Lent Is For Families

Parents (and grandparents) are the primary and most effective faith educators for their children. Studies have and are still showing this, and it makes perfect sense. During the years that a child is between the ages of two and six or seven years old, the EEG activity in their developing brains puts them in a more suggestible state, in the same way that hypnotism does for adults. All that they experience, and during this period, most of which comes from their parents and family, is "downloaded" directly to their subconscious memory. This means that 90% of the subconscious choices we make as adults are based on what happened to us during those precious years of childhood.

Lent is a perfect time to help our families guide their children in engaging in and learning about Christian practices such as prayer, being still, singing praise, reading Bible stories, serving others, and offering hospitality. 

Read more for a list of resources your family can use

How are the Children?

By Liza Neal, an ordained UCC minister and manager of Seala ag Canadh: Beyond Binaries & Borders

“How are the children?” I first heard Rev. Traci Blackmon ask this question when marching at General Synod in Baltimore two years ago ...

The children are what drove me to go to Tijuana this January.  A call had been made by a group called the “New Sanctuary Caravan” for folks to come and volunteer at the border for any amount of time during a 40-day period, to meet the “caravan” from Honduras with love instead of fear. 

Read more

Many Voices, One Mission: We Must Move

By Sioux Wilusz, Executive Assistant to the Conference Minister for the CT Conference, UCC.

It’s February.  Time to kick it into gear!!! The new year has begun.  New resolutions were made.  New goals are ahead.  A new you is ready to go!!

And a new US! It promises to be a BUSY year in the CT, MA, and RI Conferences! Jesus is asking us for a “new church.”  We are soul searching and creating our WHY.  We will build new partnerships, cultivate existing ones, do the work in new ways, and re-envision our futures.  It’s a time of uncertainty, excitement, joy and change.  I’m eager, and exhausted and overwhelmed just thinking about it.

We are at the beginning. God is here. We will trust that and move forward.

We must not be motivated on our journey this coming year by what we can see.  We are map-less.  But we cannot stand still.

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.

Convergence Leadership Project Accepting Applicants

The Center for Progressive Renewal has opened registration for the next cohort of an online leadership development program called the Convergence Leadership Project. Author and national faith leader Brian McLaren is the director of the program, supported by Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis from Middle Collegiate Church in NY, Diana Butler Bass, Bruce Reyes-Chow, Lindsay Andreolli-Comstock, Jim Keat and others.

Read more


Conference Events

Super Saturday
March 16
Minnechaug Regional High School, Wilbraham, MA

Registration now open!  A full day of worship, workshops and networking. The main speaker will be Rebekah Anderson, who has presented in various settings on disability theology.

Shine- Youth at Synod 2019
June 21 - 25
Milwaukee, WI

Deposits Due: Feb. 15
Youth at Synod is for young leaders ages 13 to 18 who want to experience the vibrant diversity of the wider church.



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.

Community of Practice for Christian Educators and Youth Leaders
March 2, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Edwards House Retreat Center,
Framingham, MA

Network and share experiences with your MACUCC colleagues.

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.

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.

Preparing for the Search & Call Process
March 30, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Wellesley Hills Congregational Church, UCC

The morning session is the UCC Profile Workshop for all clergy.  The afternoon focuses on Members-in-Discernment or others who interested in learning about the search & call process. 

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.

Theories of Religious Education
March 30, 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Centre Congregational Church, Lynnfield

A Christian Education Certification class, open to all.

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 first Annual Meeting of new unified conference (Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island) will be Nov. 1 - 2, 2019, in Worcester, MA


The Changing 21st Century Sunday School Online Course
Feb. 11 - March 4

A three-week course exploring the challenges of the 21st century Sunday school such as declining enrollment, erratic attendance, competition with other activities, lack of volunteers, and budget cuts.

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

Meet the Author: Taking Flight for Girls Going Places
Feb. 6, 7:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Hear from the author of this book, which aims to instill a safe lifestyle with preventive measures and self-defense strategies that give girls a clearer mind and more confidence.

From the Steeple to the Street
Feb. 12, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Long established congregations are finding ways to engage people not likely ever to walk through their doors, and fresh expressions of church are engaging people who are “without hope and without God in the world” 


The Rev. Dr. Sheila Rubdi Called to First Congregational Church of the UCC, Wellfleet as Interim Minister
Effective: 2/1/2019

The Rev. Ms. Rebecca (Reebee) Girash Called to The Plymouth Church in Framingham as Sabbatical Supply Pastor
Effective: 2/3/2019

The Rev. Mr. John Condon called to Brookfield Congregational Church, Inc. as Interim Pastor
Effective: 1/20/2019



Other Events of Interest

Peace Works: Silver Lake Summer Camp
June - August, 2019
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon CT

Registration is now open for campers in grades 4 - 12 to encounter God's love in creation; and to learn how to bring that love and justice into the world.

UCC Webinar: Climate Change and Forced Migration
Feb. 13, 1:00 PM

This UCC webinar will address one of the most important issues of our time: climate change and forced migration

Parish Leadership Day
March 2, 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM
The Log Cabin, Holyoke, MA

The Episcopal Diocese of Western MA invites UCC partners to come for some new perspectives from the authors of Embracing Stewardship.

Soul Care: Caring for the Most Important Part of Your Ministry.
March 11, 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Edwards House, Framingham, MA

A one-day Lenten retreat by The Center for Career Development and Ministry


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.

Letting Go: An NESC Stewardship Event
April 6, 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Faith Community Church, Hopkinton, MA

This one-day program will feature TED-like talks with guided small group discussion, workshops on practical stewardship topics, a panel discussion on real-world experiences, meaningful worship, and fellowship.


The Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ

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