The latest news from the Montana-Northern Wyoming UCC Conference of the UCC
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Open and Accepting of Others
As we make our way towards our Conference Annual Meeting, August 21-23, in Billings, I will be offering a weekly God-seed reflection on each of our Spring “listening-session” learnings. This week, I start with our being “open and accepting of others.”  There are many ways we are open and accepting, let me share one that is from my life:
I am grateful for the Montana-N.Wyoming Association and Conference, and so I let General Synod know it.  There is an open and accepting attitude of faith in every church I have listened to. We may not all be “Open and Affirming” in the realms of gender preference, yet, but we accept persons into our church who have no other church in which to be welcome. I am also proud of us, and so I offered up our Conference as an example. 
An occasion for giving my testimony arose during the business discussion on a General Synod resolution “Developing Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive and Engaged Congregations for Mental Health.” One of the particular requests in this resolution was that the Thirtieth General Synod encourages congregations to work to eradicate stigma around mental illnesses/brain disorders, and to offer support to persons with and those impacted by mental health challenges, including their family members, loved ones and others concerned.  My impromptu comments at the microphone included appreciation that the Church is becoming a safer place to be open about mental health issues. I was open about my long-term depression. I also lifted our MT-NWy Association and Conference UCC as an example to all settings of the Church for how the Conference saw my need for a leave of absence last year to deal with mental health issues.
I know this is not “news” for our Conference, as I have shared this before, and have felt comfortable being open about depression. I share the “General Synod” version of my openness because I was astounded by the effect of my brief 90-second testimony at the microphone. Some people shared greetings with me afterward, and a quite a few just passed by with a touch on my arm and a whispered “thank you.” As my spoken story touched on a number of unspoken stories, I realized how blessed I am to be among churches here that are open and accepting enough to already be living into what this General Synod resolution encourages
Commitment to Full Equality for Persons of Any Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, or Gender Expression... here.

A2A: Accessible to All resources from UCC Disabilities Ministries... here.

Mental Health: Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive and Engaged (WISE) Churches...  here. 

Widening the Welcome conference... here.

Becoming an Immigrant Welcoming Congregation... here.


Sat. August 8th, 3:00 PM.  Ordination of Liz Hoy.  Mayflower UCC, Billings

Aug 21st - 23rd, Conference Annual Meeting, First UCC Billings. 
7/9-7/12       Reunion Camp
7/14-18        2/3/4 Grade Camp
7/19-25        5/6 Grade Camp
7/26-1          7/8/9 Grade Camp
8/2-8            10/11/12 Grade Camp
8/14-17        Women's Retreat
8/14-17        Fishing Camp
8/21-23        Youth & CE Leader Retreat
9/4-7            Geography of Grace
9/18-20        Mens Reteat
10/15-17      Fall Youth Retreat

Visit the website to register.  

The MT-NWy Conference Annual Meeting has a wonderful theme: Get Found in Montana & N.Wyoming: You are Standing on Holy GroundRegister here.
Register on or before July 21st and receive a discounted registration cost of $75 ($90 after July 22nd).  

Prayer Requests

Our prayers are with Rev. Len and Gail Shaktus who are each in Benefis Health Care, Great Falls.

Len is in rehab to be fitted with a prosthetic leg.
Gail suffered a stroke this week and in is in health care

A Retirement Party!

On June 21st, Plymouth Helena UCC celebrated the retirement of Dick Weaver, Cathy Barker and Gus Byrom.

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