About Us

The Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ (UCC) equips a courageous Church alive with Christ’s transforming love. Through advice, support, and resources, we strengthen congregations statewide to do the redemptive work of God in the world.

The collective work and courageous action of UCC congregations statewide transforms our communities with love, justice, and mercy. Together, the 126 churches that make up the Minnesota Conference do so much more together than any could do alone. We are a force for compassion, care, and service, striving to embody the mandate of Micah to “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly” with our God. (Micah 6:8)

We believe that God’s word and hope for our lives is continually unfolding; God is still speaking. We believe in extravagant welcome; no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome regardless of race, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or political beliefs. We believe in building a just world for all and invite transformation of our own lives, of systems and policies, of people and places.

Learn more about What We Believe. You can also Find a UCC Church.

The national United Church of Christ is a forward-thinking church of “firsts”: the first Protestant denomination to ordain an African American pastor (1785), a woman pastor (1853), and a gay pastor (1972).

Our Calling, Values & Priorities

Our Calling

God calls the Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ to equip a courageous Church alive with Christ’s transforming love.

Our Core Values

  • Faithfulness: Seeking to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ, we live out the shared commitments of the United Church of Christ: continuing testament, extravagant welcome, and changing lives.
  • Stewardship: Responding to God’s call to be faithful stewards of creation, we practice generosity and forward-looking, responsible and transparent use of resources. We value each person’s unique gifts of time, talent and treasure.
  • Empowerment: Affirming multiple approaches to accomplish God’s work, we identify and develop diverse leaders, share resources and information, and responsibly delegate accountability and authority to act.
  • Innovation: Risking for the Gospel, we discover, implement and share new ministry practices. We recognize and celebrate creative and courageous efforts when they succeed and when they fail.
  • Justice: Serving with compassion and advocating with passion, we seek a more just and peaceful world. We work to eliminate social, cultural and racial barriers, honoring each individual as created in the image of God.

Strategic Priorities

  • Deepening Connections
  • Developing Leaders
  • Doing Justice and Mercy
  • Communicating Our Story
  • Stewarding Resources

Read the full strategic plan.

Download the Conference’s bylaws (updated June 2020).

About the United Church of Christ

The national United Church of Christ (UCC) is a diverse and welcoming community of 1.1 million members across the U.S. We welcome everyone and encourage you to come as you are. We advocate for justice and peace, encourage mission, and embrace innovation.

We are forward-thinking and we are a church of “firsts.” We were the first Protestant denomination to ordain an African American pastor (1785), a woman pastor (1853), and a gay pastor (1972).

Staff

View full staff bios here

Rev. Sharon (Shari) Prestemon
Conference Minister

Rev. Kevin Brown
Associate Conference Minister of Faith Formation for Children & Youth

Catherine Cejda
Administrative Assistant to the Associate Conference Ministers

Rev. Abigail (Abby) Henderson
Director of Leadership Development

Rev. Sandy Johnson
Bridge Associate Conference Minister

Sandy Kellen
Administrative Assistant to the Conference Minister & Associate Conference Minister

Rev. Cindy Mueller
Steward for Search & Call & Congregational Legacy Planning

Rev. Sheri Nelson
Outdoor Ministries Program Director

Bob Olsen
Development Director

Renae Shields
Staff Accountant

Brigitte Parenteau & Kathy Graves
Communications Consultants

2021-2022 Board of Directors

Shawn Nuebel, Moderator, First UCC, Northfield

Rev. Sara Morse, Vice-Moderator, Hazel Park UCC, St. Paul

Don Fancher, Treasurer, UCC, New Brighton

At-Large Members:

Hikaru Peterson, First Congregational of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Rev. Lawrence Tanner Richardson, Linden Hills UCC, Minneapolis

Rev. Leslie Moughty, First Congregational, Brainerd

Rev. Adam Blons, Macalester Plymouth United Church, St. Paul

Rev. Lauren Baske-Davis, First UCC, Northfield

Brad Sleeper, Wayzata Community Church, Wayzata

Chris Bohnhoff, Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis

Julie Champ, liaison to the Development Committee, Mayflower UCC, Minneapolis

Rev. Victoria Wilgocki, liaison to Personnel, St. Anthony Park UCC, St. Paul

Rev. Coqui Conkey, liaison to Committee on Ministry, Associated Church of Owatonna

Bob Sicoli, liaison to Finance Committee, St. Pauls UCC, St. Paul

Rev. Shari Prestemon, Conference Minister (ex officio)

© Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ | 2021