3 RI Churches Spend Part of Holy Week in Mission & Service

By The Rev. Scott Spencer
Pastor, Woodridge Congregational Church UCC, Cranston

Giving of part of their school vacation and valuable adult vacation time, 17 youth and adults from three Rhode Island Conference churches spent the first part of Holy Week on a mission trip to Worcester, MA.  The three churches were: First Congregational Church of Warwick, and Edgewood Congregational and Woodridge Congregational, both of Cranston.

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Geary Resigns as Irons Homestead Director

Letter from Transitional Conference Minister The Rev. Marilyn Kendrix

It is with mixed feelings that we announce the resignation of The Rev. Jennifer Geary, Irons Homestead Director, effective May 10th. It is always sad to lose a dedicated, hardworking member of the staff and the Rhode Island Conference will surely miss Jennifer’s dedicated service. 

Jennifer has contributed a great deal to the success of the Conference’s Outdoor Ministries and we acknowledge her efforts to take Irons Homestead from the neglected state that she found it in seven years ago to the place it is today.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I wish to thank Jennifer for her commitment and dedication throughout the years and on behalf of everyone in our Rhode Island Conference, I would like to wish Jennifer the best of success in future challenges and endeavors.

Letter from Mark Dennen, Vice President of Outdoor Ministry

Seven years ago Jennifer Geary began her ministry here by becoming Director of Irons Homestead with the goal of improving our sacred space so that it can be used to teach creation stewardship.  This part time position became her full time passion.  She not only worked tirelessly maintaining and improving the facilities, she was also a prolific grant writer securing funds for all sorts of upgrades, including a new truck, kayaks, canoes, storage facilities at the beach, and scholarships to allow homeless children to attend camp.  In revitalizing the day and overnight camps, she serves as camp director, counselor, curriculum director and cook, just to name a few.

She worked hard at making the site a major resource for Providence Experience Groups, grooming relationships with many service organizations to allow youth from all over the country to serve the neediest communities in Rhode Island.  The money from these and other rentals put Irons Homestead in a strong position financially.  Under her leadership, we have not only a new roof for the lodge but solar panels to demonstrate our commitment to creating stewardship.

I also want to thank her husband Bud who, in all but title, has served as a key Irons Homestead staff member over these past seven years as well.

Whether through silent prayer or in person, I hope that all of you reading this will join me in saying a prayer of thanks for her ministry and pray that she finds a calling where all of her passion and talents will be fully realized.

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Documents for Spring Annual Meeting Posted

Registration is still open for the Rhode Island Conference Spring Annual Meeting being held Saturday, April 27, from 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM, at the Edgewood Congregational Church UCC in Cranston.

Documents for the meeting, including the Conference Annual Report, Financial Report and handouts from the main meeting speaker, The Rev. Don Remick, are now available for download. 

Visit this page for more information and registration


2019 Super Saturday Keynote Video: Rebekah Anderson

At the recent Super Saturday, Rebekah Anderson gave a message in which she broke down the story of the Good Samaritan - and then put it back together. Video of her address is now available.
Anderson is an alum of the Connecticut Conference's Thinking About Working for God Apprenticeship and the UCC Young Adult Service Communities, and is in her first year at Union Theological Seminary. 

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Related: Workshop Proposals Being Accepted for October Super Saturday

Super Saturday - October 5, 2019
Keefe Regional Technical High School, Framingham, MA

Share concepts and practices you’ve developed that are changing your congregation or community’s mission and ministry by submitting a workshop proposal. As a workshop leader, your registration will be free. Submission deadline:  May 2019

Submit your proposal here

Many Voices One Mission: Redefining Social Matter in America

By TJ Harper, Racial Justice Associate for the MA and CT Conferences, UCC.

When reading an article in National Geographic, I was amazed because a new phase of matter was discovered: “an unusual state of potassium” that is “solid and liquid at the same time.”  For years, in elementary school science classes, I learned that there were essentially three types of matter: solid, liquid, and gas (and later in college plasma also became part of the equation).  However, I had never heard of an intersection of any of the states of matter until now. For many years, I had a rather limited view on what it meant to be matter.
Moving beyond the science aspects of matter, what does it mean to matter in America? Why, in some contexts, is it taboo to say, “Black Lives Matter” or “Love Thy Muslim Neighbor”?  Is our societal view so myopic that people who do not conform to, or align with, social constructs cannot matter? What is the responsibility of people of faith to help redefine social matter in America?   These are questions that I wrestle with on a daily basis; questions that cannot remain unanswered.

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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.

Upcoming Events

Racial Justice Trainings
The Rhode Island State Council of Churches is facilitating these trainings, which meet the training requirement for clergy .

  • Tuesdays, May 7 - June 4, 10 AM to Noon
    Peace Dale Congregational Church< peace Dale, RI
  • Thursdays, May 2 - 30, 7 to 9 PM
    Chapel Street Congregational Church, Lincoln, RI
  • Friday and Saturday, May 17 - 18 plus one other Saturday morning, June 1 or June 8
    Beneficent Congregational Church, Providence, RI

Registration and details are here.

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


Director of Music Ministry - Peace Dale, RI


Other Events of Interest

Screening of Paul Laurence Dunbar: Beyond the Mask
April 27, 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Beneficent Congregational Church, Providence, RI

A Part of the 2nd Annual RI Black Film Festival

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

Facing Your Church’s Uncertain Future is 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. 

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! 

CTUCC Spring Boundary Training
May 7, 2019 at 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Church of Christ, Congregational in Newington, CT

Morning Plenary with Rev. Ron Brown. Basic and Advanced Training for Clergy.

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 of Brimfield, MA

Two Workshops: Attend one or both

UCC Musicians Association National Conference
June 25 - 28
First Congregational UCC, Madison, WI

Three days of worship, workshops, marketplace, and networking.


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Rhode Island Conference, United Church of Christ
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(401) 724-7700