Volume 18, No. 43 | November 30, 2022

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Equipping a courageous Church alive with Christ’s transforming love

Closing in on our Give to the Max Goal!

Thanks to the many individuals who have participated so far in Give to the Max 2022. As of Monday, November 28, we are just $220 away from reaching our $8,250 goal! It's not too late!

There are still 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!
Conference News & Events

Young Adult Winter Retreat Set for January 27 – 29

Who: Ages 18 (post-graduate) through 25

When: January 27-29, 2023| begins at 6:00 pm Friday and ends 11:00am on Sunday

Where: Green Lake Lutheran Camp| Medayto Lodge, Spicer, MN

Cost: $50/person | $25/ person scholarship, if needed; please contact Rev. Sheri Nelson at sherin@uccmn.org


After three years apart, Outdoor Ministry is back with a retreat just for young adults ages 18 (post-graduate) through 25. Reconnect with UCC camp friends for a weekend at Green Lake Lutheran Camp in Spicer, MN. This is a chance to relax, have some fun, create a meal together, and help plan the future for young adult programming in the MN Conference.

Friday will be a time to hang out and catch up on life. Saturday we will have a brainstorming session on future possibilities, play in the snow, plan and cook a meal together, and have some s’mores before an evening reflection. Sunday we will wrap things up, worship together, and share contact information before saying our good-byes.

We have limited space (15 total), so register now before it’s too late!

Registration is open now until January 20 or when spaces are filled. Read our Covid guidelines.

Welcome the Newest ONA church in the Minnesota Conference!


Please join us in welcoming The Associated Church in Owatonna, MN, as a newly certified Open and Affirming congregation! As ONA church #1,797, Associated Church is now part of the largest and fastest-growing LGBTQ-affirming church movement in the world. We’re proud of the entire congregation and grateful to the church’s leadership for the hard work that led to this milestone in their history.


Please join the entire Open and Affirming movement in celebrating Associated Church, and in prayer that their ONA covenant will be a blessing to their LGBTQ+ neighbors, and inspire new passion and energy for living the Gospel!

Exploring the Enneagram

For lay leaders, seekers, authorized ministers and people exploring authorized ministry

January 30 - March 12, 2023

$175 (lay leaders, seekers, authorized ministers)

$350 (if you’re exploring authorized ministry/MiD)

Now through Dec 15, use code: EARLYBIRD at checkout for 20% off the price

Leadership in congregations today is hard. It is more and more challenging to navigate change and respond with care to the many competing demands. Understanding our personality — its strengths and its shadow sides — is more important than ever before. When we know who we are, we are better equipped to work with others.

In Exploring the Enneagram you will identify your unique personality type and gain insight into the personality types of others. This learning intensive on the Enneagram is meant to ground you more deeply in yourself, your relationships, and your connection to God.


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 the video above 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


First Congregational Montevideo Offer Free Hymnals

First Congregational UCC in Montevideo has 50–100 Pilgrim hymnals free for the taking. Contact Jane Myhre, jlkamyhre@charter.net or (320) 226-1101.

UCC Partner News & Events

New Offerings for the New Year

The Ministry Lab's Psalm 148 video will be suitable to insert as a sermon or prayer for in-person or online worship or other gatherings. We'd love to include photos from around the state in this creation-oriented reflection! Learn more, including how you can submit your own photos, here. Register to receive the video link here. The video is free for members of the UMC, UCC, and PC(USA) across the state.

Also free for member churches (i.e., UMC, UCC, PC(USA)): Join Rev. Nicole Havelka for a New Year's investment in self-care, supremacist culture counter-narratives, and healthy boundaries. Learn more and register here.

Joys & Concerns

A memorial service for Rev. EvaLyn Carlson is scheduled for December 10 at 1:00 pm at First Congregational UCC in Fairmont, MN. She pastored churches in the UCC and Christian Church (DOC) from the most northern portion of Minnesota to the southern parts of Iowa. The service is also available through a Facebook event.

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.