Let’s Talk: About Gratitude

I don’t have words to express my gratitude for the Service of Release and reception this past Sunday. The love and warmth of all who gathered and all who sent wishes because they couldn’t be there in person made my heart sing.  Thank you; thank you; thank you!!  I am so grateful for each and every one of you. For the years we have spent together in ministry; for the prayers you have offered me when I have needed it most; for the love and laughter and tears we have shared; and for your witness and strength in God’s love…
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Let’s Talk: About Lessons Learned on the Path 

This week I am at the Council of Conference Ministers meeting in Atlanta and by the time you read this I will be in the midst of the Authorizing Ministry for the 21st Century (AM21) gathering.    The CCM retreat was such a gift—a time with colleagues to reflect on the importance of this ministry we do with and on behalf of local churches and in support of our authorized ministers. We talked about the pain that we are all feeling in our various contexts. We talked about the hope that is also showing up within our settings. We talked about…
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Let’s Talk: About Life-Long Learning

The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: For learning about wisdom and instruction, for understanding words of insight, for gaining instruction in wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity; to teach shrewdness to the simple, knowledge and prudence to the young—let the wise, too, hear and gain in learning and the discerning acquire skill. (Proverbs 1:1-5) As my time as your Conference Minister is drawing to a close, I find myself wanting to take an opportunity to talk about some of the things that have been a big part of my Conference life over the past many years.…
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Let’s Talk: About Club Q

When Open and Affirming congregations gathered Sunday to honor our transgender and nonbinary neighbors who have lost their lives to hatred, we were stunned by the news that a young man inside an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs shot and killed at least five people and injured 25 late Saturday night. Once again, lives have been irretrievably lost by the rising tide of hatred and gun violence in America. As I heard the news Sunday morning, my thoughts went to Jeremiah 31, verse 15: Thus says the Lord: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is…
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Let’s Talk Revisited: About the New Look of Church Today

Prior to pandemic, I wrote this Let’s Talk article to remind us that we have to step out of the way we always think things should be in the church and begin to look at what fits and works for our ministry goals today. I was thinking about this article today as I have had several conversations about the anxiety in the system now as we emerge from pandemic and continue to live with endemic(s). There is pull to “get back to normal”. My argument, however, is that this is actually an opportunity for us to do a new thing.…
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Let’s Talk: About Racial Justice Training

Recently, I attended the play To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time. I had no idea what was to come. Watching the stage come alive, I quickly learned the subject matter: race, racism, and the trial of a Black man in the south. Hearing the first “N” word, I shook in my seat. The same thing happened at the second and the next and the next. Then the character Bob Ewell began to denigrate Black people in such a way that I couldn’t breathe. The Black man was almost lynched by the KKK, which included the local law enforcement…
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Let’s Talk: About Boundary Training

This past weekend the Northern California Nevada Conference hosted two boundary training sessions. The first, on Friday, was for Authorized Ministers. The second, on Saturday, was for lay leaders and Conference Council members.   Both trainings included rich sharing and conversation—deep conversations about issues that all of us are experiencing in our congregations.   COVID was very much present in both trainings because the truth is that as COVID shifts to a new phase, the challenges of COVID’s aftermath as it is affecting individuals and faith communities is more and more apparent. And, it’s hard. For everyone.   A significant amount of time…
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Let’s Talk: About Insurance

Last week I attended the United Church of Christ Insurance Board (IB) Agent meeting where IB agents from all over the country gathered for a few days to talk about ways to support the ministry of our churches through the valuable products of the Insurance Board.    I was reminded again about how important this ministry is for our churches. People think of insurance as a necessity, but I don’t know how often we think about it as a ministry. I know I didn’t think much about it until I became a member of the Board of Directors for the Insurance…
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Thank you from your Conference Disaster Team-Your gifts made a Difference

Jesus once said that whatever we do to the least of our neighbors, we do to Him. So, if you want to serve Our Creator God, the best way to start is by helping the needy. You don't have to be Mother Teresa or Mahatma Gandhi. Collectively we are called to be servants of Christ Jesus. During our current fire season, the financial support and willingness to help rebuild communities is what the Conference is as the hands and feet of Christ Jesus in the World.   "I wrote to Davena requesting gift cards for gas, food, and clothing to help families…
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Let’s Talk: About the Work of Committee on Ministry

The Committee on Ministry (COM) works hard to offer support and accountability for our Authorized Ministers with standing in this Conference. The goal of any COM process is to support the local church and its Authorized Ministers by preparing individuals to serve in ways that build their skills and create ministry that is healthy and wholistic. Sometime that means making difficult decisions. The goal of all our sections of COM is to always offer support and options for healing and growth where necessary. This is not always possible and sometimes difficult decisions have to be made but they are never…
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