April 2020

Dear colleagues,

It is a confusing Eastertide for many of us, having experienced a different sort of Easter joy in the midst of so much sorrow, illness, and global uncertainty. Most of our churches have found ways to meet digitally, and all of us are pressed with concerns about our neighbors. Some of our Committees on Ministry have paused some or all of their work, while others move ahead. All of us are using technology in new ways. Throughout all of this, we are being held in the palm of God’s hand and brooded over by the Holy Spirit. However you are able to proclaim “Alleluia!” this season, we pray you are able to do it in hope and faith.

This month marks a turning point for the Ministerial Excellence, Support and Authorization (MESA) Ministry Team: after several months of significant turnover, the team is now complete and in place. Although we are all working remotely at this time, we are working and would be pleased to be in touch with you. Please be introduced to your MESA staff:

Rev. Elizabeth Dilley serves as Minister and Team Leader for MESA. As such, she holds the vision for the Church that all ministry settings will have gifted, supported, and accountable pastoral leadership, and ensures that the Church has the resources necessary to live out this vision; sets priorities and provides supervision for the rest of the staff; and relates to external partners such as seminaries, other denominational partners, and ecumenical bodies. Her email is dilleye@ucc.org and phone is (216) 736-3841.

Rev. Tara Barber serves as Minister for Ministerial Support and Accountability, working with local and regional partners to provide resources which undergird, sustain, and promote healthy and excellent authorized ministers, including work with Boundary Trainers, the Communities of Practice programs, and the Antoinette Brown Society. She also supports the Fitness Review portion of Committees on Ministry work and maintains the records for these processes. Her email is barbert@ucc.org, and phone is (216) 736-3840.

Rev. Stephen Boyd serves as the Minister for Chaplains and Ministers in Specialized Settings and serves as our Denominational Endorser for Government Endorsements. Primarily, he vets and credentials all our UCC government chaplains for the military, VA Health Care System and the Federal Board of Prisons. Additionally, he works with Members in Discernment to author covenants and describe calls to specialized ministerial settings and their COMs to affirm and authorize such calls to ministry. His email is boyds@ucc.org and phone is (562) 301-1622.

Rev. Dr. Tony Clark serves as Minister for Committee on Ministry Development and Leadership, and he manages the Manual on Ministry and the accompanying resources for use by Committees on Ministry and Conference and Association staff. He also tracks trends in Committee on Ministry work and structure as they do the ministry of professionally certifying the authorized ministers serving the United Church of Christ. His email is clarkt@ucc.org, and phone is (216) 736-3846.

Rev. Dr. Renee Jackson serves as Minister for Ministerial Formation, cultivating a culture of call within the UCC by advocating for and supporting Local Church Discernment Committees, advising Members in Discernment and planning informative events for Members in Discernment to connect them to the larger Church and to encourage networking opportunities with their peers. She also responds to inquiries about the authorization process for ministry in the UCC, and trains Committees on Ministry in using the Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers. Renee also serves as liaison with the UCC History, Theology and Polity Teachers Network and the Regional Theological Education Consortium. Renee’s email is jacksonr@ucc.org and her phone is (216) 736-3842.

Rev. Jeff Nelson serves as Minister for Ministerial Calls and Transitions, facilitating best practices for search and call throughout the denomination, connecting with appropriate partners, and stewarding the new Ministerial and Local Church Profiles Portals project. Jeff’s start date was April 16, 2020 – so he’s still getting oriented to his role. His email is nelsonj@ucc.org and phone is (216) 736-3838.

Rev. Anissa Glaser-Bacon serves as part-time Program Assistant, providing administrative support to the entire team during her 15 hours/week. (During our season of remote work, Anissa typically works in the morning, and upon a return to 700 Prospect will be in the office on Mondays and Wednesdays.) Her email is glaser-bacona@ucc.org and phone is (216) 736-3886.

Mr. Darrell Ludwig serves as the Profiles and Ministry Opportunities Administrator, facilitating many practical supports related to the Ministerial Profiles Portal for ministers and judicatory staff who validate profiles, and assisting conference staff and others post positions open to UCC leadership on the Ministry Opportunities page. His email is ludwigd@ucc.org and phone is (216) 736-3847.

Ms. Kathleen Sattler serves as the part-time Denominational Endorsement Assistant and Team Leader Assistant, primarily supporting the work of Government and Professional Endorsement for the UCC in her 22.5 hours/week, while also providing support to the MESA Team Leader. (During our season of remote work, Kathleen typically works some hours every day, and upon the reopening of the 700 Prospect will be in the office Tuesdays through Thursdays.) Her email is sattlerk@ucc.org and phone is (216) 736-3850.


MESA continues to offer some training and support for Committees on Ministry during this time. On Tuesday, April 28 at 7:30pm ET, Stephen Boyd will lead a live Zoom training on Pastoral Relations Committees. This meeting requires advance registration; you may do so here. This event is open to anyone interested in creating or strengthening a congregation’s Pastoral Relations Committee.

Categories: Column COMma

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