A Moral Call for Migrant Justice

The UCC National Collaborative on Immigration is partnering with AFSC (American Friends Service Committee) to shine a light at the border. Actions begin on International Human Rights Day (12/10) and end on International Migrants Day (12/18). In San Diego, people of faith will be doing a direct and prayerful action at the border, grounded in requests from the local immigrant and faith communities.

Faith communities across the country are invited to host echo actions to keep the vision and demands of border communities and people seeking safety and refuge at the forefront. 

Read more

Shine the Light on Immigration

Join the UCC churches of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, as we seek together to learn more about the issues surrounding immigration.  

During this Epiphany season, as a congregation, consider a commitment to reading the book Dear America: Notes from an Undocumented Citizen or watching the documentary, "Documented". Both resources are by Jose Antonio Vargas.

Then host a discussion about what has been learned and share your experience with the wider church by sending a blog post with a picture to Ever Flowing Streams, our soon-to-be Tri-Conference newsletter.

Learn more and download a flyer

Take a Stand Against Anti-Semitism

By The Rev. Dr. Andrea Ayvazian

I am writing to you in the wake of the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre because I am heartbroken once again. The blatant targeting of Jewish people in their sacred house of worship on their blessed day of Sabbath, while in the act of praying to God, has brought me to my knees. I am horror struck, and while not much can shock me these days, I nevertheless am stunned.  I have been grappling with the question of what can I do, and not only what can I do, but what must I do to address anti-Semitism that is once again on the rise ...

We Stand Together is asking neighbors, friends, and supporters of the Jewish community of the Pioneer Valley to take a bold position against anti-Semitism, and say that “hate has no home here.” We Stand Together is inviting all of us to actively support the Jewish community and take action as allies by downloading a free pdf of a menorah and posting it prominently in our homes, places of worship, or businesses.

Read the full post

Many Voices One Mission:
Ministry As Art

By Susan Page Townsley, Associate for Innovation, Leadership and Change for the Connecticut Conference, UCC

“Art is a human activity,” wrote Leo Tolstoy, “consisting in this, that one man hands on to others feelings he has lived through.” 
The work of ministry is, to be sure, an art.  In crafting worship we attempt to make space for the breadth of human experience, the joys, the struggles, the vagaries, the hopes.  In pastoral work and mission we connect individuals and groups to share in a common purpose to bring dignity, compassion and justice to the other.
I like the use of the word “art” for ministry.  I think ministry is about one third imagination and two thirds project planning and time management.  Much like the writer who needs to put in the work to get the story in the form of so many well-constructed sentences, or the sculptor who must chisel the stone to match her imagination, the art of ministry needs space for both imagination and for the labor of creation.

Read the full post

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

Getting to Know Our Neighbors

By Dana Horrell, The Parish Paper

Holding conversations with neighbors can provide church leaders with vital information about the community. A one-on-one interview takes the process a step further by structuring the conversation around a set of questions prepared in advance so that church leaders can focus on what matters most: tailoring ministry that is most appropriate for this neighborhood, these people, and this time.

Joy Skjegstad, who consults with churches on community ministry, finds that many churches prefer to skip the listening step and simply launch into a new community project. “It is faster to plan programming without it, because listening takes time—more time than just plotting out what is already in your head.”

Read more


Super Saturday Workshop Proposals Now Being Accepted

Workshop proposals are now being accepted for the next Super Saturday, being held March 16, 2019, at Minneachaug Regional High School in Wilbraham, MA. 

If you would like to share concepts and practices you’ve developed that are changing your congregation or community’s mission and ministry, we invite you to consider submitting a workshop proposal.  As a workshop leader, your registration will be free.  

Submission deadline is this month - find out more here.

Conference Events

Community of Practice for Christian Educators and Youth Leaders
Dec. 8, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Edwards House, Framingham, MA

Network and share experiences with your MACUCC colleagues.

Active Threat (Active Shooter) Training
Jan. 12, 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Quincy Point Congregational Church

Training is presented by Blue-U Defense. 

Worship and Sacraments
Jan. 12, 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Edwards Church, Northampton

Led by the Rev. Dr. Mary Luti, long-time seminary educator and pastor, and author of Teresa of Avila's Way. Part of the Christian Education Certification program, this course is open to all.

Grief - A Long Journey
Jan. 15, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Edwards House, Framingham, MA

Rev. Dr. Claire  Bamberg will explore what a grief cycle “really” looks like, and how to navigate it best for inner peace and outer self-assurance.

Clergy Income Tax Seminar
Jan. 23, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Edwards House, Framingham, MA

For clergy and treasurers to learn the tax rules unique to clergy. Led by Forrest “Al” Eaton, Jr., CPA.

Non-Directive Coaching Skills Basics for Busy Pastors
Jan. 29, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Edwards House, Framingham, MA

Led by Rev. Todd Weir and Rev. Jim Latimer, non-directive coaching teaches you how to listen powerfully and not give advice. 

Resource for Pastoral Relations Committees
Feb. 17, 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
First Congregational Church of Hadley, MA

Training for your pastoral relations committee, best practices, and ways to be proactive in establishing a group. Led by The Rev. Kelly Gallagher.

Human and Faith Development
Feb. 23, 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Centre Congregational Church,
Lynnfield, MA

Led by  Nancy Sides, Certified Christian Educator. Part of the Christian Education Certification program, this course is open to all.

Confirmation Retreat 
March 1 - 2
Prindle Pond Conference Center, Charlton, MA

Open to youth grades 8 & up currently engaged in confirmation classes.

Youth Retreat: A Spiritually Healthy Relationship with Technology
March 22 - 24
Craigville Retreat Center

 A retreat for youth grades 7 and up facilitated by Rev. Matt Carriker and Rev. Sarah Buteux.  



The Rev. Mr. Mark I. Hamilton, 70, died of acute myeloid leukemia at the Maine Medical Center in Portland, ME on Nov. 26, 2018.  Mark is survived by his wife, Sally, and his two sons, Justin Hamilton and Nathaniel Hamilton. 
Mark was ordained in 1985.  He served the Storrs Congregational Church in Storrs, CT, Trinity Congregational Church in Gloucester, MA, the First Congregational Church in Methuen, MA, First Congregational Church in Rochester, NH, and the Community Congregational Church UCC in New Port Richey, FL.  He retired to Walpole, ME in 2014. In retirement, as in ministry, Mark worked tirelessly for the disadvantaged, social justice and peace issues and concerns.  
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 8th, 2018 at 1:00 PM at the Second Congregational Church, 51, Main Street, Newcastle, ME.

Read more


The Rev. Ms. Heike Werder leaving Congregational Church of Needham as Associate Pastor
Effective: Dec. 2, 2018

The Rev. Ms. LyAnna Johnson and Mr. Zach Kerzee called to Worcester Fellowship, Inc. as Co-Pastors
Effective: Dec. 1, 2018

Ms. Heidi Champagne called to North Community Church, Marshfield as Settled Pastor
Effective: Dec. 1, 2018

The Rev. Mr. Fred Hayes leaving North Community Church, Marshfield as Interim Pastor
Effective:  Nov. 30, 2018



Other Events of Interest

Longing for Belonging
March 28 - 30, 2018
Barbara Harris Camp and Conference Center,
Greenfield, NH

Explore radical hospitality through fellowship, worship, faith formation and outreach. Participants will leave with a specific plan for how to engage the rest of the congregation in this work and how to get started.


The Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ

Facebook Twitter   YouTube