Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island Conferences Vote to go Forward Together, As One

The Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences of the United Church of Christ made history Saturday, voting overwhelmingly to form a new unified Conference in which they will not only do ministry together, but to which they will invite other religious and secular organizations to join.

In separate plenary sessions held at their second joint Annual Meeting, the three conferences voted to approve a covenant agreement and new set of bylaws establishing the new conference, and they elected a new united Board of Directors.

“UCC History was made today,” said the Rev. John Dorhauer, UCC general minister and president. “Signaling to the wider church that we can accomplish more together than apart, that we live in an interdependent world in which we all need each other, and looking to maximize the use of precious mission resources, delegates to this tri-conference annual meeting voted to carve out a new pathway for what we hope will be new life, new vitality, and new relevance.”

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Read The Boston Globe coverage: New England UCC churches look to organize progressive ‘Christian voice’

RI Annual Meeting Delegates Call For Racial Justice Training Requirement for Clergy


Delegates to the 212th Annual Meeting of the Rhode Island Conference of the United Church of Christ called on the Conference to require all Authorized Ministers to participate in, at minimum, a one-day workshop n racism and racial justice every three years and to require every candidate for ordination to also take part in such training.

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Annual Meeting Photos and Video

Video from the Annual Meeting will be posted on the Conference website in the coming days.

Photos can be seen on Facebook by following these links:
(no Facebook account required to view):

Saturday afternoon listening sessions; change in leadership blessings

Saturday morning worship, plenary sessions, marketplace

Friday evening reception honoring Barbara Libby and Jim Antal

Friday evening worship with Traci Blackmon

Friday afternoon orientation, hearings and greetings

Farewell Celebration for Barbara Libby

June 24, 3:00 to 5:00 PM
Beneficent Congregational UCC, Providence, RI

Join Us for an Ice Cream Social and Celebration on the Occasion of the Retirement of The Rev. Barbara Libby. 

3 to 5 PM Reception and Conversation over Ice Cream & Barbara’s Famous Homemade Fudge Sauce

4 PM  Words of Appreciation from Friends and Colleagues

Please RSVP to Michelle Madsen-Bibeau with “Barbara” in the subject line if you would like time on the program to share greetings or make a presentation. This email also may be used to send your favorite photos of Barbara for our retrospective slide show. 

Job Openings at Irons Homestead

Forest Day Camp at Irons Homestead is ready to roll.  Campers arrive on Monday to take part in a fun-filled summer.  Our program director Kim Hancock and head counselor, Talia Botelho, have been hard at work designing a great program.  We had a last minute staff change and now find ourselves in need of an RN or physician who can either be on-site during camp or at least stop in each day to check our medical logs. This is a paid position. If you or someone you know can help, please give Irons Homestead a call 401-710-9478.

Overnight Camping begins on July 17th with Water World.  We are still in need of a male counselor age 23 or older.  If you or someone you know would like to work for four weeks this summer please contact Irons Homestead.  This position is paid with a stipend and room & board.

We need a cook for July 9 – Aug 3.  This is a paid position which prepares meals for 20 – 30 people, Sunday supper to Friday lunch.

There are still a few camper spots open in all our camps so grab a friend and sign up – camperships available.  Visit for more information. 

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Many Voices, One Mission: Uncomfortable Work


By Michele Mudrick, Legislative Advocate for the Connecticut Conference, UCC

On  March 15, 2018 I arrived at the State Legislative Office Building to present testimony before the Public Safety and Security Committee of Connecticut’s General Assembly regarding two casino bills under consideration.   There are unwritten procedures and rules at the Legislative Office Building, that favor the entrenched interests in our politics, i.e., connected lobbyists.  Knowing this, I arrived early and got in line, hoping to secure my spot as one of the first witnesses.  Shortly after that I was joined by two pastors from Bridgeport who would be joining me in testifying regarding the casino bills.  We were very happy to see that, by arriving early, we would be among the first to testify (the beginning of the public hearing is the best time to testify because it is then when the press and committee members are most likely to be present.)

After waiting in line for 30 minutes about 6-8 other lobbyists showed up and expected to cut in front of the line. They were very insistent that, pursuant to the “unwritten” rules, they were entitled to go first.    I told them I was not moving. After several minutes of going back and forth ( and the two pastors from Bridgeport praying for me as I was in confrontation with these lobbyists), they eventually got in the back of the line. 

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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.

Upcoming Conference Events


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.

Installation of Rev. Betsy Aldrich Garland
Sept. 9, 3:00 PM
Moosup Valley Congregational Church, Foster, RI

Other Events of Interest

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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