Let’s Talk: About General Synod 

By Conference Minister Diane Weible Every two years the United Church gathers as one body to worship, sing, make new friends and connect with long-time friends, and consider resolutions, just to name a few of the things we love the most about General Synod.  In just ten days the first-ever virtual General Synod will open for a similar but different kind of gathering. Rooted in Love is the theme and there will be, as always, speakers and musicians and even a virtual exhibit hall.  I know I will miss visiting in person with people I don’t get to see that…
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Let’s Talk: About Camp Cazadero Ritual of Release

On June 12, about 150 people gathered at Camp Cazadero for a Ritual of Release as we prepare to sell this beloved property to Shelterwood Collective. It was a wonderful opportunity for people to laugh and cry and share and remember. Hikes and even a special TNT (Talent No Talent) event were part of the day’s agenda.  During the Ritual of Release, led by Revs. Curran Reichert and Char Asher, we were reminded of God’s continued presence both in the memories and in the moment as well as with those who will experience this camp into the future.   A worship service at Vesper Point included an opportunity to…
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August Boundary Training

Online Boundary Training for Authorized Ministers and Members in Discernment will be held on August 7, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 pm (Please note that this is the correct time; there was an error in the newsletter that will be corrected. You must attend the entire training to receive the six hours required credit.) The training is limited and individuals must apply. The fee is $50.  
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Let’s Talk: About Spaciousness

By Associate Conference Minister Daniel Ross-Jones Many people were coming and going, so there was no time to eat. [Jesus] said to the apostles, “Come by yourselves to a secluded place and rest for a while.” (Mark 6:31 CEB) Something many people don’t know about me is that I have an active amateur (“ham”) radio license. I got it when I was in middle school, a result of pre-teen father-son bonding with my dad. The examinations included a deep dive into radio theory, operating practices, and – depending on the classification – proficiency sending and receiving Morse code. My dad,…
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Let’s Talk: About Disaster Distress and Mental Health 

By Davena Jones Last week I rode the bus to Pleasant Hill Bart and then grabbed an Uber to the Conference office in Concord. The Uber driver, at first, was a little cold in his response to my hello and good morning. My first thought was rude, and you will not get a tip from me. After a few silent moments., the driver began to speak about how tricky business has been lately. He shared how he only earned $30.00 for driving someone to San Francisco from the East Bay. He said, "how am I to feed my family off…
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Let’s Talk: About the Expansiveness 

By Conference Minister Diane Weible Recently I was in a space late at night where there was almost no artificial light, just the darkness and the stars in the sky. I looked up at the vast expanse of sky with wonderment.   It’s hard to look at something like that and not realize a few things about life:  God is awesome.  We are each a very small part of a very vast universe.  If we ever start thinking we are somehow the center of the universe, go back to #1.   In our busy lives, we sometimes get so wrapped up in what is happening in our immediate surroundings that we…
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Facebook Post from Dandi De Bella 

Dear beloved communities,  Many of you have met me in different times and contexts in my life. I'm blessed to have such beautiful open-hearted communities, friends, and connections in my life. One of my long-term communities and space is changing. There is a lot of pain in my Camp Caz community right now. The land in which our camp has been on since the 1940's has been sold.  The last year during the heat of the pandemic has caused many changes in everyone's life and losing Caz in this way feels huge. This was my first community and place that…
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Letter from Barry Cammer 

On Saturday, May 22nd, at a meeting of conference delegates, the decision was made to sell Camp Cazadero to Shelterwood.  As a member of the Under the Bell committee, I wish to share the following personal comments with everyone in the Conference.  Gratitude  On behalf of everyone who has had a good and perhaps transformative experience at Caz, I have deep gratitude.  To the Conference who purchased the camp some 80 years ago, and has been maintaining it, I say thank you.  The memories held by everyone who has experienced Caz are indelible and will be treasured for a lifetime. …
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Let’s Talk: About New CDC Guidelines and Re-opening Our Sanctuaries

By Conference Minister Diane Weible Last week the new CDC guidelines took many by surprise. Among my Conference Minister colleagues, there has been a lot of discussion about particular guidelines to offer churches. It takes me back 14 months to the same conversations and discernment around guidance to churches about when to decide to close our sanctuaries due to the growing pandemic.   It was a little easier for me at that time because every County had different guidelines and our churches in this Conference were reporting that they were paying attention to their County guidelines. To some extent, I see that…
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