A Time for Reflection and Hope
Updated: Dec 19, 2019
The Season of Advent will be different for me this year. Traditionally, the Lectionary scriptures begin by lifting up the challenges of the world with its sense of darkness, into which the hope and light of Jesus enters on Christmas. My experiences recently add to the sense of darkness and heaviness - while longing for hope and light.
Two weeks ago UCC Conference Ministers & Executive Officers met for three days in Birmingham, AL with the purpose of connecting to what one person described as “the holy places of our communal sin of racism.” It was an intense experience.
OCWM Books Close January 9, 2019
The Conference books for OCWM and special offerings for 2019 will close on January 9, 2020. For money to be counted for 2019 OCWM totals, the check must be received by January 9 to PO Box 1950, Decatur GA 30031. Any checks received after January 9 will be put towards 2020 giving. This includes the Christmas Fund, One Great Hour of Sharing, Neighbors in Need, and Strengthen the Church Offerings.
Please make sure the checks are made out to the Southeast Conference with the fund written on the memo line. If you so desire, you can include all the offerings in one check, but please be sure to include a letter detailing what funds how the monies are allocated.
Although our Conference Budget runs October 1- September 30, our OCWM totals for individual churches run Jan 1-December 31. Thank you all for your generous support of the special offerings of the UCC and Our Churches Wider Missions.
From the Generosity Coordinator
In this season of Harvest and giving thanks, it is always important to remember that God is the greatest giver of ALL things. It is important that we continue to give and support all of God's children. Let's remember to BLESS SOMEBODY ELSE!! God is working in our lives, our churches, our communities and in this entire world.
In the spirit of giving, the following churches were awarded Transforming Churches, Transforming Lives Cycle 2, 2019 grant awards:
Safe Harbor Family UCC, Clinton, MS Holy Trinity UCC, Nashville, TN Pilgrimage UCC, Marietta, GAThe Shalom Spiritual Center UCC, Snellville, GA (a spiritual community forming in the Atlanta area)
We are looking forward to working with these churches on these most important projects. Our next (spring) grant cycle will begin January 15, 2020 and end on March 4, 2020. Please check our website, SECUCC.ORG for applications and guidelines for completing the application.
We really appreciate all the ways that you continue to bless this conference with your time, talents and resources. It's been a great year thus far and it's not over. The harvest is truly plenteous and the laborers are few. Let's continue this work to ensure that this conference the BEST! We are grateful for all the ways you continue to bless this conference.
Please, continue to invite me to your church, together we make a difference. May you continue to be blessed during this season and every day.
Continued blessings, as we journey, TOGETHER, Min. Carrole Moss
Giving Tuesday is December 3
The Tuesday after Thanksgiving has become a day in which people around the globe are encouraged and inspired to give to causes and issues that matter to them. Please consider these two possibilities. Our “Friends of the Conference Fund” of the Southeast Conference is a critical way to support the work of the Southeast Conference, supplementing the giving of our local churches who give through Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM). As the Conference makes decisions for the future, the Fund will help provide the financial stability that is needed. To donate, go to secucc.org/donate/.
Another option is the United Church of Christ campaign to raise $50,000 for Medical debt relief. This goal will erase approximately $5 million dollars of debt. The UCC is partnering with local churches and UCC conferences to address this critical issue. For more information about what has already been done and to make a donation, go to www.ucc.org. May we share our thankfulness by sharing our resources!
Milnes Scholarship Application
The Milnes Fund of Pilgrim Congregational Church, UCC, was established in 1996 through a bequest from Jack and Marjory Milnes to provide scholarships for individuals studying to become ministers in the United Church of Christ.
To apply for a scholarship, please submit the following:
current curriculum vita andcover letter which:includes a statement of ministerial philosophy;outlines future hopes/plans for ministry in the United Church of Christ;describes financial need; andprovides three references, including one from your pastor.
Award amount may be up to $3,000. The application should be submitted by December 5, 2019 for the spring semester and should be sent to Mail@Pilgrim-Church.com in the subject line please put Attn: Milnes Scholarship or via postal mail to Ministry Commission Chair; Pilgrim Congregational Church, UCC; 400 Glenwood Drive; Chattanooga, TN 37404; Phone: 423-698-5682. For additional information, you may contact Pilgrim Church.
Registration is Open for PATHWAYS 2020 Winter Courses
January 8 - February 18, 2020
L1.8 Pluralism & Religion in North America (6-weeks) $295
L2.1 Intro to Spiritual Health (Pastoral Care) (6-weeks) $295
L3.4 Contemporary Homiletics (6-weeks) $295
January 8 - February 4, 2020
ESC5 Singing the Bible (4-weeks) $99
Jan. 8 - March 31
2.6/2.7 UCC History and Polity (12-weeks) $595
March 4 - April 14
L1.9 Ethics & A Life of Meaning (6-weeks) $295
L2.3 Small Church Administration (6-weeks) $295
L3.6 Professional Boundaries and Ministerial Self-Care (6-weeks) $295
L3.7 Contextual Theology (6-weeks) $295
March 4 - March 31
ESC1 What About the Bible? (4-weeks) $99
April 8 - May 5
ESC13 An Overview of Homosexuality and the Bible (4-weeks) $99
Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders (MSTI)
The Lombard Mennonite Peace Center is once again offering Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders (MSTI) from March 23-27, 2020. This course is for pastors and other church leaders interested in learning skills to help them deal more effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict. It will be held at Grace Presbyterian Church in Fort Mill, SC (near Charlotte, NC). Please note that those who register no later than February 21, 2020, will receive a $200 discount off their tuition. For more information please contact the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center at 630-627-0507 or admin@LMPeaceCenter.org. To register online please go to https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4316493.
Staff Meeting December 3 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am EST Online Virtual Meeting
Annual Meeting Planning Session December 9 - November 10 Community Congregational Church, Birmingham AL
Board of Directors Meeting January 10, 2020 - January 11, 2020
Winter Youth Retreat January 17, 2020 - January 20, 2020 Blowing Rock Conference Center, Blowing Rock NC
MID Retreat January 31, 2020 - February 1, 2020 Atlanta, GA (location TBD)
SEC Clergy Retreat March 8-10, 2020 Monteagle, TN
SEC Annual Meeting June 19-20, 2020 Montgomery, AL
National Youth Event July 22-25, 2020 Purdue University, IN