Where will your Church be 10 Years from Now?

By The Rev. Don Remick, Transitional Interim Conference Minister

The Body of Christ is eternal. It is alive and well across the globe. And for the institutional church, the road ahead may look substantially different from the road behind us. 

This is such a profound and pivotal moment for the church. It is full of anxiety and excitement. Will we be the Body of Christ?  Will that which is institutional within us find its way from cross, to grave to empty tomb and beyond?  How do we effect faithful change in ourselves and our churches? 

These questions form some of the foundation of our Conference’s Churches Alive transformational visioning program. The possibilities, with God, are more than we could imagine.  We will be offering an orientation and introduction to this program on October 24th from 7 - 9 PM.

Read the full post 

Super Saturday Registration Deadline Extended Until October 10

By Ellie Richardson, Associate Conference Minister for Clergy and Lay Development

Come hear David Csinos share his wisdom about Faith Formation in the 21st Century. Faith Formation isn’t just for children, it is for all of us throughout our lifetime. The day will begin with an Intergenerational Worship Service led by Debbie Gline Allen, Kristen Putney and Karen Ziel from the Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut conferences. Dave Csinos will deliver an inspiring message that will ground us in a day of learning together, networking and worship. Dave is also presenting two workshops, one on Intergenerational Faith Formation and the other on The (Untapped) Formational Potential of Small Churches.

You can see a sneak preview of Dave on this YouTube Video from the 2017 Faith Forward gathering.

Don’t miss this opportunity to be inspired about Faith Formation!
See you at Keefe Tech on October 20!”

Read more and register


For the Least of These

By The Rev. Kelly Gallagher, Associate Conference Minister

The Rev. Dr. William Barber and the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis have created a core principal in the Poor People’s Campaign that they have held firm to and modeled over and over again – to lift up and deepen the leadership of those most impacted by racism, poverty, environmental devastation, and militarism. I like the language of “most impacted” better than “the least of these,” because “least of these” in today’s society can have connotations of “not as good as” or “not as important as.” 

Read the full post


Many Voices, One Mission:
More Frequent, More Intense

By The Rev. Don Remick is the Transitional Interim Conference Minister

Some years ago, as a local church pastor and part-time staff with the Massachusetts Conference, I agreed to chair a long-term recovery team following the Holy Week Floods. These floods were the result of 2 back-to-back 12-15 inch rainstorms that came up the coast and dumped on New England. I oversaw long-term recovery for northern Massachusetts. I learned a lot. I had worked out Ground Zero, as it was then called, in the aftermath of the terror attack on the towers in New York. As a fire chaplain I worked with a team sent from the MA State Fire Marshall's office to support survivors, their families and, in particular, the emergency responders. Since those events I have been part of the Disaster Resource and Response Team of the MA Conference and have had the privilege of working with colleagues from CT, RI and beyond.
And we have learned one thing: In this uncertain world of climate change and global politics, disaster will come with greater frequency and greater intensity. And we have learned, in all disasters, how crucial the presence of church is for a community. 

Read more

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

Racial Justice Training Available

The Massachusetts Conference, UCC has six newly trained Racial Justice Facilitators, ready to provide trainings this Fall. If your church is ready for racial justice training, get more details and sign up here. 

Conference Events

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.

A Conversation on Race, with TJ Harper
Oct. 14, 2:00 to 4:30 PM
First Congregational Church, Randolph

A two-part program: The Misconception of Change and
How can predominantly white congregations engage and act on racism?

Sustainable House of Worship Workshops
Oct. 14, 1:30 PM
St. Matthew's United Methodist Church, Acton

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

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.

Pastor Parish Relations Committee Training
Nov. 7, 7:00 PM
Old North Church, Marblehead

This workshop will cover purpose and practices for this vital link in fulfilling a church’s mission and vision. Led by Associate Conference Minister Wendy Vander Hart.

Ring Church Bells on Armistice Day
Nov. 11, 11:00 AM

Veterans for Peace is calling on churches to ring their bells at 11 AM on Sunday, November 11 - Armistice Day - in recognition of the futility of war and to show our commitment to world peace.

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

Open to youth in grades 8 & up.

How Does a Christian Manage a Bully?
Nov. 17, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Edwards House, Framingham

Claire Bamberg will present case studies throughout the presentation, and participants are welcome to come with their own in mind, ready to offer for discussion.



The Conference recently received word of the death of The Rev. Dr. Federico I. Agnir, who died on July 9 after a long battle with prostate and pancreatic cancers, at his home in Wesley Chapel, FL.  A two-career person most of his adult life, he served in Massachusetts as tenured professor at Greenfield Community College and pastor to UCC churches in Western Massachusetts for 30 years.  Read more


Other Events of Interest

Trauma and the Military Family
Oct. 3, at 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
The Congregational Church of Christ, Leominster

This free workshop aims to build a community among the participants, educate family members about the effects of trauma and the best responses, and provide tools and resources for living with a traumatized service member. 

Forum on Transgender Rights and Question 3
Oct. 4, 7:00 PM
The Eliot Church of Newton, UCC

This program will feature Taj Smith, Faith Organizing Director for Freedom for All MA, an organization working to uphold the dignity and respect for our transgender neighbors by encouraging a "yes" vote at the ballot box this November. 

Confronting Systemic Racism: Listening to Voices for Racial Justice
Oct. 6, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Agape Community, Hardwick

Panel themes include Immigration, Black Lives Matter, Latino Voices, Native American Voices, and White Supremacy. Music, freedom songs, African drumming and poetry round out the day.

Know Before You Go: Exploring Ballot Question 3 - Framingham
Oct. 10, 7:00 to 9:00 PM
The Plymouth Church, Framingham

A panel discussion and Q&A session on the issue of transgender rights in public accommodations. 

WAMS: A Celebration of Partnerships and Progress
Oct. 14, 4:00 to 6:00 PM
Worcester Area Mission Society,

Join us for an afternoon filled with elegant refreshments and invigorating conversation as we honor the past, present and future of the Worcester Area Mission Society.

Living in a World of Difference: Meeting our Jewish and Muslim Neighbors 
Oct. 14, Oct. 28, Nov. 4, Dec. 9
The Congregational Church of Christ, Leominster

An interfaith faith formation experience is for confirmation-age teens.

Sarah McBride: Why Yes on 3?
Oct. 22, 7:00 PM
Congregational Church of Needham

Sarah McBride is the National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign and author of Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality

Creating a Listening Community: Restorative Circles Facilitator Training
Oct. 26 - 28
North Falmouth Congregational Church

Restorative Circle process opens the door to conversation when communities are faced with conflict.

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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