Calling us together, God is “Making All Things New!” 

This year at the Heartland Conference Annual Gathering, come and discover the empowering gifts of our United Church of Christ national setting staff.  Many of these leaders are already treasures in our midst as members of the Heartland Conference.  But never have we had so many of them gathered from each of the ministry teams in one place.  We are setting the stage so we can engage these ministry partners in conversations that inspire, connect, equip, and support ministry in your setting.   Come hear and be heard through conversations that cultivate the common ground of God’s new creation!  This year we will also celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Heartland Conference at a special banquet on Friday evening!  

***Due to the in-person nature of our conversations with National Setting staff only the plenary and worship services will be streamed. Delegates must be in-person to cast their vote.


Join us at Gender Road Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

On September 29-30, 2023 for The Heartland Conference Annual Gathering 5336 Gender Rd, Canal Winchester, OH 43110

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The Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson, Keynote Speaker

The Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia A. Thompson is the newly elected General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ. Rev. Thompson is the first woman and first woman of African descent to serve as leader of the denomination. Click here to learn more about the Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson.




The Rev. Dr. Cheryl A. Lindsay, Opening Worship Preacher

The Rev. Dr. Cheryl A. Lindsay, Minister for Worship and Theology (, also serves as a local church pastor and worship scholar-practitioner with a particular interest in the proclamation of the word in gathered communities. Click here to learn more about the Rev. Dr. Cheryl A. Lindsay




The Rev. Dan Doty, Closing Worship Preacher

The Rev. Daniel J. Doty was baptized and confirmed in the United Church of Christ. Dan attended Bowling Green State University (OH) where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education. Currently Dan serves as the Senior Minister at First Congregational Church of Tallmadge and as the Vice-Moderator of the Heartland Conference Board of Directors. Dan lives in Wadsworth with his wife Amy and is the proud father of two daughters Kristian and Kaetlyn, a newlywed son Sean and daughter-in-law Sara. Click here to learn more about the Rev. Daniel J. Doty

The Rev. Tracy Howe (she/they/womxn)

The Rev. Tracy Howe serves as Team Leader and Minister for Faith Education, Innovation and Formation (FaithINFO) at the UCC National Setting, strategizing with the team towards building a nurturing, resourcing and sustaining eco-system for local churches to thrive. Tracy is a songwriter, theologian, and activist and uses their creative expression towards justice building in a world largely condemning and diminishing of the beauty, interconnections and the vulnerability that come with being human.  Her songs have been used by faith communities and in movement work globally.  Tracy is working on a Ph.D. in Applied Intercultural Arts Research at the University of Arizona focused on critical theories and spiritual formation in organizing spaces. Click here to learn more about the Rev. Tracy Howe.

Heart to Heart – Getting to Know our National Staff 

In place of traditional workshops, at our 2023 Annual Gathering we will connect in a new way with staff members from our National UCC Setting.  The National Setting of the UCC is located in our Heartland Conference, so “We” are “They”, and “They” are “We”.  Let’s get to know one another better!

During two sessions, Annual Gathering participants will spend time with representatives from our various National Setting Ministry Teams: Faith Info and D.C. Advocacy, MESA and CARDD, Global H.O.P.E. and UN, Global Ministries, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, EFAM and Gender and Sexuality Justice Ministries, OPTIC, and UCC Financial Ministries.  Wondering what all these names and acronyms mean?  You’ll know after your Heart to Heart time at Annual Gathering!  Meet the people who support our mission and ministry, learn what they do, how they can support the work of the local church, and how our local churches can support the work they do on our behalf.

How will it work?

When you check in, you’ll receive a Heart to Heart group number.  This will tell you which national ministry group you will visit during each of our connection sessions.  On Friday afternoon and again on Saturday morning, two sessions of connection time will take place.  A group guide will journey with you to your designated connection stations.  Our partners from National Setting will share a bit about their area of mission and ministry, then leave plenty of time for questions.  Your group guide will then accompany you to your second connection station for that session.  If you want more information, or simply would like to connect further with a National staff person, there will be time in the exhibitor area, at meals, and at breaks when additional conversation can take place.