TA1 Board Goes on Retreat; Makes First Votes

The newly formed Together, As One Board of Directors spent six hours gathered on Saturday, sharing openly about the qualities they love about their respective historic conferences, and the less positive aspects they would like to leave behind as they move into a new one.

The 17 Board members, three Conference ministers and other staff spent the day at the First Congregational Church in Woodstock, CT., guided in conversation by facilitator Barbara Lemmel, Director of Tending the Fire.

The new board was formed following the June vote by the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences to join together to form a new, unified conference.

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ONA Workshops Coming to Newman

The Newman Congregational Church, UCC, in Rumford is hosting a series of free workshops led by by Andy Lang, Executive Director of the Open and Affirming Coalition of the UCC:

ONA 101: Why and How? 
Sept. 22, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM

A carefully-planned ONA process can build consensus and rekindle a congregation’s passion for the Gospel

ONA and the Bible
Sept. 22, 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM

How can the Bible help a church explore the basic values that inform a conversation about human sexuality and gender identity? And how can a congregation understand the few texts that are often cited to condemn same-sex relationships?

ONA 201: Best Practices for ONA Evangelism and Membership Growth
Sept. 23, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM

An ONA covenant can help congregations grow in numbers and energy — but only if the church’s commitment to LGBTQ inclusion is public and visible. This workshop shares the experience of growing ONA churches, with tips for marketing, advertising, communications and advocacy.

No fee to attend. Childcare provided. RSVP required by contacting Rev. Timoth Syliva at 401-434-4742 x11, or

Many Voices, One Mission: Viability

By The Rev. Dr. Jonathan New, Associate Conference Minister for Stewardship & Financial Development for the MA Conference, UCC

Churches are closing. 
This hits home regularly because I’m the Massachusetts Conference staffer working with churches considering closure.  In the UCC, from 2012-2015, 111 churches closed – one every two weeks.  The Massachusetts and Connecticut Conferences had one closure per year during this period, while Rhode Island had none.  However, I would note that currently the Mass Conference has 2-4 churches each year that are in some stage of the closure process, particularly if we consider that some of our churches essentially close through “adoption” – merger of a non-viable church with a relatively vital church. 
Churches are closing and – guess what? – that’s normal.  

We tend to think of churches as beyond time, assuming they should simply endure.  But, like people, all churches have a birth, a life, and a death.

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Many Voices, One Mission is a regular series highlighting the ministries of the CT, MA, and RI Conference of the United Church of Christ.

The Offices Have Moved!

The Rhode Island Conference has moved to the Edgewood Congregational Church, 1788 Broad St., Cranston, RI 02905

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Upcoming Conference Events

A Service of Welcomes
Sept. 30, 4:30 PM
Edgewood Congregational Church

Come welcome new Transitional Conference Minister, the Rev. Marilyn B. Kendrix, and let the Conference welcome you to the new Conference offices at the Edgewood Church.

Boundary Training
Oct. 11, 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM
Seekonk Congregational UCC, Seekonk, RI

Authorized clergy of the Rhode Island Conference are required to attend Boundary Training every three years in order to maintain their standing. 

Autumn Youth Event: Music & More!
Oct. 12, 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

Seekonk Congregational UCC, Seekonk, RI
Youth (6th-12th grade) are invited to an evening of Faith, Food, Fun and Friends! There will be pizza, a pumpkin project,  a youth concert and a special guest speaker on teen anxiety & stress,  Fee $5

Retired Ministers Luncheon and the Ministerial Assistance Fund Trustees meeting
Oct. 17, 11:00 AM to 2:30 PM
Newman Congregational Church, Rumford, RI

Super Saturday
Oct. 20, 8:00 AM - 3:45 PM
Keefe Regional Technical High School, Framingham, MA

Join us for a full day of worship, workshops and networking. Keynote address by Dr. David M. Csinos, who writes widely about faith formation, children's ministry, youth ministry, and culture. 

Rhode Island Conference Autumnal Meeting 2018
Nov. 3, 7:30 AM to 1:00 PM
First Congregational Church UCC, Bristol, RI

Bus Trip to Visit 2 Rhode Island Churches
Nov. 8, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Join the Seekonk Congregational Church, UCC Woman's Group and the Rev. Dr. H. Daehler Hayes, RI Conference Minister Emeritus, to visit Central Congregational UCC in Providence and Slatersville Congregational UCC with a stop at Wright's Farm for lunch.


Other Events Of Interest

Beneficent Congregational Church 275th Anniversary Celebration

  • Gala 275th Anniversary Concert on Saturday, October 20. at 7 PM. Special music provided by the Beneficent Choir with guest choirs, RPM Voices and Providence Gay Men's Chorus and guest musicians.
  • Home Coming Worship Service on Sunday, October 21 at 10 AM.  Special music provided by the Beneficent Choir, Youth Violin Group, RPM Voices, Providence Gay Men's Chorus and guest musician

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General Association 2018: Innovation Association
Sept. 24 - 25
Heritage Hotel & Conference Center, Southbury, CT

An Innovation Hub experience including networking, collaboration and connection, open to anyone from the CT, MA and RI Conferences interested in innovative leadership.

UCC W.I.S.E. Conference for Mental Health
Sept. 29
South Congregational Church, UCC, Andover, MA

Learn about action steps for individuals and congregations to become WISE (Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive and Engaged) about mental health.

Widening the Welcome
Nov. 1-3
Niagara Falls Convention Center, Niagara, NY

Workshops and panels; invited speakers include Traci Blackmon, Sarah Lund, Jennifer Brownell, and keynote speaker John C. Dorhauer, UCC General Minister and President.

Tending the Fire
Nov. 6-8; Jan. 8-10; March 12-14
Framingham, MA & Sharon, CT
This series of retreats helps clergy “think systems” in their congregations and their personal lives, so they can lead change that lasts.


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Rhode Island Conference, United Church of Christ
c/o Edgewood Congregational Church 1788 Broad St Cranston, RI 02905
(401) 724-7700