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The national office of the United Church of Christ is welcoming a new individual who will serve and support the 5,000-plus congregations of the denomination as they seek to grow in witness, outreach and welcome. The Rev. Chris Davies began her role as the coordinator for the Congregational Assessment, Support and Advancement (CASA) Ministry in Local Church Ministries on Tuesday, Feb. 16.
"I am thrilled to help support the work of the Gospel, as we carry this essential message into the world," Davies said. "Supporting congregations in moving forward in bold ways, and highlighting creative efforts of the people doing new ministries, are what inspire me."
Davies will lead the national office's commitment to nurturing a culture of assessment in congregational life, administer the new and renewing church grants program, and support conference and congregational leaders by equipping and connecting UCC individuals with the resources, programs and networks that support congregational health and vitality. Davies will work closely with Center for Progressive Renewal and the Disciples of Christ Hope Partnership.
"I am excited to welcome Chris to this important, critical role in the national setting and look forward to working with her to meet and serve the important needs of our local churches," said the Rev. J. Bennett Guess, executive minister of UCC Local Church Ministries.
Davies will initially work remotely between Cleveland and Connecticut, with plans to relocate to Cleveland, Ohio.
Davies is a graduate of Smith College and Andover Newton Theological School, and previously served as associate pastor at Wapping Community UCC in South Windsor, Conn. A lifelong member of the UCC, she has also served as a member of the Connecticut Conference Board of Directors, volunteered at the Silver Lake Conference Center and with the ONA Coalition, and served as a delegate to General Synod.
Davies is the artist and creator behind the “Queer Clergy Trading Cards," something Guess said reflects the unbridled creativity, enthusiasm, passion and energy she brings to her work and in lifting the inclusive values of the UCC.
"Chris’ love for people is at the heart of her ministry, and she has great enthusiasm for finding a place in the church for everyone," said Guess.