Volume 18, No. 23 | June 8, 2022

COMMAntary
Equipping a courageous Church alive with Christ’s transforming love
It's Annual Meeting Time!
Hi there beloved MN UCCer,
 
Rev. Nora Elliott here, taking over your regularly scheduled newsletter. Have you heard? Annual meeting is hybrid this year! That means in-person events, like our keynote from Diana Butler Bass, plenaries with important church business, and everyone’s favorite – speak outs! – will all be streamed live for those who are stuck in quarantine, not comfortable being in-person, or simply can’t make it out.
 
The annual meeting planning group and I have been working to make sure everyone feels a part of the event. To make this happen, we’ve got a new tool to offer you! Click on the video below to hear me talk all about Sli.do!
 
Join the fun today and preview some of the documents and resources available for annual meeting by visiting sli.do, and using code: MNUCC
 
See you Friday!
Nora
Conference Minister Prestemon to Take Sabbatical Leave

In keeping with the Conference sabbatical policy, Conference Minister Prestemon will be afforded sabbatical leave this summer. She will be away June 15-September 14. 

Reverend Rick Wagner, who retired as Associate Conference Minister in February 2020, will serve as sabbatical supply Conference Minister on a part-time basis during Rev. Prestemon’s sabbatical. He will provide support to the Conference staff team and will respond to needs of congregations under his specific assignment.

In order to enjoy the full Sabbath experience, Conference Minister Prestemon will not be available to Conference members and churches during her time away and will not be responding to phone calls, text messages, Facebook Messenger messages, or emails related to Conference business during this period.

We offer our Conference Minister our prayers and gratitude as she takes time apart for her spiritual renewal and rejuvenation. May God accompany her in this blessed time of Sabbath!
Conference News & Events
And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul” ― John Muir 

Outdoor Ministry invites you to connect with the Sacred June 24-26 at Camp Onomia. We'll enjoy gentle hikes, bird watching, meditation, and discussion. Leave your worries at home and find your soul rhythm in natural spaces and deep conversations. Come to find reconnection for your body, mind, and soul. REGISTER

Outdoor Ministry also has summer rural immersion programs for middle and high school age youth plus family and intergenerational events. LEARN MORE
Join the Discussion Beginning June 14

Join with peers and colleagues to discuss Grace and Gigabytes: Being Church in a Tech-Shaped Culture in a digital book group hosted by The Damascus Project. The author, Ryan M. Panzer, highlights four cultural values influenced by today’s digital technologies. We will ask ourselves: What are the opportunities and possibilities for the church in a culture being shaped in these technologies? How might we engage these cultural values to reach a new generation?

  • June 14–July 26
  • Weekly polls and questions based on each of the 4 sections of the book for discussion within the Damascus Project’s online learning portal
  • Weekly Zoom gatherings at noon on Tuesdays June 14, 21 & 28 and July 12, 19
  • Live discussion with the author, Ryan M. Panzer, on Tue, July 26, 12:00–1:30 pm
  • $15 for the discussion group (does not include book price; visit Fortress Press and use the code PANZER30 to save 30% on the book purchase)
  • REGISTER
Need a Church-size Set of Dishes?

Edina Morningside Community Church has an entire church size set worth of dishes and glasses that it is looking to donate to a start-up church or another church in need in the MN UCC Conference. If you are interested, contact Liz Greenlee, 952-926-6555, or emcucc@emcucc.org.
OWL Training Set for August 26 – 28

Clergy and lay leaders who plan to offer an Our Whole Lives program in their congregations are invited to three days of facilitation training August 26–28 at the Daycholah Center in Green Lake.

Our Whole Lives, or OWL, is a comprehensive human sexuality curriculum for elementary-age children through older adults, developed by the United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist Association. The August training is co-sponsored by the Wisconsin and Minnesota conferences, in partnership with the national setting of the UCC.
 
Cost is $475 for a shared double-occupancy room, meals and training for UCC participants and $550 for non-UCC participants. A limited number of private rooms are available for $575 for UCC participants and $650 for non-UCC participants. INFO AND REGISTRATION
Guidelines for Congregations on Political Action Now Available

With the election year in full swing, Local Churches of the United Church of Christ can check out these great Our Faith Our Vote resources from the United Church of Christ Office of Public Policy and Advocacy in Washington, D.C. In particular, the Guidelines for Congregations on Political Action can help congregations make informed decisions about how to be politically involved…without jeopardizing their status as tax-exempt organizations under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). READ MORE
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 Covid, 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.