Annual Gathering 2017
Friday and Saturday, September 15-16, 2017
Westerville Community UCC
Registration opening SOON!
What does a gathering about listening entail? NOT more speakers talking AT you. We promise.
The Annual Gathering Planning Team WILL create safe space for listening. Times to encounter new ideas of ministry happening in other Ohio Conference UCC churches. Spaces to talk about the ministry issues that matter to YOU most. A safe environment in which to God is leading us to become the wider church in Ohio, West Virginia and northern Kentucky.
- MANY opportunities to connect with fellow church members in authentic and inspired ways.
- Experience Dinner Church — an inspiring model of ministry.
- On-site child care for your little ones
- Facilitator who will draw out the BEST of our ideas through intentional listening and conversation.
- Uplifting worship featuring preacher Rev. Courtney Clayton-Jenkins, senior pastor of South Euclid UCC.
Unconference 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.: We all know that the best parts of a conference really happen during the breaks. Those times when you meet someone while drinking coffee and learn about an innovative ministry she is doing. Or when you have time to discuss the struggles another church is also having in designing their website.
The Unconference, led by Rev. Ryan Byers, pastor of Christ Church UCC, Fort Thomas, KY and board member of UNCO, will make those short, ‘best parts’ and turn them into the main feature of the day. The leaders, topics, and workshops will be harvested from the participants. During these discussions, we will share ideas about planting communities, writing liturgy, creating art, innovating technology, or wherever our passions and insights might lead us. YOU bring the conference. The hosts and many volunteers provide a space and facilitate bringing individuals together for UNCO.
Dinner Church 6 – 8 p.m. — Building upon the wild excitement about our “Beer and Hymns” gathering at last year’s annual gathering, we will offer you yet another encounter with an innovative model of ministry that involves singing, praying and eating together! Rev. Kay Ann Albright and MK O’Haver from Bridges of Grace UCC in Charleston, WV, will lead us in a Dinner Church experience — one in which the simple music and liturgy is built around a full meal together! Incredible food will be prepared (along with some of you serving as sous chefs!) by Chef Rah Imani of the Culinary Agency and member of Move United Church in Columbus.
Business and Worship 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Our time to together will be leavened and salted by a skilled facilitator who will make your table discussions the highlight of our experience. We will discuss, vision and learn about:
- Conference Outdoor Ministries and Faith Formation Plans and Practices;
- Future Plans for the Wider Church our conference and beyond;
- Inspiring stories of ministry from our German Church partners;
- Election and commission of new wider church leaders;
Our day will conclude with worship featuring the powerful preaching of Rev. Courtney Clayton Jenkins. A visionary pastor and teacher representing a new generation of leaders, Rev. Clayton Jenkins serves as the Senior Pastor and Teacher of South Euclid United Church of Christ (formerly Euclid Avenue Congregational Church). At the age of 27, Rev. Jenkins made history when she became the first woman, first African American and the youngest pastor called to lead this special congregation. Since that day in 2010, Rev. Jenkins has led the multi-cultural, and multi-generational congregation to become the vibrant church that it is today, but first she had to lead it out of the ashes.
Just six months before Rev. Jenkins was asked to serve, the historic church was struck by lightning and the architectural gem was completely destroyed by fire. With courage, the congregation called the young and dynamic “hip-hop” preacher to become their pastor to allow God to do “a new thing.”