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Transitions announced

Jerry-Ninja Chang was ordained Nov. 17 at the Taiwanese Christian Church in Seattle.

Cynthia Meyer was installed Sunday, Oct. 27, as settled pastor at the United Church of Renton, a merged congregation of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Tim Devine is retiring as pastor of St. Paul’s UCC in Seattle on Jan. 19.  He has served there since 2001.

David Anderson is retiring as church administrator at University Congregational UCC in Seattle on Feb. 2 after 22 years on staff.

Doris Waggoner died Nov. 20.  She earned a MDiv from Eden Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1995, serving as an associate pastor, a chaplain in Florida, a CPE resident in Missouri, a computer instructor at the University of Wisconsin before transferring her standing to the PNC in 2004.

Berton Connerly died at the age of 100 on August 14 in Olympia. After earning his MDiv at Andover Newton Theological Seminary, he served as a Congregational (United Church of Christ) minister in Massachusetts, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Washington for about 20 years, then taught English for Clover Park School District for 17 years.


Tolt marks 125th anniversary

Tolt Congregational Church (Carnation) commemorated its 125th anniversary Nov. 16 with a feast and celebration at Carnation Farms in the historic Hippodrome, originally built in 1922 as a horse stadium.

A special worship service was held Sunday, Nov. 17, in the Nan Fullerton Stewart Chapel at the church.

For information, call 425-333-4254 or


Men’s Retreat is Feb. 1 to 3

The PNC’s 29th annual UCC Men’s Retreat at Pilgrim Firs will be Friday to Sunday, Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, beginning on Friday evening with an optional day of silent retreat starting Thursday evening, Jan. 30.

The theme is: “Vitality in Our Own Lives and Communities.”  

The topic of this retreat will be “Climate Change: From Despair to Hope.” Participants are encouraged to compile resource to share as part of small group discussions, while joining in songs, good food and walks around Lake Flora.

There will be a Saturday evening Wisdom Circle for sharing reflections guided by the Rev. David Schoen.  He will draw on two books, Invisible Hope: Living Courageously in Troubled Times by Kate Davies and Climate Church, Climate World: How People of Faith Must Work for Change by Jan Antal.

David, a hiker, birder, gardener, stargazer and photographer and advocate for creation justice. He lives on Whidbey Island.  He has served as pastor of UCC congregations and worked in UCC national ministries.  In retirement, he works part-time for the UCC Church Building and Loan Fund as minister for church closure and legacy. 

“The Silent Retreat on Thursday is always meaningful for those able to participate,” said Rick Russell, co-director for the retreat with Hans Dankers..

For information, call 360-876-2031 or email, or To register, visit and click on Pilgrim Firs, then Events.


#Giving Tuesday erases debts

Celebrated on the Tuesday after U.S. Thanksgiving, and fueled by the social media and collaboration, GivingTuesday inspires millions of people across the globe to give to causes and issues that matter to them. The UCC surpassed its goal of $50,000, raising $73,222 from 725 donors

Donations to the national UCC #GivingTuesday campaign will be used to erase crushing medical debt for people living below the poverty level who are facing insolvency, and for whom medical debt is 5 percent or more of annual income.

• Medical debt contributes to more than 60 percent of all bankruptcies

• 43 million Americans owe about $75 billion in past-due medical debt

• 75 percent of individuals in medical bankruptcy had health insurance coverage

Medical debt is an economic justice issue, leading people to cut non-medical necessities and needed medical services, and sinking people into a health-poverty trap. 

The UCC has set a goal of $50,000 on Giving Tuesday to erase some $5 million in medical debts. The United Church of Christ works with RIP Medical Debt, a New York-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that identifies and purchases medical debt for pennies on the dollar then abolishes unpaid and unpayable medical debt as a benefit to recipients and society.

For information, visit


UCC seeks Just Peace churches

Since the General Synod pronounced the UCC to be a Just Peace Church in 1985 and encouraged local churches to do the same, at least 178 UCC congregations became Just Peace Churches.

A new national UCC Just Peace Steering Committee encourages those congregations to find and review the covenants they voted on, and to renew their identity as Just Peace Churches.  Those who have not yet become a Just Peace congregation are asked to consider this journey in justice and peace work. The committee will provide information, resources and a list of steps to become a Just Peace Church, said committee members Diane Weible ( and Lynne Lopez (  They will send a list of steps for becoming a Just Peace church.

The list includes Community Congregational UCC in Pullman, but does not list other Pacific Northwest Conference churches.

For information, visit


National Youth Event is in June at Purdue

The UCC’s National Youth event will be July 22 to 25 at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.  It often brings 4,000 participants who gather to focus on faith, reflection, encounter, leadership, service, community building and social justice. The theme is 2020 is “Unite!” It is for youth who have completed sixth through 12th grade.  Registration is Feb. 1 to 29.

For information, call 216-736-3871, email or visit


Puerto Rico camps canceled

The Global Ministries Committee had announced two disaster response mission pilgrimages in Puerto Rico for Jan. 26 to Feb. 1 and Feb. 2 to 8.  Coordinator Randy Crowe said the camps have been canceled.  Last April he led a group of 25 in a pilgrimage to help Puerto Ricans rebuild homes following 2017 Hurricanes Maria and Irma. For information, email


Copyright © Winter 2019-2020 Pacific NW United Church News


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