April 2017

Christ is risen! A blessed and joyous Easter to you.
Your work with Members in Discernment is critical in the life of the United Church of Christ, as you journey with each MID to explore their gifts and discern their ministry (authorized or not) for the sake of Jesus Christ. The MESA Ministry Team partners with you and other UCC teams & organizations to support your work and our MIDs’ formation. Here are three particular opportunities and resources related to Members in Discernment:
One of the MESA Team’ newest resources encourages a bit of creativity: the Marks Mosaic Playing Cards! The revised Marks of Faithful & Effective Authorized Ministers have been made into a deck of playing cards that can foster rich conversations:

  • In a meeting with a Member in Discernment, you might pick two Marks Mosaic cards at random and ask the MID to talk about the relationship between the Marks on those two cards.
  • When hosting a meet-and-greet event for Members in Discernment, take turns drawing Marks Mosaic cards for a game of Marks charades!
  • At a Committee on Ministry meeting, pick one Marks Mosaic card and ask each committee member to identify an event or person in which you have seen that Mark exhibited.

For the Member in Discernment in your association or conference who needs to take a UCC Polity course, consider recommending the UCC Polity @ Synod opportunity! This year’s polity course at General Synod is being facilitated by Lancaster Theological Seminary. The course will be held from Wednesday, June 28 through Wednesday, July 5 in Baltimore and can be taken for general personal/professional enrichment, for a certificate of completion, or for academic credit. The registration deadline is May 24. Course requirements, including a letter of reference, and other information can be found at: https://lancasterseminary.edu/academics/ucc-polity-course-general-synod-2017/. As you share this opportunity with your MIDs and others, please note that General Synod registration is required separate from the polity registration.
A reminder that UCC-related ministry education scholarships use an online application process. Certain scholarships for a Member in Discernment or an authorized minister require a Committee on Ministry’s recommendation; your recommendation also is submitted online. Paper applications are not accepted. One particular scholarship opportunity that accepts applications year-round is the Garrett Trust Fund, which was established in 1946 to provide emergency financial assistance for persons pursuing a seminary education. Awards range from $600 to $1500 and are based on one-time emergency financial need. If one of your MIDs needs such support, please find more information at http://www.ucc.org/garrett_fund.
Thank you for your ministry of deep discernment with our Members in Discernment,
Rachel Hackenberg

The Rev. Rachel G. Hackenberg
Minister for Committee on Ministry Resources & Conference Support
Ministerial Excellence, Support & Authorization (MESA) Team
Local Church Ministries, United Church of Christt

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