Resources

 

Retreat Centers

The Southwest Conference UCC offers clergy retreats each year at various retreat centers within our region. These retreat centers can be reserved by groups for other types of retreats. We have put together a list of these retreat centers, their contact information and a basic description of each center from their websites.

Franciscan Renewal Center
5802 E. Lincoln Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85253

480-948-7460 / 800-356-3247
www.thecasa.org

"The Franciscan Renewal Center is Arizona’s premier retreat & conference center for non-profit organizations. Professional meeting space with the latest technology, free Wi-Fi, comfortable lodging, and fresh and delicious meals will help make your meeting a successful one."

 

Redemptorist Renewal Center
7101 W. Picture Rocks Road
Tucson, Arizona

520-744-3400 / 866-737-5751
www.desertrenewal.org

"The mission of the Redemptorist Renewal Center is to be a place where the contemplative spirit of the human person may be discovered, fed and nurtured. For nearly 50 years, the Center has served as a haven for contemplative prayer, study and practice for the local and universal Church, as well as for people of different faith and religion striving to live in this spirit."

 

Spirit in the Desert
7415 E. Elbow Bend
Carefree, AZ 85377

480-488-5218
www.spiritinthedesert.org

"A holy place where people experience hospitality and renew their callings in the world. ... Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center welcomes people of all faiths to experience the pure beauty of God's creation in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona."

 

Ghost Ranch
HC77 Box 11
Abiquiu, NM 87510

505-685-4333 / 877-804-4678
www.ghostranch.org

"In this special place of red canyons, majestic mesas and amazing skies, Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu has been host to a number of meetings, conferences, and special workshops for various groups from around the world."

 

Clergy/Preaching Bible Study

Wednesdays from 1 - 2 p.m.
We meet at Crossroads Coffee Shop and Bookstore (91st Avenue and Olive).

A clergy/preaching Bible study in the West Valley based on the revised common lectionary ... working 10 days ahead.

Non-UCC Clergy are welcome.

For more information, contact Brady Abel at 623-933-0058.

 

OCWM - Our Church's Wider Mission

Our Church's Wider Mission (OCWM) Basic Support and Special Support provide funding for the work of UCC Conference and National ministries in support of the life and work of the local church and its members. OCWM changes lives by strengthening our ecumenical relationships and global partnerships, by imagining and embodying a better world through prophetic witness and work, and by providing resources and programs to nurture the vitality of our United Church of Christ congregations.

Become a 7 for 7 church by giving to OCWM Basic Support, the four Special Mission Offerings, and the two Southwest Conference Offerings: (Select the links below to learn more about each offering)

Our Church's Wider Mission [Link]

One Great Hour of Sharing [Link]

Strengthen the Church [Link]
Neighbors in Need [Link]
The Christmas Fund [Link]
 

Southwest Conference Offerings

Sow the Seed: 

This special conference offering is used to provide scholarships for youth to attend youth retreats and camps. Our youth program is one of the best and we don’t want any child to be excluded because of cost. We try not to supplement more than 1/3 of the cost and ask the child’s church and the family to also each pay at least 1/3, but we will work with families in difficult circumstances. This is a great way for churches, especially those with few children, to make a difference in a young person’s life.

This SWC special offering is one of the “7 for 7” offerings that qualify churches for year-end recognition. 

Spread the Word (Southwest Mission Fund):

This special conference offering is used to support new and revitalizing churches. With several new churches beginning and several churches active in renewal efforts, there is great demand for funds for a variety of reasons- salary supplement, supplies, advertising, insurance, training, and more.

Average annual donations to this fund have dropped- just when demand is high. We hope you will be generous.
This SWC special offering is one of the “7 for 7” offerings that qualify churches for year-end recognition.

 

OCWM - Basic Support Leader's Guide (SCWML)

Great for stewardship and mission committees. This brief guide explains what OCWM is and what it supports. Also included - five-step guide for increasing giving to Our Church’s Wider Mission Basic Support and a plan for informing members – year-round - about the wider mission of the church.

 

2015 Compensation Guidelines for Authorized Ministers

This resource is entitled "Supporting our Ministry" because ordained clergy, commissioned and licensed ministers are called and compensated for the sake of the whole church's ministry and mission. Any who recommend, determine or evaluate compensation for those leaders, therefore, need to understand compensation in the context of the whole church's ministry.

The Conference Committee on Church and Ministry and Conference Staff conducts a statistical survey annually of the past year church staff salary/housing packages actually paid by the churches in the conference as reported by the churches in their year end reports. This information is taken into consideration to update salary and housing recommendations.

Supporting Our Ministry [PDF]

 

e-Giving for Churches

UCCe-giving is the automated giving program of the United Church of Christ designed to make it easy for givers to give.

UCC e-Giving Resources [Link]

 

UCC Daily Devotional Email

The UCC Daily Devotional is a free daily email delivered each morning to your email inbox. Written by a variety of UCC pastors and lay leaders, it includes a scripture passage, a brief devotion and a prayer.

Subscribe to the Still Speaking Daily Devotional [Link]

 

Keeping You e-Posted

Keeping You e-Posted ‘KYeP’ is a weekly, coordinated e-zine of news, featured items, resources, worship materials, and justice-action items e-mailed each Tuesday. Read an interesting articles; hear someone’s story about how their life was changed, read national, local church and ecumenical news.

Subscribe to KYeP [Link]

 

United Churches Insurance Board

The Insurance Board is a non-profit corporation established by the participating Conferences of the United Church of Christ. We administer a property and liability insurance program serving churches and related entities within three denominations: UCC, DOC, and Presbyterian Church (USA) churches and related entities. The coverages are unsurpassed in the marketplace and the IB is considered a model not-for-profit entity.

United Churches Insurance Board [Link]

 

Pension Boards United Church of Christ

The Pension Boards administers comprehensive employee benefits programs for the United Church of Christ, providing the highest standards of service, access and options to active and retired UCC clergy and lay employees.

Pension Boards UCC [Link]

 

United Church of Christ Cornerstone Fund

Established in 1995, the Cornerstone Fund was created to offer loans to local churches and other organizations related to the United Church of Christ for virtually any property-related project – from repairing or remodeling an existing structure to acquiring additional land or building a new sanctuary. The Cornerstone Fund offers interest-bearing investments to UCC churches and members – and that principal is used in turn to fund loans to other churches and organizations.

UCC Cornerstone Fund [Link]

 

National Office Revises its Capital Campaign Service Fee Structure 

Church Building and Loan Fund (CBLF), a national UCC entity that offers low-interest loans to newer (30 years or younger) and renewing churches, also offers management/consulting services to churches conducting Capital Campaigns. The Rev. Priscilla Bizer is the consultant assigned to the western half of the US from CBLF. In order to adhere to CBLF’s new “mission based” lending guidelines, the Capital Campaign Services (CCS) group has revised its fee structure to include a mission component. Churches may choose which fee structure to use when they contract with CCS. Under the current structure, churches are charged a fee of 12 % of non-designated annual income which is paid over the course of the campaign. Under the new fee structure, the fee is 10% of the annual non-designated income, however, of that, 70% is designated to a variety of missional entities and 30% is taken as a fee to cover CCS expenses.

If your church is contemplating a Capital Campaign in the next year or two, please consider using CCS as your campaign consultant.

As an aside, Rev. Bizer just concluded a Capital Campaign for Desert Palm UCC in Tempe. Desert Palm wanted to raise funds to re-do their parking lot and exterior lighting, upgrade their landscaping, and complete a variety of other renovations and deferred maintenance projects in anticipation of a new pastor arriving in a year or two. Pledges were received in excess of the committee’s original goal, and after the congregation voted to increase the goal, pledges reached over 90% of the revised amount. The experience was intense but gratifying. Please contact the leadership of Desert Palm if you want to discuss their experience with CCS.

Capital Campaign Services [PDF]

UCC Church Building and Loan Fund Website [Link]

 

OfficeMax® Retail Connect Card 

Print and use this card at OfficeMax® to receive discounts on office supplies and printing services.

OfficeMax® Retail Connect Card [PDF]