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Transitions announced

Sara McVey is the new CEO of Horizon House, succeeding Bob Anderson, who served 16 years.

Sandy Cheatham was installed as the new minister for Blaine UCC on June 5.  After earning a bachelor’s in history at Louisiana Tech University, she married.  In Arkansas, she completed a master’s in teaching and then moved to Oregon, where she began studies at Northwest House of Theological Studies in Salem.  She served a church in Broomfield, Colo., before coming to Blaine.

Don Young of Sierra Vista, Ariz., who served United Methodist, United Church of Christ and the National Council of Churches in Montana, Ohio, Arizona and Washington, died on June 1.

David Brenchley, who was served Shalom UCC in Richland from 1984 to 1986, was killed in a car accident in May.  As a specialized minister, he spend four years in Kenya, planning Kenya Methodist University and started Project Hope to serve street children.

On June 6, the Emerge and See Church in Sandpoint was officially welcomed into the Pacific Northwest Conference of the UCC, following the vote of accepting the congregation at the 2015 Annual Meeting in Spokane.


Farmworkers organize march

Edie Rasell, UCC minister for economic justice, calls for people in the region to support Burlington farm workers’ struggle for human rights at events Friday and Saturday, July 10 and 11.

Farm workers in Burlington, Wash., employed by Sakuma Brothers Farms, one of the largest berry growers in the state, have been struggling since 2013 against abuses that include wage theft, payment of illegal sub-minimum wages, racist remarks, illegal surveillance, illegal firings, and inhumane living conditions, she reported. In 2013, the workers formed a union, the Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ), AFL-CIO, and called for a boycott of Sakuma.

To learn more about this struggle and support the workers, the board of directors of the National Farm Worker Ministry,, representing more than 30 denominations, Catholic orders and faith bodies, are traveling from around the country to hold their semi-annual board meeting in Bellingham. 

At 6:30 p.m., Friday, July 10, members of Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) will give a presentation about their struggle and their plans at Western Washington University’s Viking Union, Room 462 A.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, July 11, FUJ and supporters will hold a three-mile march at Sakuma Bros. They may meet in Burlington or take a shuttle from Bellingham.

Those who cannot go can view a five-minute video, “Our Work Is Life,” following FUJ members as they harvest multiple crops from California to Washington.  It is at

There is also an article, “Things Can Change,” by David Bacon and Rosario Ventura in Dollars and Sense magazine at

For information, email


General Synod delegates listed

The PNC’s delegates to General Synod 30 June 26 to 30 in Cleveland are moderator Andy CastroLang of Westminster Congregational UCC in Spokane; Dee Eisenhauer, pastor at Eagle Harbor UCC on Bainbridge Island; vice moderator Scott Ward of Magnolia UCC in Seattle; Conference Minister Mike Denton; Katie Gilbert, youth delegate also from Westminster, and young adult delegate Jenn Hagedorn of Plymouth UCC in Seattle.

Synod meets every two years, bringing together thousands from the United Church of Christ for worship, fellowship and witness.  There will be resolutions on justice, church structure and function.  The theme is “Unexpected Places” for hearing God’s voice and encountering the Spirit.

Speakers include Molly Baskette, pastor of First Church UCC in Somerville, Mass., and consultant for the Center for Progressive Renewal; Mitri Raheb, pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church in Bethlehem; Bishop Dwayne Royster, pastor of Living Water UCC in North Philadelphia; Sharon Watkins, general minister and president of the Disciples of Christ; Winona LaDuke, co-director of Honor the Earth, and Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, religion editor for the Huffington Post.

Delegates will vote on the Rev. John Dorhauer, as successor to the Rev. Geoffrey Black, as general minister and president.  They will also decide on other national officers.  The Rev. Linda Jaramillo is retiring as Justice Witness Ministries executive.


UCC leaders reflect on shooting

From the national UCC came the following: “We extend our deepest condolences to our brothers and sisters of Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina in the loss of their Pastor Clementa Pinckney and eight of their church family. 

“As the body of Christ, we weep in pain and prayer with you in the aftermath of this horrible act of violence. 

“Our thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives and those who were injured. 

“Each loss is close to us.  We just learned that the beloved cousin of one of our UCC national staff persons was one of the victims.

“Mass killings such as these are heart-rending under any circumstances.  They are made even more tragic when they happen within the walls and safety of sacred space.  The heart of our nation must break wide open to feel the pain of our divisions. 

“The body of our nation must turn itself inside out to expose the sickness of our collective culture.  The soul of our nation must cry out in agony and lamentation at this time. 

“We appeal to the United Church of Christ family and the entire nation to pray without ceasing for justice and peace to prevail.

“We rely on God’s abiding love, the presence of Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit as we know that God wraps the entire AME family in a blessed embrace.   When one part of the body is injured, the whole body suffers. 

“Dear God of many Names, we come to you in our time of grief.  Help us dear God to understand how such tragedy occurs in the midst of your beloved family.  Because you have made us One Body, help us dear God to reach across the lines which divide us.  At this time, we ask for special prayers for our beloved family in Charleston, South Carolina and all who connect to them in life and spirit.  Keep them close to your heart dear One and protect them with power of your Holy Spirit.  We pray all this in the blessed name of Jesus the Christ, our Rock and our Redeemer.”

Copyright June-July 2015 © Pacific Northwest Conference News



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