A Learning Experience on the Streets of Baltimore

BALTIMORE – Every day as Helen Bodell goes to and from work as a chaplain at Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, she comes in contact with homeless people. She's never sure how to act or what to say.

Saturday, during General Synod 2017, she was able to ask two men who have experienced homelessness for their advice.

Bodell, a member of Newman Congregational Church in Rumford was one of about 50 delegates and visitors who took part in an injustice walk, a service project that gave them an opportunity to learn more about homelessness in Baltimore.

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BLOG: We Try SO Hard. We Still Make Mistakes

By Tiffany Vail
Associate Conference Minister for Communications

I don't often write blog posts about my personal experiences. In the 20 years I've been doing Conference communication work, I've put most of my energy into telling the stories of others, or empowering them to tell their own stories.

But I am on the train returning from my first United Church of Christ General Synod, and I feel the need to share my own perspective.

What struck me the most at Synod was how hard everyone tries to live out what it means to be a multicultural, They – we – try SO hard. And yet, we still stumble.


General Synod 2017: Make Glad

Four delegates, 10 youth and a handful of staff, volunteers and visitors from the Rhode Island Conference attended General Synod June 30 - July 4.
Dozens of news articles, videos and photos from the event can be found at:
(Right) Interim Conference Minister Barbara Libby takes the mic at Synod

Blackmon Speaks to Southern New England Delegates

BALTIMORE - In what could be seen as a sneak peek of next year's Annual Meeting, The Rev. Traci Blackmon visited a joint breakfast of the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island General Synod delegations Saturday morning, 

Blackmon is acting executive minister of United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries, and will be the keynote speaker at the second joint Annual Meeting of the three Conferences, being held next June in Springfield, MA.

Blackmon said the work of the Conferences has inspired the national staff to plan on deploying national staff dedicated to justice and witness ministries regionally, so they are more accessible outside of the national offices in Cleveland. 

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Upcoming Conference Events

Free Fun Day at the Homestead
Aug. 20, 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Irons Homestead, Glocester, RI

All churches and individuals of the Conference are invited to picnic and play at Irons Homestead for free.  Boating, Swimming, Volleyball, Soccer, Horseshoes, etc. Grills and tables will be ready for your picnic.

Partners For Safe Environments
2 Opportunities:
Sept. 6, 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Sept. 16, 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Newman Congregational Church, Rumford
A workshop for church staff and volunteers working with children and youth, visitations teams, and other church leaders.The presenter is Karen Ziel, Commissioned Minister of Faith Formation and Leadership for the Connecticut Conference, UCC.

RI Minister's Association
Sept. 25 - 26, 2017
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham, MA

Save the date; details to come

Boundary Training
Oct. 5, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Edgewood Congregational Church, Cranston
Each Authorized Minister must be Certified in Boundary Training every three years in order to maintain their standing.


Director of Christian Education - Hope Church, East Providence, RI


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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