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  • Writer's pictureRev. Marsha Brown

Happy New Year - Conference Connection

The Work of Christmas

Grace to you and peace! I sincerely hope that your Christmas time has been filled with moments of joy! I always find the transition from the celebration of Advent/Christmas to the New Year a challenge. In the midst of the December chaos of preparations for special worship services, buying gifts, family gatherings, etc. there were still the opportunities to appreciate the spiritual aspects of Advent/Christmas. Opportunities to focus on God entering into our broken world and bringing the message of love: a message that draws us into hopes and dreams of a better world for everyone.

Then suddenly we hear shouts of “Happy New Year” – and we are faced with New Year’s Eve, the encouragement for New Year resolutions, the turning to a new calendar already too full, and then rush back to our “normal” lives. Even articles in this issue of the Conference Connection remind us of events and activities to be listed on calendars!

Perhaps that is why many of us have been drawn to Howard Thurman’s poem “The Work of Christmas.” It is a reminder that within each of us is an element of the incarnation of God and that the message of Christmas has been given to each of us to proclaim and live throughout this new year. As you turn over your calendar to 2020, perhaps take the time to see how your activities will actually continue the work of Christmas as described below. But remember that it is not always about what we do, but also about our attitudes and how we understand others. For this, we need to keep grounded in our spiritual roots of God’s love. May each of you find renewed peace and hope, and new ways to be about the work of Christmas.

Blessings, Char


From the Generosity Coordinator

Happy New Year! As we ring in 2020, we anticipate all of the magnificent blessings that GOD has in store for us.

We thank you ALL for all the ways you have supported, continue to support this conference & for all the ways you serve. We are so grateful and blessed. Thank you for inviting me to your churches and into your homes. I am looking for more visits in 2020.

Friendly reminder: the books will close on January 9, 2019. Please make sure that your year-end OCWM contributions reach the conference office before that date in order to receive credit for your 2019 contributions.

May God continue to bless you all, richly.

Min. Carrole Moss


Climate Justice Event

Congratulations to the Southeast Conference for receiving a special grant from the UCC Brown Continuing Education Fund to sponsor a Special Event on Climate Justice. Rev. Michael Malcolm, our Conference Environmental Justice Representative, is seeking a few folks (clergy or lay) who will serve as a planning committee for the Event. We have the resources, knowledge, and motivation. We just need a few other interested folks to make the event a reality. Interested or questions? Contact Michael at We need names by January 15, 2020.


Upcoming Coffees with Char & Heather (Virtual Conversations)

January – Ideas for Lent: You are invited to talk with other pastors about themes and creative presentations as you prepare for Lent. Perhaps you have an idea to share or you are seeking a new idea. Join us for a Zoom conversation. This can be done via computer or phone. Sign up for the date that works for you.

January 28 (Tuesday) at 7 pm Eastern time: Register OnlineJanuary 30 (Thursday) at 10 am Eastern time: Register Online

February – Specialized Ministers: How can the Conference support you in your valuable ministry The ministry of Specialized Ministers touches hundreds of people and the Conference is grateful!  This will be a time for you to share your perspectives on ways in which the Conference can provide support to you.

February 11 (Tuesday) – 10 am Eastern: Register OnlineFebruary 13 (Thursday) – 7 pm Eastern: Register Online

After you have made a reservation, you will receive an email providing you with the link for the connection. If you need assistance making a “reservation” please contact Heather at or 404-719-6572. Come and join with your colleagues in conversation!


Confronting Violence in Houses of Worship

The Insurance Board will present a free webinar for churches on January 9 at 2 p.m.  Michael McMasters, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Ryan Neumeyer, Attorney at Law, are the presenters. Register here.

The Insurance Board specializes in serving churches and related entities within the United Church of Christ and other Christian denominations. Learn more at


National Youth Event Coming in July

NYE will happen July 22-25, 2020 at Purdue University in West Lafayette Indiana. This 4-day event brings together young people who have completed 6th through 12th grade. 

Often bringing in 4,000 participants from around the country, the time is centered on faith, leadership, service and social justice to empower our youth. Cost: $375. Go to for video, details, and schedule.


More details available online via

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