Reflections from General Synod 2017

Synod Opened My Eyes and Heart

By Patricia Safstrom
Moosup Valley Congregational Christian Church, Foster, RI

WOW!  Imagine worshiping with 2,700 hundred people.  Quite an image for me coming from a small congregation with a membership of 42 and average Sunday attendance of about 15.  You can’t help but feel the Holy Spirit within you. Not that I haven’t had this feeling in our church but this was a Holy Spirit saying you can do this and bring it all back to the Moosup Valley Congregational Church community. I was wishing I could have bottled up the feeling and experience that would ensure I was able to express myself in a strong and spirit filled way

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    Synod: Together as One Body

By Linda Hartley
Member in Discernment

This being my first General Synod, I wasn’t sure what to expect. From my “pre-Synod” preparation I did know that my time in Baltimore would be filled with worship experiences, plenary sessions, and workshops. And I had heard that Synod was like a big family reunion. As a Member in Discernment with the Rhode Island Conference I attended as a visitor, exploring as many of these experiences as possible.

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Southern New England Synod Photo Album

See a Flickr photo album featuring representatives from the Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut Conferences here. Photos by Drew Page.

Service of Parting: Warren Marble

Pastor Warren Marble, pastor of the First Congregational Church of Warwick, United Church of Christ will retire from active ministry on Sunday July 30, 2017.  Warren has been pastor for the past 8 years, organist there for the preceding 50 years, and member of this congregation since 1954 (age 14). His final worship service and the Service of Parting will start at 10:15 AM at 715 Oakland Beach Avenue, Warwick and will be followed by a Retirement Pot Luck Luncheon at the church. 

UCC Stewardship Theme Materials Available for Review

United Church of Christ Stewardship Materials for the 2017-2018 Program year are available for review at the Rhode Island Conference office at 8 Summer Street, Pawtucket, RI. 02860.

This year’s attractive campaign logo is Journey to Generosity THE WAY OF JESUS, with the focus text of Matthew 9:35-10:23.   In addition to samples of bulletin inserts, letterhead, and bulletin covers we have downloaded a number of resources for pastors and churches – for sermon preparation, small group study, and suggestions for both a short-term fall and longer year-long Stewardship campaigns!  

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Young Adult Service Opportunity

  Young Adult Service Communities (YASC), is a program of the United Church of Christ. Congregations participate in YASC by hosting a community of young adult interns (ages 21-35). These interns live in intentional community with other young adults who share a common commitment to mission and justice work, congregational service, spiritual growth, and personal discernment.

First Church in Simsbury, CT, will be hosting three young adults for the September 2017 through July 2018 and there is still an opening for one young adult.

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Upcoming Conference Events

10th Haiti Hoopla
August 13, 4:00 to 9:00 PM
Greenvale Vineyards,
Portsmouth, RI 

Lots of delicious food, wine, and dancing to benefit the ministries of the RIC-UCC Haiti Task Team.

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.


Vacation Notices

The Rev. Barbara J. Libby, Interim Conference Minister of the Rhode Island Conference, will be on vacation from July 27- August 14.  The Conference office will be open as usual Monday through Thursdays from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm at 401-724-7700. 

The Rhode Island Conference weekly newsletter will suspend publication temporarily for the weeks of August 7, 14, & 21.  Publication of the weekly newsletter will resume August 29.  Sandy Tremblay, Office Manager, can be reached at  Church activities and events of interest to the Conference can be added to the Conference website at any time by clicking the "Submit an Event" link at:  Check out the RI Conference website at at any time or like us on Facebook.



Other Events of Interest

Make It Plain: Authorizing Ministry for the 21st Century
Sept. 8 - 9
Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center, Framingham, MA

One of four regional events to which Committees on Ministry, authorized ministers, and members of the UCC who are interested in the proposed changes to the UCC Manual on Ministry are invited to take part.

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
8 Summer Street, Pawtucket, RI 02860
(401) 724-7700