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Wider Church Resources

Click on these links for unique faith resource information.

Epiphany Practice

Call for fasting and prayer for peace

Mission Prayer Calendar

UCC Global Missions

MAC scholarship

MT Assoc. of Christians young adult grant to for Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington DC.

WCC Week of Prayer

Jan 18-25, 2020 Christian Unity theme: "They showed us unusual kindness."  Acts 28:2

Conference Church highlights

Click these links to read about the faith work of other conference churches.  Send your church news items, newsletters and photos to ucc@mnwcucc.org

University UCC

Creation Justice Covenant for a Creation Justice Church

Columbus UCC

Rev. Robert Leaverton serving as interim

Helena Plymouth UCC

Border Refugee Weekend with Rev. Randy Mayer, April 30 - May 3

Sheridan UCC

Rev. Naismith and Spencer Morris at Chicago Sacred Places  grant award training 

Conference Information

Clink on these links for vital Conference updates

Conference Prayer

A daily calander of prayer highlighting Conference churches and ministries

Mimanagish Listing

Our realty listing for Camp Mimanagish
http://idxhome.com/homes/66265...


Immediate Response Required

Summer Youth Camps with Christikon

There are 3 youth camps available where we will join with the Lutheran youth camps at Christikon this summer: completing grades 4-6, 6-8, and 9-12. Christikon is located 7 miles south of Mimanagish, and offers bus transportation. The camps fill quickly, so register soon!  Contact the UCC Conference office for scholarship applications as needed.

Save the date and save your cash for NYE

Youth! July 22-25, 2020 at Purdue University, Indiana.
A number of youth from our conference are already planning to attend. The estimated cost of the trip is $1,000-$1,200. We look to share some fundraising efforts, so no one is left out. A coordinator will soon be hired (see staff article below).  If you would like to attend NYE or know youth who would, contact one of the Conference Faith Formation Team Co-Chairs, Pam Peterson, Red Lodge or Laura Folkwein, Missoula (pastorpampeterson@gmail.com406-446-1444)  (laura@uccofmissoula.org, 406-543-6952).

April 27 - May 1
Civil Rights Pilgrimage to Alabama

Marc Stewart plans to lead a trip to Birmingham, Selma and Montgomery after Easter if there are at least six people interested. (cost will be approximately $850 - $1350 for flights, lodging, and local transportation, April 27 – May 1). Click for more information.

Conference News on Mission Renewal

See full articles below

God-seeds

Mission renewal visions for a new year and new decade

Mission Priorities

 Church Vitality               Adequate Staffing      Transformation

Outdoor Ministries


Prayers and Calendar

 Bob Staigmiller tribute   Links to upcoming events

God-seeds
God-seeds, Rev. Dr. Marc Ian Stewart
Mission Renewal ahead

Anything in faith is open to us.



pic: Flight, Manierre Dawson, Baker Art Museum, Naples FL

Why do 26 United Church of Christ congregations dot the map of our Montana – N. Wyoming Conference UCC? There used to be a lot more. In 1963, after the dust settled from the 1957 mergers that created the UCC, there were 52 churches. Overall, since the first 3 churches established in 1882, there have been a total of 142 Conference churches (including our predecessor denominations) across this territory. Many of these churches lost their connection to the Conference within a generation. Some churches joined other denominations, and some were in communities that no longer exist.

I recently created this map of all the churches that were connected with our Conference and predecessor Conferences since 1882. There is also a PowerPoint version with a timeline (under churches on mnwcucc.org)that shows when each church was established. I am saddened that the Spirit’s movement through us no longer settles into as many mountains, valleys, and plains of Montana and Northern Wyoming as it once did. There are pockets of territory where we no longer have any presence, such as northwest and northeast Montana, along the Hi-Line, between Sidney and Great Falls, and northwest Wyoming. On the other hand, the sweep of Spirit felt through our remaining churches spreads farther afield than ever. Your church most likely is deeply engaged in your local community, county, and beyond. Even the tiny congregation of Molt has at least a 30-mile radius of ministry impact extending to Park City, Rapelje, Broadview, and Billings. Great Falls First Congregational Church has sent mission teams hundreds of miles away, to Browning and to Ballantine.

In this new year and new decade, I believe we are being called to discern and act on the Spirit’s mandate to this Association of churches called the Montana – N. Wyoming Association and Conference United Church of Christ. We have a team that is in what we call “Wholiness” conversations with the Pacific Northwest Conference and Central Pacific Conference to discern if there are Association and Conference ministries that we might share. In what ways might we be moved to more fully join with other Conferences to be more faithful to our mission? We will also be engaged in some conversations within the Conference, bringing church leaders together to discern and commit to new mission endeavors. What might we do together that is more than we can do as individual congregations?

Mission Priorities

Church Vitality

Stewardship… What’s Next?

Our next Stewardship Support Zoom Conversation will be on Tuesday, January 14 @ 7 pm. Information to log into the meeting is on our WEBsite in the "Stewardship Matters" tab. This will be a great opportunity to share information about how your 2020 fall stewardship campaign and budgeting process went. 

Following last year’s informative and invigorating Stewardship Workshop helping us learn about narrative budgets and stewardship trends, it’s time to look into what’s next.

It is our pleasure to be able to have The Rev. Andrew Warner, our national UCC Generosity Outreach Officer, available as a resource person for a day-long, all- conference 2020 "Good to Great Stewardship" Workshop on Saturday, March 21, 10 am - 3 pm, in Bozeman or Missoula. Central Area churches are invited to a workshop Rev. Warner will be leading on Planned Giving at Red Lodge UCC on Thursday, March 19, 4 pm - 5:30 pm.

We will be exploring topics related to planned giving and sharing our own stewardship successes and questions.

Watch for more information to come soon!

Just Compensation and Appropriately Staffed

The Conference seeks to hire a National Youth Event Conference Coordinator. The NYE Conference Coordinator will coordinate with the Faith Formation Committee,Conference and local church leadership to facilitate planning, travel, service, fund -raising and positive participation of 15-30 MT-NWY Conference youth and chaperones in the 2020 National Youth Event at Purdue University, July 22-25, 2020 plus travel dates.The Coordinator will serve as lead chaperone at the event, coordinating logistics, creating group covenant with youth, addressing behavioral issues with chaperones or youth should they arise, promoting and supporting the health and well-being of MT-NWY participants in NYE by connecting them with appropriate resources as needed

Requirements:

Organized, some fund raising experience
Record of successful collaboration with families and youth
Ability to coordinate with conference and local church level
Ability to plan in advance and to work in a timely manner, 
       especially with youth
Effective communication skills, verbal and written
Ability to use technology effectively (email, video
       conferencing, social media, etc)
Experience leading faith-based youth mission and travel
       groups in a progressive faith context
Active in a local UCC congregation

    Please send a letter of interest with resume to pastorpampeterson@gmail.com 

    Transformation, Particularly in Places Where We Are Not Present

    Immigration Ministries Grant

    We are thankful for a $500 grant that the Conference received from our National UCC Local Church Ministries and Justice Office to put towards ministries dealing with immigration and refugees. This grant will be managed by our Faith Formation Committee.

    Immigration Ministries Educational Event

    It is with great expectation and a measure of pride that Helena Plymouth UCC announces that Rev. Randy Mayer will be the featured speaker during next spring’s “Let’s Talk About It” event at Plymouth Church, Helena, April 30 through May 3, 2020.

    Randy is the son of Dick and Florence Mayer, and grew up at Plymouth and attended Camp Mimanagish. Presently he serves as the Senior Pastor at Good Shepherd Church- UCC in Sahuarita, AZ. On numerous occasions, Randy has been invited to speak throughout the country and abroad about his energetic and thoughtful ministry serving refugees.

    The “Let’s Talk About It” weekend in Helena will include a Thursday evening conversation and dessert buffet, a Friday morning brunch designed primarily for clergy and lay leaders, and Sunday morning worship, I't's not too early to pencil in the dates. There will be more information coming, so consult this newsletter in future issues. Meanwhile, make plans to come to Helena to be part of this amazing opportunity. For questions, don’t hesitate to contact Plymouth, 442-9883.

    Outdoor Ministries

    Since before the 2019 Camp season ended, your Committee for Outdoor Ministries has been hard at work on the direction and vision for 2020, and beyond, for Outdoor Ministries of the Montana Northern Wyoming Conference UCC. The new year, 2020, is here and the direction and vision are now!

    With the July 11, 2019 vote to divest of Camp Mimanagish property, the task at hand for COM (Committee for Outdoor Ministry) has been redefined. COM has been tasked with camp mission and programming, and also finding a suitable space for all of this to happen. It must be a place with adequate facilities and staffing to accommodate our groups.  On very short notice, we have had to find a way to transition our entire Outdoor Ministry program. This has been a "tall order."

    COM set priorities to involve youth in decisions and to be transparent in our work as we set about establishing Outdoor Ministry for 2020 and beyond. Our priority has been to ensure that youth camps happen uninterrupted by the divestiture and to offer our most popular well-attended adult and intergenerational camps in 2020. We are on our way to meeting these priorities. Longtime Mimanagish neighbor in the Boulder River Valley, Christikon, has offered us the opportunity to partner with them for our youth camps which are offered in a similar fashion at a similar timing as our youth camps have traditionally run. We will partner with them in registration and programming of youth camp opportunities at their facility up the road from Mimanagish. The camps will be on a first-come-first-served basis, so early registration will be necessary. We will have a link on the MNWCUCC website as well as on the Christikon website. Our Conference will offer scholarships to enable all our youth to be able to attend. There is a $50 upfront registration fee which must be paid when registration is submitted and there are forms which must be submitted just as we have required in the past. So, our Conference youth camps are set for 2020. Pastors and Fire Starters in each church will soon have the links and information to start registration.

    Christikon will not be able to accommodate our adult and intergenerational Camps. COM is hard at work to find sites and leadership so that our popular camps can take place in 2020. The opportunities will be highlighted in later issues of the Conference e-news. Our COM New Year’s resolution is that Outdoor Ministries will happen and be wonderful in 2020. Stay tuned for further news!

    Prayers and Calendar

    Tribute to Bob Staigmiller

    The Montana – N. Wyoming Conference UCC lifts up the life of Bob Staigmiller in all gratitude and thanksgiving for the walk and gentle talk he lived among us. In our congregational faith heritage, the word “saint” is rarely used because we are all called to give our all to the working out of God’s realm in this world. Bob has been particularly enduring in his walk of faith and uncommonly wise with sharing his observations. So, let us dare call Bob Staigmiller a saint of the faith.

    The stories shared about his life will certainly bear out the appropriateness of this honorable recognition. Our Conference files are full of the wisdom he shared with many of our churches while a member of the Church and Ministry Commission. The touch of Bob’s handiwork is in the essence of Mimanagish, as we have slept in the bunks he fashioned and ate at the tables he laid out using old doors.

    We know, too, that Bob did not walk this faith alone. So, we commit to be constant in our prayers of appreciation for the
    accompaniment of Nancy Staigmiller with Bob and their family all these years, and for God’s continued accompaniment with Nancy in all tenderness and strength.

    Our blessings to you, Nancy, for all you were together as a couple, for all you are as a woman of great faith. We honor your love and grieve with your loss, as we pray God’s enduring care be with you in the steadfast walk of life you continue.

    Calendar  (also see the new 2020 Conference Prayer Calendar)


    January 9 Churches can begin 2020 UCC Data Hub entries
    January 12 Marc Stewart visits Custer UCC, Church Annual Meeting
    January 14 Stewardship Conversation, all-church zoom and call
    January 15
       Human Resources Committee, Billings and zoom, 7 pm 
    January 20 Committee for Outdoor Ministries, Billings 7 pm
    January 28 MAC Board gathering, Pilgrim UCC, Bozeman
    January 29 Ecumenical judicatory gathering, Pilgrim UCC
    January 29 Conference Board of Directors, Pilgrim UCC
    January 29 February eNews submission deadline
    January 30 Conference Board of Directors, Pilgrim UCC
    Jan 31-Feb 1 Wholiness Teams (Tri-Conference) meet in Seattle

    February 2 Marc Stewart preaches at Mayflower UCC Billings
    February 7 Church and Ministry Commission, Billings 2 pm
    February 9 Marc Stewart preaches at Great Falls First Congregational UCC
    February 12 Rocky Mountain College church leader breakfast, 8 am
    February 17 Committee for Outdoor Ministries, Billings, 7 pm
    February 27 March eNews submission deadline

    March 16 Committee for Outdoor Ministries, Billings, 7 pm
    March 19
    Workshop on Planned Giving with national UCC Generosity Outreach Officer, Rev. Andrew Warner, Red Lodge UCC,  4 pm - 5:30 pm
    March 20 Board of Directors and Stewardship Team meet with Rev. Andrew Warner, Bozeman, 10 am - 3 pm
    March 21 All-Church "Good to Great Stewardship" seminar with Rev. Andrew Warner in Bozeman, 10 am - 3 pm
    March 22 Rev. Andrew Warner preaches at University UCC Missoula, 10:00 am

    April 24-27 Ecumenical Advocacy Days, Washington DC
    April 27-May 1
    Alabama Civil Rights Exposure Tour
    April 30-May 3 Immigration Weekend, Plymouth UCC Helena

    July 22-25 2020 UCC National Youth Event, Purdue University

    August 31-September 1 UCC Theological Summit 2.0

    September 18-20, 2020 Conference Annual Meeting, Red Lodge, MT

    Montana - N.Wyoming Conference United Church of Christ

    editor, Marc Stewart

    2016 Alderson Ave., Billings
    MT 59102 United States

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