SECUCC Conference Connection: November 15, 2019
Giving Thanks for Ripples
“Ripples on the Water: Each Drop Makes a Difference.” Isn’t this a wonderful image? It has been the theme for stewardship in my home church this year (Pleasant Hill Community Church, TN). For four Sundays we have lifted up various ways in which we as individuals and as a community of faith create ripples that extend out into the world.
Have you ever skipped stones on a lake when each time the stone glided over the top, it created ripples - ripples which kept becoming broader and overlapping each other? Now imagine that each local church in the Southeast Conference through its mission and ministry created such ripples. Add to that the ripples created by our ministers who serve as chaplains, pastoral counselors, and other specialized ministries. Add to that each member of our local churches who seeks to witness to the unconditional love of God in their jobs, at home, throughout their community, etc. I think our ripples just created some rough water with all the ripples intersecting. But that is what happens and that is what we are about! Creating ripples!
You are needed to make those ripples now more than ever. Our communities throughout the Southeast Conference (and beyond) need our active presence, our voice, our activism, our encouragement, and our hope - all grounded in the conviction that God is at work to create a world that is welcoming and caring of all people. We are called to lift up our understanding of the kind of world that God envisions. And we are called to follow the way of Jesus to assist God in bringing forth that reality. This Thanksgiving, I am so grateful for who you are and all that you do! So continue to go and create ripples or even waves, knowing that they make a difference in our witness to an all-loving God.
Blessings, Char Burch
From the Generosity Coordinator
In this season of Thanksgiving or Giving Thanks, I am reminded once again that giving is a powerful, selfless act. "Live humbly, no matter how wealthy you become, think positively, no matter how hard life is, GIVE MUCH, EVEN IF YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN LITTLE, and God will supply your every need." God is characterized by love and generosity that can free from fixation fro having all the answers and how right we are. When we are preoccupied with being right, you may win arguments and achieve a lot. But the greater gift is being aware that love and generosity are far more important than being right or wrong.
We are grateful for all the ways you have blessed this conference with your time, talents and tenth. Your continued support allows us to continue to serve you and our congregations. Please continue to invite me to your churches so that we can continue on this journey together. My prayer is: "May your love and generosity prevail in our own efforts to continue to right the wrongs through our service and serve all."
2020 Annual Meeting Logo Contest
We are getting excited in the Southeast Conference for our 2020 Annual Meeting in Montgomery Alabama June 19th and 20th with Rev. Traci Blackmon as our Guest. ARE YOU? Here is one way that you can help us get others excited to join us this year to make our Annual Meeting wonderful.
We need you to help us come up with a unique design/logo centered around this year’s theme: “Reflecting on Our Past, Focusing on Our Future” (1 Corinthians 12:12). The deadline to submit your entry is December 17th, 2019 at midnight. All submissions must be in JPEG format. Please upload your entry here.
The Annual Meeting Planning Committee will judge the entries in December and the winner will be announced in January.
Annual Meeting Youth Explosion
by Gloria Liggins,
Our Annual Meeting will be held at Community Congregational Church in beautiful Montgomery, Alabama, on June 19-20, 2020. Our Keynote Speaker will be Rev. Traci Blackmon, Associate General Minister of Justice & Local Church Ministries for The United Church of Christ and Senior Pastor of Christ The King United Church of Christ in Florissant, MO. The planning has begun. Tyler Ung, Circular Congregational Church and myself are co-chair for the youth portion of the Annual Meeting.
This annual meeting will include a Youth Explosion. In this historic city of Montgomery, we want to fill the city with our Youth. We want to make this a time for them to get to know each other and experience the UCC as never before but we need your help. We do not want to just bring them here for a meeting. We want to make this an experience that will waken their spirit, encourage their hearts, empower their gifts and inspire them to make a difference. We would like to receive ideas of sessions and gatherings that interest them. We are asking each congregation to present us with one representative who will gather ideas from your youth and present them to us so that we may bring them to the planning committee. Please have these names to us as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us with questions.
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 and cover letter which:includes a statement of ministerial philosophy; outlines future hopes/plans for ministry in the United Church of Christ; describes financial need; and provides 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.