Team Talk Can Strengthen Volunteer Ministry

The Parish Paper


Team talk can build a strong ministry team. Of course, some may not think of conversation as an important task, viewing it as getting in the way of work and slowing it down. On the contrary, conversation plays an important role in the life of a team and must not be ignored. Team talk builds group durability and sustains effort. Talking about the work helps to reinforce the reasons for doing what we are doing.

#UCCSynod Table

Timoth Sylvia


Photo Credit - Peter Sylvia Table The word itself, spoken without context, allows those who hear it to see with their mind’s eye that with which the mind connects its five letters, its two syllables. A table in their home Their office The restaurant their family frequents For me, it most often brings to mind that piece of furniture around which I have sat. It’s a table where I have gathered with others to share a meal, lay out projects, unload bags of groceries as well as to help with ...

Many Voices, One Mission: Together

Kent Siladi


"So now we move forward in faith together." — Rev. Kent Siladi

#UCCSynod: Break the Silence

Dawn Sorensen


Today I spoke in front of the entire gathered body of General Synod 32, a body of about 700 delegates and a few hundred more gathered onlookers. I spoke in favor of Resolution 9: Break the Silence Sunday. I had not planned on doing that!   You see, I have a friend from seminary who is a friend and supporter of the Rev Moira Finley, who wrote the resolution. The resolution calls for all UCC churches to dedicate one Sunday a year to recognize the impact of sexual violence on us as humans, as ...

#UCCSynod: Catching Clicks is Really, Really Hard

Matthew McCaffrey


Some 750 or so General Synod delegates are gathered in the “well of the House” at the Wisconsin Center. And, being the United Church of Christ, that means 751 different opinions on the conduct of the meeting.   Our delegation spends our gathered time at a long banquet table, roped off from the many visitors sitting in rows outside the well. We carry two items on lanyards around our necks: a credentials packet, and a small voting “response card.” That little piece of plastic and electronics is ...

#UCCSynod: Challenges to Light a Fire

John Sharland


There have been many references to fire during Synod. Pentecost. The burning bush. Challenges to light a fire for this cause or that cause - all deserving our serious attention - mine and yours.

#UCCSynod: Let’s Get To Work!

Holly Norwick


I was so excited for today. I was excited because it was Traci Blackmon day! She was coming to speak with us, the Together As, One group, over our breakfast caucus AND she was preaching during our big Sunday worship this afternoon. I was so excited.    I went down early to breakfast and witnessed her interpret a part of the Exodus that told us about the time that God sat back, after doing everything for the Israelites, to let them help themselves for a change. So, Moses stepped up to help the ...

#UCCSynod: Healing and Community at the National Open and Affirming Gathering

Caryne Eskridge


Greetings from Milwaukee! My General Synod experience begins a few days before Synod itself, with the Gathering of the Open and Affirming Coalition. Without the Coalition, I would not be a member of a UCC church and, I believe, I would likely not be discerning a call to ministry. When I first found the United Church of Christ in 2015, I was searching for a church that would love and support me as a lesbian/queer woman and in the fullness of my identity. In 2017 I attended my first Open and ...

#UCCSynod: Less-Visible Gatherings

Matthew McCaffrey


I’m not a breakfast person. (Yes, there are tribes that revolve around which meals are “us.”) So the prospect of hauling my tired, talked-out bones out of bed at O’Dark Hundred to join fellow delegates over a buffet breakfast is not the most attractive idea I’ve heard for how to start my day. But at Synod, the tradition and discipline of getting a delegation’s group together for breakfast to start the day is oddly energizing. Today, Saturday, the three southern New England conferences got “...

#UCCSynod: We Have Everything We Need

Holly Norwick


Today started early with our first Tri-Conference Caucus at 6:30 in the morning. We are off to a great running start though, despite the sleepy eyes and coffee groans, with our UCC General Minister and President John Dorhauer taking some time to talk with us over our communion breakfast. His energy is better than the caffeine as he excitedly offers his support for the Together As One (TA1) resolution we bring to the Synod floor in just a few days. It’s hard to imagine life without my Connecticut...

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