Video: Online Forums Clarify New Conference Proposal

The Conference Ministers and Board members of the Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut Conferences of the United Church of Christ held five online forums to help church delegates better understand the "Together, As One" proposal for the formation of a new southern New England conference.

Beginning in May and continuing until June 8th, the Conference leaders held five one-hours webinars in which they discussed the reasons the three boards unanimously brought forth this proposal, the timeline behind it, and the vision they have for a "new thing" forming in and around the three Conferences.

Don't Call it Messy; Call it Hard

I just finished participating in one of the “Together, As One” webinars intended to help people understand the proposal to create a brand new conference encompassing the current Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut conferences and their churches. (See highlights video, above)

I have to say, I’m a little proud of myself for tuning in because I usually find these administrative-type discussions frustrating, if not dull. First, they quickly grow tedious as we lose our way in the weedy details. Second, there’s often a presumption that many of our problems will evaporate if only we were better organized.

This webinar, however, wasn’t focused on structure. Granted, the topic of structure garnered a lot of airtime, but responses to such questions were mostly, “We don’t know yet.” There were also honest acknowledgments of the various declining numbers. Those kinds of shifts, however, are being taken as perhaps a divine summons to perceive new movements of the Holy Spirit. The language was that of ministry and mission, not money or membership. And nobody, at least as far as I heard, used the word “messy.”

Read the full blog post

Read more about the Together, As One proposal

Upcoming Conference Events

Tri-Conference Annual Meeting
June 16 & 17
Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford, CT
Be part of UCC history at this first ever combined Annual Meeting of the Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut Conferences! UCC General Minister & President The Rev. John Dorhauer will be the keynote speaker. Advance registration is closed; walk-ins will be accepted but will not be provided with lunch.

Great American Camp Out
June 23 - 25
Irons Homestead, Glocester

Free camp-out space in our field by the waterfront. Come alone or bring a crowd. Pitch your tent or sleep under the stars. People all over the US will be camping out that weekend - join the party. Registration required.

General Synod 31
June 30 - July 4
Baltimore, MD

Thousands from across the country will gather to discern resolutions of witness, church structure, and function. 


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Other Events of Interest

UCC Musicians Association Summer 2017 Conference
July 9 - 12
Simmons College, Boston, MA

This biannual conference seeks to nourish, inspire, and sustain church musicians.

2017 Craigville Theological Colloquy
July 10 - 14
Craigville Retreat Center, Craigville, MA

A full week including presentations, Bible reflections, daily worship services, small group discussions, singing, playing music and Keynote Speaker Professor Lee C. Barrett.

Jazz for the Journey
Sept. 28 - 30
Webster Groves, MO

A three-day national gathering celebrating the Spirit of Jazz in Christian worship and ministry.


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Rhode Island Conference, United Church of Christ
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