Historic Quad Board Gathering Marks End and Beginning

WOODSTOCK, CT -- There was warmth and humor in shared worship, fellowship and discernment as the members of the Together, As One (TA1) Board of Directors and members of the Boards of Directors from the historic Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences gathered on May 4 to celebrate their work and hear updates on the progress that has been made in the formation of a new conference in southern New England. 

Read the full article here

Several board members wrote reflections:

A Both/ And Moment - The Rev. Lauren Lorincz
"We are waiting for God and running the race.  We are in the already and not yet.  So it’s not either we celebrate what will be, or we grieve what has been.  We can do both, acknowledging that we are all bringing a complexity of thoughts and feelings to these gatherings."
Read Lauren's full post

A Bittersweet Day - The Rev. Timoth Sylvia
"in the midst of it all, I felt the all-too-familiar blend of joy and sorrow, excitement and grief experienced as we birth something new together. The day, surrounded by those whom we have grown to know and admire over these many years, was bittersweet."
Read Timoth's full post

For the Healing of Our World - The Rev. Kari Nicewander
"We live in a world that is in desperate need of healing, of redemption, of repentance, of change ...  And we can only do this work together. We can only become more just, more compassionate, more peaceful, if we support one another on this journey. Because it is not easy, and it is not meant to be easy."
Read Kari's full post

We've Arrived - The Rev. Maxwell Grant
"This has asked each conference to travel through some unfamiliar country, to be sure.  In its own way, it’s asked us to imagine some major re-routing.  But over the years of these gatherings, both here and in so many other places, I don’t think any of us have heard that dispiriting “clunk” warning us that we have truly lost our way, or the voice urging us to turn back and retrace our steps."
Read Max's full post

It’s a New Thing! - The Rev. Cleo Graham
"We waited for the Lord who renewed our strength and kept us dancing with the holy breath that propelled us forward, back and in the middle of our community building exercises. We are more than acquaintances we are spiritual siblings.:
Read Cleo's full post

Creating a House of Refuge for Trans Asylum Seekers

In January, Rev. Liza Neal  went to Tijuana to accompany asylum seekers. This is her reflection

The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” (Lev 19:34)

Scripture is very clear on our responsibility to the immigrant and the refugee. God’s command is straightforward: treat the alien as a citizen. “You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Deut 10:19) Not only to those without documentation or legal status, but to each and every stranger God commands us to love them as ourselves. 

Scripture, again and again, points out our commonality. Most Americans have ancestors who came from somewhere else.  Whole industries exist to test our DNA so we can search for them. Only indigenous peoples can lay legitimate claim to this land; Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island is the land of the Nipmunk, Pequot, Pocumtuc, Narragansett, Patuxet, Agawam, Mohegan, Niantic, the Wappinger Confederacy, and the Wampanoag peoples. Yet so often we do not see our commonality, and we do not appreciate our differences. We do not love the stranger. We fear the stranger.

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Actual Justice: The Justice of our Faith

By Jon Tetherly, Chair of the Actual Justice Task Team of the Massachusetts Conference, UCC

We call ourselves the Actual Justice Task Team.

We began as the Innocence Commission Task Team. Having been scandalized by first degree murder convictions of two African American men who appeared to us to be clearly innocent, the late Rev. Fred Anderson and I, with permission from the Massachusetts Conference UCC Board of Directors, put together a task team committed to form an advisory commission to the legislature. The Innocence Commission would recommend the passage of legislation that would make it less likely that innocent people would be convicted.

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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: Innovate and Create

By Susan Page Townsley, Associate for Innovation, Leadership and Change for the CT Conference, UCC

Churches need to be more innovative.  Clearly, the old way of doing things is not working, as demographic studies will show.  The exact number of churches closing per year is hard to track , but we know from our own United Church of Christ experience that 1105 UCC churches have closed in the past 10 years, and that our UCC membership nationwide has decreased by more than 25%.

The good news is that these facts should give us a new willingness and energy for trying new things, for thinking about how to follow Jesus on newly forged paths, and for thinking about how to be the Body of Christ in radically new paradigms.  Urgency is a friend of change and we need life-giving, Jesus-following change.

But how to cultivate the practices that foster innovation and creativity?

Read this post for few tips for clergy and church leaders.

Many Voices, One Mission is a regular series highlighting the ministries of the CT, MA and RI Conference of the United Church of Christ.

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

Keys to a Successful Capital Campaign
May 9, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Learn the necessary steps to launching and completing a successful capital campaign.


How to Write Your Own Youth Ministry Curriculum
May 14, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM

This webinar will take you through a step-by-step process for writing your own curriculum, using practical tips and suggestions based on the way youth process information and learn

Conference Events

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. 

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.

ONA 35 - Time to Celebrate!
June 15, 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM
The Plymouth Church, Framingham, MA

A day of worship, music, small group workshop conversations, lamentation, healing, revitalization, imagination and empowerment. 

Spring Interim Gathering
June 18, 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Congregational Church of Westborough, MA

Agenda for the Day: Together As One General Information, interim life in the new conference, Don Remick presentation: "Powerful Questions Can Change Your Church."


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




Caretaker of Irons Homestead - Glocester, RI
: To carry out the mission of the Conference by maintaining the Outdoor Ministry Site at Irons Homestead and providing for warm hospitality and effective retreat meeting space for guests.

FREE: Red Cloth Chairs - Auburn, MA


Other Events of Interest

2019 Craigville Theological Colloquy
July 8 - 12
Craigville Retreat Center, Craigville, MA

Faith & Science:  The Choices We Make with Dr. Jennifer J. Wiseman and Professor Ron Cole-Turner.  Presentations, biblical reflections, morning prayer, workshops, Taize worship service, small group discussions, singing in the choir, many ways to renew or make new friendships, and free time to enjoy the beach and explore Cape Cod.

Silver Lake Open House
May 19, 2019, 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon CT

 In addition to tours of the camp and conference center, the high ropes course will be staffed and open to those who would like to climb, and the disc golf course will be available for those who want to test their skill with a flying disc.

34th Annual MCCM Karl Barth Summer Session
June 10 - 11
First Church In Dedham, MA

The Massachusetts Convention of Congregational Ministers invites all to this discussion on the first edition of Barth's "Commentary on Romans."

Clergy Camp
June 26 - 29 
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon CT

Join fellow clergy for reflection, renewal, and worship in the woods.

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 conflict.


The Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ

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