Volume 19, No. 23 | June 7, 2023



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

The Annual Meeting is Here!

“The earth is God’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” (Psalm 24:1)


Let us come together, as children of this sacred creation and the enduring body of Christ, to find ways to work together, effectively, for our earth.


The Minnesota Conference is gathering this week to answer a call to protect God's gift of creation. Keynote speaker Rev. Michael Malcom, ordained in the United Church of Christ and founder and executive director of the People’s Justice Council in Birmingham, Alabama, will share how he created an unparalleled opportunity for faith communities throughout Alabama to unite and raise their voice against environmental racism, economic oppression, environmental injustice, and climate change. There are many great workshops planned for Saturday, too! Check out the summary agenda.


Budget Hearing is Tonight, Wednesday, June 7, at 6:30 pm

If you have already registered, please plan to attend tonight's budget hearing, held via Zoom at 6:30 pm. If you registered for the Annual Meeting, a link was sent to you last Friday. View the proposed budget here.


LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ANNUAL MEETING

Conference News & Events

COMMAntary Goes to Summer Schedule Starting June 14


COMMAntary will go to an every-other-week publication schedule beginning June 14 through Labor Day. Publication dates are Wednesdays, June 14, June 28, July 12, July 26, August 9, August 23. The deadline remains the Monday before the Wednesday publication date at noon. Send story ideas, insights and more to [email protected].

Celebrate 2023 Twin Cities Pride!

June 23-25, 2023

 

Congregations from the Twin Cities metro area will be joining together to participate in this years Twin Cities Pride March. Sixty people from 11 congregations will represent the Conference to provide a public witness countering the dominant Christian voice that perpetuates exclusion, discrimination, and harm with a message of radical love, welcome, and affirmation for LGBTQIA+ people. While the spaces for participants marching are full, please make plans to attend the Pride March as a spectator, along with folks from other UCC congregations. Contact Kevin Brown to get connected with other congregations planning to take part.

2023 Justice and Local Church Ministry Common Application is Open


Individuals and churches who may be interested in applying for operational support, Neighbors in Need, CASA New and Renewing Church, and Pension Board New Church Start Benefit Support grants should check out the application! Please note that all applications will require a reference from Conference Minister Rev. Shari Prestemon.


VIEW THE APPLICATION

New Address for Conference Office Starting June 14


The Conference office is moving! We will be in the same building, in a smaller office, faithfully stewarding our resources. As of June 14, our new address will be: Minnesota Conference UCC; 122 W Franklin Avenue; Suite 200; Minneapolis, MN 55404. Our main phone number will remain 612-871-0359.

Retired Ministers Boundary Training is June 21


Wednesday, June 21, 4:00 – 7:00 pm CT

REGISTER


Maintaining healthy boundaries is challenging at any stage in ministry and it is particularly tender and difficult attending to boundaries as we transition out of our last call, and while in retirement. "A Sure Foundation," "The Ministerial Code," and Rev. Dr. Bruce Epperly's new book, "The Jubilee Years," along with case studies, will provide the content of this training.


Rev. Stephen Boyd and Rev. Tara Barber will offer this focused Boundary Awareness Training for those entering and living in retirement. Note: This training completes individual requirements for boundary training ONLY WHEN authorized by a local Committee on Ministry.

Partner News & Events

Join a Mississippi River Celebration


Join The Leadership Center for Social Justice and partners on July 15 for a celebration with Mississippi River! Come gather to connect, learn, pray, engage, play, celebrate, and honor the spirit of water. This event is co-presented with Resilient Indigenous Sisters Engaging (R.I.S.E. Coalition), Rights of Mississippi RiverMinnesota Interfaith Power and Light, and Friends of the Mississippi River.

 

Join us in the morning at United Theological Seminary Campus for education about the importance of water, threats to water, and ways in which we can work to protect water. Then come to Hidden Falls in the afternoon where we will have a community celebration with speakers, music, information booths, food, art, and play areas for children.

 

LEARN MORE AND REGISTER


Interested in volunteering? FILL OUT AN INTEREST FORM

Sing a New Song Unto God at General Synod!


Any attendee interested can SIGN UP to join the choir, which will minister during the closing worship service Tuesday, July 4, at 7:30 pm. Sheet music and recordings will be distributed in the first week of June, and there will be at least two rehearsals during General Synod. Questions? Contact Cheryl Lindsay ([email protected]), Minister of Worship and Theology, UCC National Ministries.

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. 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.



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. To learn more, contact the Center’s administrative assistant, Stella Pearce.

Joys & Concerns

Peace United Church of Christ in Duluth invites you to the celebration of ordination for Nathan Holst. The worship service is Sunday, June 25, at 4:00 pm, 1111 N 11th Ave E, Duluth MN 55805.


Our prayers are lifted for Rev. Kathy Itzin, pastor at Robbinsdale-Parkway UCC, and her family upon the death of Kathy’s mother, Carol Taylor, on Tuesday in Wisconsin. May God grant comfort and peace in this time of grieving. 

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.

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