Volume 16, No. 39 | September 30, 2020

COMMAntary
Equipping a courageous Church alive with Christ’s transforming love
Refusing to Fight for Crumbs: Exploring the Intersections of Indigenous and Black Justice
"Justice Talk to Justice Walk" Series continues with Jim Bear Jacobs

Thursday, October 1 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
via Zoom

Jim Bear Jacobs is director of racial justice and community engagement at the Minnesota Council of Churches. He is also a cultural facilitator in the Twin Cities and works to raise the public’s awareness of American Indian causes and injustices. He is also founder and convener of “Healing Minnesota Stories,” an initiative dedicated to creating events of dialogue, education, and healing, particularly within faith communities.

Jim is a member of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation, an American Indian tribe located in central Wisconsin. He has degrees in Pastoral Studies and Christian Theology and has served various churches as youth minister, adult Christian educator, and director of Men’s Ministries.

Jim is an amazing speaker. Don't miss his wisdom in this latest discussion in the Conference's "Justice Talk to Justice Walk" series.

Practicing Justice Topic of October 8 Discussion
Faith formation leaders (clergy, lay staff, and volunteers) from around the MN Conference are invited to to gather via Zoom on most second and fourth Thursdays this fall from noon to 1:30 pm.

We will create together an online space for conversation, questioning, and shared resourcing within a supportive community of colleagues. Registered participants for each gathering will receive a free book or other ministry resource.
 
The topics this fall focus on a set of spiritual practices essential for adaptive leadership in this challenging season of ministry. There is no registration fee! Coming up in October:
 
October 8 – Practicing Justice: Engaging youth and families in the work of service and justice in their communities and the wider world. Presenter: Rev. Trayce Potter, Minister for Youth & Young Adult Engagement with the national setting of the UCC. REGISTER
 
October 22 – Practicing Strength: Building resilience and supporting mental wellness for those you serve and you too! Presenter: Lori Alford, LAMFT. REGISTER
Conference News & Info
The Ministry Lab Launches New Website
 
The Ministry Lab's new website is full of resources for worship, faith formation, congregational life, and contemplative practices. You can also get refreshed with Daily Breath, find inspiration in the weekly Six New Things, or share a Great Idea. Check it out!

The Ministry Lab cultivates vibrant church leaders and congregations by pooling wisdom and resources of the Minnesota Annual Conference United Methodist Church, Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ, Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area, The Synod of Lakes and Prairies (PCUSA), and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.
Support for Your Stewardship Work

Join Our Informal Group to Talk Stewardship Ideas! If you or your congregation are interested in receiving occasional stewardship ideas, tips, news, and conversations about church giving, consider joining the Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ Stewardship Cohort. This informal group is made up of people who care deeply about the mission of their church and passionate about ramping up stewardship efforts. For more information, contact Bob Olsen, Development Officer at the Minnesota Conference, 612.230.3375.

Help for Communicating Your Stewardship Efforts. Are your church’s financial efforts changing to meet the challenges of fundraising in the 21st Century? The national setting of the United Church of Christ is offering webinars for churches on making your church’s communications seamlessly overlap with your stewardship programs and help congregations stay "on-message" to your community. The webinars are led by The Lake Institute on Faith and Giving at Indiana University's Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, a well-known and well-respected school that understands the basic nature of congregational life and giving. More information on how you and your church can participate is available HERE.
"Practice Paying Attention: Be Still, Listen, Wonder, Remember" the Focus of New Family Toolkit

The Conference is introducing new installments of its accessible and interactive at-home family faith formation resource. The toolkit will be available electronically in weekly installments (released on Wednesdays), Oct 7–Nov 18 (fall) and Nov 25–Dec 23 (Advent).
 
The fall toolkit will focus on two important spiritual practices for this season of life. Each week of October will invite folks to "Practice Paying Attention: Be Still, Listen, Wonder, Remember." November will invite folks to "Practice Gratitude: Humility, Kindness, Blessing."

Each toolkit will provide a thoughtfully focused and curated collection of video reflections, music, spiritual practices, readings, creative/art activities, games, community service projects, justice and advocacy opportunities, and more. If you would like to receive a direct email each week, please email Sandy Kellen.
Community UCC Saint Paul Park Offers Church Items

Community UCC Saint Paul Park has numerous items available including NRVS Bibles, New Century Hymnals, Spark Children's Bibles, Communion trays and cups, pew pad folders and sheets, and folding chairs. Contact Marlyne Leary at 651.231.3703 or
MN Conference Outdoor Ministry Presents Three-Part Contemplative Gatherings

The MN Conference Outdoor Ministry will present a three-part Contemplative Gathering to bring us into a place of mindfulness and peace as we enter a change of seasons, a time of thanksgiving, and a time of reflection and anticipation. With the facilitation of three singer-songwriters/theological artists, each Zoom gathering will involve story, song, and inspiration. The first gathering is October 17. LEARN MORE & REGISTER
Financial Assistance for Congregations

  • The United Church of Christ National Setting is offering financial assistance to local churches whose ministries have been challenged by the pandemic. See the process.


Clergy Clusters
The North Central Clergy Cluster (Brainerd and environs) meets on the first Thursday of the month. For details about the October 1 meeting, contact Rev. Leslie Moughty at pastorleslieucc@gmail.com
Tell Us Your News!
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.

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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.