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Annual Meeting is a ‘Welcome Home’ time

The poster for PNC’s 2014 Annual Meeting has open doors, representing the theme, “Welcome Home,” expressing that Annual Meeting is a “home,” a coming together of the Pacific Northwest UCC family, said Andrea (Andy) CastroLang, planning committee chair.

During the April 25 to 27 weekend, there will be many songs about coming home when delegates meet at University Congregational UCC in Seattle.

“The idea behind the theme is that, while the UCC has many who were born into the UCC, it is also home to many exiles, refugees from other churches, coming together as a family of choice,” she said.

“Annual Meeting is like a homecoming.  We share meals.  We laugh.  We talk.  We argue theology.  We consider issues.  We have deep conversations,” she said.

While Annual Meeting involves work, she emphasized that it’s about being together to strengthen ties and to renew ties, to see people and reconnect to tighten bonds of friendship.

“We want people to take time for relationships that matter,” Andy said.

Part of that will be for people in Seattle to open their homes.

“Some find the expense of a hotel room prohibitive, but because we are meeting at a church, not a convention center, participants can stay in homes of other UCC members,” she said.

The last time Annual Meeting was in Seattle and homes were offered, few stayed in homes.  People can fill our their registration forms about what they need so they can be matched with host homes.  People staying in homes can carpool to save parking congestion.

Members of University Congregational UCC, wearing bright colored T-shirts, will be on hand to guide Annual Meeting attendees.

Closing worship will be held there.

Conference Minister Mike Denton will be the preacher for the Friday evening worship.

christena Cleveland

Christena Cleveland

Christena Cleveland, a social psychologist with a passion for overcoming cultural divisions in groups, recently wrote Disunity in Christ:  Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart.  She is on the pastoral preaching team at her church and a volunteer with Young Life in Minneapolis.

lilian daniel

Lillian Daniel

Lillian Daniel, who is the author of When Spiritual But Not Religious Is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church, will be the Sunday morning preacher.  The senior minister of First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, Ill., since 2004, she believes religious community matters.

Friday dinner and Saturday lunch will be catered at University Congregational and the Saturday evening banquet will be at First Presbyterian Church.  Meals are included in the registration fee.

Andy said there is a Justice and Witness Ministries resolution on the living wage.

Arlene Hobson at the conference office is preparing the list of the workshops.

For information, call 206-725-8383 or email


February March 2014 © Pacific Northwest United Church of Christ Conference News


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