Connected at Our Roots:
News by and for the Rocky Mountain Conference
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RMC Awards “In the Mud” Grants

The final round of grants for 2017 has been awarded!

Last week before the holiday, the Rocky Mountain Conference awarded its second and final round of “In the Mud” grants for 2017. The grants, which go to fund projects that enable churches to get “in the mud” with their communities, have already shown strong promise.
Earlier this year, we awarded $11,000 to various churches during our first round of grants. Funds went to a wide variety of projects included teen LGBTQ outreach in Ogden; small food pantries in Ft. Morgan and Denver; shelter for the homeless in Colorado Springs; and a community garden in Buena Vista, which will go to feed the people.
This time around, we’ve awarded $13,725 dollars (!!!) to RMC churches, for a total of $24,725 in grants awarded this year! The second round’s projects include a backpack meal program for underserved children, mental health first-aid for community members, and a re-entry program for women transitioning out of prison.
You may notice that the total amount awarded is nearly $5,000 over our original grant budget. We have seen the first round of grants’ fruitfulness and believe strongly in this program, and so does the Board—which is why they generously agreed to allocate more money toward these grants. In both rounds of awards, we simply had too many incredible applications to narrow it down any further than we already had to.
The first “In the Mud” application deadline will be in Spring, 2018, and we invite your church to do some dreaming and plan on applying!

Fall Retreat at La Foret & WRYE in Hawaii 
Dates announced for RMC- and UCC-wide youth programming.
Fall Retreat at La Foret
La Foret, November 3-5, 2017

Fall is almost here, and registration for our Fall Spirit Spark Retreat at La Foret is live! The retreat, Nov. 3-5,  is open to all middle- and high-school youth. While most campers are members of an RMC church, church membership is not required. All are welcome.

At our Fall Retreats, we invite church youth groups to attend as one, helping to solidify their program early in the year. During large-group gatherings, campers will have ample time to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. Learn more and register today!

Western Regional Youth Event (WRYE)
Honolulu, HI—June 25-29, 2018 

While the full details haven’t been released yet, we are pleased to announce that the RMC will once again take a group of our youth to the UCC’s WRYE event.
The actual event is scheduled for June 25-29, 2018 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Due to travel time, we’ll likely depart for WRYE closer to June 22, allowing youth to take part in all scheduled events. Registration will be live soon. In the meantime, any questions can be directed to Rev. Chris Gilmore at chris@rmcucc.org.

Stewardship Consultations from the UCC

UCC to offer RMC churches stewardship feedback in late September.

From September 19-25, 2017, Rev. Andy DeBraber from the UCC Office of Philanthropy & Stewardship will be in the Rocky Mountain Conference for a Manual on Ministry event.

This is good news for us: During his time here, Andy will be available to meet with RMC churches’ Stewardship Teams, Pastors, Councils, Endowment Committees, etc., for a conversation around best practices in church fundraising and the changing landscape of giving. What’s more, these consultations come at no cost.

We highly encourage your church to schedule a consultation if you are able. Even if you can only send a few folks from your church, it will be a very productive time for all.

To schedule your consultation, please contact Andy at 616.466.6948 or debrabera@ucc.org. If it doesn’t work for you during this timeframe to meet in person, in-person consults can be scheduled for a later date. Churches also have the option to receive this consultation online or by phone.

RMC Support for Disaster Victims

RMC Churches step up to provide aid.

Photo from http://www.deseretnews.com/
Last week, tropical storm Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana, causing unspeakable devastation for families and communities. As of the writing of this article, another tropical storm (Hurricane Irma) has hit both the Caribbean and Puerto Rico, and is heading toward Florida.

Over the past few weeks, many RMC churches have collected funds for the UCC’s Disaster-Relief efforts. To streamline the process, we invite churches to send these funds to the RMC (marked “UCC Disaster Relief”), which we can then combine and forward to the National Office. Churches may absolutely send funds directly to the national UCC if they wish. Please see the message below from the UCC, and the accompanying link which offers more information on how to help:

“Zach Wolgemuth, our Disaster Ministries Executive, is gearing up for a long-term and holistic recovery effort. In the wake of a major disaster we typically remain engaged for a period of 3 to 5 years, addressing a variety of needs with special concern for the most vulnerable. The UCC’s Disaster Ministries page will be updated regularly with information as the disaster continues to unfold.

“At General Synod, we launched the “Three Great Loves” initiative: love of neighbor, love of children and love of creation. May our response to these disasters be an indication of the depth of our commitment in each of these areas. May God be with those in the affected area, and may we stand with them now and in the future.”

Interested in Seminary? Come & See!

Pacific School of Religion on display for prospective students.

Pacific School of Religion (PSR), a multi-denominational seminary committed to equipping spiritually and theologically rooted leaders for social transformation, invites you to their Come & See! Prospective & Admitted Student Event, October 13-14, on the PSR campus in Berkeley, CA.

If you’re considering seminary or theological education, this conference is for you! You’ll meet PSR’s administration and faculty, dine with current students, be introduced to PSR’s academic programs and campus, and worship in a creative environment. Small group discussion will invite your reflection on call and discernment with other prospective students. Registration is free. Questions? Call 510/849-8931 or email PSR at admissions@psr.edu.

Help Us Get the Word Out!

Make it easy for members of your church to be Radically Connected.
Here’s something you already know: The RMC’s biweekly newsletter is the best and easiest way to be connected to the Rocky Mountain Conference. Please help us get others on board! Forward this article on to your church community, and invite them to subscribe. 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.
  • It respects your time, and is only sent once every two weeks.
  • It respects your privacy; we will never SPAM you.
  • It’s easy to read, and works on any device.
  • It’s inspiring. Learn about what other churches in the RMC are doing!
  • It lets you shine! Share your good works with the Conference.
  • It might help your church. Learn about grants, free resources, and more.
  • It’s event-full: Find out about events like our Annual Celebration.
  • It’s for the kids. Stay in the loop on camps and events for your youth!
Thank you for reading, and we hope you share this newsletter with anyone you think might be interested!