Help Spread the Word: Camp at Irons

For the first time in several years, Irons Homestead is running a full nine weeks of Forest Day Camp and two and one half weeks of Overnight Camp this summer with a full complement of paid staff. 

Help spread the word! Check to make sure your church office received the posters and newsletter articles, or download them by visiting our Summer Camp page!


Setting Aside Old Boundaries to Offer an Unconditional Welcome


By The Rev. Max Grant, senior pastor at Second Congregational Church, Greenwich, CT
The word that gets me in the proposed vision statement for the new, unified Conference is “unconditionally.”
The statement affirms, “that the local church exists to make disciples of Jesus, and we welcome all people unconditionally (my italics) to share in this calling.”
I think I know what we probably mean by that. 
In a world where so many expressions of the Christian faith place significant conditions on who can proclaim the Gospel, and even on who has the “right” to call themselves Christian, we want to be Christians who leave that kind of parsing to God alone. 
That sounds like us, all right.  I like that about us. Always have.
But it’s a word that ought to convict us, too, and I feel as if I am only just beginning to see that.   
Read the full post

This is the first in a series of four blog posts looking at the Vision, Mission and Purpose statement drafted for a new, unified Conference. Delegates from the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences will vote on formally creating this new conference at the joint Annual Meeting June 15-16 in Springfield, MA.


Many Voices, One Mission: Collaborating In Covenant

By Debby Kirk, Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Connecticut Conference, UCC.
You can picture the scene. A Pastor cradles a child in her arms and reaches to the font. The bright eyes of the infant seem to take in the significance of the blessing. The beaming parents and family members look on with pride.  Then the congregation stands to surround the child and family with love and prayers of commitment.  This ritual of baptism is a sacred moment in the life of the church.
Through the years, a local church will teach that child in word and example. The little one will be wrapped in a fabric of rich experiences that form their identity as children of God.  There will be classes and conversations; worship and service; and celebrations and consolations with trusted mentors. Parents and church community will weave together a tapestry of support that will help children grow in wisdom and stature. The blessing of a caring community will be realized in countless ways.

Read more

Many Voices, One Mission is a regular series highlighting the ministries of the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences of the United Church of Christ.

Webinar on Sex Offenders Offered

United Church of Christ General Counsel Heather E. Kimmel will be leading a webinar, Sex Offenders in Your Congregations: Recommendations and Best Practices on Wednesday, May 23, from 2:00 to 3:00 PM.

The webinar, sponsored and hosted by the Insurance Board.
is directed to Local Church pastors and lay leaders.  It is open to anyone, including those who are not participants in the Insurance Board program. 

Registration is required.  Register at:
The webinar will be recorded for anyone who cannot attend at that time.

Upcoming Conference Events

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

Free Fun Day at Irons Homestead
June 10, 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Irons Homestead Camp & Retreat, Glocester, RI

All members and friends of the UCC are invited to enjoy a day at the waterfront. Life guards on duty from 12:30 - 4 PM for boating and swimming; grills will be ready, please bring your own food. The field will be ready for play, the stone throwing area will be open, and there will be volleyball, basketball and lawn games in addition to waterfront fun.

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.

Farewell Celebration - Barbara Libby
June 24, 3:00 to 5:00 PM
Beneficent Congregational UCC, Providence, RI

Please come join us in bidding a heartfelt farewell to Barbara Libby, who is retiring after four years as Interim Conference Minister.

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

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.

Second Tri-Conference Annual Meeting

June 15 - 16, 2018
Mass Mutual Center, Springfield, MA

“Hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."

- Romans 5:5

These are indeed times filled with hope as we – the Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island Conferences – consider voting to form a new, united conference with the hope of making our region a more just, loving, and compassionate place.

Read More & Register

Other Events of Interest

70,000-Volume Book Sale
May 19 - 25
Andover Newton Theological School, Newton, MA

Because Andover Newton is moving to Yale Divinity School, a selection of some 70,000 books will be available for sale at prices of $3, $5, and $10. Click here for hours.

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.

2018 Craigville Theological Colloquy
July 9 - 13
Craigville Retreat Center, Craigville, MA

This year's topic:  Building Bridges:  Immigrants, Refugees, and the Church. Keynote Speaker: Ms. Linda Hartke, President & CEO,, Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service.


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