Equipping, connecting, and celebrating the churches of the Michigan Conference

Michigan Conference of the United Church of Christ
No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey – you are welcome here.

Calendar Monthly Newsletter Church Finder

Welcome to the Michigan Conference

Welcome to the wonderful world of the Michigan Conference, where, when you’ve seen one church, you’ve seen one church.  We have churches by cherry orchards, rust belts, tourist towns of fudge shops and food deserts without grocery stores, vacation mansions alongside a serious shortage of affordable housing, and pure recreational lakes down the road from cities whose drinking water is dirty. From city apartments, farmhouses, lake cottages, vacation mansions and, we make our spiritual homes together in 135 churches that include all the rich contrasts of our beautiful state.

Since becoming Conference Minister in 2022, you can see from my speaking schedule that I have spent most weekends visiting them. I can testify that no matter the size or setting, you will find a fascinating and faithful spiritual home here, whether you are looking for a place to worship or a place to preach. We can have the oldest congregation in a small town and be the first in that same town to welcome the queer community. We have new church starts without the burden of a building, meeting online or in coffee shops. We have historic churches whose stained glass windows, woodwork and masonry are a blessing of art and transcendence to their communities. We have congregations that are unapologetically black and congregations that have Alpine festivals. 

In large cities, rural villages, sprawling suburbs and fertile forests, our churches bear witness to the God who is still speaking, who desires justice and who welcomes all, no matter what, no matter who, no matter where you are on life’s journey. In the Michigan Conference, our Christian tradition may be two thousand years old but our thinking is not. If that sounds like you, come join us. 

Peace and Blessings, 

The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel

Introducing Our Associate Conference Minister of Church Vitality and Transitions

Relying on the Holy Spirit, the Michigan Conference began the search for a full-time Associate Conference Minister of Church Vitality and Transition in July. We are excited to share that Rev. Lawrence T. Richardson will join our Conference Staff starting January 1, 2024.

“Our national search effort drew so many strong applications for this position, I was grateful to have the input and insights of our Search Advisory Team, as we discerned which way to go. In the end, we felt that Pastor Lawrence Richardson would bring specific skills we were looking for to compliment our excellent team in these challenging times for the institutional church. As an experienced coach for new church pastors, who has started and grown his own, Lawrence’s extensive training in church growth and vitality, his technological savvy, experience with the national UCC, and his training in development all stood out. But first and foremost, he is a pastor, who has a heart for pastoring and a deep love for the church. As we sorted through impressive profiles from across the country, we came to see that the person God was calling had already moved to Michigan two years ago!”

~ Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel, Conference Minister


“Over the last year and a half of visiting our churches as your Conference Minister, I am convinced that our 2024 priority must be the care of our clergy.”

Our Conference Ministerial Team is seeking your help.  Pastors, please complete the 2024 Pastor Support Survey to let us know what you need.

There is space to share your wisdom, experience, and add things that we have not even thought to ask.

Even if you don’t have any unmet needs or interest in support from the Conference,  having that data that is valuable information for us too.

This quick survey is a judgment free zone.



Inspired preaching, volunteer choir, blessed music, generous hospitality, business completed miraculously fast, a new Conference Resolution related to advocating as the church for Second-Look Legislation, nourishing food, fantastic fellowship, a revitalizing Keynote, and a sweet-sweet Spirit  as we the people gathered to worship God and serve neighbor.

Recordings of the events of the day can be found in a playlist on the Michigan Conference UCC YouTube Channel.

PLAYLIST INCLUDES: Worship, Sermon, Business Meeting, Speak Outs, Keynote, and 2024 Annual Meeting Announcement


Please fill out this form to anonymously provide feedback regarding 2023 Annual Meeting (takes less than 3 minutes)


Resolution of Witness In Support of Second Look Sentencing Legislation

On October 28, 2023, the Michigan Conference Annual Gathering voted to approve a resolution in Support of Second Look Sentencing Legislation. The full resolution, a copy of this communication, and a sample advocacy letter can be found HERE

The action items from this resolution follow, with some ideas from the Prophetic Integrity Mission Area Team about how to participate.

Therefore, be it Resolved that the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Michigan Conference United

Church of Christ supports House Bills 4556 – 4560 and Senate Bills 0321-0325.

Be it further resolved, that the clergy and lay people of the Michigan Conference UCC engage

in education around Second Look Sentencing legislation.

Some Resources for study:







Be it further resolved, that the clergy and lay people of the Michigan Conference UCC contact

their legislators in support of Second Look Sentencing legislation.

House Bills 4556-4560 have been referred to the Committee on Criminal Justice.

Senate Bills 0321-0325 have been referred to the Committees on Civil Rights, Judiciary

and Public Safety.

Supporting these bills can be done by writing or calling your legislators to voice your

support of the bills. (see sample letter)

You may find your legislators at: https://www.house.mi.gov/#findarepresentative

and https://senate.michigan.gov/FindYourSenator/

Learn, decide, act.

09.28.2023 Per the Michigan Conference UCC Bylaws – the Draft Agenda, Financial Report and any Resolutions, must be emailed and accessible to delegates 30 days prior to Annual Meeting

10.28.2023 All Documents needed for Annual Meeting are accessible in the link below




“The rain clouds couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of those gathered for the New Waves / Habitat for Humanity low income housing community groundbreaking,” shares Associate Conference Minister Cheryl Burke.  “New Waves UCC has followed the Spirit’s lead in finding a ministry that is greatly needed in the community.  Building for others before building their own sanctuary has created energy for this growing congregation.”

Over 60 clergy and lay leaders participated in our 2023 Vitality Day with author Rev. Jeff MacDonald. Hosted at St. John’s UCC in Owosso, the day was filled with innovative and detail-oriented discussions for how to adapt to the changing world of Part-Time ministry. With gratitude to our Vital Growth Mission Area Team and Associate Conference Minister Rev. Cheryl Burke for organizing and providing resources to supplement a thought-provoking event. With appreciation for panelists and participants for a day filled with great questions and conversation in-person and online!

Where do you see God is still speaking?

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