South Dakota Conference 
United Church of Christ

You are Invited to: 

The 147 Annual Meeting 

of the South Dakota Conference of the United Church of Christ 

June 2nd, 3rd and 4th, 2017

United Church of Christ, Brookings, South Dakota  

Reflecting Divine Relationship: 3 in 1

"In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you."

 -  Matthew 5: 48, the Message


The meeting will feature a dynamic keynote speaker, the Reverend Christina Davies, Coordinator of the United Church of Christ Office for Congregational Assessment, Support and Advancement (CASA).  Chris will offer us a keynote address and preach during Saturday's worship. 



  Annual Meeting Highlights:


  Friday Afternoon and Evening (all Friday activities will be at Brookings UCC):

  • Registration opens at 3:30 pm

  • Friday Night Picnic at 5:00 pm

  • Opening Worship celebrating our Tri-Conference Covenant.  The Reverend Cameron Barr, Pastor of Grinnell, Iowa, UCC and member of the Tri-Conference Board Preaching. Placerville Praise Band providing music.

  • Conversation with the Conference Minister

  Saturday Morning (Plenary will be held at the Brooking's Activity Center.  Workshop options will 

     be at both the Activity Center and the Church)

  • Placerville Report from the Camp Director and Placerville Ministries Committee

  • Keynote address by the Reverend Chris Davies

  • Workshops:

    • Setting Up Planned Giving Opportunities (led by Matt Wagner)

    • Enhancing Church Vitality (led by Chris Davies)

    • Understanding the Economics of Your Building (led by Maria Coyne)

    • Pastoral Evaluation (led by Gordon Rankin)

  Saturday Afternoon and Evening (All activities will be at the Brookings Activity Center)

  • Tri-Conference Roundtable with members of the Tri-Conference Ministries Board, the Executive Conference Minister Search Committee and SD Conference leaders.

  • Reports of the Conference Board of Directors and Conference Treasurer.  

  • Election of Conference Officers and Committee Members.

  • Celebrations of Stewardship:  OCWM and 5 For 5 Congregations

  • Worship with the Reverend Chris Davies Preaching.  Our worship will include  an Installation of Officer and the Sacrament of Communion

  • Conference Banquet; celebration of ordination, licensing and church anniversaries; celebration of Kerry Steever's 20 years serving as Camp Director at Placerville; remembrance of the life and ministry of Winifred Boub. 

  Sunday Morning (at Brookings UCC)

  • Sunday morning worship (10:00 am) with the Reverend Gordon Rankin, Conference Minister, preaching.

  (A finalized agenda for the Annual Meeting will be available on the Conference website on May 22nd)


Registration for the Annual Meeting: 

The Conference Office needs to receive all registration forms by May 15th.



* Please know that we will not be electing an Executive Conference Minister at our Annual Meeting, nor will we be adopting a 2018 conference budget. Both the ECM election and adoption of a 2018 budget will take place at a Special Conference Meeting to be held in the fall.

 Placerville Camp Schedule
Registration for General Synod 2017 Now Open

General Synod 2017
June 30 - July 4, 2017
Baltimore, Maryland

Registration will temporarily close May 24-30.  
The final deadline for registration is June 16th
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-Oklhoma, 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.
  • 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
June 2 - Board of Directors Meeting (for both the current Board and to be elected Board)
June 2-4 - South Dakota Conference Annual Meeting
June 5 & 6 - Conference Office Closed
June 7 - Executive Committee Zoom Meeting
June 9-11 - Dakota Association Annual Meeting
June 30 - July 4 - UCC General Synod 31
Pastoral Care

Our prayers are with Kristi McLaughlin who was diagnosed with Hairy Cell Leukemia.

Our prayers are with Walt Geiszlerr who is continuing to face medical concerns

Our prayers are with David Bambas as he faces medical concerns.

Our prayers are will Pauline Webb and her husband, Gene.  They are in Houston with family while Gene recovers from surgery.

We celebrate with and offer prayers for the family of Lorah Houser-Jankord.  Lorah and her husband, Rich, are expecting their first granddaughter to be born on May 17th to parents Brad and Anna.  Our prayers focus on the anticipation that the newborn will need surgery quickly after her birth.

Our prayers are with the family and friends of Ray Schatz (former South Dakota Conference Interim Conference Minister) as they gather for a memorial service to celebrate Ray's life on May 13th at 11 a.m. at Placerville Camp.

Pastoral/Ecclesial Transitions
Our best wishes and prayers are with these pastors as they make changes in their ministry. 

Elaine Miller concluded her time serving as the Interim Associate Pastor as First Congregational Church UCC in Sioux Falls at the end of April.

Martell Spagnolo has began his tenure as Senior Pastor at the First Congregational Church UCC in Sioux Falls on May 1st.

Wade Schemmel has been called to serve as pastor of the Winfred Congregational United Church of Christ.

First Congregational United Church of Christ in Pierre has called Emily Munger to be theirnew pastor.  Emily will begin her tenure on August 1st.

Molly Carlson was been called to be the Designated-term Conference Minister for the Central Pacific Conference.  Molly will conclude her pastorate at Yankton UCC in July.  Michael Carlson (who will be moving with his wife and family) will conclude his tenure as Interim Pastor at Springfield United Church of Christ, Congregational, at the end of June.  



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