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Let’s Talk: About Wonder

On a shelf in my study, in visible sight of my desk, I have a handcrafted piece of art created and given to me by a friend of mine from a prior ministry setting. With white wooden letters embossed against a white canvas background, on three lines, it reads: Wonder Fully Made. Depending on the moment I glance at it, the spacing leads me to consider its multiple meanings separately. Inspired by the Psalmist, who writes of the intimate knowledge God has of God’s creation, I most often read it with a silent comma: “wonder, fully made.” (I’m a UCCer,…
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Let’s Talk: About Being Human

Last time I wrote to you all in this space I was getting ready for my sabbatical. I shared with you an excitement about exploring spaciousness during my time away; space to reflect, reset, and reframe. I’ll be honest to my truth: going into my sabbatical I was beyond burned out. It is easy to blame the coronavirus pandemic for this burnout, and yet that wasn’t all of it. I was already drained going into 2020. Just making it to sabbatical in the summer of 2021 with everything that happened in between was its own miracle. One of my sacred…
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Annual Meeting and Annual Gathering Changes

In light of the continued California statewide Shelter in Place order, as well as Sonoma State University cancelling all campus reservations and activities in June, the Conference Council has called a Special Conference Meeting to be held online on Saturday, May 30, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time. View the meeting HERE. This Special Conference Meeting is for the purposes of acting on revisions to the By-Laws and acting on the slate of leaders for 2020-2021. It will take the place of the Annual Meeting session of Annual Gathering previously scheduled for June 18-20, 2020. An informational meeting to review the Bylaws revisions was…
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Lets Talk About Labor Justice

By Associate Conference Minister Daniel Ross-Jones Like so many, one of the things I cherish the most about our United Church of Christ is the way the various settings of our church cling to our Christian call to justice for the oppressed, marginalized, and exploited. One of my personal justice passions is labor justice. It’s why I’m following the call to boycott Wendy’s as I stand in solidarity with the Immokalee Workers seeking the corporation to join the Fair Food Program and strengthen wages and working conditions for vulnerable Floridian workers essential to the food corporation’s business. It’s also why…
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Let’s Talk: About the Annual Authorized Ministers Retreat

By Conference Minister Diane Weible Earlier this week NCNC UCC Ministers gathered for our annual Authorized Ministers Retreat. The theme was “Awakening Spirit” and we did this through worship, conversation, creative and thought-provoking workshops and just being together. As I often am at these kinds of events, I was reminded how good it is for us to gather together to breathe and to be. Our planning team, led by Rev. Lois Mueller, wanted to create space to breathe and include opportunities to create and to share. All of that happened and more. Out of our conversations together some ideas emerged…
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Let’s Talk: About Productivity

By Conference Minister Diane Weible I’ve been thinking a lot about productivity. I love buying notebooks and the latest and greatest software that is going to help me get organized and empty my inbox and create a to do list that makes sense and can be cleared each day. I have a planner page for planning my day. I have tips and tricks that I am testing to make sure I don’t forget to email someone or don’t get so caught up in answering email that I forget to do something I promised someone I would get done. And, I…
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Let’s Talk: About Climate Strike Events

By Conference Minister Diane Weible I spent Labor Day weekend with my daughters. One is a marine biologist and the other teaches intermediate school science. Both live in Hawaii. Much of our conversation was about how hot it’s been. We went to the ocean and even the ocean was warm. I don’t remember it being like that when I lived there. What I remember the most is that you could count on two things: cool trade wind breezes and cool ocean water, even in the heat of summer. I figured I had just been away from Hawaii too long and…
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Let’s Talk: About the Race Game

By Conference Minister Diane Weible A colleague recommended a book to me that I am currently reading. It’s called Learning to be White by Thandeka. I’m not very far into the book yet but I have already read two things I want to share. The first is an “aha” moment about the socialization of being white and the second is a challenge that I have accepted and want to invite others who are white to join me. The “aha” moment was when Thandeka told stories of several white individuals who recalled experiences from their childhood when they first realized they…
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Let’s Talk: About Put the Guns Down!

By Conference Minister Diane Weible We hear the news and we lament that there seems to be little we can do to address the issue of gun violence in our society. We scream and shake our fists at the TV every time a leader says that guns are not the problem, people are. Our voices are dry from telling people that we are not opposed to the 2nd Amendment, only to guns that are being used to kill in fairs and festivals and shopping centers that can shoot 100 rounds in a matter of seconds. If you are feeling helpless,…
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Let’s Talk: About the Bigger Picture

Let’s Talk: About the Bigger Picture

By Conference Minister Diane Weible There is an image that has stayed in my mind for a while now and I return to it so often that I thought I would share it with you this week. I often speak about how important it is that we listen to another person’s story—not from our own perspective but deeply and carefully listen to another person’s story and seek to hear the way they experience reality. That’s really hard to do. I am relational by nature so when someone tells me their story, I want to connect with them and share a…
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