, Minnesota. Clergy are invited to wear the stole of their choice. RSVP to Lesley Balcome or call or text 507-226-4193 by Friday, September 2. The service will also be available on Microsoft Teams meeting.

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.

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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.