The first Sunday in May has been designated Immigrant Rights Sunday within the United Church of Christ. Justice and Witness Ministries and Wider Church Ministries are urging congregations to lift up immigrants on this day: to learn about their concerns, honor their contributions to our country and communities, hear their pain, pray for their well-being, and listen to hear where God is leading us regarding issues of immigration.
Welcoming the stranger among us as native born is part of our faith tradition, for we too were once strangers (Exodus 22:21, Leviticus 19:33, Deuteronomy 10:17-19). However, too often the immigrants among us are rejected, treated as outcasts and placed on the margins of society.
May 1st is international Labor Day and has become a day in which we recognize the value and labor of immigrants in the U.S. On the first Sunday in May, congregations are encouraged to include stories about immigrants in their worship service and explore avenues to advocate for immigrant justice. Below are the most current issues this year on immigration with potential ways to get involved to limit deportations and unnecessary detention of immigrants.
Building Sanctuary For All... All of Us
"Shouldn’t our sanctuaries offer this same kind of Sanctuary...to anyone? Wouldn’t we want this grace, and do we not call upon this kind of love every Sunday?" Read more of Rev. Julian DeShazier's reflection on Immigrants Rights Sunday and intersectionality.
- Explore our worship worship and prayer resources and start planning your congregations Immigrant Rights Sunday observances.
*If your congregation would like to get more involved on immigrants' rights advocacy and organizing efforts please contact Rev. Noel Andersen - mailto:email@example.com.
The Rev. Noel Andersen serves as UCC & CWS Grassroots Coordinator for Immigrants' Rights in Washington, D.C.
The United Church of Christ Mental Health Network invites you to highlight mental health on the third Sunday in May or any Sunday that suits your schedule.
We see Mental Health Sunday as a way for your congregation to begin or to continue to provide education and support to your members around mental health challenges.
We encourage you to:
- Plan a Sunday with the theme: "Widen the Welcome: UCC for Mental Health"
- Use the collection of worship resources in the Resource Guide for Mental Health Sunday. You will find some newly created resources in the resource section below. Worship resources include sermon ideas as well as complete sermons, a litany, unison prayers and more.
- Explore the Congregational Toolkits for teaching your congregation about mental illnesses
More Worship Resources for Mental Health Sunday
Download and print these files or edit/format them to meet your needs.
- Checklist for Churches: Becoming a Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive and Engaged (WISE) Congregation for Mental Health
- Sermon on The Stigma of Mental Illness
- More Resources for Your Mental Health Sunday Services
- Call to worship and prayer
- Litany for Mental Health Sunday, 5.5" x 8.5"
- Bulletin insert (front), 5.5" x 8.5"
- Bulletin insert (back), 5.5" x 8.5"
- Widen the Welcome logo (CMYK, 300 dpi) for use on printed material
- Sample bookmark created by Broadmoor UCC Church in Colorado Springs
- Exegesis: Lamentations 5:19 – 22
Join us for a webinar and conversation with Sarah Thompson and Matt Guynn to learn more about the foundations of Kingian nonviolence and how to put these practices into action when you see someone experiencing violence. (RSVP via Facebook to indicate your interest.)
Sarah Thompson is the Executive Director of Christian Peacemaker Teams, an organization committed to transforming violence and oppression through partnerships and direct action. Sarah is a dynamic and experienced trainer in nonviolence.
Matt Guynn is director of nonviolent social change organizing with On Earth Peace, where he works with community and faith groups to develop values, skills, and plans for proactive change efforts. He is a founder of the Kingian Nonviolence Coordinating Committee, and with that team he runs online leadership development programs for church groups, community leaders, and social change activists.
This webinar will be moderated by Ethan Vesely-Flad of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and is organized by BPFNA ~ Bautistas Por la Paz, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, and the United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries.
To join by computer: https://UCC.zoom.us/j/6731959657
To join by phone: 646-558-8656 Access Code: 6731-95-9657#
A year ago on June 12, 2016 on a Sunday morning many of us awakened to the reality that Latinx Night at Pulse Night Club, an LGBTQ+ community gathering spot... a sanctuary... a safe-haven... in the midst of Pride Celebration, had become the site of one of the worse mass shootings in US history. Many of us gathered afterwards to pray and grieve the 49 lives lost, the 53 wounded survivors and some of us, with difficulty found the energy to pray for the one lone individual who lost his connection to love.
This year Orlando, Florida is calling for a day of unity on June 12, 2017 dedicated to the lives lost at Pulse Orlando: “Orlando United Day – A Day of Love and Kindness.” There are many ways that the Orlando community will be actively engaged, but one way that we as communities of faith are being invited to participate is with the use of our church bells. We are invited to ring our church bells 49 times at noon (local time) on June 12, 2017. Faith communities who worship in a building without a bell can participate in this project by posting the number “49” on their signs.
Our bells have traditionally rung at moments of crisis alerting us of a community need. They toll after death and they toll when we celebrate. We the United Church of Christ are invited by Nancy Rosado of Somos Orlando, to respond to the request made by One Orlando Alliance on behalf of the many wailing mothers whose children were taken way too soon. They are asking our support in spreading love.
Please visit oneorlandoalliance.org/49-bells/ and register your church as a participant.
How can we take on the urgent challenges of environmental justice in our time and place? Using stories, the arts, video, and hands-on learning opportunities, this workshop will equip participants to mobilize their communities around local and global issues of environmental justice. Materials center on the deep issues of justice and the beloved community through a progressive Christian faith lens. Pastors, church members, educators, seminary students, and members of communities of faith beyond the United Church of Christ are all welcome to attend.
Register online at UCCMN.ORG/EVENTS.
- Who: Pastors, church members, educators, faith formation leaders, seminary students and lay members of communities of faith are all welcome to attend.
- Cost: $110 (includes double/triple room accommodations, all meals and program). A limited number of single rooms are available for an additional cost of $50.
- Registration Deadline: May 15, 2017
- Share: Download flyer
This workshop is sponsored by the Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ (UCC), Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light, Pilgrim Point Camps & Retreats, and United Church of Christ Environmental Ministries.
2059 Pilgrim Point Rd
Alexandria, MN 56308
Google map and directions
Every June, human rights and faith organizations join together to mark Torture Awareness Month because on June 26, 1987, the nations of the world took a major step against the immoral and abhorrent practice of torture. On that day, the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT for short) entered into force and the United Nations later declared June 26th the “International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.”
Our partners at the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) invite you and your local church to join people of faith throughout the world in commemorating Torture Awareness Month. Check out NRCAT's activity ideas page.
If you would like to discuss additional ways for how your local congregation or faith community could mark Torture Awareness Month please call or email T.C. Morrow at 202-547-1920 or firstname.lastname@example.org. They are delighted to assist you with plans and suggestions.
The Sunday of Labor Day weekend (September 3) is Labor Sunday, a day to lift up workers and celebrate their contributions. It is also a day to commit ourselves to improving jobs and our economy so that all workers have wages, benefits, and work hours that allow them to live in the fullness of life – which is God’s intention for each of us. Learn more and access reflections, worship materials and more.
The Thirtieth General Synod called on the congregations of the United Church of Christ to mark the Sunday preceding September 21 (which the United Nation recognizes as the International Day of Prayer for Peace) as Just Peace Sunday. Stay tuned for new resources and check out our prayer, craft and learning resources from past years as you commit to observing Just Peace Sunday!
Each year, the second Sunday of October is designated on the UCC church calendar as Access Sunday. It is an occasion when all the UCC will join together in celebrating the gifts of persons with disabilities and the strides that the church has made in being more whole through being more accessible. It is also a day that we, the church, acknowledge the journey yet to be taken with our sisters and brothers with disabilities.
Pastors and lay leaders, invite your congregation to join your UCC friends around the country in celebrating Access Sunday on this day, or on a Sunday more fitting to your church calendar. Find more information and resources via our UCC Disabilities Ministries.
World AIDS Day is an important occasion for building awareness and stepping-up our responses to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in our own communities and around the world. Yes, there have been significant medical advances and more people are on treatment than ever before. Still, the scale of response is not meeting the need for treatment, prevention, care and support.
The importance of the whole church engaging in HIV response has never been more critical. As never before, there is a path to ending the epidemic in our lifetime. The implementation of the 27th General Synod's resolution, "Calling for Comprehensive HIV Prevention in Church and Community," is the road map for the UCC, inviting the whole church to be faithful to do all it can.