Conference Leaders to Host 5 Online Forums On New Conference Votes

Leading up to the second Tri-Conference Annual Meeting of the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences, Conference leaders will be hosting a series of five online forums in May and June for discussion about the upcoming votes to formally create a new, unified conference.

Delegates to the Annual Meeting, to be held June 15 - 16 at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield will be asked to pass a a covenant agreement and a set of bylaws for the new conference and to elect a new Board of Directors.

Read more and sign up to attend


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. Don't miss this great event!

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Obituary: Rev. Dr. William Emerson Downey

The Rhode Island Conference United Church of Christ has received word that Rev. Dr. William E. Downey, passed away on March 24th in Germany.  Bill served as Co-Pastor of Edgewood Congregational Church (1972–1977) with his wife, Rev. Sabine Downey, who continues to reside in Berlin.

Bill Downey had been one of the founding members of the Berlin chapter of Democrats Abroad.

Services are to be held on Friday, April 13, 2018, at Christus-Kirchhof in Berlin. The family requested in lieu of flowers, that donations be made in memory of William E. Downey to Doctors without Borders.

Many Voices, One Mission: You Can't Go Back

By Michael Ciba
Senior Regional Minister for the CT Conference.

A few weeks ago, as I accelerated to merge into traffic on Interstate 84, I saw a billboard that said: “For surely I know the plans I have for you”—God.  This comforting portion of Jeremiah 29: 11 appears frequently on many inspirational items these days, including coffee cups, plaques, and now even billboards.  But, as with most things in scripture, God’s comfort comes with a challenge.

Jeremiah is writing from Jerusalem to leaders of the city who are being held hostage by their enemies.  They feel abandoned by God and miss their familiar homes and place of worship.  They desperately want to go home and get back to the life they once knew, a life they idealize because it was taken from them.

Many churches today long desperately for something they once had.

Read more

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.

Upcoming Conference Events

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

Helen Bodell Ordination
May 20, 3:00 PM
Newman Congregational UCC?

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. Hotel discount deadline: May 15.

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.

New Podcast: Alive! in our sexuality and faith

As we celebrate resurrection, we must ask ourselves what it means to be fully alive in our bodies? For the next five weeks Rev. Tracy Howe Wispelwey shares conversations with pastors, academics and youth who have participated in Our Whole Lives, a series of six curricula for children, teenagers, young adults and adults that help participants make informed and responsible decisions about their relationships, health and behavior in the context of their faith.

Go to soundcloud for the podcast


Awakenings Conference
April 26 - 29
The United Congregational Church of Holyoke, MA
Go to more information

Other Events of Interest

RI Interfaith Power & Light Annual Meeting
April 16, 5:30 to 8:00 PM
Westminster Unitarian Church, East Greenwich, RI

Featuring The Rev. Dr. Jim Antal, Minister and President of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ and author of Climate Church, Climate World: How People of Faith Must Work for Change 

Making Decisions NOW for Our Final Wishes - A Five Part Series
 April 20, 11:30 AM to 1:15 AM
Chapel Street Congregational Church, Lincoln, RI
Session 1: FIVE WISHES: A living will written in everyday language that expresses your wishes in personal, spiritual, medical, and legal matters.

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.

Merciful Conversations on Gender Identity & Expression
April 24, 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM 
St. Luke's Episcopal Church, East Greenwich, RI

Join the RI State Council of Churches for a chance to consider the expansiveness of God’s Grace, ruminate on the Wonder of Creation, and boldly tackle the specter of fear that so often separates us from the love of God and from one another.

Bradley Conference: Early Onset Psychosis
April 24, 8:30 to 11:45 AM
Bradley Learning Exchange, East Providence, RI

Practical, state-of-the-art education for behavioral health professionals and others who work with children, adolescents or adults.

Progressive Christian Worship Music Workshop 
April 28, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
First Congregational Church, Meriden, CT

UCC minister, singer/songwriter, author, and Convergence Music Project CEO Bryan Sirchio will lead a fun, heart-warming and mind-expanding day.

Encuentro 2018
April 28, 8:00 to 10:30 AM
Beneficent Congregational Church, Providence, RI

Opening Session of this groundbreaking three-day event which brings together the 3rd National Convening of Latinos in Heritage Conservation and the 33rd Annual Statewide Rhode Island Historic Preservation Conference.

47th Annual NEAUCE Conference
May 1 - 3
Pilgrim Pines, Swanzey, NH

This three day event gives church leaders a chance to refresh, rejuvenate and renew. With The Rev. Da Vita D. McCallister, Dr. Pamela Shellberg, Rev. Emilia Halstead

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

Rhode Island Interfaith Poverty Conference
May 9, 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Rhode Island College, Providence, RI

Join faith leaders, congregation members, advocacy and service organizations to learn more about poverty issues in Rhode Island and how you can make a difference! Guest Speaker: The Rev. Traci Blackmon

Concert #1 with Kim Trusty: Hope, Healing and Inspiration
May 13, 4:00 to 6:00 PM
St. Paul's Auditorium, Pawtucket, RI

Award-winning singer/songwriter Kim Trusty offers the first of three Providence concerts, this one dedicated to iconic women singers who have triumphed over hardship. With renowned storyteller Valerie Tutson. 

PREACH IT! A workshop on thematic preaching & worship planning
May 31, 2018 at 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Woodridge UCC, Cranston

Rev Susan Cartmell, Massachusetts Conference minister and author of "Uncommon Preaching" will be coming to RI for the day to explore a different way to approach preaching. 

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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