Leadership and Development Opportunity for YOU!

The ICCC will be offering several high-quality leadership development opportunities for clergy and laity. Many of these programs will be facilitated by Pinnacle Leadership Associates, a coaching and church consulting group that seeks to partner with others to discover and pursue God’s mission in the world.  Get to know some of the Pinnacle team through your participation in one or more of the following programs:
October 21 & 28, 2020  4:00 pm EST

Introduction to Conflict Management for Leaders in Communities of Faith

Conflict within communities of faith has existed for thousands of years and is regularly recognized within the pages of scripture. It is not a matter of whether we will deal with conflict as church leaders but rather how we can respond in the best ways possible. This three week webinar class will introduce participants to creative and faithful forms of leadership in the midst of church conflict with an eye towards redemption and reconciliation. While recognizing that God alone gives the gift of reconciliation, the class will focus on ways of creating conditions in church life which are more likely to create favorable outcomes. Special attention will be paid to the role of church leaders in helping this to happen.
Session One: “The Importance and Challenge of Leadership in a Time of Conflict”
In a recent book, consultant and author Gil Rendle suggests that leaders who are quietly courageous are especially prepared to lead faith communities in times of conflict and change. This session will focus on ways in which church leaders can model that kind of leadership with special attention to their own leadership style and behaviors.
Session Two: “How Bad is It? Levels of Conflict and the Difference it Makes”
Consultants have long recognized that conflict exists at different levels and that recognition of the current level within an organization can allow for the best possible response. This session will focus on five levels of conflict that can be found within organizations as a tool for determining next and most useful forms of response, including recognition of levels that can be addressed internally and levels that require outside resourcing.
Session Three: “So Where Do We Start? First Steps in Lowering the Tension”
Once conflict has been acknowledged, leaders must determine which initial steps are likely to be most effective in responding to the conflict. This session will provide basic early action steps that have proven to be helpful in different levels of conflict, with special emphasis on steps at lower levels of conflict that can be managed without outside support.




Recorded Webinars


Rev. Rhonda Blevins and Phil Tom are excited about these learning opportunities for our ICCC members. Below are the available sessions recorded.
Introduction to Conflict Management for Leaders in Communities of Faith
Session 1 https://vimeo.com/468338635  Password = ICCC-Conflict Management Class 1
A Vision for the Emerging Purple Church
Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNIEFzQUXs0
Pastors Discussing Race and the American Church
Part 1 https://vimeo.com/442455647/a9e34fa855
Part 4 https://vimeo.com/454105338/8986055bca


Developing Your Church’s Covenant for In-Person Worship
Powerpoint (no video)
Ushering Duties During Covid handout
A Primer for Prophetic Preaching From A White Pastor In White Churches
Password = ICCC-PreachingProphetWebinar

Preaching to a Screen
Ministry Outside the Walls from 04/08/2020

Emerging Church Practice in this Coronavirus Context from 03/25/2020


The Great Gift of the Small Church from 03/11/2020

Cultivating Adaptive Change in Congregations from 2/19/2020
Fundraising and Stewardship in Church from 2/12/2020
ICCC Leadership Preview from 1/5/2020                 
Password: ICCCPreview
Next meeting: October 21, 2020 4:00pm EST
Introduction to Conflict Management for Leaders in Communities of Faith

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Got Ideas?
The Leadership Development Team along with Pinnacle Leadership Associates are working together to provide the best topics for the webinars.  They are conducting a survey to see what you are most interested in.  Please participate by clicking on the link below!




September 15, 2020

Greetings ICCC clergy brothers and sisters!

I hope you are all doing well as you continue to navigate the new normal with your congregations, whether it be through your parish, center, or chaplaincy ministries.  It is an understatement to say that these are challenging times for clergy, congregations and for the Church at large.  Here are three articles that I thought you might find of interest to read.

The New Front Door of Church: From web to welcomehttps://refreshthechurch.com/the-new-front-door-of-church-from-web-to-welcome/
How to Preach When Your Congregation is Online and In-Person https://factsandtrends.net/2020/09/02/how-to-preach-to-two-audiences-at-the-same-time/

1 in 5 churches facing permanent closure within 18 months due to COVID-19 shutdowns: Barna pres. https://www.christianpost.com/news/1-in-5-churches-face-closure-within-18-months-due-to-covid-19-shutdowns-barna-president-238612/?fbclid=IwAR3gfW_-HBQil7FRBynfmLK8A57wUVMWv_uRlLeX0yF8SgFY-3pEbCXtqQs

During this pandemic, clergy and congregational leaders have had to become adaptive, agile, and creative to maintain their worship services and ministries with their congregation members and their communities.  Most congregations, large and small are facing financial challenges.  This time has been especially difficult for smaller membership congregations which for many were already struggling financially pre-Covid!

I welcome your stories about creative solutions and resources that might be of help to our ICCC clergy, congregations, and members.

We continue to provide a monthly leadership development webinar.  Past webinars can be downloaded from our ICCC website (links below).  I welcome your suggestions for future webinars. 

As you know, ICCC received a modest one-year grant this year from Duke Divinity Leadership Education Program.  We are using the grant to provide the monthly webinars.  We had plan to use the grant to provide support for our clergy through monthly clergy peer group gatherings, and for regional clergy retreats.  Due to the pandemic, there has not been much support for these programs.  I talked with the staff from the Duke Divinity Leadership Education Program last month.  He supported our request to re-purpose the grant for the remainder of this year. We now have two small grant funds: 

  • Leadership development grant for clergy or lay. The maximum grant is $400.   Since most continuing education programs have gone on-line, this grant will cover the cost for many on-line educational programming.
  • Vital Worship grants. The maximum grant is $500.  I borrowed this idea from The Calvin Institute of Worship at Calvin Seminary in Grand Rapids, MI.  It provides Vital Worship grants.  On its website it describes the purpose of the grants – “Grants to worshiping communities stimulate thoughtful and energetic work that will result in worship services that exhibit renewed creativity, theological integrity, and relevance.”

Obviously, our grants are much smaller than the grants offered by The Calvin Institute.  Hopefully, our Vital Worship grant will assist and stimulate some of our congregations, especially our smaller membership congregations, to discern how they might do worship differently and more creatively as they move into the new normal of combining in-person and on-line worship and ministry!

For an application form for the Leadership Development Grant click here.   For an application for the Vital Worship Grant click here.  All eligible ICCC clergy and congregations are welcomed to apply.  The funds are limited. So, the grants will be provided on a first come, first served basis.  If you have any questions about these grant funds, please contact me.

Let us continue to keep one another and our congregations in prayers as we all move through this time of great challenge and opportunity.  Take care and have a blessed day.


Phil Tom

It’s here!


The 2020 Inclusive Pulpit is here!                Available now!

The ICCC annual “book of sermons” is now out, with sermons, poems, prayers, etc., all submitted by ICCC family.  Thank you to all that have contributed to this example of God’s word, and thank you to our editors: Rev. Tim Meadows, Pamela Jones and Cindy Conolly.

The purchase of this annual book is normally included in the Annual Conference fee for all attendees.  For a limited time, you can purchase the book for $8.50 (includes s&h, regular price $19.95), since we will have no conference for 2020.

If you would like to purchase the book, send payment to the Council Office, or pay through our website.  Click here.  Please note that it is for the 2020 Inclusive Pulpit.  
Be sure to share this information with ICCC family without  email!  The 2020 Trentham Award will be announced during our 2020 2-Day Virtual Gathering being held July 20 & 21.  Details can be found on our website as they become available.  https://www.icccnow.org/annual-conference/

If you have any questions, please contact DeAnn at the Council Office.  icccdc@sbcglobal.net
A great article shared by VP for Regional Relationships Chaplain Wendy Childress:
The Best Way White Christians Can Respond to Racial Tensions.
The Best Way White Christians Can Respond to Racial Tensions


During these challenging times, many ICCC churches have learned to provide virtual worship, to bring together their congregations.  The following have shared their links with us, in case you would like to join in.

Antioch Community Church – *Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AntiochChurchKC/  or search in FB Antioch 4805.  For more information on what Antioch Community Church has to offer virtually, visit their website: www.acckc.org.

Wilson Memorial Union Church– Sunday Worship can be found on their YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmXd-MMkSkEEJVqsN-8Yoeg or on their website https://www.wilsonmemorialchurch.org/videos  They also post their worship links on their *Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mywilsonchurch  For more information on what Wilson Memorial Union Church has to offer virtually, visit their website: www.wilsonmemorialchurch.org.

Lake Oconee Community Churchhttps://locc.co/worshiping/services-livestream/  For more information on what Lake Oconee Community Church has to offer virtually, visit their website www.locc.co.

New Covenant Community Church – YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfQ4tfz6CmH64kug4zjVGmA  For more information on what New Covenant Community Church has to offer virtually, visit their website http://www.covenantakron.org/

Greater Faith Community Church – For information on what Greater Faith Community Church has to offer virtually, visit their website http://www.greaterfaith.org.

Imagine Church of the Carolinas – *Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ImagineChurchoftheCarolinas/.  For more information on what Imagine Church of the Carolinas has to offer virtually, visit their website: www.imaginechurchnow.org

Chapel By The Sea – YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNjSPp9qNZq9DFRfoNcJ83g  For information on what Chapel By The Sea has to offer virtually, visit their website www.imaginechurchnow.org

upRising – a church without walls – *Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/uprisingaustin/   For more information on what upRising has to offer virtually, visit their website: www.uprisingaustin.org

Peace Community Church – *Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peacecommunityftmyers/  For more information on what Peace Community Church offers virtually, visit their website: www.peacecommunitychurch.com

People’s Community Church, Berea, OH – *Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PeoplesCommunityChurchBerea/  For more information on what People’s Community Church may have to offer virtually, visit their website: www.peoplescommunity.org

Christian Catholic Rite of Community Churches – YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHGa_5lyPn0 .  For more information on what CCRCC has to offer virtually, visit their website: http://ccrcc.ca/


Historic First Community Church Nashville – *Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/526657234126797/videos/652357822159867/?vh=e&d=n

Speed Memorial, a Community Church – *Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/speedmemorial/  For more information on what Speed Memorial has to offer virtually, visit their website: www.speedmemorial.org

Tellico Village Community Churchhttps://www.tellicochurch.com/watch

Historic People’s Community Church, Detroit – *Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PeoplesCommunityChurchDetroit/ live at 10:30am ET Sundays.  For more information on what People’s Community Church has to offer virtually, visit their website: www.historicpcc.org

ICCC Clergy Rev. Dr. Stephen York is the minister at Elm Street Congregational Church.  Services are livestreamed on Sunday at 10:00am ET: https://elmstcongo.church/live.  Archived services can be found at https://elmstcongo.church/youtube. 
Norris Religious Fellowship – YouTube: www.youtube.com/norrisrf.  For more information on what NRF has to offer virtually, visit their website www.norrosfr.org.
Arizona National Guard Chaplains – *Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AZNationalGuardChaplains/
Greendale People’s ChurchYouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfkBKSC_VJABn03L4P3Syiw.  For more information on what Greendale People’s Church has to offer virtually, visit their website https://www.greendalepeopleschurch.org/

*For Facebook links, you may need to first “Like” the church’s page before you can view their postings.

Monday, June 8th, the ICCC held a Call For Prayer, via Zoom.  We had a spirit-filled time prayer time together with members from across the country joining in.  Below are some of the prayers shared (adding as they come in).

Read (and sang) by Joe Higgins, Wilson Memorial Union Church:

  • “Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    Fill me with life anew,
    That I may love what Thou dost love,
    And do what Thou wouldst do.
  • Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    Until my heart is pure,
    Until with Thee I will one will,
    To do and to endure.
  • Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    Till I am wholly Thine,
    Until this earthly part of me
    Glows with Thy fire divine.
  • Breathe on me, Breath of God,
    So shall I never die,
    But live with Thee the perfect life
    Of Thine eternity.”

Read by ICCC Chaplain Wendy Childress.  Written by her daughter, Ikia Noel, 23 years ago when she was 9 years old:


Why is this world so cruel, so cold, so evil?
A world full of crime, drugs, and violence
Violence seems to be the answer to. . .
Every situation
Every question
Every problem
A world where money is idolized
Yet, there are people who live in poverty and despair
A world where people want to see you fail
A world where children are supposed to be the future
Yet, there is no one willing to. . .
Teach them
Love them
Guide them
No one there to help the realize they have the potential to succeed
Why is the world so evil?
Why am I surrounded by a world of hatred?
A world where your race, gender, religion, or nationality
Can determine so many things
Why must I dress or talk a certain way
Or have a certain amount of money to be accepted?
This is a challenging time for our clergy, lay leaders, and congregations as we discern how do we do Church during this COVID-19 crisis and beyond.  The question is not only when do we return but how shall we open our church homes again for worship, study, fellowship, and service?  Below is a link for a document from the Wisconsin Council of Churches: Returning to Church, that might be of help for your congregation as it discerns this question.
I welcome again your feedback on how can ICCC be of support for our clergy, lay leaders, and congregations.  I welcome your suggestions for Zoom webinar topics or activities that would be helpful to share with our ICCC family.  Please feel free to email me at or call me at 502-387-8515.
Let us continue to keep our ICCC family in our prayers along with our nation and global family as we continue to move through this pandemic crisis.  Take care.  Stay well and be safe.


Please accept the following prayer from your ICCC leadership!

Almighty merciful and loving God, hear the prayers of your people.
Lord, in the midst of great uncertainty in our communities, our cities, our states, our nation and our world community, give unto us the certainty of your loving presence and hopeful promise of your love for us.
May we be certain of your present healing spirit as we face uncertain of the COVID 19 virus.
Guide us, O God that we would make wise decisions in our day to day life.
Bless our ICCC and all our communities with a calming assurance of your love.
Your are our breath and life.  We praise you.
Harry Foockle, ICCC President
The ICCC has a NEW Facebook Group! Click on the Facebook icon to join!                    
We also invite you to like and follow the ICCC Page, where up-to-date announcements and info can be found. 
The ICCC has 6 Regions, and each will soon have their own Facebook Group.  Keep up to date with your regions news and activities! 
Eastern Zone, Region A (Regional Trustee Doris Marsicak)
Eastern Zone, Region B (Regional Trustee Myrtis Brame)
Eastern Zone, Region C  (Regional Trustee Rev. Bruce Jones)
Central Zone, Region A (Regional Trustee Rev. Sharyon Cosey)
Central Zone, Region B (Regional Trustee Linda Hopkins)
Central Zone, Region C (Regional Trustee Rev.Julia Powe)
Western Zone, Region A (Regional Trustee Saundra Nelson)
Western Zone, Region B (Regional Trustee Chaplain Ken Young)
Check us out here too! #ICCCNOW             Instagram:  @icccnow                                                    Snapchat: icccnow             Twitter:  @icccnow
cuic-logoChurches Uniting in Christ, a gathering of 11 communions in a covenantal relationship, affirm and support the dignity of all people and to the care for the gift of the earth that God has entrusted to us.  It is, for this reason, we join with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and the dozens of tribes standing in support of their efforts to protect their sovereignty, water, culture, a way of life, and their sacred sites.

To view the entire statement, recently signed by Abraham Wright, ICCC Secretary and other ICCC officers, click here.
“I hope we can all reach out to member communions in Greenville, MS and offer our prayers, our resources and our buildings, if necessary.” – Vince Gonzalez, CUIC
For information, click here.

IMG_3005Give By Text

Do you pay for all your “things” online?  Why not make your donations electronically as well?
We want our members to contribute when and how they want.  The ICCC offers an electronic giving option… Give by Text, as a convenient alternative to checks or cash.
In less time than it takes to write a check, you can make weekly offerings or respond to special appeals by simply sending a text message from your smartphone.  Sign up today and be liberated from your checkbook!
Simply send a text to 815-506-9017 with the amount you would like to contribute. Make sure to include the dollar sign before the amount. Example: $25. Within a few minutes, you’ll be sent a text with a link to register. Click on the link and enter your cardholder name and credit or debit card information. Once your registration is complete, you will receive a text verification and a receipt via email.
Thank you for supporting our mission!


      Direct Thrivent Choice Dollars®.

During this special time of year, we pause to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for. Family, friends, faith …

We are pleased to announce that the ICCC has recently been accepted into the Thrivent Choice program. 
One way eligible Thrivent Financial members can show their thanks is by directing Choice Dollars to the ICCC. If you’re a Thrivent member who has designated Choice Dollars

®, please take this opportunity to recommend where Thrivent distributes some of its charitable grant funds by directing them to the ICCC.  Thrivent Choice grant funding will be used for Ecumenical & Interfaith Relations, and for our three missions: Agape, Creating Community, and Feeding the Hungry. 

To learn more about Thrivent Choice, visit Thrivent.com/thriventchoice.  Or call Thrivent at 800-847-4836 and say “Thrivent Choice” when prompted.

Do you shop Amazon.com?
You can now designate the International Council of Community Churches to receive .5% of the purchase price from the AmazonSmile Foundation!
Please support the ICCC today and get shopping!  Go to https://smile.amazon.com and select the ICCC as your charitable organization.