Making God’s Love and Justice Real at Lighthouse Shops

By The Rev. Marilyn Kendrix, Transitional Conference Minister, Rhode Island Conference, UCC

Since coming to the Rhode Island Conference in July, I have traveled around the state, visiting with RICUCC churches, meeting folks and sometimes preaching the Word ... I spend a good deal of time talking about our new Together, As One Conference because this is also work that I am passionate about. That we are in the midst of birthing a new conference is both exciting and daunting work but it is work that is well worth all of the hours that many folks are pouring into it. 

One of the most frequent questions that I get from folks who are curious about our joining with Connecticut and Massachusetts is “Why?” And my answer is always the same one you will hear from all of us who are working to make this new conference a reality: “We seek to be a conference in which local churches make disciples, live the love and justice of Jesus, embrace adaptive change, and build covenant partnerships with those who work for the common good.”

We are putting into place structures and processes to accomplish this vision at the conference level, but the real dream is for this to become the way that all our churches do church in the years to come. And I know that it is possible because on one of my visits to a Rhode Island church, I saw this vision in action at the Riverside Congregational Church in Riverside, RI.

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More Feedback Sought for New Conference Name

More feedback is being sought about what the name should be for the new conference being formed by the  Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences.

The conference, which General Synod is being asked to approve in June, is provisionally being called the Together As One Conference.

A task team from the Together As One Board of Directors has been working on a process for naming the new conference. That process will be discussed by the full board this weekend.

In the meantime, the task team is asking people to choose their top three choices from the names that have been suggested thus far, and asking for short explanations about their choices. Those filling out the survey may also make new suggestions.

Take the survey here

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Seven Best Practices for Supporting Interfaith and Ecumenical Partners in Challenging Times

By The Rev. Gail Wright is a member of the MA Conference Interfaith and Ecumenical Task Team and an ordained minister of the MACUCC.

Even before I became a member of the Interfaith and Ecumenical Task Force Team, I noticed that some of the most difficult times for Christian witness are when we see our interfaith and ecumenical neighbors attacked or hurt. Sometimes the incidents occur right in our own town: church fires, LGBTQ hate crimes, or painted swastikas. Sometimes the incidents occur far away but still directly or indirectly painfully impact communities of faith in our backyard. In either case our neighbor’s pain and our pain mingle in the moment. 

We want to do something, but we struggle with the right actions for each neighbor, each tragedy, and each community. 

Out of a recent workshop on how to respond, the task team has fashioned a resource: “Seven Best Practices for Supporting Interfaith and Ecumenical Partners in Challenging Times.”

Find it here, with other resources

Free Webinars

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
Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
April 25, 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Sexual Harassment can more easily be prevented when everyone, employers and employees, is aware of what constitutes unlawful sexual harassment.  

Conference Events

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.

MBA Spring Meeting, May 4th: The Art of Hosting
May 4, 8:30 AM
The Union Church in Waban

We will learn about and practice tools designed to empower, facilitate and build capacity for deeper response by a community to opportunity, challenge and change.  

Day of Covenant - Specialized Ministry 2019
May 8, 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Edwards House, Framingham, MA

Day of Covenant for clergy involved in specialized ministries.

Community of Practice for Christian Educators and Youth Leaders 
May 11,10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham, MA

An opportunity to network and share experiences with your MACUCC colleagues.

Boundary Awareness Training
May 15 - 16
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham, MA

The Central Association will be providing Level 1 Boundary Awareness Training (BAT) for anyone that needs to complete this requirement.

Environmental Justice for All! Retreat
May 17 - 19
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon CT

For youth in grades 8 - 12 to explore how faith and justice intersect, learn about current issues in environmental justice and find their talents to make change.

Confidentiality & Mandatory Reporting/Lightening the Load
May 23, 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM
First Congregational Church, Brimfield, MA

Two workshops: attend one or both.  With UCC General Counsel Heather Kimmel and Rev. Dr. Christina Belogour.

Church Treasurer Gathering for the Southeast
June 1, 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM
North Congregational Church
Middleboro, 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. 


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 Rev. Ms. Megan Snell called to Nahant Village Church as Part-Time Pastor
Effective: 4/8/2019

The Rev. Ms. Laura Biddle leaving Nahant Village Church as Interim Pastor.
Effective: 4/7/2019



Other Events of Interest

Facing Your Church's Uncertain Future
May 2, 3:30 PM to 4:50 PM
Online Webinar

A NEW resource that offers good practices for discerning, discussing, and making decisions that concern a church’s future. Pastors and congregational leaders are invited to join this online Zoom webinar presenting theological, liturgical and helpful insights for discussing future options, including closure and legacy. 

Greater Boston Spill the Tea Tour
April 28, 10 AM - 6 PM
Northeastern Crossing, Boston

Sponsored by the Poor Peoples' Campaign, this is an act of protest against systemic poverty as the result of mass gentrification, displacement, homelessness, low wages and unfair healthcare access.

New England Women in Ministry Association & Healthsigns Spring Retreat
April 30 - May 2
Miramar Retreat Center, Duxbury, MA

Primarily from an Eastern Christian spiritual perspective, this year’s retreat will engage three dimensions of Pascha (the Greek & Hebrew term for the Passover). 

48th Annual NEAUCE Conference
April 30 - May 2
Pilgrim Pines, Swanzey, NH

Join Christian Education colleagues for worship, fellowship, and rich discussions. 

"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.

Simply Smiles Mission Trip - South Dakota
May 11 - 18
Spend at week Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation working to restore hope for a better future.

51st Annual Ecumenical Office Managers, Administrators and Secretaries Gathering
June 9 - 11
Craigville Retreat Center

We will focus on learning how to communicate effectively within our workplace as well as how to resolve conflicts.  


The Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ

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