Conference Leaders Raise $3700 Through Wearing Of The Green

Leaders of the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences together raised over $3,700 for their respective ministries through successful social media challenges that required them to go VERY green for St. Patrick's Day.

Rhode Island Conference Minister The Rev. Barbara Libby joined in the fun, dyeing her hair green in exchange for donations to Racial Justice Ministries in that Conference. She pulled in $617 from 23 donors.

Read more


UCC Counsel Warns that Housing Allowance May End

United Church of Christ General Counsel Heather Kimmel is advising churches and clergy to recognize that the end of the clergy housing allowance is a possibility.

The clergy housing allowance is compensation provided to ministers by their employers which the ministers can exclude from their income for purposes of calculating federal income tax. The amount excluded is limited to the fair rental value of the home. 

In a memorandum issued to the Council of Conference Ministers, Kimmel advised that a Wisconsin court recently ruled that the clergy housing allowance is "unconstitutional as an Establishment Clause violation, because it is a preference for religion." 

Read more, including steps clergy and churches can take to prepare

Registration Deadline is March 26 for Passion of Christ Retreat

Passion of Christ Retreat
March 29 - 31

Irons Homestead, Glocester

“Today I am fresh from the Passion of Christ Retreat conducted on the premises of Irons Homestead. I write to share what a vibrant, soul-encapturing and incredibly meaningful time I had. I have never felt the impact of “the Passion,” or “Good Friday,” as I did yesterday.” – 2017 participant

A relaxed, multi-course meal begins this experiential retreat. After dinner we will retire to the garden for prayer and then around the fire to hear about and remember the night of trial.

Friday is spent considering the last hours of Jesus' life through a variety of media including an interactive Way of the Cross on the meditation trail.

Friday evening will include a discussion of Jesus' time in Hell. Several spiritual practices including but not limited to art, music, meditation, movement, silence and sharing will be offered.

All participation is voluntary. The retreat concludes with breakfast Saturday morning.

Go to more information and registration

Youth Invited to Gather for March For Our Lives

Rhode Island Conference Christian Education/Youth Ministry Resource Consultant Kristin Putney is inviting Conference youth groups interested in attending the March 24 March for Our Lives in Providence to contact her.

March for Our Lives is led by students across the country who have said they are no longer willing to risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings.  The main march is being held in Washington, DC, but marches are being held in other cities around the country as well, including Providence. The Providence rally is 1 PM - 3 PM at the State House.

Putney will organize Conference youth who wish to march together.  For more details, contact her at: 

Many Voices, One Mission: Be A Champion for Racial Justice

By TJ Harper
Associate for Racial Justice Ministries, Connecticut & Massachusetts conferences

In the past several months, I have been visiting an increasing number of churches in Connecticut and Massachusetts to preach and present workshops on racial justice. I have noticed that when congregations attempt to stand and address the racial injustices that plague our communities and our country, there is division within many congregations. Some pastors have privately expressed a deep reluctance to preach about racial justice due to possible backlash from parishioners. Some parishioners privately expressed to me that the congregation wants to do more to address racial justice, but the pastor is reluctant. In some cases, the pastor and the congregation want to work toward racial justice but do not agree on which path to take.
My message today is simple: Be a champion for racial justice. There is no one way or best way to achieve racial justice; instead, it is our collective differences and our united goal that will one day allow us to be successful in achieving equity for all God's people.  
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Many Voices, One Mission is a new regular series highlighting the ministries of the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences of the United Church of Christ.

Put a Face on Southern New England UCC Ministry

Help your Annual Meeting planners put a face on Southern New England UCC Ministry by sending us three photographs of your community. These images should give a window into how you share God's unconditional welcome and live the love and justice of Jesus together. They will be shared at the meeting.  Please send photos to by April 15th.

Upcoming Events

Church: Alive & Thriving
Friday, April 13, 10 AM - 3 PM: Seekonk Congregational Church, UCC
Saturday, April 14, 10 AM - 3 PM: Barrington Congregational UCC
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 over two days and talk about exciting ministries in RI and beyond.

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

Ecclesiastical Council - Linda Hartley
June 3, 3:00 PM
Newman Congregational UCC, Rumford, RI

Tri-Conference Annual Meeting
June 15 - 16
Mass Mutual Center, Springfield, MA

The second joint Annual Meeting of the Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts conferences. Traci Blackmon will be the keynote speaker.

Ecclesiastical Council for Chontell Washington
July 1, 3:00 PM
Beneficent Congregational Church

Eastern Regional Youth Event
July 19 - 22
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

The Evolution of Atonement
March 20, 7:00 PM and March 27, 7:00 PM
Warwick Public Library, Warwick

Author and UCC pastor Stephen Finlan will explore how the Jewish concept of atonement was adopted by early Greek churches, what Paul added, and how the idea has been adapted and revised over the past
two centuries.

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.

CT UCC Spring Boundary Training
May 8, 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Church of Christ, Congregational, Newington, CT

Basic and Advanced Boundary Training for Clergy

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
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(401) 724-7700