South Dakota Conference 
United Church of Christ

South Dakota Conference of the United Church of Christ
Special Conference Meeting
Saturday, October 14, 2017
1:00 p.m.
Chamberlain United Church of Christ
(107 N Merrill Street)

The Board of Directors calls the delegates and authorized ministers of the South Dakota Conference of the United Church of Christ together for a Special Conference Meeting for the following purposes:
1)    The election of the Reverend Brigit Stevens as Tri-Conference Executive Conference Minister/Conference Minister of the South Dakota Conference
2)    Adoption of the 2018 Conference Annual Budget
To help us prepare for the meeting, we are asking all delegates & authorized ministers to register (by church when appropriate).  There is no cost for registering for the Special Conference Meeting.  


Information about Reverend Stevens


Retired Authorized Minister Gatherings
Gatherings for Retired Authorized Ministers
This fall there will be two gatherings for Retired Authorized Ministers:

Monday, October 2nd, 11 am, at First Congregational UCC in Rapid City
Wednesday, October 18th, 11 am, at First Congregational UCC in Sioux Falls

These gatherings will be an opportunity for fellowship and conversation about the proposed changes for the Manual on Ministry regarding retired ministerial authorization.  
Invitations are being sent to our Retired Authorized Ministers.
Boundary Training
Boundary Training
Monday, October 23rd (10 am - 3:30 pm) at First Congregational UCC in Pierre
This year's  Boundary Training opportunity for Authorized Ministers and church staff will be held on Monday, October 23rd.  This session will meet the Committee on Ministry's Boundary Training requirement.  Our Conference Minister, Gordon Rankin, who is a Faith Trust Institute trained Boundary Trainer, will be facilitating this session.
The event is open to Authorized Ministers from other conferences or denominations.  The Training will meet the requirements of the South Dakota Conference Committee on Ministry.  The cost for the training is $35.00 which include a workbook and lunch.
Wm Paul Young to Speak - October 2nd

 Author Wm. Paul Young will be speaking on "Love Your Neighbor - No Exceptions" on Monday, October 2nd at 7 pm at the Sioux Fall Convention Center (1201 N West Avenue).  This event is Sponsored by South Dakota Faith in Public Life.  A free will offering will be collected.
Reformation Celebration in Sioux Falls

We have been invited to join with our Full Communion Partners in the South Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America for a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  The worship celebration will take place on Wednesday, November 1st at Sioux Falls Arena (1201 N West Avenue).  Door open at 6:00 pm and worship begins at 7:00 pm.

To help plan for worship, the Synod is asking all worship participants to get free tickets.  Tickets are available here (trough October 9th).  There are also opportunities to participate in the adult or children's choirs.
Two Mental Health Workshops
Mental Health Awareness: Pastoral Care Toolbox
Thursday, October 5th
8:00 am to 3:30 pm

Hope Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls

Will include presentations on addiction and mental illness, suicide prevention, depression and helping children with mental illness

For more information:
Let's #GetLoud to Support Mental Health
Friday, October 6th
9:30 am - 4:00 pm
First Christ Church, Des Moines IA

Speakers Rev. Dr. Sarah Griffith Lund (VP of seminary Advancement at Christian Theological Seminary) and Ms. Angela Whitenhill

(a licensed minister & licensed clinical social worker for National Benevolent Association). 


News from the Insurance Board

We are going to be including newsletters from the the Insurance Boards in our eNewsletter.  The first Insurance Board newsletter can be found here.
Statement of Witness
The following Statement of Witness was prepared by the conference staffs of the seven Conferences of the West Central Region of the United Church of Christ (Missouri Mid-South, Kansas-Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota and Northern Plains).   
A Statement of Witness from the Staffs of the Conferences
of the West Central Region of the United Church of Christ
November 2, 2016
Provoked by the Holy Spirit, we bear witness to the congregations, communities, and pastors of the Conferences of the West Central Region of the United Church of Christ:
  • God calls us to lean in, look hard, and pay close, prayerful, purposeful attention to the devastation caused by White Privilege in America. 
  • It is the responsibility of white people to do this leaning, hard looking, and close attending.  It is the responsibility of white people to raise and name terrible truths, trusting God who lovingly convicts and redeems. 
  • We refuse the vision of shallow, fragile tolerance among muted peoples.  We watch for the way to reparation as a prelude to reconciliation.  We pray and work for the day when every racial uniqueness is passionately celebrated as a reflection of the face of God.
  • We honor the sovereignty of First Nation peoples. We stand, speak, and act in solidarity with the people of God whose holy ground is called Standing Rock Reservation.  We move at their invitation, grateful for their leadership, with offerings of prayer, provision, and presence. 
We are more fully the people God calls us to be when we are together - learning together, working together, moving together.

Reverend Shari Prestemon, Minnesota Conference Minister
"So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them....." (Genesis 1:27)
The headlines were appalling: a truck trailer sitting in the blazing summer sun outside a San Antonio Wal-Mart, filled with undocumented immigrants. Ten would die.  30 others were hospitalized.  Some guessed there had been as many as 200 persons stuffed into that big rig as it traversed Texas. 

It was perhaps the worst case of human trafficking in the U.S. in recent history.  And it laid bare a lot of very complex questions about the state of immigration in our country: the desperation of those who illegally cross our borders, the system of illegal cartels and smuggling operations that further victimize the desperate, and a web of immigration policies that is woefully inadequate and unjust.

But what really hit me when I first heard of this tragedy in San Antonio was the complete disregard for human life it reflected. And that's a deeply theological problem.  Because if each of us carries the holy imprint of God, as the first chapter of Genesis suggests, then when we treat other people as human cargo or anything less than profoundly sacred, we commit the gravest of sins.  We wound God's precious image in the other. 

This time it was undocumented immigrants with brown skin in a semi-trailer.  But it was once Africans with black skin loaded into ships and sold as slaves.  And still now, those with skin of darker shades than my own suffer from a system that every day in a million ways fails to fully honor their inherent sacredness as children of God created in God's own image.  That's systemic racism.  And that's a theological problem that we who call ourselves Church must actively confront and dismantle.

In our nation and world today, there seems a daily onslaught of disregard for the sanctity of "the other".  My prayer for us as Church is that we would offer, in our speech and in our deeds,  an alternative and public witness that honors that holy imprint of God in every Child of God.  Our faith undeniably requires it.
  • A black and white print copy of this newsletter (clearly without videos or hyperlinks) that can be easily reproduced  by churches should be available in the next couple days.  Please contact Karen Peters at if you would like a copy emailed to you.
Conference Calendar
September 16 - Ordination of Mollie Ronge (Spirit of Peace)
October 1 - Black Hills Association Meeting (Belle Fourche)
October 2 - Retired Authorized Ministers Gathering in Rapid City
October 3 - Committee on Ministry
October 4 - Executive Committee Zoom Meeting 
October 8 - Prairie Lakes Association Meeting (Tulare)
October 13 - Board of Directors Meeting
October 14 - Special Conference Meeting (Chamberlian)
October 18 - Retired Authorized Ministers Gathering in Sioux Falls
October 22 - Installation of Rev. Emily Munger (First Congregational UCC Pierre)
October 23 - Boundary Training (Pierre)
October 26 - SDUCC Foundation Conference Call
November 1 - Executive Committee Zoom Meeting
November 10 - 12 - Fall Youth Event @ Placerville
Ecclesiastic Celebrations

It is with joyous celebration and fervent prayer that we announce the following ecclesiastical celebrations:

  • The Ordination of Mollie Ronge on September 16th at Spirit of Peace (1:00 p.m.)

  • The Installation of the Reverend Emily Munger as pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Pierre on October 22nd (3:00 p.m.)



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