Volume 19, No. 21 | May 24, 2023

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Equipping a courageous Church alive with Christ’s transforming love

Grounding Ourselves in Word and Worship

Update on Plans for the Annual Meeting

June 9 & 10

We will ground ourselves in Psalm 24:1, an ancient arrangement of reverence, in opening worship and evening worship on Friday, June 9, offering praise and lament.

Rev. Brooks Berndt, PhD (Minister for Environmental Justice Education for Faithful Action Team, United Church of Christ, National Ministries) will lead our Bible study on Saturday morning, June 10. He brings his passion, knowledge, and aptitude to help us do a deep dive about what it means that the “Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.”

In our closing worship on Saturday afternoon, we will break bread together, honor and remember our church communities that have closed and the pastors we have lost, commission our leaders, and prepare for what God is calling us to be. Rev. Nikki Darlene Frontz (chaplain at United Theological Seminary, Community and Spiritual Leader serving Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis, US Air Force/Minnesota Air National Guard service member in the final stages of becoming a chaplain) will be our preacher.

Pastor Nathan Holst (faith formation minister, activist/organizer, and musician) and Conie Borchardt (music director, Edina Morningside Community Church UCC) will lead our music during the worship services and in the transition time during our plenary sessions.

Reminder: No proof of vaccination or masks are required. Although masks are not required, they will be respected and are welcome. We do ask that if you feel ill, please stay home.


Conference News & Events

Join the Green Team Forum June 4

All churches and members are invited to participate in a Green Team Forum Sunday, June 4, from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm on Zoom, in advance of our Annual Meeting. Rev. Sheri Nelson and Rev. Dwight Wagenius will host the forum. It is a time to brag about your church and what it is doing, to ask questions about what more you can do, and be inspired by all that is being done in our Conference and state to bring God's Earth back into balance. You do not have to be registered as a Minnesota Delegate to participate. 

Join the forum through this link; no registration required.Sandy has set up a zoom link for the Green Forum on Sunday, June 4.

The Strengthen the Church (STC) Offering is this Sunday, May 28

The Strengthen the Church (STC) Offering reflects the shared commitment of people across the United Church of Christ to cooperatively build up the Church. The funds raised support leadership development, new churches, youth ministry, and innovation in existing congregations, and are split 50/50 between Minnesota and the denomination.

The 2023 STC materials are available for DOWNLOAD HERE, and include resources, a Reflection by Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer, three bulletin inserts, and a music video of new churches and ministries funded by Strengthen the Church.

For more information contact Bob Olsen, Development Officer, at 612-871-0359 or email Bob at [email protected]. Thank you for your generosity!

Celebrate 2023 Twin Cities Pride!

June 23-25, 2023


Twin Cities metro congregations are invited to come together to celebrate and form a UCC presence at the 2023 Twin Cities Pride Festival.

If your congregation would like to be part of the Pride March on Sunday morning, June 25, please register to reserve your place using this form. Please complete this registration by Tuesday, May 23. We are limited to 60 marchers.

We will need folks to work 2-hour shifts throughout the weekend, including help with set-up on Friday afternoon and tear-down on Sunday evening. Please use this form to sign-up for a shift or two and talk to some friends from your congregation about signing-up as a group.

Anti-Racism/Diversity Training & Power & Boundary Training Both Offered June 8 Prior to Annual Meeting

Anti-Racism/Diversity Training

Thursday, June 8, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm (check-in begins at 9:00 with coffee) 

$65 (lunch included with a light afternoon snack) 

Training leader: Rev. Jia Starr Brown


Power & Boundary Training

Thursday, June 8, 10:00 am – 4 pm (check-in begins at 9:30 am with coffee)

$65 (lunch included with a light afternoon snack)

Facilitator: Rev. Dr. Anita Bradshaw


Choir Robes and Wedding Banners Available


Union Congregational UCC, St. Louis Park has several items available for free:

  • 40 deep red adult robes
  • 20 medium blue robes for upper elementary and junior high children
  • 20 sky blue robes for lower elementary children
  • Wooden hangers
  • Wedding banners (white polyester with lace trim, intended to be hung on horizontal poles parallel to the floor)


Contact Peggy Johnson at [email protected] or 953-926-0550.

Partner News & Events

Apply for The Leadership Center for Social Justice at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities

Congregational pastors and ministers are encouraged to apply for the second year of the program by July 1, 2023. The program, led by a team of experts, helps pastors develop and/or deepen sustainable, community-based, social justice ministries responsive to what God is doing in our world, congregations, and communities.

The cohort will meet twice monthly (Friday mornings) in a hybrid format from September 2023 through May 2024. Those who complete the program earn a Certificate in Leadership for Social Justice and may be eligible to earn up to eight credits toward a Doctor of Ministry degree. 

Those who wish to apply to join the program must supply a congregational letter of support and complete an application at www.unitedseminary.edu/lcsj by July 1, 2023. To learn more, contact the Center’s administrative assistant, Stella Pearce.

Shifting the Spotlight with Sounds of Blackness and Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III

May 25, 5:30 - 7:30pm

Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis

Being a white ally means playing a supporting role as BIPOC people take center stage. During this historic shift, how can white Christians embrace roles where they cease to be the stars of the film but are instead cast as extras – people whose advancement of the plot is good but not essential to the future? And how can BIPOC people regain agency and become the leaders they are meant to be?

On the third anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, Minnesota Council of Churches invites people of faith to an evening with music from Sounds of Blackness and a prophetic word from Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III.

This event is organized in partnership with the George Floyd family and will conclude in time for participants to join the evening candlelight vigil scheduled at George Floyd Square.


Joys & Concerns

The Committee on Ministry invites you to an Ecclesiastical Council for Natalie Owens-Pike Sunday, June 4, at 2 pm, hosted by Mayflower UCC Minneapolis. Delegates and guests are invited to join via Zoom. This is an opportunity for our member churches to participate in the Conference’s discernment for our candidates for ordination. Read an introduction to Natalie and her ordination paper. RSVP to See Chang, COM administrative assistant at [email protected] to receive the Zoom link.

Upcoming Conference Events
More Resources & Opportunities

  • Send story ideas, insights and more to [email protected]. 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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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.