Leaders in Koinonia

Partnership in the Gospel…Partnership in the UCC…Partnership in Ministry

* Bridging the "Gap"
* National Staff learning from local church leaders
* Local church leaders getting to know the national staff

Current LINK Participants

The Fall Leaders in Koinonia (LinK) Event was held September 23 -26, 2009 at the national setting offices in Cleveland, Ohio; welcoming United Church of Christ pastors who reside specifically in the Great Lakes, Middle Atlantic, New England, and West Central Regions of the UCC and have come from traditions outside the United Church of Christ. Each minister was nominated to attend by his or her conference minister to experience and engage in the national setting, with most making a first trip to the UCC national offices, affectionately known as the Church House in Cleveland. 

            Attendees included ministers who have received standing in the UCC, but who were ordained in other churches; pastors who were raised in other traditions, but later went to seminary and became UCC clergy.  Last year a similar event was held for pastors who came to the UCC from other traditions and who serve in the Southern and Western regions, with Geoffrey Black preaching for the closing worship.

            The purpose of the LinK Event is to strengthen relationships between the ministries of local churches, clergy, and lay leaders and the national setting of the United Church of Christ. The dynamic group of clergy attending the LinK event this past weekend bring significant life experience to their ministries, along with a passion for lifelong learning and ecumenism.

            Throughout their gathering, the pastors interacted with one another and national setting staff in community-building, theological reflection and professional development.  As various staff and participants noted, the conference “left staff at 700 Prospect inspired,” and “clergy networked!”  The event included opportunities for creative worshipping experiences in the Amistad Chapel and an opening sermon with Illinois South Conference Minister, Rev. Sheldon Culver.  There was also an introduction to the SING! Prayer and Praise song book. 

            “We were truly inspired by the ministry these leaders bring to the UCC, with a biblical spirit of journey and passion for the vision and mission of the United Church of Christ,” observed Steve Sterner, Executive Minister of Local Church Ministries. Linda Jaramillo, Executive Minister of Justice and Witness Ministries, and Edith Guffey, Associate General Minister, thanked the pastors at the opening session, “for bringing many gifts forward from many places to the life of the UCC.” 

            “Your journeys inform the United Church of Christ and are touched by its history in ways that creatively and faithfully shape and nourish us,” added John Thomas, General Minister and President.  Upcoming LinK events in 2010 will focus on youth leaders and Samoan leaders.

For more pictures from this event, simply follow this link.

For more information about the LinK event please use this link.

Koinonia "I thank my God every time I remember you, always praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now…"
Philippians 1:3-5 (International Standard Version)


Ms. Janet A. Gomoll
Associate for Special Events and Board Administration
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115