Let’s Talk: About RBG 

By Conference Minister Diane Weible  I was raised to believe that there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do. My parents, having raised three daughters, instilled in us a sense that we could be anything and do anything and nothing or no one could or would stop us.    The other day I was reminded of the first glimpse of my call to ordained ministry. Funny story—it came from my grandfather who actually stopped going to church when their UCC congregation called a woman minister. It was a weekend in October 1986. I was home from college for the weekend. My cousin and…
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Let’s Talk: About Fires

By Conference Minister Diane Weible This past week I have received emails and phone calls from our church family throughout the United Church of Christ, offering support and love to all of our communities affected by wildfires. I have received emails and phone calls from your siblings in Christ in this Conference asking what our communities need at this time and how can they help. Everyone has told me they are praying. I am praying. We all are praying. While a few areas of the Bay Area have received a respite from the smoke, at least for a few days,…
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Let’s Talk: About Witness

By Conference Minister Diane Weible This past weekend, one of our ministers reported vandalism to the Pray Their Names heart installation that has been traveling among the churches in our Conference. Created in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, Pray Their Names offers both the hosting church and the community a stunning appeal for attention to lives lost to police violence. The creators of the installation are working on a new heart along with a response to the vandalism. When I learned about what happened and also of the response that is being prepared, I was reminded again of…
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Let’s Talk: About Discernment

By Conference Minister Diane Weible Discernment is a funny thing. We all do it. We listen for the movement of the Holy Spirit and we try to understand how and where our gifts and our talents can best be used.   Our Conference leaders are asking all of our churches to enter into a time of discernment. What do you need the Conference to be? What are the resources our churches and pastors need? How do you need your Conference staff to show up? What do we need to do as a Conference to make sure that the beliefs and teachings…
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Let’s Talk: About Abolition

By Conference Minister Diane Weible A few weeks ago, I introduced the Abolition Calendar Initiative that Conference members have been working on getting off the ground. This initiative is a way to provide continuous opportunities for education and action focusing on specific areas of racial justice. The abolitionist movement of the 1800s was an effort to end slavery. As we have spoken of many times, especially in the last few months, slavery did not end in the 19th century but has evolved. People of color continue to be oppressed by systems and policies meant to uphold power for some people…
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Let’s Talk: About Assimilation

By Conference Minister Diane Weible I, confess, I am an assimilationist.   Ibram Kendi, in his book, “How to be an Antiracist,” defines an assimilationist this way:   “Assimilationists can position any racial group as the superior standard that another racial group should be measuring themselves against, the benchmark they should be trying to reach.”  (pg. 29)  I get that there are degrees to this, and I know if someone accused me of believing that a person with skin a different color from mine did not measure up to me, I would become defensive and argue this is not what I believe.…
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Let’s Talk: About Peace

By Conference Minister Diane Weible “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9) Our first Christmas when we lived in Japan was spent in Nagasaki. I still remember the Christmas Eve service in the Catholic Church near the peace pole where the bomb landed on August 9, 1945.   I remember the feeling of being in that sanctuary, surrounded by more people than I had seen in any of the tiny churches we visited on Sundays from our home in Tokyo. Despite the large church and the many strangers packed into that space, the feeling I…
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Let’s Talk: About Reparations

By Conference Minister Diane Weible Last week one of our Authorized Ministers sent me an AP article on an African American reparation bill that just passed in the California Assembly. There was a sentence in the article that really struck me: “The federal government has given reparations before. After 120,000 Japanese Americans were held at internment camps during World War II, the U.S. government apologized and in 1988 paid $20,000 to each surviving victim.” That sentence gave me an incredible pause. It was right and good and I’m glad the federal government gave reparations to the 120,000 Japanese Americans held…
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Let’s Talk: About Doing Our Own Work

By Conference Minister Diane Weible I remember a conversation I had with two friends when I lived in Japan. I was telling them about a seminar I had attended that spoke about the differences in communication between those who live in the United States and those who live in Japan. The seminar said that in the United States we like to communicate like a tennis match. We choose a topic and serve ideas back and forth, reacting to what the other person shared. In Japan, however, conversations are more like bowling. Each person takes their turn and that turn is…
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Let’s Talk: About the Long Haul

By Conference Minister Diane Weible God has not given us a spirit of fear, but the spirit of power, of courage and resolution, to meet difficulties and dangers; the spirit of love which will carry us through opposition.” 2 Timothy 1:7 I don’t usually have a hard time starting to write. Today I can’t seem to do it. I’m feeling the exhaustion of this moment. I’m feeling the grief and the stress that so many have told me they too have experienced at various moments in these months. And that’s just the pandemic. The repeated murder of and violence toward…
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