Tag: South Central Conference (Page 1 of 3)

SCC News and e-News

Catch up with news from around the South Central Conference!

Please see the most recent eNews weekly update below!

You can also follow this link directly to their newsletter if it is not displaying correctly below: https://conta.cc/3RB2d3M


SCC e-News
eNews weekly update
July 14, 2022 | Issue 28
Clergy Café
On Summer Hiatus

Retired Clergy Zoom Gathering
On Summer Hiatus Will Return August 25th

Ordination of Shelby Nowland
Saturday, July 30th

Open Arms Back-To-School Bash
Saturday, July 30th
Just Peace in a Southern Context Event
August 27, 2022 (10:00am – 4:00pm EST)

North Texas Association Fall Meeting
October 22, 2022 @ 10:00am
(First Congregational – Ft. Worth)

2022 Southern Regional Women’s Retreat
October 14-16, 2022 (Live Oak, FL)
Conference Minister Connections
Schedule Rev. Hodson to Preach
Phil will bring the message, host a Q&A discussion with your congregation after worship, and meet with your leadership.
Conference Minister 1:1 Chats
Schedule a conversation via Zoom with Rev. Hodson at a time that fits your life. Phil looks forward to chatting with you!
We will take a summer vacation from weekly Clergy Cafe gatherings — stay tuned to eNews for the resumption of this important weekly gathering soon!
News from Around the Conference
You’re Invited to the Ordination Service
for
Shelby Nowland
Open Arms UCC in Conroe Invites you to Their Back-To-School Bash
Saturday, July 30th
You’re invited to join the Florida Conference “Just Peace in a Southern Context” Virtual Event
Click anywhere on the above flyer for additional information or to register for this event.
2022 UCC Southern Regional Women’s Retreat
October 14-16-2022
Greetings to the UCC Women of the Florida, South Central, Southeast, and Southern Conferences!!
Have you ever attended one of the Southern Regional UCC Women’s Retreats? If you have, I expect you will be coming to Camp Weed and Cerveny Conference Center in Live Oak, Florida October 14-16, 2022. You value the inspiration, camaraderie, making new friends and reconnecting with old ones, learning new skills, and listening to God in a natural setting.
 
If you have never been to our retreats, you are in for a treat! We are meeting in the same beautiful northern Florida setting on a small lake where we met in 2013. It has a lovely chapel looking out on the water, nice two-bed rooms with private baths, an inspiring outdoor patio area with rocking chairs overlooking the lake, a large dining room with great food, and trails through the woods. A perfect spot to retreat from our everyday lives. 

Key Church Leaders Update Request
As part of our ongoing effort to increase communication and share resources across the Conference, we’re inviting all congregations to update their key church leaders’ information annually.

Please take just a few minutes to share with us your leadership team information so that we can make sure everyone is “in the know” about what’s happening across the Conference.

So far, we have only received five responses. This information is extremely important. Please take a few moments to complete this form. It assists the Conference office in updating the UCC National Data Hub Church Staff tab and keeping the SCC Directory current. Thank you!!
Conference Resources
Bookkeeping Services Now Available
Quality bookkeeping services that are built around the needs of your local church. The Conference now has this resource available to you!

Learn more about what we can offer your congregation!

Resources from Our Covenant Partners
A LOW-COST LOAN FROM THE CORNERSTONE FUND IS JUST A CLICK AWAY!
Sometimes you need to ask the difficult question. Deep down inside, you may already know the answer. But it’s not until you actually take the time to assess and realistically address the situation that you decide to act on the solution. While this scenario applies to a variety of issues in life, the topic at hand is the condition of your church property.

Is your congregation considering making improvements on your building to expand ministry or increase revenue? Is it finally addressing deferred maintenance items that worsen every year? Are you ready to reduce your building’s carbon footprint and save money on utilities in the process? Can you enhance digital capabilities to maintain and grow your online community?

If any of these questions apply to you, then now is a good time to talk with the Cornerstone Fund about low-cost loan options that will directly improve your facility and potentially strengthen your congregation.
MESA Zoom Training
What was behind the shift from Licensure to Lay Ministerial Standing in the 2018 Manual on Ministry? How are Committees on Ministry implementing these changes? What is the impact on congregations and those serving them? Join Rev. Elizabeth Dilley for a time of education and conversation.

Tuesday, July 19 3:30-5:00pm ET
Stewardship Webinars
Our friends in the Wisconsin Conference have created a series of online stewardship courses to help congregations consider these concerns, and we encourage you to check them out! Each opportunity has a unique registration button so that you can select those most relevant to your local church. These are offered at no cost, and we hope you’ll be able to participate!

New Materials Available for Stewardship
“From Bread and Cup to Faith and Giving” makes the connection between our experience of God and our generosity as disciples. It includes practical tools such as logos, commitment cards, bulletin inserts, and letters. The materials also provide resources for preaching about stewardship throughout the year. Campaign guidance and calendars help leaders make the best use of these robust materials for their specific content and size.
Your Gift Matters
You can make a difference as a
Friend of the Conference!

Janet Sherman Elected to SCC BoD

Janet Sherman has been elected to represent the Heart of Texas Association on the South Central Conference Board of Directors beginning with the Board’s Fall meeting.

The Board’s executive committee confirmed Janet’s placement on the Board following the SCC’s annual meeting held recently at Camp Allen in Navasota.

Janet will serve a three-year term on the Board. 

Congratulations, Janet!

Annual Meeting Registration Deadline – Friday, May 13th, 2022

The South Central Conference Annual Meeting page is up and running! Be sure to make plans to attend May 27th – May 29th at Camp Allen. Register as soon as possible as the last day to register will be Friday, May 13, 2022.

This is a bring your family event with activities planned for children, youth, and adults. The focus is Rest, Cultivate, Grow, and the Heart of Texas Association planning committee have been working hard to ensure that all three things can happen!

Churches, please be sure to send your delegates so quorum can be met and the business of the Conference can be completed.

On Sunday, Rev. Phil Hodson will be installed as the SCC Conference Minister. The worship service will be livestreamed so your churches can participate and your clergy can attend this important mark of the South Central Conference.
REGISTER HERE
Please remember that once you select your base registration to continue scrolling down the page to select any applicable add-ons.

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!

Blessings,

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


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.

REGISTER HERE TO ATTEND

HOT Association Minister Search and Call

Greetings friends in faith,

The Heart of Texas Association of The United Church of Christ formally announces its Search and Call for a new Association Minister. The position is an average of 15 hours per week. Each prospective candidate should ensure their United Church of Christ online profile has been updated. Candidates may access the profile section of the UCC.org website here: Create an account and log in here.

Once your online profile has been completed on the United Church of Christ website, you may forward a copy of your profile to me at carl@uccaustin.org, and I will distribute it to the Search and Call Committee. If you are outside the United Church of Christ, you may submit your information directly to Conference Minister, Rev. Phil Hodson at sccm@sccucc.org.

The application deadline for this position will be Thursday, September 16, 2021. The job description and other pertinent information will be posted to the Heart of Texas Association website at: http://hotaucc.org.

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ . . . (Ephesians 4:11-13)

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Carl

Carl Schwartz-King
Moderator, Heart of Texas Association
The United Church of Christ
carl@uccaustin.org

The Space Between

Submitted by Rev. Phil Hodson, Conference Minister

Your anchor passage at annual meeting 2021 came from Mark’s gospel. It referenced the storm over the lake and Jesus’ rebuke of the storm. At annual meeting reflections were offered on how God is with us in the midst of the storm and the power of faith in uncertain circumstances.

But there’s something else here, buried in the text. After Jesus rebukes the storm, all becomes quiet and still. In the stillness, in the quiet, the disciples reflect on who Jesus is and his significance in their lives. Today I write you in that strange quiet, almost surreal in-between space. A space where we are just beginning to understand the damage caused by Hurricane Ida in New Orleans. A space that has yet to be found for many as rain continues to shower across Louisiana, Mississippi, and makes its way north and east. A space where we can take stock of the reality of climate change in our world. A space where we can give thanks for lives spared. A space where we are going to remain, prayerfully together, for a little bit. I’ve heard from many already who want to spring into action, but we’re in a place where we don’t have enough information yet. We know there has been damage to several of our churches, and so we pray for them, knowing that we will respond with our bodies in working prayer to help rebuild and repair when the time comes. As we sit together in this space for a little while there is one other thing we can do: get ready. Pray up and ask God if we have the capacity to step in and help with rebuilding physically when the time comes. Pray up and then share our gifts so that the resources will be available to our churches and the wider communities when the time comes. 

We are a denomination built on being in covenant with one another. Being there for one another. And we, in the South Central Conference, will be. For today, we pray. And we prepare for the next faithful steps when the time is right. Each of us can give, as we are able, to lay the groundwork for recovery by responding to the Special Appeal issued this week by the national setting. I encourage us to do so. Let’s get ready, the action will spring forth in God’s good time.

Blessings,

Rev. Phil Hodson
Conference Minister
South Central Conference, 
United Church of Christ
3610 River Road
New Braunfels, TX 78132
T: (830) 625-2212 x 4 C: (765) 532-3429

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