U.S. Religious Leaders Issue “Religious Declaration of Unprecedented Human Emergency”

By The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, Missioner for Creation Care for both the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Conference

What is an emergency? Merriam-Webster defines emergency as “an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action.” Does climate change count as an emergency? Not if an “emergency” is necessarily “unforeseen,” for when it comes to climate change, scientists have been sounding the alarm for decades, telling us that burning massive quantities of fossil fuels would lead to catastrophe.

Religious Declaration of Unprecedented Human Emergency clarifies two essential facts: humanity has an extremely short window of time in which to avert irreversible climate chaos, and religions around the world consider protecting God’s Creation a moral and spiritual imperative.

Read the full post 

SPOTLIGHT - From Altar Scape Design to Super Saturday Workshop

Bridgewater church youth member focused on mirrors and reflection for Ash Wednesday

These Spotlight articles usually convey stories about churches whose members or pastors were inspired by Conference programs, workshops, or events to try something new at their own churches. This article however, shows how one young member took action at his church, and then was inspired to attend a Super Saturday workshop.

When  Rev. Beth Stotts, pastor at Central Square Congregational Church in Bridgewater, was struggling with what to do with the worship space for Lent this year, she reached out to Rebecca Sheibley, a youth in her congregation who is very active in theater and stage management at her high school.  The two met and talked about the meaning of Lent, the journey through the wilderness, and the spiritual practices associated with the season. 

When Stotts asked her if she had any ideas for how to prepare their sanctuary for the season, her eyes got big and she said "Mirrors."

“I got goose bumps!” said Stotts.

 Read more

Resolution on Bullying - Mass Conference Resources for Churches and Individuals

To educate people about the bullying resolution proposed at the 2018 Mass Conference Annual Meeting, the ONA Ministry Team of the Massachusetts Conference offers these resources.

Go to those resources

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: Being Open to a New Way

By Martha Goodman, Search & Call Administrator for the MA and RI Conferences, UCC.

One of my tasks as Search & Call Administrator for the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Conferences is to keep updated a document that we call the “Churches Currently Searching List.”  It includes all churches currently in search for a pastor, and all churches that we expect to be entering a pastoral search within the next several months.
This week, for the first time since I started with the Massachusetts Conference almost six and a half years ago, I couldn’t fit all the churches onto a standard 8½ x 11 inch page.  Over the past few months I’ve changed the font, shrunk the font size, and narrowed the margins.  This week, though, it became obvious that I couldn’t squeeze one more bit of text onto that blessed letter-sized page.  Make the print any smaller, and we’d all be whipping out our magnifying glasses to read it.
Clearly, a new way was needed.  The way:  a bigger page.  The list now appears on a legal-sized, 8½ x 14 inch sheet.  Seems simple, right?  Seems obvious.

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.


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

Do you want to make your blog posts, opinion pieces, magazine/journal articles, newsletter essays and sermons more compelling and cogent? Ready to dig deep, discover who you are on the page and create a clear and compelling point of view in your writing? Spend a week delving into the craft and art of the personal essay.  Led by Rev. John Hudson, a longtime syndicated online and print newspaper opinion columnist, blogger, and Collegeville Institute alum.

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.

Registration Deadline: May 23
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. 

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


The Rev. Quentin Chin called to Trinitarian Congregational Church, Northfield as Interim Pastor
Effective: 5/13/2019



Racial Justice Team Leader - Conference Position
To engage every setting of the Conference in the work of unmasking, dismantling and eradicating racism in its personal, inter-personal, institutional and cultural forms, to make God’s love and justice real. 

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.


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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