May 17, 2024


Strengthen the Church Offering & LEEAP Committee Update

The LEEAP (Local, Envisioning Evangelizing and Planting) committee was established to support the Conference with new church starts and initiatives. We are currently under reconstruction as we emerge from the pandemic. As the Conference is re-structuring itself to operate more effectively and efficiently with reduced staff and resources we are re-visioning and re-purposing. LEEAP is back in action and focusing on the following three areas to support the congregations and Conference.

  • New Church Start
  • Innovations in Ministry
  • General Assistance

We are excited to begin offering small grants for the first year beginning in June 2024 and disbursement by October 2024. These grants are what the Strengthen the Church Offering will help support. Be on the lookout for more information!

The Strengthen the Church offering supports the expansion of ministry and growth of UCC local congregations. As God calls our congregations to be the church in new ways, your generosity will plant new churches, awaken new ideas in existing churches, and develop the spiritual life of our youth and young adults. Most congregations will receive the STC offering on Pentecost Sunday, May 19, 2024. Download the resources here.

Rethink Children & Youth Ministry Summit

In collaboration with leading practitioners and experts in the field, this summit is a unique opportunity for congregational leaders, educators, parents and caregivers, and anyone passionate about nurturing the spiritual growth and faith formation of children, youth, and their families. Our virtual gathering will delve into various aspects of these vital ministries, providing insights, practical tools, and strategies to foster a strong foundation of faith. The summit is free to attend and runs from May 20-24. Learn more and sign up here.

Black Churches Leading with Solar UCC Webinar

Wednesday, May 29, 12:00 PM

With the federal government paying for at least 30% of the cost of solar installation, if not 40 to 50%, many congregations that own their own building can no longer afford to not go solar. In this webinar, we will focus on Black churches leading with solar. We will hear experts discuss everything one needs to know about government incentives and solar financing. Even if you can’t make it - register, and we will send you a link to the recording afterward. Register now!

Together for Tomorrow: Planned Giving Webinar

Wednesday, May 22, 6:30 PM

While a significant wealth transfer occurs as each generation passes, many congregations and ministries remain unprepared to promote planned giving options. Only 5% of people leave a charitable bequest even though nearly a third of people would if asked or invited to consider one. This workshop will share key concepts and help you create an action plan for your congregation or ministry to promote planned giving. Register online here.

Regional Youth Event

Registration is open for the Great Lakes/West Central Regional Youth Event this summer, July 17-20 at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois! The theme for the event is "Love is Greater Than Fear." The Many will be providing music and worship leadership, along with a special appearance by Flamy Grant! The event is open to youth who will have completed 6th grade through 12th grade in 2024. Groups are required to bring one chaperone for every 1-5 youth. Click here to download the flyer.

Register Online Here

Mental Health Sunday

May 19th is Mental Health Sunday this year, but any Sunday is a great Sunday to focus on mental health! Click here for a PDF of Worship Resources for your Mental Health Sunday created by the UCC, UCC MHN, and United Church of Canada. Below, you can also find videos you may use during your worship services as we raise awareness about mental health challenges and mental wellness.

Holding Space: A virtual space for LGBTQ+ UCC Clergy

Seeking connection with fellow licensed or ordained LGBTQ+ clergy? The Open and Affirming Coalition invites you to join our virtual support group, facilitated by Sarah Dundar, M.A., LPCC, a licensed clinical counselor specializing in spiritual and religious trauma. This informal and confidential space is designed for any licensed or ordained LGBTQ+ clergy to share experiences, challenges, and joys in leading their congregations. Any licensed or ordained LGBTQ+ clergy is welcome here regardless of your church’s Open and Affirming status. Feel free to participate at your own comfort level, whether you want to share your journey or simply listen and learn from your colleagues. This is a drop-in format, allowing you to join for the entire session or just for a portion. While the support group is free, donations are accepted and appreciated to help sustain our efforts in providing this valuable resource. Learn more and register here.

Castañeda-Jennings Lecture

Chicago Theological Seminary is excited to announce the 2024 Castañeda-Jennings Lecture and Award, to be held virtually on Tuesday, June 4, 2024, at 7:00pm CDT. Click here to register now! This year, CTS is proud to present Dr. Xochitl Alvizo, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, California State University Northridge, to deliver a lecture entitled, "Church: A Queer, Feminist, Antiracist, Decolonial Listening to the Gospel According to Mark." Xochitl Alvizo is Associate Professor of Religious Studies in the area of Women and Religion and the Philosophy of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality. She dedicates her work to bringing a feminist and queer focus to theology and to the study of religion and does research in congregational studies, ecclesiology, and the emerging church.

Children & Youth in Music & Worship

UCC Musicians Association

The Summer 2024 issue of Worship, Music and Ministry is devoted to the topic of children's and youth participation in church music and worship. Let’s keep the conversation going in an open forum on Saturday, May 18, 2024. Share your ideas, suggestions and questions with our host Jim Boratko and board member Greg Chestnut who has expertise in children's music. This is a free, one-hour conversation on ZOOM. All are welcome. 11:00 a.m. CST. Register here for the event to receive the Zoom link. All conversations are recorded and posted on our YouTube channel in case you’d like to catch up on any that you missed.

UCC Pride Worship Service

& Pride Worship Resources

Join us in-person or virtually for a special Love is Louder: Love Your Neighbor OUT LOUD Pride Worship June 2nd. This collaborative partnership begins Gender & Sexuality Justice Ministries’ Love is Louder: Love Your Neighbor OUT LOUD campaign.

With more than 547 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills in this year’s (2024) legislative session, our proactive response, now more than ever, needs to be love OUT LOUD. Gender & Sexuality Justice Ministries is excited to release our Love is Louder: Love OUT LOUD Pride resource kit for Pride Month! Our resource kit will release June 1st featuring liturgy, prayer, our 2nd Love is Louder Toolkit focusing on Queer Theology & Expansive Language, June event offerings and more! Gender & Sexuality Justice Ministries prophetically brings to life a new campaign rooted in the spirit of Christ’s call to love our neighbors as ourselves. Learn more here.

Raising Kids Beyond the Binary

Jun 5, 2024 11:00 AM Central

Jamie Bruesehoff, author of Raising Kids Beyond the Binary: Celebrating God’s Transgender and Gender-Diverse Children, joins us to discuss her book, in which she helps us dream of a church and a world transformed by the bold celebration of all children. Jamie Bruesehoff is an award-winning LGBTQ+ advocate, speaker, and mother of three, including a transgender child. Jamie has twenty years experience working with youth and adults in and outside the church, she strives to create a world where LGBTQ+ people thrive.

Your Hosts: Rev. Amy Johnson is the UCC (United Church of Christ) Minister for Sexuality Education & Justice and part of the Gender and Sexuality Justice Ministries Team in the National Ministries of the UCC. Dr. Melanie Davis is the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) OWL Program Manager within the Lifespan Faith Engagement in the UUA. Register online here.

UCCMA 2024 Conference

Conference 2024, the national biennial gathering of the United Church of Christ Musicians Association (UCCMA), will take place July 10-13, 2024 at the First Congregational Church of Greenwich, Connecticut. Designed for church musicians, choral and handbell choir members and worship leaders, the three-day event includes workshops, plenary sessions, worship services, evening entertainment and networking opportunities. The conference’s theme, “A place at the table,” inspired the planning for the entire conference experience. Our goal is to send participants home reenergized with lots of new resources and ideas to use in their local congregations. This conference is open to all. Learn more here.

Pathways Theological Education

Southern New England UCC Conference (SNEUCC) received $1.25 Million from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help establish a Compelling Preaching program in partnership with the PATHWAYS Theological Education, Inc. and Hartford Stage Company. Jointly developed (PATHWAYS and SNEUCC) preaching courses will be on the PATHWAYS asynchronous online learning platform. The following year, the Hartford Stage Company and SNEUCC will bring Part II with a preaching camp and a Revival.

Our regular program this summer includes the following four- and six week courses:

  • What about the Bible (4-wks) – June 1 to 30, 2024
  • Pluralism and Religion in North America (6-wks) – July 10 to August 20
  • Introduction to Spiritual Health (Pastoral Care) (6-wks) – June 19 to August 6, 2024

Go to to find out more.

Volunteers Needed

Have you considered volunteering with PATHWAYS either on the Academic Council or as a Board member? We are a small organization where council and board members help move PATHWAYS forward. If you or someone you know would like to learn more about us or apply to volunteer, please contact us via the website.

Conference/Local Church News & Events

It's Showtime! Stewardship Event

Illinois Conference UCC

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT EXTENDED TO MAY 20TH! The Illinois Conference Stewardship Committee looks forward to a stronger, more hopeful future with churches throughout the Conference starting on June 1st! It's time to turn on the lights, adjust the sound, open the curtain, it's show time! Time for churches to show the true ministers of God which they were pre-pandemic and can be again. Don't miss this opportunity to interact with your peers on Saturday, June 1st. Doors open at 9:15 a.m. The seminar is being held live at Peace Memorial Church (10300 W 131st St, Palos Park, IL 60464). Click here to download the flyer. The deadline to register is Monday, May 27th.

Register Online Here

AAPI Cooperative Concert: When Taiwanese Tradition Meets Carnatic Tradition

This concert brings East and South Asian music elements together, especially elements from Taiwan and South India!

Saturday, May 25, at 2 pm

United Church of Hyde Park

1448 E. 53rd Street, Chicago, IL 60615

*Free Admission. Refreshments and Q&A follow.

*A suggested $10 donation at the door.

Book your ticket here


Sounds of Wishes (SoWE 夢想成真樂團) (instrument: Guzheng 古箏)

Saraswathi Ranganathan (instrument: Veena)

Tzu-Tsen Wu (instrument: Zhong Ruan)

Concert Content: Taiwanese folk songs, Taiwanese famous tunes, South Indian Carnatic tunes, the premier of Taiwanese and Carnatic pieces.

This concert is co-hosted by the United Church of Hyde Park, the Taiwanese Association of America the Greater Chicago Chapter, and the Chicago Fine Arts Society. It is sponsored by the Culture Center of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago.

Ecumenical Prayer Service & Declaration for the Care of Creation Installation at Holy Name Cathedral

On behalf of Ecumenism Metro Chicago and Chicagoland Christians United for the Care of Creation, and the clergy, staff, and parishioners of Holy Name Cathedral, you are warmly welcomed to attend the Ecumenical Prayer Service to install the Ecumenical Declaration of Chicagoland Christians United for the Care of Creation on May 18, 7:00 p.m. at Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N State St., Chicago. This declaration, signed August 17, 2023 at the Parliament of the World’s Religions here in Chicago by representatives of thirteen local Christian churches testifies to our common commitment, in Christ, to care for all of God’s creation. You can watch the Declaration Signing here. We hope that you will be able to join us for this joyful event and a light reception to follow. Click here to download the Declaration Installation flyer designed by Holy Name Cathedral as an invitation to the Ecumenical Prayer Service and Reception on May 18th. It contains a copy of the Declaration and all pertinent facts including helpful parking information.

Lincoln Memorial Congregational UCC Legacy

The congregation of Lincoln Memorial Congregational UCC decided to end its ministry after serving the Woodlawn community of Chicago’s southside for more than 114 years. Lincoln Memorial Congregational United Church of Christ is recognized as the oldest African-American Congregationalist Church in the state of Illinois. Lincoln Memorial Congregational United Church of Christ has stood through the storm and through the rain. There have been many transitions, trials and tribulations.

The remaining members of the Lincoln congregation formed a Legacy Committee and decided to create the "Lincoln Memorial Legacy Gift" which was dispersed to ten African American sister churches. The remaining members are grateful for all the churches that have shared ministry with them over the years, and are comforted by the thought that Lincoln Memorial Congregational UCC, will live on through the sister churches as these churches continue Christ’s mission and ministries throughout the Chicagoland communities.

Click here to read more.

Does your church have news to share or an upcoming event you would like to advertise? Email us the information and any accompanying graphics/flyers.

Calendar At a Glance

Ordinations, Installations, and Ecclesiastical Councils


June 3: Ecclesiastical Council for Ramona Bamgbose. 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. Chicago Metropolitan Association Cluster Six.

Meetings and Events

May 18: TPIRC 2nd Quarter Cohort Meeting. 10:00 a.m. via Zoom.

May 19: Western Council Meeting. 3:30 p.m. via Zoom.

May 21: FAB Committee Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

May 21: Western Committee on Ministry Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

May 22: Eastern Council Meeting. 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.

May 27: Fox Valley Council Meeting. 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.

June 1: Personnel Committee Meeting. 9:30 a.m. via Zoom.

June 1: It's Showtime! Stewardship Event. 9:15 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at Peace Memorial Church. Register here.

June 3: Stewardship Committee Meeting. 6:00 p.m. via Zoom.

June 6: Prairie Committee on Ministry Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

June 11: LEEAP Committee Meeting. 6:00 p.m. via Zoom.

June 12: Outdoor Ministries Committee Meeting. 9:30 a.m. via Zoom.

June 13: Fox Valley Committee on Ministry Meeting. 9:00 a.m. via Zoom.

June 13: CMA Committee on Ministry Meeting. 12:00 p.m. via Zoom.


Nov 1-2: Conference Annual Celebration at First Congregational of Western Springs.

Employment Opportunities

Lay Employment Postings
Ministerial Positions
National UCC Openings

Please let us know if you have a job opening you would like to share,

and also update us once the position is filled. Contact Sarah Lohrbach.

Contact Us

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