Volume 18, No. 8 | February 23, 2022

Equipping a courageous Church alive with Christ’s transforming love
Introducing our Lenten Family Toolkit: Stories of Faith, Doubt, and Longing
Wilderness Travelogue: Stories of Faith, Doubt, and Longing
Lenten Family Toolkit

The season of Lent is drawing near, and we are delighted to announce the details for this year’s Lenten family toolkit. Each weekly toolkit installment will feature a weekly video with clergy from around the Minnesota Conference in conversation and reflection on the themes and texts for the week.

In addition to these video reflections, the toolkits provide a rich and diverse collection of at-home games, activities, book and film recommendations, spiritual practices, and service ideas for individuals and families of all ages.

The full collection of resources for congregational leaders are now available. The at-home resources will be available weekly March 2 – April 13.
Following are the themes and texts for each week:
  • Ash Wednesday (March 2): Into the Wilderness
  • Lent 1 (March 6): The Wilderness of Fear
  • Lent 2 (March 13): The Wilderness of Grief
  • Lent 3 (March 20): The Wilderness of Loneliness/Isolation
  • Lent 4 (March 27): The Wilderness of Self-Doubt
  • Lent 5 (April 3): The Wilderness of Too-Muchness
  • Lent 6 (April 10): The Wilderness of Betrayal
  • Holy Week/Easter (April 11-17)
Conference News & Events
Let's Talk: Confirmation Hackathon

FourTHursday Faith Formation Gathering
Via Zoom!
February 24, 2022 from 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.

Almost two years into this pandemic, and you're probably feeling exhausted and burned out. The adrenaline-fueled creativity of the early pandemic has long since passed and now you're slogging through day-by-day, perhaps without any spark of joy or creativity.

Your confirmation program is probably showing the signs of this burnout, too.

Join our next Fourth Thursday gathering with Ivy Beckwith and Nicole Havelka who will spark creativity with an introduction to a process called Hackathon that can give you a little rest, reflection and space to spark creative ideas and tangible next steps to bring new life to your confirmation program. LEARN MORE
At 87, a UCC Trans Trailblazer Reveals She's 'Not Done' Yet

As she steps down from a national job speaking out for LGBTQ people in church life, Barbara Satin (a member of Living Table UCC) doesn’t mind revealing her age. “In July, I’ll be 88 years old,” said the United Church of Christ’s transgender trailblazer. “That’s important, simply because I’m concerned that people look at the aging of America as a detriment. People think of the cost involved in caring for our seniors as if it were as a minus — and there are so many of us doing good stuff.” READ THE UCC NEWS FULL STORY
Our Church’s Pledge Goals for Mission and Ministry Forms Due

A reminder that your church’s 2022 Our Church’s Pledge Goals for Mission and Ministry should be filled out and returned to the Conference office by February 28 for planning purposes. If you need a copy of the form, click HERE and choose the Our Church’s Pledge Goals for Mission and Ministry form. If you have any questions, please contact Bob Olsen at development@uccmn.org, or by phone at 612.230.3375. Thank you for sending in your form promptly!
“Love Remains” One Great Hour of Sharing Resources Available
One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) special mission offering of the United Church of Christ involves church members in disaster, refugee/immigration, and development ministries throughout the world. When a disaster strikes or people are displaced or made refugees by violence or extreme poverty, you are part of the immediate response and of the long-term recovery. This year OGHS’s suggested special offering date is March 27. Order OGHS materials for your church HERE.
Joys & Concerns
  • The Committee on Ministry will be hosting an Ecclesiastical Council for JD Haas via Zoom on Thursday, March 3, at 6:30 pm via Zoom. This is an opportunity for our member churches to participate in the Conference’s discernment for our candidates for ordination. Please join us in this important process. Read JD’s ordination paper and learn more about him. RSVP to kellyg@uccmn.org to receive the Zoom link.

  • Our hearts go out to Rev. Cindy Maddox (First UCC, Northfield) and her family upon the death of Cindy’s mother, Jan, on February 15. May our prayers surround Cindy and her family, and may the resurrection promise of our faith lend comfort and peace.
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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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.