Annual Meeting Wrap-Up
Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island Conferences vote to go forward Together, As One
By Tiffany Vail
Associate Conference Minister for Communications

The Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences of the United Church of Christ made history Saturday, voting overwhelmingly to form a new unified Conference in which they will not only do ministry together, but to which they will invite other religious and secular organizations to join.

In separate plenary sessions held at their second joint Annual Meeting, the three conferences voted to approve a covenant agreement and new set of bylaws establishing the new conference, and they elected a new united Board of Directors.

"UCC History was made today," said the Rev. John Dorhauer, UCC general minister and president. "Signaling to the wider church that we can accomplish more together than apart, that we live in an interdependent world in which we all need each other, and looking to maximize the use of precious mission resources, delegates to this tri-conference annual meeting voted to carve out a new pathway for what we hope will be new life, new vitality, and new relevance."
 
Blackmon: You Have to Get Your Feet Wet
On the eve of the historic vote on whether three conferences should unite to join as one, The Rev. Traci Blackmon preached on how faith in God is what makes bold steps into the unknown possible.

"It is always challenging to move from one place to another, always frightening to let go of what has been to walk into what will be," Blackmon said, drawing on Scripture to tell the story of Joshua leading the Israelites across the Jordan River, following the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant.

CT and MA Delegates Take Stands for Immigrants
 
SPRINGFIELD, MA - Meeting in a city where a Peruvian mother lived in sanctuary in a UCC church for 12 weeks, and as revelations surfaced of immigrant children being separated from their parents at the border, Connecticut and Massachusetts Conference Annual Meeting delegates took stands for immigrants this weekend.

CT Delegates Pass Justice Resolutions

Delegates to the 151st Annual Meeting of the Connecticut Conference on Saturday passed five resolutions on justice issues, including an emergency resolution condemning the separation of immigrant children from their parents.

Other Annual Meeting Information:
 
Photos, videos and other articles related to the meeting will continue to be posted over the coming week. They will all be gathered at:  ctucc.org/TriConAM .
 
Some other items currently available:
 
 
Photo Albums - Photo albums are viewable
 
Orders of Worship - are available in Word and PDF format
UCC Leaders: "Keep Families Together!"
Condemning the unconscionable assertion that migrant children should be separated from their parents because of 'orderly and lawful processes that protect the weak and lawful,' - a Biblical statement used to justify U.S. immigration policies - United Church of Christ National Leadership has issued a pastoral letter, urging the people of the denomination's almost 5,000 congregations to take action now! First, by contacting their Congressional representatives, and then by providing funds to keep families together. Money to be used to support the people sleeping in the streets at the borders of this country, or those parents and children separated upon entry!
 
Many Voices, One Mission: Paying Attention
By Martha Goodman, Administrative Assistant for Search & Call for the Massachusetts Conference, UCC
 
In my work supporting Search & Call in the Massachusetts Conference, it is my privilege to communicate with hundreds of ministers, and dozens of search committee members, every year. Routinely we have some 250 ministerial candidates, from all over the United States and occasionally beyond, discerning the possibility of a call to a Massachusetts church. Similarly, two dozen or more of our congregations are searching for a settled or designated-term pastor at any one time. The only way to keep up with the volume is to make creative use of a number of technical resources: a contact database, a robust email program, and a large collection of pre-crafted boilerplate messages.
 
One might think that the semi-automated, template-driven processes I rely on every day for routine communications erect barriers to meaningful, personal interaction: or, in business terms, "high tech" interfering with "high touch." And yet it seems that just the opposite takes place.


Many Voices, One Mission  is a new regular series highlighting the ministries of the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences of the United Church of Christ.
Starting With Scripture:
Already In The Boat


By The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey M. Gallagher is the Senior Pastor of the United Congregational Church of Tolland  

One of the great privileges of my current call is that I am able to serve as Chaplain for the fire department in town. Although my wife is not always happy with the 911 calls pinging my phone at all hours of the day and night, it has become a wonderful ministry for me—serving to both physically and emotionally support the first responders and those in town experiencing a tragedy or emergency.

Recently I was on a call at a fire in an apartment building. Wearing my fire jacket with “Chaplain” on the back and my way-too-white (read: never actually been in a fire) helmet, a fire fighter from a neighboring department came up to me and said, “Thank you Chaplain. You did your job. Everyone made it out of the apartment ok—even the hamster.”


 Starting with Scripture is a weekly devotional written by current and former clergy and church leaders of the Connecticut Conference, UCC. Subscribe to receive the reflection each Monday at: ctucc.org/subscribe .
Upcoming Conference Events
June 27 - 30
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon
Join fellow clergy and MIDs for reflection, renewal, and worship in the woods.
July 14
First Congregational Church of Essex
This "From Tolerance to Unity" training is an eight-hour session where we unmask racism, create a common language around issues of racism, and inspire people to do more work to eradicate racism.
July 19 - 22
California University of Pennsylvania, California, PA
The Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island Conferences are collaborating to provide bus service to the event, for youth who have completed 6th grade up to 2018 graduates of 12th grade.
Find a complete list of Conference events at: www.ctucc.org/events
It's not too late to register for summer camp at Silver Lake Conference Center!
Classifieds
Other Events of Interest
June 24, 2018 at 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Beneficent Congregational UCC,
Providence, RI
Reception and Conversation over Ice Cream & Barbara’s Famous Homemade Fudge Sauce upon the occasion of her retirement.
July 8 - 12
Camden, ME
Four days of rest, relaxation, and renewal led by Rev. Sue Foster, pastor of the East Woodstock Congregational.
July 9 - 13
Craigville Retreat Center, Craigville, MA
This year's topic: Building Bridges: Immigrants, Refugees, and the Church. Keynote Speaker: Ms. Linda Hartke, President & CEO, lirs.org, Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service.
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