Friends of the Conference 2018 Appeal

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“…lift up your voice with strength, …herald of good tidings, lift it up, be not afraid…” (Isaiah 40:9)

October 12, 2018

Dear Friends:

All around us are voices telling us to be afraid. You have heard those voices.  We need not remind you of them. Instead, we patiently and sometimes impatiently  strain to listen  to a different voice: a holy voice, a voice reminding us while grass withers and the flower fades the word of our God will stand forever (Is. 40:8). The word of God is love and love works for justice. That same voice calls us to lift our voice with strength and not to be silenced by fear.

In 2013 a small group of individuals sought to strengthen the voice of the Michigan Conference by establishing the "Friends of the Conference" Annual Appeal. As Friends you are:

• Helping congregations in the stressful times of pastoral transition

• Building community with one another and growing our support through events like Vitality Days, Festival of Faith and Stewardship Workshops

• Equipping our leaders with tools for today's congregational and societal challenge

• Renewing congregations to build foundations onto visions with the ReVision program of our resource partner, Center for Progressive Renewal

• Encouraging new generations of pastors and leaders with seminary scholarships

• Supporting pastors and retired clergy in times of economic need

• Assisting local congregations plan for their futures through New Beginnings , a program of the National Setting of the UCC

Your contribution helps the Conference be a voice and a presence in the struggle for justice and peace by:

• Fulfilling the call to "Be the Church" in Michigan

• New Waves UCC in Traverse City - new church practicing radical hospitality

• Joy Like A River in Grand Rapids - immigrant welcoming, multi-cultural new church

• Chelsea - "Parables" worship and ministries for persons with special needs

• Holland UCC - a new church modeling radical inclusivity

• Flint - continually seeking ways to be in solidarity with residents and our UCC church

• Detroit - standing with faith leaders around issues of water justice

• Supporting our "Youth Champions" as they create programs for our Conference youth

Will you help us not be afraid but lift up our voice with strength by becoming a Friend of the Conference?

You can make your gift by sending a check directly to the Michigan Conference Office. Please write "Friends of the Michigan Conference, UCC," on the memo line. You can make your one­ time gift or set up a recurring gift by clicking "Support the Michigan Conference".

Thank you for your continued support of the Michigan Conference. Your Compassionate Generosity Mission Area Team,

Ralph Brown, Andy DeBraber, Herman Haller, Campbell Lovett, Dan Spaulding, Karen Wheeler, Jean Winther

Friends of the Conference 2018 Letter)


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