Inspired to Serve God Inspired to Serve God New York Conference United Church of Christ Visit our Website HAPPY EASTER CHRIST IS RISEN! Annual Meeting Registration is Now Open! June 10-12 Silver Bay on Lake George “Family Reunion: Release, Rest, Rejoice!” “For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12 Click here for more information HAPPENINGS April 13th, 2022 In this week issue: My Thoughts New York Conference Updates Keeping in Touch and Staying Safe UCCNY Board of Directors News Spring Meetings of New York Conference Association Metropolitan Association – Virtual Community Conversation NYSOM’s Spring Learning Event – April 23 COMING SOON Retiree Boundary Awareness Training COMING SOON Culturally Responsive Ministry Training PRC’s Webinars for April/June 2022 A Special COVID-19 Happenings will be sent this Friday. My Thoughts “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 1 Corinthians 5:21 “’Death is swallowed up; victory is won!’ O Death, where is your victory? O Death where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and sin gains its power from the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” 1 Corinthians 15:54b-57 Victory is won? Really? Another shooting in Brooklyn. Landmines planted in private homes intended to murder innocent Ukrainian citizens. Police brutality of an elderly Buffalo BLM advocate is justified. War refugees fleeing death and destruction are divided up by the color of their skin, giving priority to white Ukrainians. Really? Victory is won? Yes. And therefore, I believe shouts of Hallelujah (among other things) should ring out from our religious communities on Easter (and every day). But let us understand that our hallelujahs are much more than shouts of joy. Shouting Hallelujah is an acclamation that life is victorious, and we cannot, we will not, keep silent to sin. Consider this interpretation of 1 Cor 15. “Life reigns, sin has lost. Life, I taste your sweetness. Life, I savor your balm. The joy of life is righteous holiness. But life loses its ultimate power when silence allows sin to reign. Forgive us God when we choose not to speak truth to power; when we choose to be silent when sin defiles our lives, our communities, our world, and our church.” The audacity of Christian faith is to know that love is the last word; to live life with the certainty that holiness wipes away sin. When we are silent to sin, that is when death is victorious (around us and within us). If we believe that “Hallelujah” is the only word to shout on Easter, then we are not following Christ. Easter is not a party. It is a rally. David Rev. David Gaewski Conference Minister firstname.lastname@example.org NEW YORK CONFERENCE UCC UPDATES Keeping in Touch and Staying Safe Your conference staff is available to you on Wednesdays for Virtual Office Hours from 11am – 12 noon at zoom.us/j/422208515 We are here to listen, to have you bounce ideas off of us, to ask for specific resources, to pray and perhaps even to laugh together. All are invited. New York Conference UCC Board of Directors News Conference Board Welcomes Three New Members At their April 2 meeting, the UCCNY Board of Directors welcomed Ms. Deborah Dee Brayton, Rev. Hafidha Saadiqah, and Rev. Kelly Sprinkle. Recent resignations made space at the table for these committed representatives from the Metropolitan, Hudson-Mohawk, and Oneida Associations. The Governance Team interviewed several excellent candidates put forth by the various associations and was charged with balancing not only geography but experiences, needed skill sets, and other variables when selecting the new members. A sincere ‘thank you’ to all who boldly put their hats in the ring. Congratulations and welcome to Ms. Brayton, Rev. Saadiqah, and Rev. Sprinkle! Transitional Conference Minister Search Update In other business, the Board received an update on the search for our Transitional Conference Minister. After a national search, the Transitional Search Committee held interviews and made a unanimous decision. The selected candidate has accepted the offer and is currently negotiating contract details. Once the negotiating process is complete, the candidate will be introduced to the Board for affirmation and then presented to all of you! During the ensuing eighteen to twenty-four months, the Conference Board will gather input from every association and all staff. Your voice will be heard. Who are we now as the New York Conference of the United Church of Christ? Where do we see ourselves in five, ten, twenty years? What are our hopes and dreams for the UCC in our churches, associations, state, country, and world? New Personnel Policies in the Works The Conference Board approved 1) cosmetic changes to language and outdated practices, 2) an addition to the “problem resolution” section of the Personnel Manual, and 3) a new policy regarding the privacy of personal information of Conference employees. The Board had a lengthy and thoughtful discussion surrounding a proposed “Wellness Leave of Absence” policy and will revisit the proposal at their September meeting. If you would like more information regarding our new members, the TCM Search, or Personnel Manual updates, feel free to contact your Association Liaison or any Board Officer. Spring Meetings of New York Conference Associations Genesee Valley Date: Saturday, April 30 Time: 9 a.m – 12 p.m. (no lunch) Place: First Congregational Church of Canandaigua, UCC 58 North Main Street, Canandaigua, NY 14424 Please join us in worship and celebration! Oneida Date: April 30 Time: 9 am to noon Place: Faith United, Oswego Hudson Mohawk Date: April 30 Metropolitan Date: April 30th Time: 9:00am-12:00noon Place: Broadway UCC & via Zoom Susquehanna Date: April 30th Time: 9:00-1200 noon Place: Via Zoom Western Date: Sunday, May 1 Time: 1:00 pm Place: Zion UCC, 15 Koenig Circle, Tonawanda 14150 Black River-St. Lawrence Date: May 1st Time: beginning at 3:00p.m. Place: Our current intention is to meet at Emmanuel Congregational UCC in Massena. Depending on the percentage of Covid cases in the area, we may decide to live stream. Reformed Date: May 19th Time:6:30 pm. Place: Interested persons may attend in person at West End Church, 245 W. 77th Street in Manhattan, or via Zoom. Essex Date: Sunday, May 22 Time: 2:00 pm Place: Via Zoom. Metropolitan Association of the New York Conference Virtual Community Conversation Addressing and Supporting Emotional Health and Well-being in Faith Communities Read more… NYSOM’s Spring Learning Event – April 23 Our Spring Learning Event, “Engaging CARE Practices to Reconnect with Purpose,” will be led by Rev. Dr. Marjorie Purnine. on April 23, from 9-11:30 am. In this season of existential fatigue and uncertainty, a new kind of learning event is called for. In order to help congregations reconnect with their purpose, it is essential that leaders do their own spiritual work. This event is grounded in the four practices developed by the Forum for Theological Exploration: we’ll create hospitable space, ask self-awakening questions, reflect theologically together, and enact the next most faithful step. There will be no expert offering wisdom that you can listen to while driving: this is a time for participants to slow down and, as the still waters grow clear, gain insight and glimpse their deep purpose. This event is designed for MIDs, ministers, and all who provide leadership in faith communities. The cost is $10. If a scholarship would help you participate, reach out to Marjorie Purnine at email@example.com. For more information and to register, click here . COMING SOON REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN RETIREE BOUNDARY AWARENESS TRAINING The New York Conference will be instituting a new Boundary Awareness Training (BAT) curriculum designed to meet the specific needs of retired ministers who are still engaged in occasional ministry tasks like pulpit supply, weddings, and funerals. This training will also be open to active ministers who are contemplating retirement within 18-24 months. The training content will assist “soon-to-retire” ministers with skills for a successful personal and professional departure from ministry as well as provide tools for maintaining healthy boundaries with a former congregation. For currently retired ministers, this training will fulfill your association’s boundary awareness requirement. For those “soon-to-retire” ministers, continuing education units will be provided, but it will not substitute for your association’s BAT requirement. This Retiree BAT Training will be conducted online via Zoom and registration will be $25. Should you have questions about BAT requirements, please contact your association Committee on Ministry. uccny.info/BAT2022 Click on the link for the calendar then click on each training for more information and to register COMING SOON CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE MINISTRY TRAINING In 2017 the Thirty-First General Synod of the United Church of Christ passed a Resolution that “calls upon all the judicatory and educational settings of the denomination to include the study of cultural diversity/sensitivity and institutional racism in clergy preparation and continuing education, and as a requirement for maintaining standing for all persons engaged in authorized ministry within and on behalf of the United Church of Christ.” (GS-31 Resolution #10) In support and compliance with this General Synod Resolution, the New York Conference has developed a Culturally Responsive Ministry Training (CRMT) program for all authorized ministers. The entire diversity curriculum will consist of 3 distinct cultural training modules, with a different module offered every two years. The first module, “Culture & Race” will be offered beginning in April 2022. Subsequent modules, “Culture & Sexuality/Gender” and “Culture & Disabilities” will be offered in 2024 and 2026 and all will continue a rotating basis thereafter. Each Association Committee on Ministry in the New York Conference has now adopted this training program as a mandatory** requirement for all authorized ministers. Each 6-hour CRMT session will be conducted online via Zoom and registration will be $55 per authorized minister. A variety of training dates and times will be available and registration for upcoming 2022 sessions will begin in April. Watch the weekly Happenings and the conference website for upcoming registration links and information. Should you have questions about this new training requirement, please contact your association Committee on Ministry. **(Metro Assoc clergy: Module 1 will fulfill your Anti-Racism training requirement)** uccny.info/BAT2022 Click on the link for the calendar then click on each training for more information and to register FREE WEBINARS Energize Your Church Through Listening Thursday, April 28 2:00 – 3:00 PM Eastern Leader – Joy Skjegstad, Heidi Unruh Relationships Are Key in the Post Pandemic Church Thursday, May 5, 2022 2:00 – 3:00 PM Eastern Leaders – Joy Skjegstad, Heidi Unruh Managing the Grief of Others While Dealing With Our Own Tuesday, May 10, 2022 2:00 – 3:00 PM Leader – Forrest Parkinson, LMSW, LP A Faith of Their Own: A Theological Field Guide for Youth Ministry Thursday, May 12 2:00 – 3:00 PM Eastern Leader: Nathan Wheeler New Directions for Holy Questions: Meet the Authors! Tuesday, May 17, 2000 2:00 – 3:00 PM Eastern Leaders – Claire Brown, Anita Peebles Fun and Meaningful Ideas to Reinvigorate Your Community Outreach Thursday, May 19, 2022 7:00 – 8:00 PM Eastern Leaders – Joy Skjegstad, Heidi Unruh What’s Next in Youth Ministry Tuesday, May 24, 2022 2:00 – 3:00 PM EDT Leader – Heather Kenison UCC Search and Call Q and A Tuesday, May 24, 2022 7:00 – 8:00 PM EDT Leaders – Elizabeth Garrigan-Byerly, Isaac Lawson, Jeff Nelson Thriving in a Decade of Accelerating Change Tuesday, Jun 7, 2022 2:00 – 3:00 PM EDT Leader – Tom Sine What’s Next In Christian Education Workshop Thursday, June 9 2 – 3:30 PM Leaders: Elizabeth Christie, Debbie Kolacki, Karen Smith Best Practices for Church Accounting Tuesday, June 14, 2022 2:00 – 3:00 PM EDT Leader – Elaine Sommerville How Churches Can Help Alleviate Mental Health Stigmas and Support Those in Need Thursday, June 23, 2022 2:00 – 3:00 PM EST Leader – Molly W. 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