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Transitions and Events

Transitions announced

Becky Anderson was installed June 4 as pastor of the Newport UCC, which she has been serving since March.

David Weasley will be installed July 8 as the pastor of youth, young adults and mission at First Congregational UCC in Bellingham.  He grew up in Western New York, attended Chicago Theological Seminary and was ordained by the American Baptist Church.

Lon Rycraft,  who served as pastor at Normandy Park UCC from 2008 to 2016, died April 30 in Corvallis, where he studied at Oregon State University.  He earned MDiv and DMin degrees at Claremont School of Theology and served churches in Hawaii and Oregon.

Darrel Goodwin, pastor of Liberation UCC in Seattle and member of the United Church of Christ Board, will be the program director for the Lilly Endowment’s National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders.


Regional authorizing ministry events are planned in the fall

“Make It Plain: Authorizing Ministry in the 21st Century” is the theme for three regional events: Sept. 8 to 9 in Boston, Sept. 21 to 22 in Denver, and Oct. 23 to 24 in Philadelphia.

The programs will look at the changing landscapes of church and denominational life and how they have impact on ministry, including ways the UCC calls, authorizes and oversees ministers.

The Manual on Ministry, last revised in 2002, will be re-imagined to meet needs of the church and Committees on Ministry in these times.  In 2014, a 17-member denomination-wide committee with people from many aspects of church life, was formed to write the vision of authorized ministry. The regional gatherings will include Committees on Ministry, authorized ministers and members of the UCC.

For information, search online for Make It Plain: Authorizing Ministry in the 21st Century.


Stewardship Workshop planned

“Journey to Generosity: The Way of Jesus” is a stewardship workshop to be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, June 24, at the Congregational Church on Mercer Island.  Participants will look at changing patterns of giving, organizing a stewardship campaign, the UCC’s 2017 resource packet, capital campaigns, electronic giving, endowments and legacies, and how to ask people for money. It is planned by Gary Southerton and Roberta Rominger.

For information, email pastor or


Our Whole Lives training set

There will be an Our Whole Lives training from noon Friday to noon Sunday, Nov. 10 to 12, at Pilgrim Firs Camp and Conference Center in Port Orchard. The event will explore holistic sexuality education following UCC values.

There will be sessions for grades K to 1, fourth to sixth grades, seventh to ninth grades, 10th to 12th grades, and young adults/adults.

For information, call 360-876-2031 or visit


JWM Committee offers calendar

The PNC Justice and Witness Ministries Committee prepares a monthly calendar of justice events.  Steve Claggett said that submissions may be made by emailing him at

The link to the calendar is at!At4A1ODoFJGKkFTuuyeE-U2zZ1mz.


‘Table Turning’ action held

For the third year, a multi-faith Holy Table Turning/Passover Action was held April 10 across the street from the Howard S. Wright headquarters in King County to protest the building of a new youth jail, the Youth and Family Justice Center, said Merlla McLaughlin of Northshore UCC.

“Institutional racism and greed fuel a massive prison industrial complex,” she said. “Profits are prioritized over children and families of color, and faiths are often complacent toward racist public policies.”

In the Howard S. Wright offices, people work to move construction of the new youth jail.  In the action, young parents pushed strollers and shepherded small children to hand out fliers to passersby or to hold up signs.  Clergy of different faiths spoke out, calling for justice and for healing wounds of institutional racism and white indifference, she said.  Signs said: “No New Youth Jail.” “Education Not Institutions.” “Stop Caging Our Children.” “Stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline.”

“As we prayed and sang together, we symbolically flipped over our tables,” Merlla said.

For information, call 206-909-8758.


General Synod meets in June

Twenty-one resolutions are coming before the UCC’s General Synod 2017 meeting June 30 to July 4 in Baltimore, MD.  

Every two years, General Synod brings together thousands of UCC members for witness, worship, fellowship and friendship.

The theme “Make Glad!” will be part of celebrations and debate.  Delegates will return to report to the conference and their congregations.

Proposed resolutions address several social justice issues, including calls to:

• Participate in inclusive Boy Scouting programs;

• Advocate for children living under Israeli military occupation;

• End corporal punishment of children;

• Bring down the wall in the Caribbean;

• Address rights of adoptees to access to their birth certificates;

• Recognize gun violence as a public health emergency;

• Become an immigrant welcoming church;

• Establish a more just economy with living wages and job creation;

• Support legislation authorizing aid in dying;

• Enact a $15/hour minimum wage;

• Establish programs for cultural diversity training for clergy;

• Support adult survivors of child abuse and neglect;

• Work for disability justice;

• Affirm the Immokalee Workers’ boycott of Wendy’s, and

• Affirm imperatives that the “Earth is the Lord’s, not ours to wreck.”

The program will also include a variety of speakers, such as author Glennon Doyle Melton, environmental activist Aaron Mair, senior minister of Riverside Church in New York City Amy Butler, Pacific School of Religion president David Vasquez-Levy, pastor of Living Water UCC in Philadelpia Kim Kendrick, UCC president and general minister John Dorhauer, chaplain Raven Rowe and Hartford minister Damaris Whittiker.

Delegates from the PNC are Peter Ilgenfritz, Wendy Blight and Kyna Shilling of Seattle; Jill Komura of Olympia; Nathaniel Mahlberg of Walla Walla, and Emma Ritchie of Bellingham.

For information, call 206-725-8383.


Pacific Northwest Conference UCC News © Summer 2017


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