Annual Gathering 2021

Annual Gathering 2021 is a Yearlong Event!

Since we are not able to meet together in person at Sonoma State University again in 2021, Conference leadership and the Annual Gathering Planning Team (“AG7”) have made the decision to spread out events related to Annual Gathering throughout the year. Rather than one weekend of intensive Zoom meetings, we will have specific meetings and gatherings on Zoom around our core activities: workshops for learning, keynote address for inspiration, and tending to the business of being church together in Northern California and Nevada.

Annual Gathering 2021

More details will be shared as this day is planned.
On May 22, as part of our 2021 Annual Gathering activities, we will host a workshop day with two workshops, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Registration is not required; simply click on the links to join the meetings at the appropriate time!

Active Listening Workshop, 9:30-11 a.m. CLICK HERE TO JOIN AT 9:30AM
Did you hear that? No, I mean, were you listening? Did you listen beyond the words -- using all your senses -- for the message conveyed? Listening is the most fundamental building block of interpersonal communication skills and is not something that just happens. It is an active process and an acquired skill that can be developed through practice. Active listening undergirds the ability to hear one's story in full. We hope you join the "Active Listening" workshop to learn how to better become anti-racist.

Community Based Organizing Workshop, 2-3:30 p.m. CLICK HERE TO JOIN AT 2PM
This workshop will focus on how churches can engage with Community-based Organizing. What is organizing? Well, that's one of the first questions to be answered! Learn how congregations and leaders can build relationships, live into their shared values, and build a sustainable model for creating justice in your community and beyond.

On Saturday, March 20, Conference Council voted to call a Special Meeting of the Conference for Saturday, May 22 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. The purpose of scheduling this meeting was to set aside time in case there are agenda items that need delegate action related to the Camp Cazadero property. At its May 15 meeting, the Conference Council approved moving the recommendation of the Finance and Business Committee (FABC) to accept an offer from Shelterwood Collective to purchase of Camp Cazadero. Click the following links to learn more: All delegates must register for this meeting no later than May 15 at 11:59 pm PDT. Important! You must register for this meeting with a Zoom account. If you do not already have a Zoom account, you will first need to register for one for free HERE before you register for the Special Meeting. Guests may view the meeting on a YouTube live stream link that will be made available 48 hours prior to the meeting and published on the front page of Guests do not need to register. REGISTRATION DOES NOT CARRY FORWARD. If you registered for the Special Meeting of March 13 and remain a delegate from your church, you still must register for this meeting. There are no exceptions.
As part of our year-long Annual Gathering theme, "The Elephant Speaks: Listen, Reflect, Learn," Social Activist and Public Theologian Ruby Sales will offer our keynote address on Saturday, August 21, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. There will be a time for questions following the keynote. Please save this date. Register. Let's Talk About Race discussion group has been exploring the work of Ruby Sales and considering various questions in preparation. We want to share some of those questions with others as you prepare for this important event: July 20 session: How we can start to heal the pain of racial division (Ruby Sales) Questions for the discussion included:
  • Why is it important to say that People of Color are fighting for rights, not privileges? How does the conversation change when we stop talking about white people and start talking about the “culture of whiteness”? Why is this important to begin to see the whole culture that offers rights for some people because of the color of their skin while preventing others from access to those same rights?
July 27 session: Where Does It Hurt? (Ruby Sales) Slave Songbook: Origin of the negro Spiritual (PBS) Questions for discussion included:
  • What is the role of spirituals and how did it influence Ruby Sales? What can we learn from this to apply in today's context?
  • The title of the video is "Where does it hurt?" What do you say to someone that feels as if they're caught up in the throes of death? What was that like for the other person? What was that like for you?
  • Ruby speaks of a spiritual crisis of meaning. Reflecting in our own context, how do we raise people from dehumanization to humanization? How do we raise a theology of hate to a theology of love?
The discernment session to review and consider the 2022 Northern California Nevada Conference budget will be held on September 11, 1-3 p.m. Voting to approve the budget will happen at our Annual Meeting on October 2. View the draft budget here. Join Zoom HERE Passcode if you need it is: 8b4fij

2021 Annual Meeting Standing Rules

What is happening in 2022? Again, both flexibility and possibility exist. AG7 and Conference Council are hopeful that we will be able to return to a physical-first venue with selected hybrid abilities in virtual space for those who do are not able to join us for the full event. Planning is already underway to return to Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park June 17-19, 2022. Information will be posted as it become available.

In the covenantal polity of the United Church of Christ, sole vested authority in all of our settings is the annual meeting of that expression. One of the ways we describe our free association with one another is like wider circles, as opposed to authoritative hierarchy.

Within the Northern California Nevada Conference, we come together in a spectacular celebration of our shared ministry each year in the Annual Gathering. Together we speak prophetically as an assembled, united voice; we support and nurture one another in our varied ministries; and we discern the Holy Spirit’s movement in our midst.

The Annual Gathering speaks to, not for local churches and ministries. Its decisions are binding at the Conference setting only — each Authorized Minister and local church engages their covenantal responsibility by interpreting and implementing actions by the Annual Gathering with the highest respect in light of their own convictions and local ministry understandings.

But for many people, even more than the primary function of gathering for business and decision-making, Annual Gathering is a time of community-building, learning, worship, and celebration. No matter who you are or where you are in your journey with the United Church of Christ — you are most encouraged at Annual Gathering!

Local Church Representatives:
Each local church (full-member and in-care) is allowed voting delegates at the business sessions of the Annual Meeting based on church membership as reported in the current UCC Yearbook:

 Number of Members                Number of Delegates
 250 or less                                             3
251 to 350                                              4
351 to 450                                              5
more than 450                                      6

Delegates may be church members of any age, including youth.  At least one of the delegates must be a youth or young adult [age 13-30].

Any authorized minister (ordained, commissioned, or licensed) who has standing in the Northern California Nevada Conference is a voting member when present at Annual Meeting.