New chapters for our churches in Manitou Springs and Grand Junction
Two RMC churches are beginning a new chapter in the coming weeks, and we are eager to see their ministries flourish! Keep reading for details…
On Saturday, August 26 at 11 a.m., First Congregational Church of Grand Junction will install Rev. Jeffrey Dodson as their Senior Pastor & Teacher.Rev. Dodson, who has been serving the church for several months, grew up in the UCC tradition, and has served several churches, communities, and camps in his ministry thus far.
The Installation Ceremony is being organized and presented by the Western Association, and all are invited to attend! You can view the event flier here. In addition, clergy are invited to participate in a clergy processional (please meet in the pastor’s office between 10:35 and 10:50 a.m.). The ceremony will be followed by a festive reception & lunch in Pilgrim Fellowship Hall.
If you plan to attend, please RSVP (call 970.242.0298 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) so the church has an accurate head count. Congratulations, FCCGJ and Rev. Dodson!
In October 2016, Community Congregational Church of Manitou Springs began their search for a settled, called pastor. That time of discernment, prayer, and searching—under the guidance of Rev. Jim Reid, their Interim Pastor—led them to call the Rev. Gaye Bosley-Mitchell as their settled pastor! This resulted from vote on August 6, after Rev. Bosley-Mitchell led worship service, and the day after the church held an Open House for the congregation to meet Gaye and her husband, Glenn. Rev. Bosley-Mitchell’s first day with the church will be Sept. 11, and her first sermon will be Sunday, Sept. 17. She and her husband, Glenn, hail from Florida, but have deep roots in Colorado: Gaye fell in love with the Manitou Springs-area during seminary, and two of their seven children live in Denver. Before her ordination, she had many years’ experience as a lay-pastor for Methodist churches, and later changed her affiliation to United Church of Christ.
Welcome to the RMC and Manitou, Gaye and Glenn!
Help the UCC Refresh its Manual on Ministry
On Thursday, Sept 21 and Friday, September 22, the UCC’s MESA (Ministerial Excellence, Support and Authorization) office will hold a Regional AM-21 event, “Authorizing Ministry for the 21st Century,” in Denver. Attendees will discuss and explore new possibilities for the UCC’s Manual on Ministry. All are invited to attend. Learn more and register on the event webpage!
The UCC Responds to Protests in Charlottesville In the midst of protests, counter-protests, violence, and hatred, the UCC calls for equality.
The unrest we see in America is real.
Often times, the unrest we see is justified and long overdue—for example, unrest over racism, sexism, transphobia, and the ilk—and it leads to a public outcry for equality and love. Sometimes, this unrest stems not from a place of justice, but from a place of fear, ignorance, and hate.
Both ends of the spectrum were present last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. White supremacists rallied (ostensibly to protest the removal of a Confederate statue), shouting hate speech and committing acts of violence (including the murder of Heather Heyer, a young woman counter-protesting these white supremacists). In opposition, we saw thousands of advocates descend on the protests in the name of racial equality, and embodying hopeful action during a dark time.
In a pastoral response to these events, the national setting of the United Church of Christ has issued a prayer, which includes worship materials that churches are invited to use in their service on Sunday, share with members, and post online. By sharing this prayer, we affirm our duty as Christians to renounce hatred and be on the side of love.
Upcoming Youth-Ministry Events
WRYE 2018, Fall Retreat, and the International Affairs Seminar are all on the horizon!
The RMC and national UCC are deeply committed to our youth, and to the future of the church (which belongs to the youth!). Below are some upcoming events for youth in the RMC; more details are on the horizon, and you’ll be able to register for each of these soon!
Fall Spirit-Spark Retreat /// La Foret November 3-5
Junior- and senior-high students are once again called to La Foret in Black Forest, CO, to explore their faith and create a sacred community.
At our Fall Retreats, we invite church youth groups to come together in order to help the local congregations solidify youth friendships at the start of the program year. As much as possible, we place youth groups in cabins together and program the weekend to allow for youth-group bonding and conversation time as well as large-group gatherings, free time, and evening events in which campers catch up with old friends and meet new ones.
Our vetted and experienced staff will guarantee an amazing experience! Learn more on the event page, and look for registration to go live by September 1.
Western Regional Youth Event /// Honolulu, Hawaii June 2018 (exact dates TBD)
Every other year, the National UCC holds large-scale youth-events. Every other event is national (such as the 2016 National Youth Event in Orlando, FL), and the alternating events are regional (for the RMC, that means Western Regional Youth Event, or WRYE).
In 2018, WRYE will take place in Honolulu, Hawaii, hosted by the Hawaii Conference of the UCC! The exact dates aren’t published yet, but it will occur in June. In the coming months, the RMC will begin promoting the event to Conference Youth, and will reach out directly to churches to make sure every eligible youth has ample opportunity to raise funds and attend. Be on the lookout for more information soon!
International Affairs Seminar /// Washington, DC and New York City March 17-24, 2018
Next Spring, the Rocky Mountain Conference—UCC and the Rocky Mountain Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will co-sponsor a youth trip to New York City and Washington, DC.
The trip, whose theme is “Being a Faithful Global Citizen” based on Galatians 5:13-14, is part of the International Affairs Seminar (IAS), a program designed to help high-school juniors and seniors make a difference in the world, both as U.S. citizens and persons of faith. The event flier can be found here.
During the trip, students will spend a week in Washington, DC and New York City, meeting with lawmakers, volunteering, worshipping, sight-seeing, and learning together. To learn more or reserve your spot, please contact our IAS Chaperones:
They’ll celebrate the Anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 23rd.
This fall, Ogden Christian Church (formerly the Ogden Japanese Christian Church) will celebrate 90 years of ministry! Although they still honor their Japanese heritage and roots, they recently changed their name to reflect their wide welcome for the entire community.
The ecumenical congregation, led by Pastor Bob Nakaoka, is throwing a Celebration Gala on Saturday, September 23rd at Comfort Suites (2250 S. 1200 W., Ogden, UT 84401). To attend, guests are asked to RSVP with the church by at 801.392.4833 or OgdenChristianChurch@gmail.com.
Congratulations, Ogden Christian Church!
Leading Theological Seminaries Join Forces
The historic partnership is now official!
On July 20, representatives from Yale Divinity School and Andover Newton Theological School signed a historic agreement to begin a new era of theological education in New Haven, Connecticut.
The two schools, which have been working on this formal affiliation for two years, have a (very) longstanding informal relationship, which included cross-institutional courses and shared faculty and resources. Now, as one entity, they are further empowered to evolve their programming to meet the needs of future seminarians and existing churches.
Help Us Get the Word Out!
Make it easy for members of your church to be Radically Connected.
Within the last few years, the RMC’s biweekly newsletter has seen a lot of changes, including a new name, a new mobile-friendly platform, refreshed content, and updated imagery. Simply put, it’s the best and easiest way to be connected to the Rocky Mountain Conference. However, many RMC members aren’t subscribed—not because they don’t want to be, but because they simply don’t know it exists!
To help the RMC be Radically Connected, we’re asking you to help get folks on board. Please share the following information with your church community, whether it be by forwarding this email to other members, posting in your bulletin/website/newsletter/emails, or whatever makes the most sense for you. We *really* appreciate it! Everyone in the RMC should subscribe because:
It’s simple to sign up. Just go to rmcucc.org/ROOTS to subscribe. (Also, churches: Please include this link on your website!)
It respects your time, and is only sent once every two weeks.
It respects your privacy; we will never SPAM you or share your information for any reason.
It’s easy to read, and works on any device, whether desktop or mobile.
It’s inspiring. Learn about what other churches in the RMC are doing, and find out how you can do new, cool stuff at your church!
It lets you shine! It’s the perfect way to share your good works with the Conference. Tell us what you’re up to and we’ll feature it!
It might help your church in a big way. We regularly have articles about grants from the UCC, grants from the RMC, helpful (free!) resources for churches, best practices, and a LOT more.
It’s event-full: You’ll be cordially invited to attend the RMC’s Annual Celebration where delegates have a MAJOR impact on how we do things. You’ll also hear about Association-Leadership meetings; free Communications Workshops, and so many other events.
It’s for the kids. We use our newsletter to promote our Outdoor Ministry camps and retreats at La Foret, along with other UCC youth events (like WRYE 2018) and ecumenical youth trips (like IAS).
Thanks again for reading, and we hope you share this newsletter with anyone you think might be interested!