Libby Announces Retirement Plans

Interim Conference Minister The Rev. Barbara J. Libby has announced her retirement from active ministry (and her service to the Rhode Island Conference) as of July 15, 2018. 

An anticipated vote at a Tri-Conference Annual Meeting in Springfield, MA on June 15 & 16, 2018 will help clarify the future plans for the Rhode Island Conference, as it moves toward forming a new Conference in conjunction with the Massachusetts and Connecticut Conferences.

The Board of Directors has appointed a Search Team for a Transitional Conference Minister led by The Rev. Cleo Graham, Vice President for Administration. This Search Team is undertaking a nationwide search to find a transitional leader who is expected to come on board by July 1, 2018 (to overlap with Libby). 

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Focus Groups on New Conference Scheduled for Jan. 18 - 23

Members of the Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut Conferences are we invited to share their voices to help envision how a new, unified Conference might look. 

Several group discussions are planned between Jan. 18 and Jan. 23 at various UCC Church locations in the three states.

View dates and locations and RSVP

RICUCC Racial Justice Ministry— Spreading the Word

By Rev. Nancy Hamlin Soukup

The Racial Justice Ministry recommends you kick off 2018 with an event sponsored by the Rhode Island Center for the Book on Jan. 27, 2:00 - 4:00 PM at The Pavilion, Grace Episcopal Church, Providence. Join the Center’s Reading Across Rhode Island program as it introduces this year’s book selection—The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Then, in April, you'll have a chance to meet the author!

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Update on Clergy Housing Allowance

United Church of Christ Attorney Heather Kimmel sent the following notice to Conference Ministers just before Christmas, 2017:

“Many of you have been watching with interest the housing allowance case in the Western District of Wisconsin.  As you know, the judge determined that the housing allowance provision was unconstitutional and asked for supplementary briefing on the remedy. The order on the remedy has now been entered.  …  The bottom line for right now:  ministers may continue to claim a housing allowance until 180 days after appeals are exhausted.”

Kimmel said her office will keep everyone apprised as the process continues.

News from the Homestead

Read the latest news from Irons Homestead, and plan now to attend some upcoming events and summer camps!

Read the New Year's Edition of the Irons Homestead newsletter


Upcoming Events

Vigil at the State House: Fighting Poverty with Faith
Jan. 3, 2018, 2:00 to 4:15 PM
Meet at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Providence

The 10th Annual Rhode Island Interfaith Coalition to Reduce Poverty Vigil at the State House: a gathering, as a community of faith on the first full day of the legislative session to remind elected officials of their responsibility to those living in poverty. 

Sky Zone / Faith Zone
Jan. 21, 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Newman Congregational Church, Rumford

For 3rd-8th grade youth: an afternoon of faith and fun starting at Newman Congregational Church including snacks and a youth program followed by an outing at the Sky Zone trampoline park.

Racial Justice Awareness Confirmation Event
Jan. 28, 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM
Seekonk Congregational Church

A gathering of confirmands from our RI churches for an afternoon program with trained Racial Justice Awareness facilitators. All 8th grade -12th graders welcome.

Sliding with Faith
Feb. 4, 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM
Peace Dale Congregational Church, 
South Kingstown

6th-12th graders are invited to gather at Peace Dale Congregational Church for a youth program including a snack, followed by an outing to Yawgoo Valley for tubing.

Ordination for Shelly Moses
April 29, 2018
Peace Dale Congregational UCC

Details TBA

Eastern Regional Youth Event
July 19 - 22, 2018
California University of Pennsylvania, California, PA

The Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island Conferences are collaborating to provide bus service to the event, for youth who have completed 6th grade up to 2018 graduates of 12th grade. 

Other Events of Interest

Boundary Awareness Training
Jan. 17 & 18
Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, MA

Clergy Boundary Awareness Training sponsored by The Metropolitan Boston Association of the Massachusetts Conference.

Leadership and Anxiety in the Church
March 6, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Christ Church Cathedral, Hartford, CT

This event, sponsored by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, is designed to be beneficial for clergy members and laypersons who seek to understand congregational dynamics better and to learn ways to calm anxiety and heal broken relationships.


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