An Update on the Wider United Church of Christ

I have been deeply involved in the wider United Church of Christ during this last month.  From June 8th through the 10th, I attended the Nebraska Conference annual meeting in Ogallala, Nebraska.  I went to Nebraska because, as the President of the Tri-Conference board of directors, I had a part to play in the installation service of Rev. Brigit Stevens.  Brigit, you will recall, is the new Executive Conference Minister for the Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota conferences.  She was installed at the South Dakota Conference annual meeting in May.

Since I was born and raised in Nebraska, it was fun to reconnect with a couple of old friends.  One was the UCC pastor in Chadron when I was in high school, and I used to date his daughter!  The other was (and still is) the UCC pastor in Chadron when Pam and I got married!  It was also good to start to make new connections with people whom I’ve never met but who are now a part of this Tri-Conference journey with us.

If you wish you could be making UCC friends across state lines, you’ll get the chance next year.  Although specific dates and a location have not yet been determined, the 2019 annual meeting of all three conferences will happen together at the same time and place!

The other big commitment I made to the wider United Church of Christ was to serve on the planning team for the Regional Youth Event which took place in Grinnell, Iowa from the 19th to the 22nd.  In addition to attending as a planning team member and workshop presenter, I was there with Hunter and Dalton Rice.

The theme of RYE 2018 was “Faith Equals Action.”  It’s based on James 2:17 – “So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.”  The young people (about 200) who attended the event got to hear from other young people who were putting their faith into action through volunteering in homeless shelters, on a South Dakota Reservation, and in Oaxaca, Mexico – among others.  And they had the opportunity to put their own faith into action doing service projects in the Grinnell area.

And, of course, a whole bunch of our church’s youth went to Placerville this summer!

Pastor Dustin


Verse of the Day

      Our Mission and Vision Statement of the Custer Community Church

Custer Community Church Mission Statement:

“To build a family of faithful believers through community service, inspiring worship, and a welcoming and inclusive space where people of all ages can grow.”

Custer Community Church Vision Statement:

·  The Custer Community Church will be regarded as the “go-to” church.  We will be widely seen as characterized by being vibrant, open, welcoming, nurturing, and sharing. 

· The Custer Community Church will be a growing church, offering exciting and attractive programming targeted at young families and retirees.  A word of welcome from the Custer Community Church will be one of the first things newcomers to this community receive.  First-time visitors to our church will feel like they’ve come home.

The Custer Community Church will embrace its identity as one of the only Mainline Protestant churches in the community, reaching out to Methodists, Episcopalians,

· and Presbyterians (etc.) whose faith traditions are not otherwise represented.  Other churches will look to our congregation as a role-model for an open, ecumenical, and inclusive practice of faith.

· The Custer Community Church will make ourselves known to non-members in the community through our community service and outreach.  We will listen so as to better understand the needs of this community.  Our membership will consist of willing workers who  demonstrate their faith through their actions.

· The Custer Community Church will stand with oppressed peoples and persons, and be intentional about their inclusion in the life of the congregation and community.

· The Custer Community Church will continue and grow our congregation’s tradition of musical excellence.

     The Custer Community Church will be known for world-class, effective and efficient           church governance.