What Does Effective Intergenerational Worship Look Like?

By Debbie Gline Allen, part-time Christian Education & Youth Ministry Consultant for the Massachusetts Conference United Church of Christ

I often am asked how a congregation can transition comfortably to intergenerational forms of worship without disrupting congregational life in general. While the answer is as simple as bringing all ages into the sanctuary at the same time, we all know that each congregation has a unique culture, and the process used to transition children into corporate worship every Sunday will need to be an individualized one.

So when Rev. Kelly Thibeault, pastor and teacher of First Congregational Church of North Attleborough UCC, mentioned to me in passing that they’ve been holding intergenerational services of worship every Sunday for the past eight years, I had to invite myself for a visit. There I found a faith community that is both intentional and authentic, and this was manifested in the ways that they interacted with each other throughout their Sunday morning together — with their children and youth, older adults, visitors, the intellectually challenged, those with unique differences — all were welcomed and appreciated for who they are.

Read the full post

Church Treasurers: Last Date for 2018 Contributions

The last date for the Conference to receive all contributions intended for 2018 is January 15, 2019. This includes contributions toward United Church Mission and OCWM Basic Support, as well as all of the UCC special offerings – Neighbors in Need, One Great Hour of Sharing, Strengthen the Church, and the Christmas Fund. It also includes Conference fellowship dues for those churches not participating in United Church Mission.
Your church’s financial support of the Massachusetts Conference and National Setting of the United Church of Christ is greatly appreciated. 

Read more

Many Voices One Mission: Community

By The Rev. Mary Nelson, South Central Regional Minister for the CT Conference, UCC

Silver Lake Conference Center is famous all over the United Church of Christ. It truly is a remarkable ministry, and I often feel like a broken record on the topic – I’ve probably written about SLCC before, I’ll probably write about it again. It’s great. Send your kids. Send yourself. Registration for summer opens on January 15; Clergy Camp is June 26-29.
BUT! I don’t want to write about the ministry that happens at Silver Lake this week. Instead, I want to write about a Silver Lake ministry that happens outside of the camp: the actual, genuine friendships that form and continue beyond one week in the summer, or one weekend-long retreat.

On the morning I was all set to write my blog reflection (about something else entirely, I swear!), I pulled my car into the parking lot of the CTUCC office in Hartford just as my phone buzzed: it was a text from a woman I’d gotten to know through SLCC events like Spring Action and the Fancy Camp fundraisers. She asked me to pray for her mom, who was right-now undergoing a risky surgery at Hartford Hospital.

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.

Interfaith Pilgrimage to Honduras to Look at Root Causes of Migration

People of faith are invited to join in a pilgrimage March 18 - 25 to Honduras  to learn more about the root causes of migration and to deepen bonds of solidarity with the people of Honduras in a committed gesture of international accompaniment. 

Read more

Conference Events

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. 

Faith Formation Summit
Feb. 2, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Niantic Community Church, Niantic, CT

For Formation Leaders, Christian Education Board Members, Pastors and anyone dedicated to the work of forming disciples!  Join the faith formation staff of the three southern New England Conferences for a time of learning, sharing, strategizing, and conversation designed to enrich our work in forming disciples.

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.

Theories of Religious Education
March 9, 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Edwards Church, Northampton, MA

A Christian Education Certification class, open to all.

Super Saturday
March 16, 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Minnechaug Regional High School, Wilbraham, MA

A full day of worship, workshops and networking.

Active Threat (Active Shooter) Training
March 16, 9:30 AM
Second Congregational Church, Beverly, MA

Training is presented by Blue-U Defense. 

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.

Church Treasurer Gathering for Metro Boston/ Northeast Area
March 30, 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM
First Congregational Church, UCC, Reading, MA

Please join us for a cup of coffee and conversation that will help define your role as church treasurer and answer all those questions you might have.

Application Deadline: June 3
Writer's Workshop - The Art of the Personal Essay: Make A Point. Change the World
Nov, 11 - 17
Warren Conference Center, 
Ashland, MA

With the Rev. John Hudson. Good non-fiction spiritual writing makes a point, tells a story, shares a memory, constructs an argument and always gives life to an idea.


Save the Date: The third joint Annual Meeting of the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences will be Nov. 1 - 2, 2019, in Worcester, MA


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

Early Childhood Ministry: Who, Why, How?
Jan. 10, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Early childhood expert and curriculum developer Dawn Rundman will make the case for early childhood ministry in your congregation. 

Let’s Talk Race!
Jan. 15, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM

A courageous conversation about white privilege and racial justice that will help break down racial barriers, and increase unity within our churches and our communities.

The Humane Society of the United States’ Faith Outreach
Jan. 16, 7:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Ideas on ways to engage your congregation for animals with anything from collecting pet food for homeless animals to hosting a plant-based potluck.

Creative Retreats for Adults and Teens
Jan. 22, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Plan your next retreat with an engaging theme, creative ideas, icebreakers, discussion questions and craft suggestions.



The Rev. Mr. Jonathan Rehmus called to Charlemont Federated Church as Part-Time Interim Pastor
Effective: Jan. 6, 2019

The Rev. Mr. John Gage called to Congregational Church of Needham as Senior Pastor
Effective: Jan. 2, 2019

The Rev. Mr. Rick Chrisman, leaving Congregational Church of Needham as Bridge Pastor
Effective: Jan. 1, 2019

The Rev. Mr. Kevin Smith retiring from Maple Street Congregational Church UCC as Pastor
Effective: Dec. 17, 2018

The Rev. Ms. Lisa Stedman leaving First Congregational Church, UCC, Reading as Settled Pastor
Effective: Nov 19, 2018 


Other Events of Interest

Webinar: Acting on Faith: Climate Action in 2019
Jan. 11, 1:00 PM to 1:30 PM

Connecticut Conference Minister The Rev. Kent Siladi talks to Pam Arifian, Director of the Northeast Environmental Justice Center at Silver Lake in a follow-up to UCC Council for Climate Justice webinar (above).

Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Day of Service
Jan. 21, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Brandeis University, Waltham

Come honor and learn from the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), pack meals for food pantries and congregations that serve the homeless community, and participate in social justice discussions with Brandeis clubs and local non-profits.

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