eCourier Weekly Newsletter

Feb. 2, 2023

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Mary's Musings

Feb. 2, 2023

There is so much to celebrate in Missouri Mid-South right now! We have several exciting announcements to share this week much that was "stuck" has become "unstuck" — so I'm thrilled to be able to share all of it. News about our website, progress at MoVal, and welcoming our new Youth Ministry Resource Coordinator... it's really too much for one video, but we got it all in there somehow.



New Website Launches

We have a new look, and most importantly, improved functionality when you go to the MMSC website!

Admittedly, it's been a longer time coming than we hoped, but we worked very hard to make the website more welcoming and easy to use.

Check Us Out

Mary's Schedule

2/3/23 Observe Sabbath

2/5/23 Worship

2/6-9/23 Work from Conference office in St. Louis, MO

2/10/23 Observe Sabbath

2/9-11/23 Attend Virtual National Gathering

of Rural and Small Town UCC Churches

2/12/23 Preach at Calvary UCC, St. Louis, MO

2/13/23 Work from Conference office in St. Louis, MO

2/14-16/23 Work from home office in Holyoke, MA

Damien's Schedule

2/3/23 Observe Sabbath

2/4-6/23 Vacation

2/7-8/23 Work from home office in St. Charles, MO

2/9/23 Attend St. Louis Association Committee on Ministry Meetings

2/9-11/23 Attend Virtual National Gathering

of Rural and Small Town UCC Churches

2/12/23 Attend Installation of Rev. Jenn Einsphar,

Peace UCC, Webster Groves, MO

2/13-15/23 Work from home office in St. Charles, MO

2/16/23 Attend Eastern Association Committee on Ministry Meeting, Washington, MO

Clergy Announcements


of Rev. Jen Einspahr

Associate Pastor of Pastoral Care and Operations

Peace UCC, Webster Groves

10 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 12

Wehrli Chapel

470 E. Lockwood Ave.

Webster Groves, MO

A light lunch will follow. Clergy are invited to wear robes and red stoles.

Ordination Service

of Rev. Dr. Tanya Jeffcoat 

3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26

Kirkwood UCC

1603 Dougherty Ferry Road

Kirkwood, MO

Clergy are invited to wear robes and red stoles. 

From MMSC Office

Jay Wiesner

Youth Ministry Resource Coordinator

"Spiritual formation is a deep passion of mine. I am monumentally pumped to work with our teens and Student ministers to discern where our still-speaking God is leading Student leaders."

"My hope is to work closely with the young church leaders in the Missouri Mid-South Conference in co-creating shalom with you all, in the service of God, through the Grace of Christ, with the aid of the Holy Spirit."

New Youth Ministry Resource Coordinator Joins Staff

Jay Wiesner, part-time pastor at Zion UCC, Troy, Mo., joins the MMSC staff as our new Youth Ministry Resource Coordinator. He is a Member in Discernment with the Eastern Association.

Wiesner begins Feb. 13 and will work part-time for MMSC, while continuing to serve as pastor at the church.

Transitional Conference Minister Rev. Mary W. Nelson says, "I’m excited to welcome Jay because he has such extensive experience as a youth minister, serving the congregations of multiple communities across our Conference — small and large — rural, urban, and suburban. He understands the challenges congregations face today when trying to provide meaningful faith formation experiences for youth."

Wiesner began working in Youth Ministry in 2011. He is a former high school history and government teacher, with nine years of educator experience. He also has been a special education para-educator, camp counselor, substitute teacher, and football coach.

Attention Clergy: It's Informational Review Time

It's that time of year when we ask you to take a few moments to fill out your annual clergy Information Review form. This helps make sure that your clergy records are accurate with both the Missouri Mid-South Conference and your Association.

Please note there are no longer separate Information Review forms based on the Association in which you hold standing. All forms have the option to select your Association. Retired and exempt clergy have their own short form.

Click here to go to the MMSC website, where you will find the Information Review Forms.

You have two easy options for completing and submitting the form by March 13:

February Milestone Ordination Anniversaries

Rev. Denise C. McGary

15 years

Rev. Jim Pohl

15 years

Rev. Susan Thorne

15 years

We send thanks and congratulate clergy celebrating milestone anniversaries of their ordinations!

MMSC Staff Sabbath

& Days Off Schedule

Thursday - Kathie (off)

Friday - Kathie (off) Damien (Sabbath)

Mary (Sabbath)

Contact Numbers

for MMSC Personnel

Julie Darnold Atkins


Damien Lake


Mary Nelson


Kathleen Rainey


Amanda Schmitt


Glenn and Tiffany Svetnicka


Kevin Zimmer


Staff Travel Guidelines

Conference staff can travel for in-person worship and meetings with the following conditions:

  • The church meets minimum CDC guidelines for wearing masks and socially distancing.
  • The church invitation is for a significant meeting or worship.
  • Staff member is comfortable traveling at the time.

Please know staff can always decline in-person invitations for their own health and safety with the offer to record a greeting and/or attend virtually.
COVID-19 Guidelines
See COVID Safety Policy for MMSC Gatherings in 2022 with Requirements for In-Person Attendance Updated 5/21/2022
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Quick Access
to Forms
Clergy Compensation Guidelines
Clergy Pay Chart
Remittance Form

UCC Church Annual Yearbook Information Due March 1

Your Church's Annual Yearbook Information

When logging into Data Hub, enter the Conference number (38) before your church number. For example, if your four digit church number is 1234, enter 381234.

Passwords are reset each year. If you saved last year's password, it will not work as it has been reset to the default password, which is yearbook.

By submitting your data as early as possible, you can avoid potential delays if you need help. The Data Hub contains many help tips. If you are unsure of the information that a particular data entry field is requesting, simply hover your mouse over the "for additional information."

Log In to UCC Data Hub by March 1

Additionally, you can access these resources for assistance:

  1. Church Instructions
  2. Twelve Important Reasons

If you have questions, you also can email MMSC Office Manager Kathleen Rainey.

Thank you for your attention to this annual initiative and cultivating your UCC covenantal relationship.

Nominations Now Open

for Camp MoVal Advisory Board

Form Available with Complete Instructions

The Camp MoVal Discernment Process in 2021 resulted in much interest in creating this new Advisory Board.

MMSC looks forward to receiving nominations and putting together this team to help with the redevelopment of Camp MoVal's ministry

Nomination Form Due Feb. 15


Now Open for 2023 Summer Camp

Early Bird Registration Deadline Feb. 28

Register to Attend Camp

Conference Youth Event

High School CYE Feb. 18-20

Cost: $140

Registration is now open; remember to ask your UCC church about a scholarship.

Register to Attend by Feb. 10

Women's Retreat

May 5-7

Mark your calendar, and watch for registration details coming later this spring.

Counselors and Weekly Shepherds

Accepting Applications

Requirements include at least 16 years of age and completion of one weekend of training annually.

Apply Now for Summer Openings

Camp Store

Shop Online and Show Support

Stock up on favorite camping gear and items with Camp MoVal logo. A portion of each purchase supports Camp MoVal.

Shop Camp MoVal Logowear

St. Louis Association

Upcoming Events

Gateway Open and Affirming

Annual Convocation

Saturday, March 4

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Parkway UCC, St. Louis, MO

Spring Fellowship Gathering 

Trivia Night

Friday, April 28

St. John UCC, Chesterfield, MO

Each church is encouraged to gather a team of eight to participate.

Eastern Association

Upcoming Event

"Tending the Vineyard"

Saturday, April 22

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Camp MoVal

Cost: $10 per person*

(ages 4 and under free)

The Grape Cluster of the Eastern Association invites everyone in the MMSC to attend and:

  • Celebrate Earth Day
  • Experience Camp MoVal
  • Discuss Shared Ministry Possibilities

During special interest times, you will have the options of participating in a hay ride, lake activities, shared ministry, and hiking.

*Covers portion of meal and facilities rental.

Register to Attend
Upcoming Training

Specialized Ministry

Boundary Training

6-9 p.m. ET Feb. 6

Hosted by Revs. Tara Barber and Stephen Boyd

Serving in a specialized setting requires particular attention to boundaries within the ministry setting and home church that are challenging and different from those serving as local church pastors.

This training will focus on matters relating specifically to issues that specialized ministers face, providing opportunities to reflect on best practices and growth.

Register to Attend
The Western Association has authorized its clergy can now take Racial Justice & Equity Training online. For the training to qualify, however, it must be provided by a UCC entity (Conference, Association, National setting), the Disciples of Christ, or a Formula of Agreement partner (Presbyterian Church USA, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Reformed Church of America).
When you complete any training that fulfills your Racial Justice & Equity requirement, please remember to send documentation by email to Kathleen Rainey.

Resources and Gatherings

Coalition for UCC Rural Ministries


Nourishing the Seeds of Faith

(Isaiah 55:10-11)

Feb. 9-11

4 to 7 p.m. EST

A Virtual National Gathering of Rural/Small Town UCC Churches

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday*

*Participants are encouraged to have their congregations gather together "potluck style" in church Saturday and participate in joint communion across the denomination.

Cost: $25 per person (to offset fees for some costs)

Register to Attend

Hilton City Center

1701 California St.

Denver, CO

Conference Registration Open through Feb. 24

Hotel Reservations Due Feb. 9 (for Conference rate)

Register to Attend

A limited number of scholarships are available for registration and/or hotel costs for people who would not be able to attend otherwise, especially first-time attendees. Requests for a scholarship will be considered in the order they are received until funds are committed.

Wider UCC

The following upcoming class at Eden Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. will be available online or in person:

  • LIFE at Eden: History and Polity of the UCC, Feb. 10-11
Learn More and Register

Eden also is hosting Explore Eden, Feb. 20, both online and in person, offering the chance to:

  • Discover how Eden is participating in the community
  • Learn about the building blocks of seminary
  • Participate in class
  • Worship as a community
  • Speak with students and alumni
Learn More and Register
UCC Ministries Links