Friday & Saturday
September 27-28, 2019

Friday, 1:00 pm - 9 pm
Saturday, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

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Westerville Community UCC
770 County Line Road
Westerville, Ohio 43081


Debbie Kellogg 
Ohio Conference United Church of Christ 



"The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it!"

  Psalm 24:1

God has called us to be good stewards of this beautiful world. In the UCC we have claimed the love of creation as one of our "Three Great Loves." How can Christians and churches move beyond debating science and instead find unity as we embrace God's invitation to treat the earth with care and reverence?

UCC clergy and lay leaders from around Ohio, West Virginia, and northern Kentucky will attend the 2019 Annual Gathering for two days of inspiration and innovation about how we can care for our common ground. 

Featured speakers include Rev. Dr. Jim Antal and Rev. Traci Blackmon with music by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

The following workshops will be offered: 

Cultivating Hope in the Midst of Climate Change (Friday) - Dr. Tim Van Meter of Methodist Theological School of Ohio (MTSO) will discuss climate change and food and how communities can make a positive impact. In addtition to the Friday afternoon workshop, attendees are invited to tour the MTSO Seminary Hill Farm. Meet on Friday, September 27 at 10:00 at MTSO for the tour which will end by 11:30.   RSVP to Dr Van Meter tvanmeter@mtso.edu for the tour.

Divesting from Fossil Fuel Companies (Friday) - Since 2013, thousands of churches, philanthropies, universities, pensions, cities, banks and individuals have scrubbed their portfolios of fossil fuel stocks. How did this movement begin? How complicated is it to divest? Is it an effective way to address the climate crisis? Does it really matter – morally – how I invest my money? Is it possible to revoke the moral license fossil fuel companies need to continue their “business as usual” practices of making money for their investors by wrecking the earth? Join Jim Antal, author of the 2013 UCC Synod resolution to divest from fossil fuel companies, to answer these questions and learn how you and your church can join the movement.

Considering Civil Disobedience in a Time Such as This (Saturday) - In response to a resurgent interest in the spiritual practice of civil disobedience, Jim Antal will share his insights and experience as a life-time student of and practitioner of non-violence. Can civil disobedience provide an effective response to injustice wielded by increasingly authoritarian power? How do we protect God’s great gift of creation when those seeking only profit destroy creation as a daily sacrifice and thus extinguish the hopes and possibilities of our children? Together we will explore the joy and freedom of direct action, along with the theory, historical examples, practical possibilities and your questions about civil disobedience.

Create a Church Green Team (Saturday) - Is your church interested in doing more to be sustainable and environmentally friendly?  Come hear about how one church tackled this with a Green Team that has moved forward on many fronts, including the installation of solar arrays.

Ohio Interfaith Power and Light (Friday & Saturday) - IPL will share ways homeowners and congregations can reduce their energy usage and carbon footprint. 

Writing Green Songs and Liturgy (Friday & Saturday) - Come craft songs and liturgy with our Annual Gathering Musical Reflector, Richard Bruxvoort Colligan!  Resources for worship that shape the heart and strengthen the world.  Come participate in creating something new that you can carry back to your congregation and also be inspired for creations about creation back home.  A hands-on, heart-on, workshop to fashion new gifts for worship.



Saturday Pastors' Breakfast with Rev. Jim Antal 

Pastors are invited to join Rev. Jim Antal for breakfast and a heart to heart conversation about how to lead their congregations into brave new initiatives related to divestiture, civil disobedience, and public witness on environmental issues.

Annual Gathering Schedule

Friday 9.27.19

10:00 am Special optional event - Tour of MTSO gardens and lunch; meet at MTSO (3081 Columbus Pike, Delaware, OH 43015).  RSVP by email to Dr Van Meter tvanmeter@mtso.edu for the tour. 

12:30 pm  Registration, refreshments and visit with exhibitors

1:00 - 4:30 pm  Welcome, keynote speech by Rev. Dr. Jim Antal, workshops

4:30 - 7:30 pm  Free time to visit exhibitors, hotel check-in, dinner (on your own)

7:30 - 9:00 pm  Richard Bruxvoort Colligan concert

Saturday 9.28.19

7:30 am Pastors' Breakfast with Rev. Jim Antal - please register for this event

8:30 am  Registration

9:00 - 11:45 am  Greetings, opening prayer, workshops

12:00 pm  Lunch and time to visit exhibitors

1:00 - 2:00 pm Business meeting 

2:00 pm  Closing worship - With Rev. Traci Blackmon preaching - UCC Associate General for Justice and Local Church Ministries