Volume 16, No. 41 | October 21, 2020

COMMAntary
Equipping a courageous Church alive with Christ’s transforming love
What is happening with our immigrant sisters and brothers?
Join the Minnesota Conference UCC Immigration Team for an online discussion October 26 from 7–8 pm about what is happening in Minnesota detention facilities.

Hanne Sandison of The Advocates for Human Rights and Julio Zelaya from the American Civil Liberties Union (Mankato office) will talk about efforts to get detainees released from these facilities.

The event is free and open to all, but you must REGISTER to receive the Zoom link.
Hanne graduated from Harvard Law School in 2016, where she participated in the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic, Immigration Clinic, and Human Rights Clinic. Her commitment to a career in immigration law began in January of 2015 when she traveled to Texas to help prepare women and children detained in Karnes and Dilley family detention centers with their Credible Fear Interviews. Hanne spent her law school summers at The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and at Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Tacoma, WA.
Julio is a recent graduate from Gustavus Adolphus College, where he studied political science. In the past, Julio has worked with the Minnesota Department of Education and taught in the Minneapolis School District. He is the Greater Minnesota Racial Justice Coordinator. He has worked alongside Rev. Dana Mann of First Congregational Church in Mankato for the past two years to increase awareness of immigrant issues, concerns and advocacy.
Join an online gathering for folks in ministry with youth and young adults
November 12–14, 2020
 
The Network of Wider Church Youth Ministry and the Faith INFO team of the national setting of the United Church of Christ have partnered together for this online gathering to foster relationships, reclaim your own resilience and gifts for ministry, and reconnect with the pulse of young people in the midst of today’s world.
 
Over the course of three days you will meet and gather with individuals like you who are doing youth ministry in a variety of contexts within the UCC and beyond. Whether you are on staff or volunteering in a local congregation, outdoor ministry setting, campus ministry, or Conference ministry, Reset for Renewal is for you.
Conference News & Info
"Practice Paying Attention – Wondering" is Topic of This Week's Toolkit for Families and Faith Formation Leaders
Feeling a part of something larger than ourselves — from being upended by the vastness of the night sky or to a connection to God — is magical. It is the essence of wonder. And it helps us feel more satisfied, less self-involved, more grateful and more likely to help others.

Wonder brings joy.
In week three of our Fall Toolkit (for families and faith formation leaders), we offer lots of ways to make the most of our natural sense of wonder. Check out the many fun resources, from engaging videos, to creative activities, to spiritual practices, to books and songs and so much more.

#Grateful? Your Photo is Needed!

As the Minnesota Conference team prepares worship for Conference congregations to use in November, we want to find a way to showcase YOU in our worship! We invite you —individuals, families, and churches—to send us photos that we will share during a prayer time focused on gratitude. Our goal is to provide a visual of the Conference community across the state.

Please send us a picture of you or your church, and if you can feature #gratitude or #thankful, that’s even better! Send your photo by November 5 to communications@uccmn.org.
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. 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:
 
October 22 – Practicing Strength: Building resilience and supporting mental wellness for those you serve and you, too! Presenter: Lori Alford, LAMFT. REGISTER
Mental Health Fall 2020 Seminar for UCC Congregations Set for November 13 & 14

Mental health conditions are common everywhere, including in our churches. People are dealing with a variety of mental health and substance use challenges every day. Due to stigma, many people may be reluctant to either seek professional help or to speak about it with their pastor or other members of their church. But we want to create a place of belonging, where all people…including those with mental health challenges…are welcome, no matter where they are on life’s journey.

Congregations are invited to explore becoming WISE: Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive, and Engaged for Mental Health by attending the WISE Congregations for Mental Health Fall 2020 Webinar. This is an opportunity to learn about mental health, explore how our faith communities can support those among us with mental health challenges, attend practical workshops, and obtain resources. LEARN MORE AND REGISTER
UCC collecting names of lost loved ones for Nov. 1 All Saints virtual worship service

The United Church of Christ is holding a virtual All Saints Day worship service on Sunday, November 1, at 5 pm (Central)to acknowledge the loss, the grief and pain of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The entire Church is invited to add names of the faithful departed for the service, via this link: All Saints/ All Souls Names.

Curated Stewardship News Available!
 
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 like YOU – people who care deeply about the mission of your church and passionate about ramping up your stewardship efforts. For more information, please contact Bob Olsen, Development Officer at the Minnesota Conference, 612.230.3375 or by email, development@uccmn.org.
Overcoming Racism Conference is November 13 & 14

Join other UCCers online for the conference on "Overcoming Racism: Taking Back "We the People." Keynote speakers are Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. and the Funny Asian Women Kollective. 

A special workshop on Saturday, November 14, from 2–3:30 pm CST will help us strategize how we can respond, as congregations and as a Conference, to further the efforts of racial justice. Anita Bradshaw, Associate Conference Minister, will be leading the workshop.

Limited scholarship money is available. Follow the link below for info. The MN Conference UCC also has some limited scholarship money available for first-time attenders. Please contact Anita Bradshaw at anitab@uccmn.org for more information.

Advent & Christmas Resources (and more!) from the Conference

It's not too early to plan! Check out this list of Advent and Christmas resources provided by folks in the MN Conference UCC.

The Conference website offers a wealth of other resources related to ministry during the Covid-19 pandemic and faith formation. Bookmark this page and check back frequently.
Free pulpit robes and chasubles available

Joe Clay has several colorful pulpit robes and chasubles available from his vestry closet. If you are interested, contact him at 952-442-2725.
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.


Joys and Concerns
A farewell service will be held for Rev. Carol Heckmann on Tuesday, October 27, 10:00 am. Carol will be retiring from ministry as a chaplain at Oak Meadows. Congratulations and thank you, Carol, for your years of faithful ministry! For a link Zoom link to the service, contact Janet Anderson

Rev. Henry Campbell, father of both the Rev. Sarah Campbell and the Rev. Hank Campbell, is in hospice care. Henry served in the Iowa Conference and is Pastor Emeritus at First Congregational in Moorhead. The Minnesota Conference holds Henry, Sarah, and Hank in prayer.
News & More Resources
Check out the employment opportunities portion of our website for all open positions.

The Conference website offers a wealth of resources related to ministry during the Covid-19 pandemic and faith formation.

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.