When it comes to church giving, I love financial transparency and I assume you do too. If you don’t, feel free to skip this monthly missive, but not before reading the next sentence. If I haven’t said it to you in person at your church yet, let me say it here in writing:
Thank you for your church’s financial support of “Our Church’s Wider Mission,” and in particular, for what we call your “Basic Support,” which funds our work in the Michigan Conference, as well as the National Setting.
Those Basic Support OCWM dollars function for us in the same way that pledges do in a congregation or any other organization. They fund our ministry to recruit the best pastors (in the midst of a historic clergy shortage), to nurture people with a call to ministry (through scholarships and vocational encouragement amidst the hardest religious landscape I can remember), to care for the pastors we already have (many of whom are preaching at more than one church, or working other demanding jobs), and to support our amazing volunteer lay leaders with practical programs that address the specific questions I hear you asking when I visit your churches.
It is your Basic Support that allows our staff to do all they do; whether it is a scheduled Sunday visit from me as your Conference Minister, or a late night call to an Associate Conference Minister who jumps in her car to provide care and a last minute sermon to a church whose pastor has passed away. This past year, I was honored to revive the Michigan Conference practice of making clergy Emergency Assistance grants for medical expenses and other crises, and also to tend to the creative spirits of our pastors with a three-day Preaching Retreat this past May. READ MORE
Equipping, empowering, connecting and celebrating the churches of the Michigan Conference United Church of Christ.
We seek to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and our neighbors as ourselves. United in Christ’s love, we seek a just world for all. United in Spirit and inspired by God’s grace, we welcome all, love all, and seek justice for all.
The First officially recorded Annual Meeting of the Michigan Conference United Church of Christ was held in 1964 at Bethlehem United Church of Christ, Ann Arbor, May 19-21. It was described as “continuing the two parent bodies, thus fulfilling the functions of the 122nd Annual Meeting of the Michigan Congregational Christian Conference and the 26th Annual Meeting of the Michigan-Indiana Synod of the Evangelical and Reformed Church.” The Rev. Ernest R. Klaudt was host minister, and the Rev. Halley B. Oliver was Moderator. The Rev. Fred E. Hoskins, First Co-President of the UCC, and then minister of the Garden City Community Church in New York, gave three addresses on “The Purpose and Role of the Local Church.” The Honorable George Romney, Governor of Michigan, was also present and gave what was described in the Annual Meeting Minutes as “a powerful address on ‘The Relation of Religion and the State.’”
The position of the Michigan Conference of the UCC on social issues continued to be that of the uniting bodies. This can be seen in such resolutions adopted during that First Annual Meeting: “On Bearing Witness to Our Faith in Civil Rights, ““On a Strong Civil Rights Bill,” “On Racial Inclusiveness in Institutions, “ “On National Economy,” and “On Poverty.” Other resolutions were on “Church Vocations,” “A Free Pulpit,” “Increased Missionary Giving,” “Church Unity” and “Supporting United Church of Christ Institutions,” showing the concern of the church on these important issues.