Responding to the R.I. Opioid Crisis with Hope and Healing

First in a series from Peggy Matteson, UCC-RI Health Ministry Consultant
More than 300 of our friends and neighbors died from opioid overdoses last year.   No family, no neighborhood, no church congregation is immune from this crisis.   Together we can develop responses that minister to the spiritual, mental and physical needs of those we meet.

What can a church do?

Over the coming weeks recommendations will be shared from The Opioid Epidemic Practical Toolkit: Helping Faith-based and Community Leaders Bring Hope and Healing to Our Communities, from our insurance Board, and other faith communities.
There will also be a listing of local and statewide resources available through Gov. Raimondo’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force.  This task force is a collaboration between government agencies, non-profit organizations, faith communities, and other groups in our state.
If at any time you have questions or need help seeking a resource please contact me by e-mail or if more urgent by text at 401-965-3272.

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Many Voices One Mission:
There Are No Easy Answers

By Tiffany Vail, ihe Associate Conference Minister of Communication for the CT, MA, and RI Conferences, UCC

It’s never easy to admit you don’t have the answers. In fact, it may be harder than ever, since we’re so accustomed to having answers at our fingertips.  Just Google it, right?

But more and more I’m witnessing the staff and lay leaders of our three – soon to be one – conferences acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers. And let me just say that leaves all of us feeling off-balance and insecure.

Some of the questions are ones that we know will get answers at some point in the not-too-distant future. What will we call the new conference? Will there be one central office? Where?  We don’t have the answers to those questions yet, but we know we will, sooner rather than later.

Some of the questions loom much, much larger.  How will this conference effectively carry out its ministry? How can we, as a newly formed conference, make more disciples?  How can we more visibly and tangibly make God’s love and justice real to the people of southern New England?

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.

TJ Harper to End Time as Racial Justice Associate

The following is a message from Connecticut Conference Minister The Rev. Kent J. Siladi, Massachusetts Transitional Interim Conference Minister The Rev. Don Remick and Rhode Island Transitional Conference Minister The Rev. Marilyn Kendrix:

Three years ago we initiated a focus on racial justice ministry within our Conferences.  We hired Toyan Harper as our Racial Justice Associate.  In the time he has been with us Toyan, or TJ as he is called, has done exceptional work.

The funding for the Racial Justice position comes to an end in August of 2019.  And TJ is following his plan for the next chapter in his life.

We are also keenly concerned that we not lose this focus and momentum during this transitional time as we shape and develop our new Together, As One Conference. 

Read the full announcement 

Upcoming Events

Youth Development Training
March 22 - 24
Irons Homestead, Glocester, RI

At Irons Homestead, we strive to provide a nurturing, safe and challenging environment for children and youth to grow socially and spiritually.  This requires trained staff and volunteers.  We have designed a training program for youth workers to provide quality staff for our program and also to help churches and other organizations with their volunteer training. 

The training includes but is not limited to:  ages & stages of development, trauma informed care, Kohlbergs moral principles, health & safety, behavior management, sensitive issues, environment, abuse/bully prevention, challenge by choice, life skills...and more.

Read more


Sugar Eat - a Maple Sugar on Snow party
March 17, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Irons Homestead, Glocester, RI

A sweet fundraiser to benefit Outdoor Ministry at Irons Homestead. Delicious hot maple syrup is poured over snow to create an instant candy. Served with dill pickles, plain doughnuts, deviled eggs and a variety of drinks. $5 adults; $3 children under 12.

Water is Life Vigil
March 21, 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Nathanael Greene Middle School, Providence, RI

Join in opposition to bills that would privatize the ownership of water in Rhode Island.  Gather under the blue flags that say, “water is life,” as we bear witness to the water as God’s sacred gift and remind those who would sell our shared gift that water is a human right! 

April 30 - May 2
Pilgrim Pines Retreat Center, Swanzey, NH

The New England Association Of United Church Educators (NEAUCE) is inviting all Christian Educators and pastors to a 3 day retreat with workshops to relax and renew. 

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

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

Save the Date: The first Annual Meeting of the new Together, As One Conference will be Nov. 1 - 2, 2019, in Worcester, MA


Children's Sunday School Coordinator - Bristol, RI?


Other Events of Interest

"Generosity Transformed" Conference
April 30 - May 3
Indianapolis, IN

Need to energize and revitalize your church’s strategies for faithful generosity? Does your church find it hard to talk about money? UCC Church Building & Loan Fund would like to make you aware of this ecumenical stewardship conference.

9th Annual CTUCC Youth Revival
May 5, 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM

First Congregational Church in Bloomfield, CT
All youth in grades 5 and up and their pastors, parents, or adult leaders are invited to this dynamic worship service that will your renew your spirit.  Come and lift your praises, celebrate vitality, and embrace diversity! 


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Rhode Island Conference, United Church of Christ
c/o Edgewood Congregational Church 1788 Broad St Cranston, RI 02905
(401) 724-7700