Volume 17, No. 50 | December 22, 2021

COMMAntary
Equipping a courageous Church alive with Christ’s transforming love
God With Us

Christ was born in Bethlehem…
In humble circumstances
Surrounded by strife and injustice
To a life filled with human vulnerabilities and sufferings
As a breath-taking sign of Divine Love, God-in-the-flesh
To bring hope to the despairing and possibility to the unimagined
To deliver good news to the poor & justice to the oppressed
To teach mercy and compassion
To heal the sick and mend the broken.

Christ is born today…
When uncertainty and anxiety overwhelm us
When disasters shatter us and pandemics won’t shake loose of us
When true peace evades us and justice is denied
When grief grips our hearts, and our hunger for the Holy is vast
When healing of all kinds is the substance of our prayers and our deepest,
desperate need.

O come, Emmanuel, be born in us today.
Unmistakable New Life
Unrelenting Spirit at work
 Unquenchable Hope
Unstoppable Love.
 
Written by Rev. Shari Prestemon, Minnesota Conference Minister UCC, Christmas 2021
Conference News & Events
Building the Beloved Community Public Safety Project

Your congregation is invited into conversation with Minnesota Commissioner of Public Safety John Harrington.

Interfaith Action invites interfaith leaders to a series of compelling conversations about creating a better system of public safety and policing in Minnesota. Together with Minnesota Commissioner of Public Safety John Harrington and several state public safety leaders, participants will walk through real-life scenarios that police officers face on the job. What do we want our public safety officers to do in these situations? Clergy and their congregations will be invited to respond. This work will culminate in a report of the collective feedback. REGISTER AND LEARN MORE
Christmas Family Toolkit Now Available

This week's Family Toolkit offers lots of wonderful Christmas activities, projects and a video conversation with Rev. Coqui Conkey, Klaas, Ted, Jayden, Jake and Leslea from Associated Church in Owatonna (see video below). VIEW THE TOOLKIT.
Great Lakes Creation Care Series Begins January 13

The Great Lakes Creation Care Collaborative invites you to a three-part Zoom series, offered by the Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan Conferences of the United Church of Christ.

“Treaties Broken, Earth and Lives in Crisis: How do we change the narrative for the land and all its people?”
January 13, 2022, 7:30-9:00 pm EST/6:30-8:00 pm CST
With Frank Bibeau, tribal attorney for Honor the Earth and White Earth Band of Ojibwe

“Good Money After Bad: How to invest in Creation Care”
February 10, 2022, 7:30-9:00 pm EST/6:30-8:00 pm CST

“Creation Justice from the Sanctuary to the Street: Linking Worship, Action, & Advocacy”
March 3, 2022, 7:30-9:00 pm EST/6:30-8:00 pm CST

Fourth Thursdays
Hybrid FourTHursday: Let’s Talk Outdoor Ministry & Youth Faith Formation

January 27, 2022 | 12:00-1:30 pm | Join in-person or online

January’s topic is the 2022 full season of Outdoor Ministry programs and retreat for all ages and a preview of the exciting opportunities for youth throughout the year, including the summer 2022 Youth Immersion Trip. Register to join in-person (required) for a light, physically distanced lunch and conversation. You may also register participate via Zoom. All in-person participants will be required to wear a face mask throughout the event, regardless of vaccination status, except when eating or drinking.
Looking for a Job?

Make sure you check out the listings on the Minnesota Conference UCC's website. We list part-time, full-time and interim positions available statewide. We update these opportunities frequently so check back frequently! VIEW HERE
United Theological Seminary Announces Spring Favorite Faculty Lectures

Every teacher has one — the lecture that they love the best, the one that they can literally feel in their bones when they deliver it in class. Get to know United’s current faculty and get a taste of what happens in the classrooms. These favorite lectures will be delivered on Zoom. Read more about the spring series that starts with Gary Green, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology and Social Transformation, on "Playing the Game: Problems and Possibilities for Black Men in the United States." READ MORE
 Maintaining Fierce Hope: Refreshing Our Grip on What Sustains Us
January 18, 5 pm–January 20, 11:30 am
Christ the King Retreat Center, Buffalo, MN
Fee: $150 (private room) or $130 (shared double room)
Facilitator: Rev. Dr. Martha Brunell
 
After a long season of being apart, actively serving clergy from around the Minnesota Conference UCC are invited to come together on retreat. We will have gentle invitations to rest, reconnect, recognize losses, and recommit to both familiar and unfolding shapes of ministry. In these quiet winter days, with their share of darkness and perhaps harsh weather, it will be so good to come together. LEARN MORE
Register for the Winter Spiritual Immersion Retreat

January 21-23, 2022 (Friday, 6:00 pm through Sunday, 11:00 am) 
Clearwater Forest Camp and Retreat Center, Deerwood, MN
Registration closes January 14
Joys & Concerns
Our prayers are with the family of Rev. Dr. Arthur A. Rouner, Jr. who died on December 16. Rev. Rouner was the Senior Minister Emeritus at Colonial Church in Edina. May his family trust in the reassurance of life everlasting. Share memories and read his obituary here
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 Covid, 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.