Author: David Reed (Page 1 of 3)

The U…C…What?!

The U…C…What?!  For those not familiar with us, it can be a little confusing!:

               “Oh, yeah…You’re Unity, right?”    Nope.  We share their focus on community, positivity, and education, but that’s not us. 

            “So, then, you’re the Unitarians?”   Nuh uh.  We share their value of other religions and spiritual paths, but that’s not us.

            We are the United Church of Christ. 

            “Wait!  You mean the ones who don’t use music instruments or allow women to preach?”   Nope.  While we love our conservative brothers and sisters (and man, can they sing!), we are waaaaayyy on the other end of the political and theological spectrum.

            The United Church (pause here) of Christ, is a Protestant (like Methodists and Lutherans) denomination that began when 4 denominations united in 1957.  There are tons of us in the Midwest, Northeast, West Coast, Hawaii (yes, please!), and we’re growing in the South. 

            We’re about as far left as you can go and still be considered Christian.  Our Unitarian friends affectionately joke the UCC stands for “Unitarians Considering Christ” because we are similar, just with a much heavier emphasis on Jesus (as Trinitarians, we’re big fans of the Holy Spirit, too!)

The UCC is a mainstream Christian denomination with deep roots in social justice, peace movements, activism, and support for the environment. Our ancestors were educators, abolitionists, civil rights and healthcare advocates, and folks of radical love and extravagant welcome.

            We ordained the first openly gay man in 1972, voted to affirm full rights and participation in the Church and society for transgender persons in 2003, and became the first mainline Christian denomination to support equal marriage rights for all in 2005. 

            We’re relatively light on dogma; extremely light on judgment (we try hard never to be but, hey, we’re human); and heavy on standing with people Jesus hung out with—those cast to the margins by society, those treated as any way less than, and those oppressed (like Dr. King, we even try to love the gremlins in our own and others’ hearts that lead us to oppress others).

            We often say, “Jesus didn’t turn anyone away, and neither do we.”  Micah 6:8—seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with God—sums up what we seek to do, pretty well.  We’re imperfect, ever-growing, and try to have a hella lotta fun together along the way.  So, come hang out awhile, let us love on ya, and see if maybe we, and the UCC, are for you.

Peace, Pastor Carla

Info from the Conference and National Offices:

UCC Webinar—What’s Possible?:Faith and
Climate Policy in 2021 -January 13, 2021

After the Georgia Senate runoff election on January 5th, we will know the legislative landscape for the new Congress. What will be possible for climate policy? Aside from congress, what might President Biden accomplish through executive orders? This webinar will address these questions with an eye toward what faith communities can do to put their values into action in pressing for the kind of climate policies urgently needed in this time of crisis and inequality. The featured panelists will be Anthony Rogers-Wright from the Climate Justice Alliance, Emily Wirzba from the Environmental Defense Fund, and Clarence Edwards from the Friends Committee on National Legislation.Even if you can’t make the webinar’s scheduled time onWednesday, January 13th at 1 pm ET, still sign-up, and we will send you a recording of it.Register at https://www.ucc.org/event/whats-possible-faith-and-climate-policy-in-2021/


Save the Date – January 27, 2021 – 6p CST
Quarterly Just Peace Webinar

The UCC Just Peace Committee is inviting you to the next quarterly Just Peace Webinar to take place on January 27 (7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT/5 p.m. MT/4 p.m. PT/2 p.m. HT).Details and log-in instructions will be sent in the New Year but please mark your calendars now!The topic will be, Wheredo we go from here? How do we engage? What should be our Just Peace priorities in 2021 as individuals, congregations, Associations, Conferences and the National Setting. What might we expect in our global community? And, finally, let’s talk and share ideas and plans.


Save the Date
UCC 2021 General Synod
July 11-18, 2021

Our first ever virtual Synod promises to be an exciting time of connection, discernment, and renewal with special opportunities for youth and young adults!Learningmore about your denomination’s process, leadership, and your covenantal siblings across the country has never been easier or more affordable. Find out more at http://www.generalsynod.org/welcome-message/

Thank you from Pastor Scott

Thank You!

     Let me say once again that is has been an honor, a privilege and a blessing to serve as pastor of Faith UCC in New Braunfels these last 15 years.  Thank you very much for all your cards, kind words, gifts and well wishes over Christmas and for my retirement!  I would like to thank all those who made my retirement send off possible.  Doing this over zoom and not in person complicated all of this.  I love the memory book!  A great deal of work went into it.  What a surprise to see letters and cards not only from the members of Faith UCC but also former conference ministers and even my Old Testament professor from seminary!  I would also like to thank the church for the very generous check.  Once we are able to travel again I will put that to good use and will think of you all and remember the many years we have journeyed together here at Faith UCC.

    I wish Faith UCC and each of you individually all the best as our paths diverge for awhile.  May God be with you. 

Grace and Peace, Pastor Scott

Church World Service Clean-Up Buckets

CWS is currently running a campaign to fill 3,000 buckets by the end of the year. The buckets were all donated; we’re asking for monetary donations to fill a bucket.

The cost of one Clean-up Bucket is $75. Right now, individuals can fill a bucket for $25. Thus, the campaign name: 3-in-1- Bucket Challenge. These buckets provide assistance to families and communities affected by flooding, tornados, fires and other disasters.

For more information.       https://cwskits.org/3-in-1-bucket-challenge/

Faith Rally: Election Day Home Stretch — A UCC Digital Event – October 14

Rev. Brooks Berndt UCC Minister for Environmental Justice

     Feeling bruised, battered, or fatigued by this election season? Looking for a source of uplift down the home stretch to November 3rd? Then, this digital event is for you.

This will be a time to renew our energies and our focus as we approach an election day with so many profound implications for those who care about the climate crisis and the many interconnected issues of justice that we face today.

     Our three featured speakers will include: Karenna Gore of Union Theological Seminary, the Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. of the Hip Hop Caucus, and the Rev. Gerald Durley of Interfaith, Power & Light. The webinar will be co-hosted by the Rev. Dr. Brooks Berndt of the UCC’s Environmental Justice Ministry and the Rev. Michael Malcom of Alabama Interfaith Power & Light.

    Even if you can’t make its scheduled time on October 14th at 1 pm ET, still sign-up, and we will send you a recording of it. 

Sign-up now to join the webinar!

Heart of Texas Association News

     The date of the Heart of Texas Association Fall Meeting has been moved to Saturday, October 24 at 10 am to noon (a shift from the original date of October 10) on Zoom.  The reason for the change in date is to allow us to prepare for a presentation on the proposed formation of a Conference level Fitness Review Committee.  The formation of this committee has been a project of the South Central Conference Board of Directors, and would be a joining of Associations (rather than a taking over by the Conference) in the work of ministerial fitness reviews.  I will explain a little more about what this means below.

     Our Association Executive Board will be putting the agenda together before the Fall Meeting, but we expect that we will have an emphasis on sharing from the churches about how we are doing our ministry during this time of enormous change, an opportunity to give toward needs generated by the pandemic, an update on what the work and needs of Slumber Falls are, and our normal financial/budget approvals and other brief reports.  The leadership of the Heart of Texas Association believes that it is perhaps more important than ever to share from our lives as churches in this time of change. 

     One of the most difficult, detailed, and time consuming tasks of our Committee on Ministry is a fitness review.  This work happens when a complaint regarding the fitness for ministry of one of our ministers is raised in a substantial way.  There is currently a thorough and demanding process for raising, investigating, and considering these types of complaints that the Association Committee on Ministry uses, as outlined in the United Church of Christ Manual on Ministry and supporting documents.  Since fitness reviews do not occur often, Committee members must be trained to understand and to work with this process when one does happen. Additionally, the Committee often needs to do quite a bit of follow up work after a fitness review occurs.  Normally, our Committee on Ministry has a full load of work for its meetings  working with our Members in Discernment and ministers before the major addition of fitness review work. An ongoing committee, composed of members elected from all of the Associations in the Conference, could do the demanding work of fitness reviews with members who are trained and experienced in this work.  That proposed ongoing committee, as well as a process to be able to join it, will be what will be presented at our Fall Meeting.  We would not vote on joining this committee until the Spring of 2021.  However, it is important for us to hear what is being proposed, to understand what we would be voting on, and to share feedback about it at this time.

    We will be sending out the Fall Meeting Zoom link, the agenda and instructions to all of our churches, to our ministers, and to as many people on our email list as we can once we are closer to the meeting date.  It is my hope and prayer that this meeting will be uplifting, informative, and a time of bonding and mutual support in our faith as we continue to do the work Christ calls all of us to do.  I hope many of you will join us.

Blessings in Christ, Liz Nash, Association Minister

Comal County Senior Citizen Christmas Wreath Fundraiser

Due to COVID-19, the Comal County Senior Citizen Foundation had to cancel our Festival Of Trees fundraiser scheduled for December. The decision was made to cancel this fundraising event for the safety of the general public and our senior population. The CCSCF is now attempting to raise funds with our Online Holiday Wreath Auction. We are requesting your donation of a Christmas Wreath and also hoping you will check out our online selection to purchase for yourself.  All funds will be used for our Senior Wellness programs which includes our multi-county Meals on Wheels program.

 Please review the information below and contact me if you would like to be part of our FIRST Online Holiday Wreath Auction & Sale.

  • Any size wreath will be accepted.
  • No minimum or maximum dollar amount requirements.
  • Wreaths may be donated from one person, a team of people, churches & companies.
  • The sooner you confirm your participation enables your company logo to be on advertising materials.   
  • Please send company logo with reply of confirmation to participate.
  • ALL Holiday Wreaths MUST be delivered to the Comal Senior center between Sept 30th & November 16th.
  • The auction will be a 100% online fundraiser. No public viewing at Senior Center address.
  • Wreaths may be self-made or store bought.
  • Online Auction will run 3 days, November 17th, 18th & 19th.
  • Winners of Auction can pick up wreaths on Nov. 20th at Senior Center address.
  • You may donate more than one wreath.

Thank you for any support you can give us at this time. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Linda Null

Membership & Activities Director

655 Landa St. New Braunfels Tx 78130

830-629-4547

lnull@nbsenior.org

Slumber Falls Camp Updates

Slumber Falls Camp 2020 Fall Work Weekend 10/23-10/25

Having two work weekends worked out so well in 2019, we are excited to do again this year!

Please join us for fun, good food, hard work and fellowship in this season of pandemic.  We will of course be practicing social distancing and mask wearing when doing projects inside but most things will be outside.

We will be finishing up transitioning from summer camp mode to retreat group / family group mode and prepping the property for winter.  We are currently compiling the project list and will share it soon.

Please remember if you or someone in your family needs volunteer hours for school, college applications or court mandated community service hours…this counts!  There is no cost for the weekend, but Love Offerings are always appreciated.  Lodging, Saturday breakfast, lunch and supper and Sunday breakfast are all provided.


Water of Life – Well #1 Repairs

While SFC is currently running a COVID Campaign to mitigate the financial state of the camp as a result of the pandemic, we also are seeking donations to cover the expenses of repairing Well #1.  In mid-August, both wells on the property went down.  While we were able to repair Well #2 in house, Well #1 faced more serious issues.  The pump on Well #1 seized up and burnt a section of electrical wiring.  We called in Kutscher Drilling in to replace the pump, a section of pipe, and wiring, which amount to $2,800.  A day before they came, the water reservoir tank in Well #1 sprang a leak.  David Lamensky is helping us repair the tank, but we are reaching out for donations to cover this non-budgeted repair expense.  If you have a passion for water, bathing/showering, or even drinking it in some form or fashion, consider giving a donation to the Water of Life effort so that others may experience the joys that come from fresh well water.

From the Pastor – October 2020

Usually when a pastor leaves a church he or she is going to another church and so they leave the area and are not available to do weddings and funerals, etc.   I am planning to retire and stay here in New Braunfels.  Even though I will still be in the area.  PLEASE do not ask me to perform any pastoral/professional functions.  The UCC “A Pastoral Vacancy: Guidelines for the Departing Pastor and the Governing Board” is quite clear on this:

“The personal relationships established within a parish setting sometimes make it difficult for both the pastor and the people to remember that the role is a professional one governed by a professional code of ethics.  And that code of ethics mandates that the professional relationship cease at the end of the term of service in a church.  As a pastor, you have an ethical obligation not to ‘intrude upon the ministry of my successor.”  Intrusion includes performing pastoral services (funerals, weddings, baptisms) as well as conversing with members about church life or decisions the church is considering.” 

As you can see the guidelines are quite clear on this and I would ask your help in helping me honor these guidelines.  When my predecessor, Rev. Lee Zillmann left Faith UCC to take up a position as a chaplain in the local hospital he followed these guidelines and it made my transition to being the pastor of Faith UCC much easier.  I want to do the same for whoever follows me, for both the interim and whoever the settled pastor will be.  

This also means that I will not be attending Faith UCC when I retire.  Instead, I will be attending other UCC churches in the area.

Please understand that this does not mean I won’t continue to care about you individually or for the church, far from it.  I value my relationship with each and every one of you highly and will continue to do so.  I will also continue to care very much about Faith UCC church.  I’ve only served four churches in my career and it is not an overstatement to say that God has blessed me greatly by allowing me to serve Faith UCC these last 15 years.  In many respects God saved the best for last.  I will continue to pray for you and for Faith UCC church.  I am reminded of the Apostle Paul’s words to the church in Philippi, his favorite church, “I thank God every time I remember you, constantly praying with you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now.  I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.”  (Phil 1:3-6)            

Grace and Peace,  Pastor Scott

Heart of Texas Association News

     Jewel Johnson, our brother in Christ and Pastor Emeritus of St. Peter’s Church of Coupland, died Thursday, July 2nd.  He served St. Peter’s for 17 years, starting in 1955 for four years and returning in 1968. In this Association, he also served as pastor of St. John’s UCC in Burton, St. John’s in Richland, and Trinity United Church of Niederwald.  Beyond the Heart of Texas, Jewel pastored churches in Dallas, Illinois, and Nebraska.  He and his wife, Mary, who passed away in 2016, lived a rich life of service and commitment. Jewel was a committed peace and justice activist, a beloved pastor, a joyous singer, and a devoted husband and father.  He has given all of us a marvelous example of Christian ministry and faithfulness. We give thanks for Jewel and for the rich and full life he lived as we commend him to God’s eternal love and life. 

     This month, we say farewell to our brother in Christ, Ron Trimmer, and his sons Ben and Aaron.  Ron has accepted a call to Lake Ozark Christian Church in Lake Ozark, Missouri.  He has served as the founding pastor of Hope United in Georgetown for the past 10 years and served at Friedens Church of Washington for several years before that.  He and Jan married in Washington, and they moved together with the boys to Georgetown with the shared commitment to the work of starting Hope United. We are grateful, too, for all he has given to the wider church and community.  He has been the chair of the Brazos Association Committee on Ministry, has served for a number of years as the chair of the South Central Conference New and Renewing Churches Committee, and has connected in many ways in the Georgetown community. Ron is a good friend to many of us. We send the Trimmer family off with love and prayers as they go to serve at Lake Ozark and to be closer to Ron’s family in the St. Louis area.

     Our prayers are with the churches in the Heart of Texas Association who are in transition at this most challenging time.  These include Hope United, United Christian in Austin, Evangelical UCC in Lyons, and Weimar UCC.  We have others that have had pastoral changes this spring since the pandemic began, including Bethany Congregational in San Antonio and Church of the Savior in Cedar Park.  I know all of you are working to find the path God is calling you to follow, and we pray that the ministries of all of our churches will continue to be full and faithful.

Blessings in Christ,  Liz Nash, Association Minister

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