Volume 18, No. 38 | October 26, 2022

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Equipping a courageous Church alive with Christ’s transforming love

Welcoming All, No Matter the Protest

Every week, Northfield UCC welcomes people with these words:

"Welcome to you if you are young or old or a little bit of both

Welcome to you if you are gay or straight or a little bit of both

Welcome to you if you are male or female or a little bit of both or neither

No matter who you are, who you love or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here. And because you are here, this body is whole and perfect."

In the spirit of those words, the church hosted a family-friendly gospel drag show this fall that drew a packed house, but also hostile protestors. 

"We thought this show would be a fun way to send a message that we are truly loving and inclusive," said Rev. Cindy Maddox, the church's senior minister. "And it did just that. We have new people coming to worship because of it and some new young people finding a church home after many years. Many neighbors have sent notes of support and encouragement."

While Maddox says the unwanted attention from protestors was deeply disturbing, the energy inside the church more than compensated. "It was so powerful it was palpable. Several performers had grown up in the church and had left so coming back was healing for them."

Indeed, during the middle of the show, one performer said to the assembled crowd, "It's nice to finally be in a church where I feel fully welcomed," and another said, "Yes, it's amazing to be back in a church."

Read a Northfield News article about the show.

Conference News & Events

Parents & Caregivers as Sexuality Educators

Thursday, November 10, 9:30 am-4 pm

Carondelet Center, St. Paul, MN

$25 (includes continental breakfast & lunch)


Join colleagues in ministry to learn how to implement a new resource to help parents and caregivers explore their roles as primary sexuality educators of their children. Whether you are a local church pastor, youth ministry or faith formation staff, or volunteer in your congregation’s ministry with children, youth, or families, this training is for you.

Written with UCC prayer, scripture, and reflection pieces, this small group ministry resource can be used with parents and caregivers of any age children or teens and is customizable to your group’s particular interest. Download your FREE COPY of the resource

 of the resource and REGISTER now for the training.

We are delighted to welcome Rev. Amy Johnson as our training facilitator. Amy serves as Minister for Sexuality Education and Justice in the national setting of the United Church of Christ. She is a trainer for all levels of Our Whole Lives/Sexuality and Our Faith nationwide and internationally. Amy is passionate about dismantling shame and stigma about bodies and relationships, as well as helping faith communities integrate conversations about healthy sexuality as a part of being and becoming healthier places to belong.

Please contact Rev. Kevin Brown, Associate Conference Minister for Faith Formation, with any questions.

Applications Sought for Damascus Project Director

Do you have a passion for life-long learning for church leadership? Do you believe we need new models of equipping pastoral leaders? Are you self-motivated, collaborative, relational, and highly organized?


The Minnesota and Wisconsin Conferences of the UCC are seeking a new Director for the Damascus Project, a collaborative initiative started seven years ago to expand leadership development in both Conferences and create additional pathways for equipping pastoral leaders.


See the full job description and application process HEREApplication deadline is November 16!

Join Us for a Fall Wilderness Meditation

November 6 – 8

Luther Crest

8231 County Road 11 NW, Alexandria, MN 56308

Cost: $200/person for double room; $250/person for single room | Ages 19+


Using gentle hikes, meditation, and discussion, participants are encouraged to leave their worries at home and find their soul rhythm in natural spaces and deep conversations. Come to find reconnection for your body, mind, and soul.

Boundary Basics with Kevin and Kelly

November 29


Register now for the in-person Power and Boundary Training on November 29 with Associate Conference Ministers Kevin Brown and Kelly Gallagher. Review the basics while learning new understandings of boundaries in this post-pandemic, media-driven world.

This Power and Boundary Training will meet the standing requirements for authorized ministers in the Minnesota Conference and will run the required five (5) hours in addition to lunch and breaks. Stay tuned for details and registration information.

Calling All Congregations in the Alexandria Area to the Conference's Covenant Day!

Saturday, November 12, 9:30 am – 3 pm

First Congregational UCC in Alexandria, 221 7th Avenue W


Gather a team from your congregation and join us for practical resources and workshops, inspiring worship, covenantal connections with your UCC neighbors, and the awesomeness of being together again! We encourage all clergy, local church moderators, and lay members to attend. Registration is required; $10/person

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 faith formation, 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.