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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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Disaster preparation: here it comes - again


By The Rev. Don Remick
Transitional Interim Conference Minister

It has been a year since hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.  And, as I write this, hurricane Florence is bearing down on the mid Atlantic coast with 2 more hurricanes on its heels.   Florence is predicted to make landfall at Category 4 strength and linger with rainfall measured in feet.  And Hawaii, normally hurricane exempt, is slogging out of torrential rain from hurricane Lane, even as the lava keeps flowing.  Meanwhile, in California, conditions are so dry that we can't keep up with the latest news of sweeping forest fires leaving charred homes and mudslide prone landscapes in their wake.  

This is Disaster Preparedness Month. You can find excellent blog post and resources at our MACUCC Disaster Resource and Response Team webpage. You can also learn more about our UCC's ongoing efforts across the country and across the globe providing relief and recovery as long as help is needed.  Your denomination and Conference are actively engaged through our local churches, local government, non-profit, and business partners to speed relief.  Good thing, because Florence is coming, the fires are still burning and the rain keeps falling.  And all of this is happening globally and nationally with greater frequency and greater intensity. 

Read the full post

Being Prepared - Making an Evacuation Plan

By Lucy Costa, MACUCC Disaster Resource and Response Team

Last year, my aunt, uncle, and adult cousin monitored weather reports about Hurricane Irma.  When the mandatory evacuation order was declared in their community in Florida, they complied.  They boarded up their windows and took other steps to fortify their homes. They decided to evacuate together and  packed up the car with important papers, medications, laptops, food and water, clothing, and other supplies.  They drove inland for hours, updating us by text along the way.  They ended up in West Virginia, where they stayed in a hotel for a few days. Once they received official notification that they could return, they drove back to Florida. They were very fortunate. Their homes had not sustained damage. My relatives’ story highlights an evacuation and emergency communication plan put into action.  Our bulletin insert this week outlines steps and considerations of making an evacuation and emergency communications plan.

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Many Voices, One Mission: Face To Face

By Drew Page, News & Media Editor for the CT Conference, UCC

I usually work alone. Most days, I sit in my office working on projects that almost always require some collaboration or input with others — and I do this with nobody else in the room. When we have meetings, we often do them with video conferencing software. If I need to reach out to someone or respond to a question, I can simply send an email, even when the person is a colleague 3 floors above me.
But often, I choose to walk to their office to talk with them.
This may seem to some like I am inconveniencing my colleagues who have their own work to perform. But I find that face to face communication can save time and improve the clarity of a discussion.

Read the full post


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

Conference Events

Super Saturday - Registration Now Open!
Oct. 20, 8:00 AM to 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. 

Read more and register now!

Northeast Boundary Awareness Training
Sept. 18 & 19, 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM
First Congregational Church in Billerica, MA

The Northeast Association is hosting a Boundary Awareness Training for all Clergy and Members In Discernment that have NOT yet participated or need to renew their training.

Sustainable House of Worship Workshops
Sept. 29, 8:30 AM

Christ Congregational Church Brockton
Participants will learn what to do about: electricity, solar power, heat & air conditioning, building envelope and behavior.

Resource for Pastoral Relations Committees
Oct, 2, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
First Congregational Church, Millbury, MA

A workshop covering the purpose, best practices and ways to establish a group. Led by The Rev. Kelly Gallagher, Associate Conference Minister.

New to the Conference Gathering
Oct. 3, 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham, MA

Clergy who have joined the conference within the last year are invited to meet fellow clergy, become familiar with Conference staff and resources, and help Conference staff learn how we may support your ministry.

Worship and Sacraments
Oct. 6, 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Centre Congregational Church, Lynnfield, MA

Faith Formation workshop led by Rev. Dr. Mary Luti, long-time seminary educator and pastor, author of Teresa of Avila's Way and numerous articles.

Active Bystanders Training
Oct. 24, 6:30 to 9:00 PM
Edwards House Meeting & Retreat Center

Get equipped with the tools to discern when to intervene, and how to interact appropriately to de-escalate tensions, and protect the targets of interpersonal attacks.

Resource for Pastoral Relations Committees
Oct, 29, 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
First Congregational Church of Lee, MA

A workshop covering the purpose, best practices and ways to establish a group. Led by The Rev. Kelly Gallagher, Associate Conference Minister.

Interim Gathering
Oct. 30, 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham, MA
We Should Talk: A Primer on the Circle Process presented by Sam Lovett and the Restorative Justice Task Team

What's In Your Health Care Plan?
Nov. 1, 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM

Options: Watch the webinar online OR attend at Edward House Meeting Center, Framingham
Learn how to become a health care planning ambassador to help adults & families make a personal health care plan.

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.

Confirmation Retreat
Nov. 16 - 17
Prindle Pond Conference Center, Charlton, MA

Open to youth in grades 8 & up.


Free Online Webinars

The following webinars are offered free of charge to members of the Massachusetts Conference through a partnership with Practical Resources for Churches. Click title to register.  Find a complete list here.

How to Preach a Dangerous Sermon
Sept. 19, 7:00 to 8:00 PM 

Help for preachers to respond to trying times by utilizing the four characteristics of the moral imagination.

The Lifesaving Church: Faith Communities and Suicide Prevention
Sept. 20, 7:00 to 8:00 PM

Explore ways to safely talk about suicide, discuss the big questions,  examine the role of congregations in prevention, intervention, and postvention. 

The Best Children’s Messages Ever
Sept. 25, 7:00 to 8:00 PM

Led by Debbie Gline Allen, MACUCC's Christian Education and Youth Ministry Consultant

Meet the Author: All Creation Waits
Sept. 26, 7:00 to 7:30 PM

Join author Gayle Boss as she talks about her book of Advent reflections, All Creation Waits.


Parish Administrator for Church of the Covenant - Boston, MA

Music Director- Williamstown, MA


The Rev. Ms. Elva Pawle
called to First Congregational Church, UCC, Millbury as Designated Minister
Effective: Sept. 9, 2018
- left First Congregational Church, Westfield as Pastor
Effective: Aug. 5, 2018

The Rev. Mr. Thomas Ritschard-Sell called to United Parish of Carver as Bridge Interim Pastor
Effective: Sept. 4, 2018

The Rev. Ms. Kathleen Hepler called to First Parish Church United, Westford as Interim Minister
Effective: Sept. 4, 2018

The Rev. Ms. Debra Adams called to Trinitarian Congregational Church (UCC), North Andover as Settled Pastor
Effective: Sept. 3, 2018

The Rev. Mr. Anthony Kill
leaving Trinitarian Congregational Church (UCC), North Andover as Interim Pastor
Effective: Sept. 2, 2018

The Rev. Dr. Carla Jean Bailey called to The Second Church in Newton, UCC as Pastor
Effective: Sept. 1, 2018

Ms. Heidi Champagne called to First Church of Christ, UCC, Sandwich as Bridge Interim Pastor
Effective: Sept. 1, 2018

The Rev. Dr. Liz Magill leaving The Second Church in Newton, UCC as Bridge Interim Pastor
Effective: Aug. 31, 2018

The Rev. Mr. Joshua Gray leaving First Congregational Church UCC, Whitman as Pastor
Effective: Aug. 31, 2018

Ms. Anne Marie Holloway called to Wellesley Hills Congregational Church, UCC as Associate Minister of Youth and Families
Effective: 8/29/2018

The Rev. Mr. Nelson Murphy called to Dennis Union Church as Bridge Interim Minister
Effective: Aug. 27, 2018

The Rev. Mr. Terry Martinson leaving Dennis Union Church as Interim Pastor
Effective: Aug. 26, 2018

The Rev. Mr. Eric Hausman, leaving First Parish Church United, Westford as Pastor
Effective: Aug. 26, 2018 

The Rev. Mr. Edward Alan Koonz called to The Congregational Church of Harvard, UCC as Interim Pastor
Effective: Aug. 20, 2018 

The Rev. Ms. Kimberly Murphy
- leaving United Parish of Carver as Interim Pastor
- called to Quincy Point Congregational Church, UCC as Pastor
Effective: June 13, 2018

The Rev. Dr. David Fountain leaving Bethany Congregational Church, UCC, Foxboro as Interim Pastor
Effective: May 13, 2018 

Other Events of Interest

Al Filipov Forum Peace & Justice Forum
Sept. 16, 4:30 PM
Trinitarian Congregational Church, Concord, MA

Recognizing UTEC, an organization that helps young people develop skills through paid work experience; social justice and civic engagement are embedded in all programming.

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

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

RACE: Facing History and Ourselves
Oct. 27, 7:00 PM
Charlemont Federated Church

This year’s Charlemont Forum will feature author Josephine Bolling McCall, who penned The Penalty for Success: My Father was Lynched in Lowndes County, Alabama


The Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ

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