National United Church Of Christ News & Events
World AIDS Day is an important occasion for building awareness and stepping-up our responses to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in our own communities and around the world. Yes, there have been significant medical advances and more people are on treatment than ever before. Still, the scale of response is not meeting the need for treatment, prevention, care and support.
The importance of the whole church engaging in HIV response has never been more critical. As never before, there is a path to ending the epidemic in our lifetime. The implementation of the 27th General Synod's resolution, "Calling for Comprehensive HIV Prevention in Church and Community," is the road map for the UCC, inviting the whole church to be faithful to do all it can.
December 01, 2018 at 8am - 8pm
Rev. Michael D. Schuenemeyer · SchueneM@ucc.org
This MESA Memo is filled with opportunities for connections.
In this edition you will find:
· Resources for celebrating Ministers in Specialized Settings
· The new A SURE FOUNDATION resource for equipping clergy and congregations
· Invitation to a financial webinar for women cosponsored by MESA and UCF
· Invitations to the next UCC History/Theology/Polity Gatherings & MESA 101
· Upcoming MESA Zoom Trainings
· Monthly Disciplinary Report
Resources for celebrating Ministers in Specialized Settings
Recently the Central Association of the Southern California Nevada Conference UCC recognized and celebrated thirteen of their ministers in specialized settings with the program at their Spring Meeting. The Executive Committee of the Association put out a call, about three months in advance, to any minister in a specialized setting (chaplain, educator, working for non-profit, etc.) to submit their name and prepare a short, five minute, informal presentation about the work that they do on behalf of the United Church of Christ.
I was pleased to hear that so many wanted to share and created a brief worship service (attached) to frame the sharing and the celebration. All who attended the meeting agreed that this was an important recognition long overdue. So much of what was shared was the challenges of chaplaincy, the unique opportunities for those serving beyond the Local Church and the extensive presence that the United Church of Christ has in the world beyond the walls of our sanctuaries.
I encourage your Committees on Ministry and Associations / Conferences to consider celebrating your ministers in specialized settings at your next Fall or Spring meeting. They will appreciate being seen, when often they cannot participate in the ongoing life of a congregation, and their sharing will demonstrate the diversity of calls to ministry in the UCC. You are invited to use the attached liturgy and closing prayer as a template, guide or model to frame your celebration.
Rev. Stephen Boyd
Minister for Chaplains and Ministers in Specialized Settings
United Church of Christ.
NEW! A SURE FOUNDATION resource for equipping clergy and congregations
Copies of A Sure Foundation – a new resource for pastors and congregations in ministry together – are being mailed to Conference offices this week. This resource includes tools for Pastoral Relations Committees, ministry assessment and evaluation, social media guidelines, sabbatical resources, departure ethics, and more, along with recommended resources for additional guidance. We recommend giving these to pastors and churches at the start of a new ministry relationship, installations, or other appropriate times. Additional copies may be purchased from UCC Resources here.
Racial Justice Resources from Justice & Witness Ministries
Velda Love has written a reflection on the NCC Rally 2 End Racism, exploring what comes next for the movement for racial justice:Click HERE!
Karen Georgia Thompson crafted four poems, which offer us an opportunity to deeply reflect on the history of our nation and our faith, the ways that racism has shaped us as individuals and as a people, and our call to vision a new way forward: Click HERE! (You can also view a video of one of the poems, "blooming bones" here:
Ivy Beckwith wrote a great Witness for Justice column on Anti-Racism Resources for Children and Families: Click HERE!
Responding to Safety Concerns
Michael Readinger, CEO of the Council for Health and Human Services Ministries (CHHSM), forwarded their call to "Pray and ACT" in the face of this disastrous experience of gun violence, which is a public health emergency. President Trump has called it, ironically, a mental health issue at a time when administrative actions are stripping away the financial support we need to combat mental health issues!
The United Church Insurance Board has a great number of resources on church safety such as:
(from The Steward, Fall 2013, pg. 3)
(from The Steward, Summer 2016, pg 4)
All of the Insurance Board resources can be downloaded from this page.
We have also collected resources on church safety and gun violence and how to help children, youth and families address disasters and violence faithfully on theHoly Experiments Pinterest Page.
Not familiar with Pinterest? Here's how to get started. (But, you don't need to join Pinterest to look at these resources.)
Want to be more reflective? Read "Everlasting Life Beyond Violence: Keeping Churches Gun Free" by Lindsey Paris Lopez or Unafraid: Moving Past Fear-Based Faith by Benjamin L. Corey.