PATHWAYS, the leadership formation program of the Southeast Conference, will be offering the UCC History and Polity course in January 2016. The 12-week online course will begin on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 and is open to anyone who needs to fulfill the UCC History and Polity course requirement for authorized ministry in the United Church of Christ. The tuition cost is $600. For more information, send your email inquiries to PATHWAYS administrator at: email@example.com
UCC History & Polity Course Starts Jan 20
Our Church’s Wider Mission Giving
- Attention Youth: Help Refugees, Win Scholarships! October 18, 2016
- Caring Community: October 15, 2016 October 18, 2016
- Moderator’s Message: October 15, 2016 October 15, 2016
- Regional Theological Education Consortium October 15, 2016
- 6th Annual Retired Servants Retreat a Success October 8, 2016
- UCC Disaster Ministries Responds to Hurricane Matthew October 8, 2016
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A vision of a just world for all people will guide and shape the future work of the United Church of Christ. It's a vision that the denomination's General Minister and President and unified Board of Directors are prepared to own as part of a refreshed set of Purpose, Mission and Vision statements.
For the third consecutive year, the national setting of the United Church of Christ will operate on a balanced budget in 2017 and continue to uphold a commitment to fiscal responsibility, firmly moving past years of overspending beyond its means.
Ten months remain until the 31st General Synod of the United Church of Christ in Baltimore, and organizers are diligently ramping up preparations for the event. A worship team of four preachers has been selected and two theological reflectors have been invited to take the plenary stage to provide the spiritual components for the five-day gathering from June 30 to July 4.
One of the favorite ways to reconnect with old friends and make new ones during each General Synod has been through the optional dining events. To continue that favored pastime, General Synod administrators are inviting those interested settings of the church to host a meal during the 31st General Synod of the United Church of Christ next summer in Baltimore.
The United Church of Christ will get a taste of cheese, brats and beers during the 32nd General Synod in 2019. The Wisconsin Conference UCC was enthusiastic in its invitation to Milwaukee, offering to host the denomination's biennial gathering, which the UCC Board of Directors unanimously accepted Thursday, Oct. 20, as part of business during the fall meeting.
I admit that over the past few months, I have swung drastically between hysteria and malaise in response to this year's election.
A former church pastor in the United Church of Christ has accepted the call to advance the causes of freedom and equality for LGBTQ people, as Naomi Leapheart was appointed as the faith work director for the National LGBTQ Task Force.
An affinity with Cuba and the Cuban people is growing in the UCC, evidenced by interest in the Cuba Study Seminar, a possible General Synod resolution and an upcoming initiative focusing on the Caribbean.
A pair of North American Christian denominations, the United Church of Christ and the United Church of Canada, are calling on baseball fans to support the cause of justice and reconciliation for Native peoples — and push the Cleveland baseball team to finally change its name and logo.
If the mainstream media is to live up to its role in working for social justice, then it has an obligation to report the historical context that is relevant to the narrative of the stories — especially the narratives of racial justice — the journalists are covering.
The Wisconsin Gospellers made their third quadrennial tour to Germany in July 2016.
Begun as an international people-to-people exchange, with gospel music (sung in English) as the international language, the Wisconsin Conference gospel ministry partnership with the German church has flourished for nearly a decade. German gospel choirs have come three times to Wisconsin on tour, most recently in September 2014.
PLEASE JOIN US for a webinar with ReThink Media:BEST MESSAGING PRACTICES FOR FAITH LEADERS PUSHING BACK AGAINST ANTI-MUSLIM BIGOTRY
October 31, 2016, 1 pm ET/10 am PT
Written by Hagai El-Ad, Executive Director, B'Tselem
The past week, since I spoke out on behalf of B'Tselem, calling the United Nations Security Council to act now to prevent another fifty years of occupation, was a dramatic one for the organization. I'd like to briefly update you regarding recent developments.
B’Tselem Head Urges Security Council to Act Now on Settlements [Times of Israel]The NGO’s executive director, Hagai El-Ad, began his presentation to the Council at the UN headquarters in New York by airing two videos that he said illustrated life for Palestinians under Israeli occupation, and drew attention to what he called non-reported “regular” days under occupation. He cited “invisible, bureaucratic daily violence” that dominates Palestinian life “from cradle to grave,” including Israeli control over entrance and exit from territories, and even farming rights.
October 19th -
Rev. Patrick Villier, CONASPEH's President, reported that 60,000 people have been displaced in Haiti due to Hurricane Mathew. All of the harvest has been destroyed. One million people are in need of humanitarian help. 320 schools were destroyed. The Haitian Government is asking for international solidarity. Churches, which also serve as schools, community centers, and even hospitals, are mostly destroyed on the southern and southwest part of the island. The elections that were supposed to be held in October were cancelled. The new dates for elections are November and February, for the second round.
The passing of the hurricane has given a clear picture of the material and social needs in Haiti. The economic situation in Haiti is simply catastrophic: 41% of the people are unemployed, the inflation rate has surpassed 13%, and GDP grew by less than 1.7%. Haiti’s trade deficit is one of the reasons why 80% of the population is living in poverty. With an annual income of just $1,800 per person, Haitians are classified as among the poorest on the planet.
Southern Haiti is a coastal and mountainous region where families of farmers and fishermen have lived, loved, and raised their families for centuries. CONASPEH’s leadership worries that once the people face the effects of total crop devastation, families will move off their lands to try and live elsewhere. It is important to avoid a massive migration to the North, where the devastation of the 2010 earthquake is still affecting the people.
That is why CONASPEH is focusing their first efforts in the midst of this catastrophe by looking for small economic investments and the recovery of families’ well-being, including the reconstruction of their homes. Along with the economic reactivation, CONASPEH is investing in the recovery of the churches’ infrastructure. As soon as they can rebuild the roofs and the structures of their churches, they plan to give temporary housing and health facilities to the victims of the hurricane.
The Cuban Council of Churches reported Hurricane Matthew hit Punta Caleta in the south of Guantánamo province, on October 4 2016 at 6pm local time, where it remained for eight hours with winds of 250 km/h, leaving territories severely affected in Guantánamo and Holguin provinces.
Waves of 6 to 8 meters high, coastal flooding, heavy rains and winds with over 100 km/h gusts remained around 48 hours, battering the eastern and central coast of Cuba, especially in the municipalities of Yateras, San Antonio South, Baracoa, Maisi and the Imías province of Guantánamo and Holguin.
The biggest damages reported are in the electrical and communication services; the main routes of access to the area collapsed and more than 176,000 people in five municipalities of Guantánamo were cut off for more than 24 hours due to the collapse of bridges, falling trees, overflowing rivers and water walls, coastal flooding and landslides. This affected more than 95% of houses, mostly with loss of roofs and roof structures. Food security also suffered due the destruction of coconut, banana and cocoa plantations, which are the main sources of livelihood in the area.
Guantánamo is the poorest province in Cuba. Despite the low level of disaster preparation among the population, the measures taken by the Civil Defense avoided casualties. A total of 1,079 people were evacuated, and they moved to friends’ or families’ houses, shelters, churches and even in nearby caves. Currently, 100,000 inhabitants have lost access to a safe water supply. In response, six brigades of the National Institute of Hydraulic Resources are working to reverse the situation and water is being supplied to the population through temporary pipes.
NEEDS (The Emergency Committee of the Cuban Council of Churches (CIC)) was activated on Friday October 4th and had its first meeting in order to take some measures on preparedness at a national and local level. Local Emergency Committees of the eastern provinces were activated immediately. The coordination between CIC and the governmental Office for Religious Affairs (OAAR) was established to expedite visits to the affected areas. However, the final damage and needs assessment is not complete at this time due to the difficulties in accessing the most affected areas. The local ecclesiastic leadership, government authorities, and CIC consider the main priories to be emergency relief (shelter, water, food, and hygiene kits), health support, and psychosocial support. Pastor Joel Ortega Dopico, President of the Cuban Council of Churches, has been in the area affected by the hurricane along with representatives of the local churches and the Cuban government authorities in order to continue the assessment.
Rev. Miguel Ángel Cancú, Executive Secretary of the Evangelical Dominican Church, reports that the passing of Hurricane Matthew affected several provinces. The Evangelical Dominican Church is putting its emphasis on helping the South Region, where it has 18 congregations and 17 chapels.
The huge amount of rain damaged lots of homes, destroying belongings and appliances. The Vicente Noble community was the most affected by the hurricane, because a waterway overflowed and flooded a majority of the houses as well as the community hospital.
At this moment, they are providing beds, home appliances, and food to people in their congregations as well as the rest of the community.
"Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His mercy endures forever" (Psalm 136:1)
Final Statement of the 11th General Assembly of the Middle East Council of Churches, issued in Amman, Jordan, on 8 September 2016.
Nazim and Waad are Syrian refugees who have come to Italy through Humanitarian Corridors, the program developed by Italian Christians to facilitate the safe and legal entry into Italy of refugees fleeing situations so terrible that, were it not for Humanitarian Corridors, they might risk coming to Europe by sea. This is Nazim's and Waad's story, as originally shared by the American Waldensian Society.
Wave of Prayer: This prayer ministry enables local and international friends of Sabeel to pray over regional concerns on a weekly basis. Sent to Sabeel’s network of supporters, the prayer is used in services around the world and during Sabeel’s Thursday Communion service; as each community in its respective time zone lifts these concerns in prayer at noon every Thursday, this “wave of prayer” washes over the world.
“Even though every passing day brings me closer to the end of my life, I’m very pleased that the day went by without them demolishing my home – this little shed that means we have a roof over our heads.” Quote from Rizqiyeh ‘Abd a-Rahman Bani Fadel, age 62
MKs Call to Build in Jerusalem, West Bank in Response [Jerusalem Post]Israel should build massively in Jerusalem as part of its answer to the type of terrorism that struck the capital again on Sunday morning, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel said before Sunday’s cabinet meeting. Ariel’s comments to reporters before the weekly cabinet session came within an hour of news of the Jerusalem shooting attacks. “Part of the answer to these attacks”, he said, “beyond the security component, is massive building and removing from our enemies the idea that we will ever move from a united Jerusalem, that will minimize the potential for attacks in Jerusalem.”