Tag: SCC (Page 2 of 5)

Setting Things in Motion

Submitted by Rev. Phil Hodson, SCC Conference Minister

I write you today in the hope that each and every one has enjoyed some part of this past week. Perhaps it was time with loved ones and a shared meal; maybe just some quiet moments alone out of the ordinary busyness of our everyday lives. Maybe you made a list of ingredients for that Thanksgiving dinner, or the parts of it you were responsible for preparing alongside others. You shopped. You prepped. You cooked. You shared the result. My hope is that preparation culminated in the creation of new memories, the opening of new conversations, and the sharing of new possibilities in your life.

It is customary each year for the Conference to debut our tentative spending plan for review prior to its adoption by the Board of Directors. This custom was, by necessity, not undertaken this year due to the sudden passing of one of our pastors at the time those details were to be finalized and released. So, in November, the Board met for the final time of this calendar year and passed a spending plan. Today I present it here for your review.

I’m a process-oriented person and I recognize that the finished product has been fully baked. However, I think it will be palatable this year and am confident we’ll be back to cooking by the typical ingredients in 2022! Because I can share with you, happily, that the extra time we had in preparation allowed us to examine things more closely and to balance the budget in this upcoming year’s plan! Together with your support through our “Fair Share” OCWM initiative, the South Central Conference can now make new memories, open new conversations, and share new possibilities of a future filled with hope because we can set this plan in motion. 

I present it to you, on behalf of the Board of Directors, with joy and hope for all that lies ahead as we prepare in this season of Advent to celebrate the birth that makes all things new!

Please click here to review the 2022 Spending Plan.

Rev. Phil Hodson
Conference Minister
South Central Conference, 
United Church of Christ
3610 River Road
New Braunfels, TX 78132

Christmas Gifts for Kids of Piedras Negras and Local Orphanges

Submitted by Rev. Arlene Turner, Bethany Congregational UCC San Antonio and Rev. Nikki Stahl, Association Minister Heart of Texas

Dear South Central Conference Churches and Members,

You are cordially invited to participate in a monetary donation drive to purchase Christmas gifts for the kids of Piedras Negras and local orphanages. We (Arlene & Nikki) recently traveled to Piedras Negras and Jimenez, Mexico to visit children supported by El Shaddai Ministries, a ministry partner of Bethany. Provided is a short 3-minute video of that experience. Please feel free to download and share this short-video with your congregations, family, friends, the world by including in your electronic newsletters, social media, websites and more. 

Our desire along with Pastor Jose is to provide each child (300, or so) a small gift from the church so that they will know that they are not forgotten and loved by God. Monetary donations will be accepted through Monday, December 20th at Bethany Online Giving . We will be returning to Piedras Negras Christmas week to purchase and distribute the gifts. Plans are to create a follow-up video so we can celebrate together!

As the video shows, this journey has already been spirit-filled and we look forward to experiencing how the Divine will live, and move, and has its being in and through us all.

Peace, Rev. Arlene & Rev. Nikki

Annual Meeting Planning Committee

Submitted by Rev. Nikki Stahl

Who would you call on in your congregations to make a special event happen in your church? We need them and/or you!  

It’s the Heart of Texas Association’s turn to host the Conference Annual Meeting!

Dates (May 27-May 29, 2022) and a venue (Camp Allen) have been secured, but the HOT Planning Committee needs help in the areas below.

If you, or a member of your congregation, has a particular gift in any of these areas, please let me or our Moderator, Carl Schwartz-King, know ASAP. There will be a special installation service for our Conference Minister, Rev. Phil Hodson during this event as well. This is a great opportunity to get to know people within the Association and beyond.
Annual Meeting Focus Areas:

  • Venue Coordinator: Ann Wherly
  • Registration Coordinator: Stacey Silvey
  • Worship Coordinator: Trent Williams
  • Program Coordinator: CJ Wood
    • Child/Youth Cordination: Jeremy Albers (with specific leads for youth, children)
    • Boundary Training: Lynette Ross
  • Business Meeting Coordinator: Debra Joseph
  • Vendors Coordinator: Charles Stark? 
  • Kit Collections Coordinator: Anne Wehrly and Doris Machinski
  • Hospitality/Fellowship Coordinator: Carl Schwartz-King
    • Banquet Coordination: Arlene Turner assist
  • Volunteer Coordinator: Nikki Stahl
  • A/V Equipment Coordinator: Needed

Online planning kicked off this past Tuesday, November 30th and the next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 6 at Noon.

Let me or Carl know if you plan on attending and we will send you a zoom link. If you want to help but cannot attend, let one of us know as well. Or if you know someone that we can contact in your congregation directly, we would love those names and email/phone numbers.

Peace, Rev. Nikki Stahl
HOT Association Minister

Polluted Democracy Webinar

UCC Webinar -Polluted Democracy: Fossil Fuel Money and Congress 
Wednesday, December 8th @ 1:00 pm ET

Not everyone has an equal voice and vote in our democracy when campaign contributions make the playing field of electoral races vastly uneven. Currently, the fossil fuel industry has an enormous impact on Congress through campaign donations. This is a matter that relates to core values of fairness, justice, and love of neighbor in the face of powerful forces that continue to damage and threaten people and planet for the sake of profit. This free webinar will feature three panelists from some of the leading organizations addressing the influence of fossil fuel money on Congress: Sarah Bryner from OpenSecrets, Tyson Slocum from Public Citizen, and RL Miller from Climate Hawks Vote. Even if you can’t make the scheduled time of 1 pm ET on Wednesday, December 8th, still sign-up, and we will send you a recording. Register now!

Phil’s Note-Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Submitted by Rev. Phil Hodson, SCC Conference Minister

As of today I have traveled 5,173 miles around the Conference in my car. I’ve been preaching and visiting our congregations, meeting with different individuals and groups, and asking the same question: What should a Conference Minister do? I’m asking because I want to learn our goals and dreams and also gain insight into our past experience so that we can live more fully together into the future that God has in store for us. When I started asking the question, I expected two standard answers: conflict resolution and search & call. What’s been both interesting and exciting to me is that neither of those are at the top of the list with anyone I’ve spoken to. Instead, I’ve heard these words: encouragement, guidance, direction, connection raised repeatedly. I find this terribly exciting — because that’s been my hope since I started the car on July 15! It is my deepest desire to be in ministry with you that is missional, relational, and incarnational across every setting of the church. 

One of the ways that can happen is through the use of a tool called MissionInsite, which the Conference has purchased and will make available for use in every congregation. As a pastor in the local church, I used this resource to launch a new congregation, identify ministry opportunities, and see the local church relate to its’ community in incredible ways — and I want us to do the same in the South Central Conference! This resource compiles data about the neighborhoods we live in and the neighbors who live beside us — interests, preferences, hopes, and more — using the latest from the Census and the agencies who collect our individual data for private enterprise to understand us, but their goal is to help the church gain deeper understanding so that we can be in ministry with our neighbors in relevant, practical ways that will transform lives.  Did I mention this is freely available to any setting that would like to use it? And that I will make time to personally consult with you and your leadership in understanding your mission field and help you identify new opportunities? This will be a multi-step process that will help us understand ourselves and our neighbors more fully, so that we can help the rubber meet the road in our ministries going forward! The first step is to answer this question:

Would your congregation be interested in this resource?

If you answered yes, the next step is to email me and let me know you’d like to begin the journey! Note: when you do, I’ll send you back a spreadsheet. This will come with regular homework. I’m sharing this now because we just signed the contract and I’m really excited about what is possible! I’m also sharing it now because Christmas is right around the corner (I know, right?), and the Advent and Christmas season has traditionally been a wonderful time to connect with new neighbors and showcase the power of community and relationship through the life of the church! Which leads me to another question:

Would or Could your church utilize a list of names in your community for you to reach out to?

If we developed a simple postcard that could name your church and Christmas Eve worship time, then provide you a list of 1,000, 5,000, or 10,000 names in your community to mail it to, would your congregation be interested in underwriting the cards and names prepared for you?

Jesus’ ministry was highly contextual. He knew the people he connected with. Everywhere he went on his ministry journey, Jesus paid careful attention to what was actually around him and related to the folks he met. I believe, as we prepare for what God has in store in our future, we must move forward in the same fashion. These resources, and the questions I’m asking you today, are one way your Conference Minister hopes to encourage, guide, offer direction and foster new connections with you. I pray you will find them helpful and engage in this exciting opportunity together with me. We have many wonderful miles to travel together!


Rev. Phil Hodson
Conference Minister
South Central Conference, 
United Church of Christ
3610 River Road
New Braunfels, TX 78132

ONA NEWS: New Webinar Series Can Revive Your Church

Submitted by Andrew Lang


The Coalition’s popular series of webinars resumes on Tuesday, October 26, 2021.
Available Webinars:

ONA 101:

  • Tuesday, October 26th
  • Thursday, November 4th

ONA and the Bible:

  • Tuesday, November 2
  • Thursday, November 11

1-to-1 Conversations about ONA:

  • Tuesday, November 9

ONA Next:

  • Tuesday, November 16

Do you know churches that want to become ONA, but are hesitating because of the fear they might lose members and money?

Let them know about this series: churches that participate in our training programs learn how an ONA process can build consensus and revive energy for mission and ministry!

You can register for an individual webinar or purchase a discounted Season Pass for all sessions.


Austin Musicians Celebrate Sid Hall – Party & Fundraiser – November 7, 2021

Shared by Trinity Church of Austin

Please join us on Sunday, November 7, 2021 from 3:30-7:30pm to celebrate Sid Hall’s 33 years of ministry with Trinity Church of Austin!

Sid retired as of July 1 of this year, but due to pandemic conditions, we delayed his retirement celebration until it was cool enough for us to gather outdoors. We encourage you to mask up and join us for live music, food, drinks, and fellowship at Ranch Austin with the Trinity community.

We have a stunning lineup of Austin musicians joining us for the evening, including Kelly Willis, Sara Hickman, Albert & Gage, Nancy Scott, Ed Miller, the Therapy Sisters, Doc Grauzer, and our own Trinity musicians. Scroll down for details!

Proceeds from the event will benefit the ongoing ministries of Trinity Church of Austin. Your generous tax-deductible donations allow us to fund sliding scale admissions for those in our community who could not otherwise afford to attend.


TX Impact Board to have UCC/SCC Representative Vacancy as Sheila Angerer Steps Down

Submitted by Sheila Angerer

I am going to step back from serving as a TX Impact board member. This will leave a vacancy to represent the UCC and SCC.

I am unwilling to drive to Austin, let alone maneuver my way through traffic. I have not made this decision without some prayer and meditation and kept coming up with the same answer. 

I have enjoyed everyone on the TX Impact board. I believe I served through three legislative years.  Two of which I was able to be in Austin several times due to the kindness of others. The rallies on the steps of the Capitol were invigorating. We were able to meet with our respective representatives and senators.

I have contacted Bee Moorehead and advised her of my decision.  Just remember the legislature meets every other year. If you are at all interested in serving on the TX Impact board, please Google TX Impact, there is good information to digest and help with a decision. TX Impact is a faith based organization. I have submitted information about TX Impact in earlier newsletters.

If more information is needed , please contact Bee Moorehead at bee@texasimpact.org or Annaliese Cothron at Annaliesecothron@gmail.com. They will have answers to your questions.

It has been an honor to represent TX Impact through Faith UCC in New Braunfels and the conference during the past six years. All good things do come to an end.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me at 830 352 3314 or email me at Geminibo2@hotmail.com.  Thanks very much.

Peace & Grace
Sheila Angerer

All of us at Faith UCC offer our special thanks to Sheila for her dedication and service! Thank you, Sheila.

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