Be Not Afraid

Editor's note: This blog post was written following the attack on a Texas church that killed 26 people. It is relevant again now, following the most recent killing of 17 students at a Florida high school. 

By The Rev. Brendan Curran
Associate Minister, Barrington Congregational Church UCC

It happened again.

It breaks my heart that we see senseless and preventable violence being committed in places like movie theaters, and concerts, and malls, and dance halls, and schools, and even churches.  People are becoming too afraid of each other, afraid to gather.  It becomes necessary for us to devise “a plan” to deal with potential emergencies. I find it heartbreaking that we are unable to truthfully guarantee that it won’t happen again or that we are ever 100% safe and secure.  We can’t offer that guarantee, but we can hold a space where we examine together why violence seems to be spreading, why these terrible events keep happening, and learn how to heal it together with God.  We can create a sacred space for community where at least our hearts are protected, kept whole, and nourished by the wisdom of Christ.  I can assure you that wisdom allows us to transcend fear and face the challenges of our time with unbroken souls.

As Christians, we are asked to believe that Peace is possible. 

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Church: Alive & Thriving

4 Great Workshops in
2 locations over 2 days!

Rev. Chris Davies from the national UCC office, along with other leaders from southern New England, is coming to Rhode Island to lead four exciting workshops and talk about exciting ministries in RI and beyond. These workshops are intended for both clergy and laity. The cost is $15 for one day or $25 for both, lunch included.

Friday, April 13, 10 AM - 3 PM: Seekonk Congregational Church, UCC
Saturday, April 14, 10 AM - 3 PM: Barrington Congregational UCC


Be the Church today, and Vision Tomorrow!
Social Justice in Southern New England
What’s New in the UCC?!  
Finding the Gospel in Surprising Places: From 1517-2017

Find out  more and register

Super Saturday Registration Open

Super Saturday
March 17, 8:00 AM - 3:45 PM
Minnechaug Regional High School, Wilbraham, MA

A great day including morning worship, 2 workshops, an optional lunch activity, continental breakfast, lunch, marketplace and closing worship. Featuring Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, Pastor, activist, preacher, and fierce advocate for racial equality, economic justice, and LGBTQ equality.

Upcoming Events

Maple Sugar Camp
March 16 - 17
Irons Homestead, Glocester, RI

For High School and Middle School Youth including supper, sliding and outdoor fire and making of maple candy, maple syrup and sugar on snow.

Sugar Eat - a Maple Sugar on Snow party
March 18, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Irons Homestead, Glocester, RI

A sweet fundraiser to benefit Outdoor Ministry at Irons Homestead. Adults: $5; Children: $3.

Passion of Christ Retreat
March 29 - 31
Irons Homestead, Glocester, RI

A retreat involving shared meals, time outdoors, an interactive Way of the Cross and a number of spiritual practices, including but not limited to art, music, meditation, movement, silence and sharing, will be offered. All participation is voluntary.

Ordination for Shelly Moses
April 29, 2018, 2:00 PM
Peace Dale Congregational UCC, Peace Dale, RI

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. Indicate your interest now.


Other Events of Interest

Kingian Non-Violence Training
March 2 - 3
United Congregational Church of Westerly, UCC, Pawcatuck, RI

Learn how reconciliation is possible in the midst of conflict with trainer the Rev. Sharon Key.

Building Resilient Children & Adults
March 6, 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
First Unitarian Church, Providence, RI

Part of a Mental Health Education Series for Faith Community Leaders and Members

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.

Working with Survivors of Sexual Assault
March 29, 8:30 AM to 11:45 AM
Bradley Hospital, East Providence

Working with Children & Adolescents with Developmental Disabilities
March 29, 1:00 PM to 4:15 PM

Bradley Hospital, East Providence

Unite to End Racism: Bus Ride to DC
April 4

The Rhode Island State Council of Churches is going on the road to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to rally in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and address the urgency of ending racism in America. Reserve your seat on the bus now.

UCC New England Women's (X) Celebration
April 6 - 8
Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland, ME

A celebration to reach women in the pews and to involve them in learning and sharing their faith beyond the local church and Conference setting.

Ecumenical Advocacy Days
April 20 - 23
Washington DC area

This year's event will focus on the uprootedness of our world. Through prayer, worship, advocacy training, and networking, we will seek policy changes that advance hope and overcome the devastating impacts of conflict, climate change and corruption on God’s people. Scholarships available for young adults - application deadline is March 2.

Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders
May 7 - 11
Christ Church Cathedral, Hartford, CT

Presented by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center (LMPC), this 5-day event is designed to equip church leaders with the skills necessary to deal effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict. Register by April 6 for early bird discount.

National Open and Affirming Gathering
June 27 - 30
Cathedral of Hope,  Dallas, TX

Living Our Covenant Beyond Boundaries. Keynote by the Rev. Justo González II, a leader in the UCC's Sanctuary Movement. Registration now open.


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Rhode Island Conference, United Church of Christ
8 Summer Street, Pawtucket, RI 02860
(401) 724-7700