Caring for Churches, Caring for Clergy

Caring for Churches, Caring for Clergy is a shared campaign between the Northern California Nevada Conference (NCNC-UCC) and the United Church Board for Ministerial Assistance (UCBMA). Together, we’re raising $400,00 by 2024 to strengthen ministry in NCNC-UCC and across the United Church of Christ.

Please click here to RSVP for the May 24 campaign event

The Background

Our NCNC-UCC mission is to “support leaders, unite for mission, and nurture churches.” In the aftermath of the pandemic the realization of this mission is more critical—and complex—than ever before.

Existing ministries are changing and new ones are needed. Churches require new forms of support and resourcing. “Excellence in ministry” has expanded meaning, and pastors themselves need not only the resources to lead in challenging times, but to regain and retain personal wellness and security to serve.

Now is a season for us as a Conference to acknowledge the impact of the past two years and take concrete steps to come back stronger as the pandemic wanes.

The Challenge

The pandemic has revealed both the resilience of those who lead and the deep need for their ongoing renewal and skill-building. While ministry has always been a challenging calling, authorized ministers today face shifting professional expectations, the discovery that old patterns of service no longer impact as robustly as before, and the need to manage new personal and financial burdens.

Similarly, during the pandemic the churches of this Conference have discovered new ways to live out the gospel, but are asking real questions about vitality, sustainability, and the focus of local church mission. Leaders and congregations are ready to move forward but need new kinds of encouragement and support. While NCNC-UCC and UCBMA echo one another in covenantal commitment to meeting these challenges, for both organizations needs are outpacing resources.

The Solution

Because NCNC-UCC and UCBMA are bound by covenant and seek to build up the United Church of Christ and those who serve it within northern California and Nevada, we propose a shared campaign to raise funds for use within the Conference. Together, we aim to raise a total of $400,000 over the next 2 years.

  • $300,000 of this amount will represent expendable funding to develop new ministries in response to the post-pandemic circumstances of our congregations; provide coaching for both leaders and churches to acknowledge anxiety and fatigue; assess available resources and emerge more whole for impactful ministry; and reinvigorate relevant and productive congregational fundraising through legacy planning and education.
  • $100,000 will be used by UCBMA to both continue to care for retired ministers of the Conference and to provide programs that sustain and develop authorized ministers at each stage of their pastoral careers.

A shared campaign is our opportunity to witness in person to common, current concerns and commitments, particularly in response to ongoing post-pandemic conditions, to the effectiveness of established programs while recognizing our need for agility and adaptation in this new season, and to a persistent hopefulness expressed through deepening covenantal relationship.

The Invitation

Conference staff and representatives from UCBMA are currently visiting with individuals throughout NCNC-UCC who share an interest in this opportunity and are positioned to make a substantial donation toward our efforts.

We appreciate generosity at every level, and there will be many opportunities to learn more about the vision and opportunity. Look for more details in this space beginning in fall 2022.