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News to share for December in the NTA
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Important NTA Dates

12/15
Online U.C.C. History and Polity Course Commences

1/10 5:30pm 
Clergy and Clergy Families Potluck at Promise United Church of Christ
 
1/11 11am
St. Paul's E&R in Dallas Anniversary Celebration
3pm Installation of Rev. Ken Ehrke at Cathedral of Hope Mid-Cities

1/11 - 2/15
NTA Pulpit Exchange

1/10
Papers due to the CoM

1/17 9am
Final Review Session for Online 

1/24 10am
Executive Committee Meeting in West

1/31
Committee on Ministry

3/7 9:30
Spring Meeting at St. Paul UCC in Marlin

3/13-15
Visit of CUE Seminarians from Chicago Theological Seminary

 

Conference Annual Meeting Mission Kits Alternative Drop-Off Arrangements


People have asked if there could an alternative arrangement for drop off of Conference Annual Meeting Mission Kits since we are meeting in New Orleans on June 5, 6, 7, 2015.  We know it is extra work to pack and transport your Mission Kits so we will receive kits at each Spring Association Meeting. Here are options for turning in of Mission Kits.

Option I:
Turn in your Mission Kits at the 2015 Annual Meeting in New Orleans:  June 5, 6, 7, 2015

Option II:
Turn in your Mission Kits at the spring Association Meeting on March 7th in Marlin

Option III:
Make arrangements for drop off of CWS School Kits through Mrs. Ann Stockert (annstock@flash.net), Member of Central Cong'l UCC, Dallas. These kits will be shipped from Dallas.

Please follow these directions for ALL Options of dropping off kits:
  1. Download a Mission Kits Report Form from the Resources and Downloads page at www.sccucc.org.
  2. Fill out the form, include your Mission Kits shipping fees and turn in with your Kits
  3. Box your Kits (if possible) for easier transport and storage
  4. Assemble Kits per instructions.  Do not add or substitute kit items.
If your congregation has not yet paid your 2014 dues, your contribution would be appreciated before year end! Dues are $2/member for 2014, and will be $3.50/member for 2015.  We have bills throughout the calendar year, so dues paid early in the year or paid in monthly or quarterly installments are much appreciated!  For any questions, call NTA Treasurer Alice Miller at (254) 546-2242.
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December 2014

[Please Copy and Paste the update below into your congregation's newsletter!]


As we begin a new church year with the commencement of Advent, and as we begin the new calendar year 2015 next month, I look back and reflect on all that we have accomplished together this year, and I am profoundly grateful. This past year, I have enjoyed traveling almost 4,000 miles and visiting almost every one of our churches. We've been inspired by meeting as an association, we've stepped up to the plate to by increasing our association dues, we've taken our association online through Facebook and our new website, and our clergy are coming together in new ways for fellowship and support. We cried together upon the death of Rev. Dr. Charles Rice and the personal losses of several of our pastors; and we rejoiced together over church anniversaries, a building dedication, and a record number of ecclesiastical councils. Thank you all for a year to remember.

In November, 11 pastors gathered in Hillsborough to discuss Pastrix by Rev. Nadia Bolz Webber. Clergy and their families are also planning to gather again on Saturday January 10th at Promise United Church of Christ in Dallas to celebrate surviving another Advent and Christmas!  


Not only did we install Rev. Dr. Alberto Magana, pastor and teacher of Congregation Latina, Sunday November 30th at Cathedral of Hope, he also won "Chaplain of the Year" by Vitas Hospice Care, a national award. Congratulations to him on both fronts; we're so lucky to welcome Dr. Magana into the U.C.C.  We'll also be installing Rev. Ken Ehrke at Cathedral of Hope Mid-Cities on Sunday January 11th at 3pm; all are warmly invited!

Lots of other news abounds; an online UCC history and polity course is beginning with Rev. Humble on December 15th, our website has gone live at our permanent address www.ntaucc.org, and St. Paul's E & R in Dallas will be celebrating their anniversary on January 11th!  There's so much to be thankful for!

Praying that you and your church family seek the light that shines in the darkness this Advent, and may the joy of Christmas fill your hearts with joy!
 

Online UCC History and Polity Course

 
Do you or someone you know need to take a U.C.C. history and polity course as a Member in Discernment or a member of the clergy seeking standing in the U.C.C.?  Are you a layperson just fascinated with learning more about our denomination's history and structure in depth? Or are clergy already but would like to brush up?  Rev. Anna Humble will be teaching an ONLINE UCC History and Polity Crash Course from December 15th to January 16th for those who are unable to attend Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson's course at Brite January 5-9 from 9-5pm.  This session is being expedited so that candidates can complete the requirement before the next COM meeting.  Students will be required to have a Facebook account to participate regularly in online group discussions, complete readings on time, and to attend a final in person review session on Saturday January 17th in the DFW area (location TBA) from 9 to 1pm to receive credit for the course.  Exact details are tentative, but students will definitely need to read all of Randi Walker's "Evolution of a U.C.C. Style", and it is HIGHLY recommended you finish all or as much of the book as you can BEFORE the course commences as there will be shorter reading assignments along the way, so order it online now.  For more information, call Rev. Humble at (316) 587-5033.  
*A suggested donation of $50 to the donation to the North Texas Association of the United Church of Christ for the course would be appreciated, but is not required.  
**Future, less condensed sessions of the course will be available announced for a future date.

NEEDED:
Host Churches for CTS Students

Next March 13-15, a delegation of three students plus staff member from Chicago Theological Seminary will be visiting in North Texas Association. We are in need of host churches for each. To date, only one congregation has offered to serve as host: St. John UCC, Robinson. Thus, three more are needed.

Responsibilities of a host church include: meet the student at the airport, provide overnight accommodations with a host family, offer an opportunity to preach in the Sunday morning worship service, transport the student back to the airport.  The host church might also wish to schedule an informal event so that the  student/staff member can meet and converse with members of your congregation; introduce the visitor to your little piece of Texas; arrange a get-together with neighboring UCC churches for fellowship and sharing.

Such a hosting opportunity provides a great opportunity to get to know what our UCC seminaries are doing to provide leadership for the future and for the student to know us as UCC here in South Central Conference. To sign up as a host church, please contact one of the CUE Lead Persons in NTA: John Will  (jhwx2@aol.com) or Steve Wilson (Steven.Wilson@haynesboone.com). Your early response is appreciated.

LAST CHANCE for pastors to sign up for the pulpit exchange!  Pastors will be paired with another NTA preacher, and pairs will decide a Sunday between Epiphany and Lent to exchange pulpits.  Email Anna before December 7th to participate!

Newsletter Submission Guidelines

- If you would like to share events or news with your brothers and sisters in the North Texas Association, please email the information to akhumble@gmail.  This newsletter is emailed on the 25th of each month so that each church has enough time to copy and paste the main body into their monthly newsletter.  Please submit your news to me, therefore, by the 24th.  
-- I also ask that each church to please add me to your mailing list, church directory, and e-mail list!  My email and mailing address can be found in this email.


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