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Global Ministries and Stewardship News Briefs
Participants in Virtual Pilgrimage 'to' Colombia named

The Pacific Northwest Conference UCC and the Disciples of Christ Northern Lights Region Global Ministries has recruited 16 households to participate in a four-day Virtual Pilgrimage to Colombia between Sept. 21 to 26.

The pilgrimage is an event in the process or exploring a partnership with the UCC and DOC partner organizations in Colombia, Justapaz, the Mennonite Center for Justice Peace and Nonviolent Action, and the Peace Commission of the Evangelical Council of Colombia.

A People to People Pilgrimage proposed for September was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the Virtual Pilgrimage was planned as a way for participants to meet for one to two hours a day over six days—with two “down” days for guided theological reflection.

UCC participants are Rick Russell and Mary Olney-Loyd, co-chairs of the Global Ministries Committee; Meighan Pritchard of Prospect Congregational UCC in Seattle; Jan Kinney, Ed Evans of Suquamish UCC; Ruth Brandon of Everett UCC, and Steve Clagett of All Pilgrims UCC.

Disciples participants are Dick Cunningham of Queen Anne Christian Church, Seattle; Wayne Daly, All Pilgrims in Seattle (DOC and UCC); Janet Larson and Adam Janes from Othello Christian Church; Sandy Messick, Northern Lights regional minister, in Spokane; Bill and Connie Roby, First Christian Church, Puyallup; Gloria Soja, First Christian Church, Helena, Mont., and Annette Bratke, Grand Avenue Christian Church, Bozeman, Mont.

Hosts in Colombia have been preparing videos for the participants to see to learn about Colombia’s history, geography, culture, faith expression and current social dynamics.

When the pilgrimage is completed materials will be available on for others to view, said Mary. 

“Our pilgrims are concerned for justice in that region, as our Colombian partners are sharing their stories of trying to help implement the Peace Accord Agreement made in 2016,” said Rick.

For information, call 206-999-6968 or email, or call 206-363-1438 or email


Bob Porter translates book on Sri Lankan refugee

Robert Porter, a retired teaching missionary in Sri Lanka, has translated the book, The Foreign German,Living Between the Cultures, from German to English.  It is the story of Umeswaran Arunagirinathan, a Tamil war refugee who came to Germany as an unaccompanied 12-year-old boy and successfully blended in.

He narrates his way from being a refugee who used the underground to escape Sri Lanka, learns German, succeeds in school and becomes a physician heart surgeon, as well as a German citizen.

In doing so, he also tells of the potential expectations and challenges of the process of integration. He also deals with way of life and culture of his country of origin.The author asks German people for better understanding of refugees and encourages refugees to integrate into German society.

Bob, a member of Northminster Presbyterian in Seattle, has served on the PNC-DOC Global Ministries Committee, joining PNC partnership visits in Germany and teaching English in Seoul, South Korea.

For information, call 206-706-5693.


Stewardship reports, plans Stewardship Revival

Kendall Baker, chair of the Stewardship Committee, recently shared about their activities including a Stewardship Revival, “Unbroken Together: The Power of Generosity,” at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept 22.

“In the middle of a time of great need, sometimes it’s easy to forget we have much to offer and much to share,” said Kyna Shilling, who is helping with publicity.  “Generosity is at the heart of who God calls us to be and what’s something to celebrate.”

The “revival” will be a worship service to lift up ways members are called to give, to celebrate hope and share resources to help local churches in stewardship.

The Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, the UCC’s associate general minister for Wider Church Ministries and Operations and co-executive for Global Ministries, will be the preacher.  The link is or by phone at 623-404-9000.

The Stewardship Committee is responsible 1) for budget development, financial oversight and care of property—like the camps—and 2) to provide resources for churches and communicate with pastors and church leaders on ways to support the PNC financially, such as through OCWM.

“As we prepared to launch a new program year, the pandemic blindsided us, and our best laid plans had to be put aside as we developed new strategies appropriate to these challenging times,” Kendall said.

There are two subcommittees: Finance and Interpretation. Diana Kutas chairs Finance, which addresses concerns in #1.  Ron Patterson chairs Interpretation, addressing concerns in #2. 

The full Stewardship Committee convenes online every two months to coordinate the subcommittee work and make recommendations to the Board of Directors.

Because of financial uncertainties imposed by COVID-19, the Finance Subcommittee has met monthly. It presented the Board a revised budget for the first half of this fiscal year—June through November, 2020—and is now ready to make recommendations for the last half of the fiscal year—December through May, 2021.

Kendall said the Interpretation Subcommittee has shifted its emphasis from “asking” for support of the Conference, to helping local churches plan for their future.  To do that, it organized the online “Stewardship Revival” for Sept. 22.

The committee also organized and carried out the successful “Changing Lives, Changing Times” camp campaign.  The Campaign Committee, chaired by Wade Zick, communicated the opportunity to support the two camps. 

“Thanks to a strong response from both outside organizations that depend upon our camps, and from individuals and churches in the Conference, the goal of $200,000 was exceeded—an amazing feat in the best of times, and extraordinary in these times of financial uncertainty,” said Kendall.

“We are encouraged by the powerful spirit in the Conference today and by the courageous hopefulness with which pastors and churches are dealing with the incredible challenges of this pandemic.  These times are calling for us all to discover new muscles, new reservoirs of imagination and resolve sufficient for the day.  From our perspective on the PNC Stewardship Committee, the Spirit is alive and well in our United Church of Christ,” said Kendall.

For information, call 206-550-5877 or email



Pacific Northwest Conference United Church News © Fall 2020


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