the weekly emailing
A Super Saturday! 


Super Saturday Attendees Called to Get Their Boldness On

By Tiffany Vail
Associate Conference Minister for Communications

WILBRAHAM, MA - Author Brian McLaren told more than 700 people on Saturday that it is time for progressive Christians to get bold, and that the only things hindering them are in their minds.

"The house is on fire, and it's time to wake up and get bold," McLaren said. "This is an actual emergency. This is a time for boldness. And I think its time for progressive people of faith to get their boldness back."

Speaking to a record Super Saturday crowd at Minnechaug Regional High School in Wilbraham, McLaren acknowledged that times have changed for mainline Protestants in this country since their heyday in the 1950s.

"To be a UCC person in New England in the middle part of the 20th Century was like being a Southern Baptist in Georgia or Alabama is today. You were at the center of your culture's power," he said. "But guess what folks - there was a shift. You're not in the center any more. The big tall spire mocks the actual reality. It's not your fault. You don't have to feel ashamed. Times have just changed. It's a different world."



Photos and Video

View Super Saturday Photos on Flickr and  Facebook

Videos of McLaren's address, and of highlights from the day, will be available shortly on macucc.org.


What is Possible When People Work Together for a Common Purpose

By Ellie Richardson
Associate Conference Minister for Lay and Clergy Leadership Development

CT and MA Conference staff working the registration table together.
Those who attended this Super Saturday may not have realized something different was going on behind the scenes.

 
The people who greeted you in the parking lot and hallway, who handed you your purple folder, who registered you on site, who led the children's program, who ushered at opening worship, helped you find the coat room, the restroom and the cafeteria and your workshop classroom -- they were from the three Conferences currently discerning a new future
             
What you experienced Saturday would not have been possible if we, the Massachusetts Conference, did it alone. Without staff and volunteers from the Connecticut and Rhode Island Conferences assisting with the hundreds of moving parts of Super Saturday it would have been chaos. With their support and generous spirits we were able to extend an extravagant welcome that is awe inspiring.


From the Minister & President: Earth Day Resources and the April 29 People's Climate March
By Jim Antal
Minister & President

Preserving God's creation is perhaps the greatest theological madate of our time.  As climate change worsens - as creation offers chaos in place of continuity -  injustice in all its forms is multiplied.  Together with our interfaith partners - as people of faith - as the church -- this is our calling.  It is neither partisan nor political.  The earth is our home.  Our responsibility is at the center of our covenant with God. 
 
Two opportunities to witness will soon be upon us: Earth Day and the April 29 People's Climate March.  To help you and your congregation in your plans to participate in both, here are some important links and resources. 

BLOG: No More Deaths
 
By John Allen
Immigration and Refugee Concerns Task Team 

In 2012, I spent the month of June working with an organization called No Mas Muertes, No More Deaths. This ministry of the Unitarian Church of Tucson operates humanitarian aid stations in the desert between Nogales and Phoenix. 

By the time I arrived that summer 128 people had already died in this region, Border Patrol's Tucson sector, trying to make the crossing into the United States.

Featured Event
Annual Meeting Webinar
March 30, Noon and 7:30 PM

This year's Tri-Conference Annual Meeting will be historic!  For the first time, the UCC Conferences of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island will meet together for one shared, exciting, inspirational Annual Meeting.

Get ready!  Take part in this first-ever Tri-Conference webinar, designed to help you speak to your local congregation about the historic decision we'll be discussing at this year's Annual Meeting: to form a new, unified Conference.


Upcoming Conference events

Mar. 25, 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Edwards Church,  Northampton
An opportunity to focus on four foundational theories of religious education while creating one's own personal theory for use in the church setting, and acquiring the tools for adapting, revising, and using these theories in local church programming, community life, and for forming the faith. Part of the CE Certification Program, this workshop is open to all.

March 29, 5:30 - 8:00 PM
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham
A day of covenant for those clergy engaged in specialized ministries.

Spiritual Resilience and Resistance In a Time of Climate Change
 April 1, 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Trinity Church, Boston
Free retreat to explore a framework for the heart to help us become healers filled with compassion, energy, and hope. This retreat will include presentations, guided meditation, silence, and conversation. 

Preparing for the Search & Call Process: The Adventure Begins
April 1, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham
Members-in-Discernment throughout New England are invited to attend this workshop for help in navigating through the search and call process within the UCC.
 
Human and Faith Development
Apr. 1, 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Centre Congregational Church, Lynnfield
and
Apr. 22, 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Edwards Church,  Northampton
A seminar in the Christian Education Certification program focused on the relationship with God as God becomes known to us.  Open to all.  
 
Fundamentals of Transitional Ministry Step Two: The Work of the Congregation
April 3 - 7
Edwards House Meeting & Retreat Center, Framingham
For those who have taken step one of the Fundamentals of Transitional Ministry Training, this five day course emphasizes the work of the congregation. Led by The Rev. Dr. Norman B. Bendroth and the Rev. Ineke Mitchell. Registration Deadline is March 24.


April 8, 9:00 AM
New North Church, Hingham
What can one person or one church do about this? Come and find out at the Southeast Area Missions Committee's Spring forum.

April 8, 10:00 AM - Noon
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham
An opportunity to network and share experiences with MACUCC colleagues. 

Boundary Awareness Training
April 27 - 28
First Congregational Church of Billerica
Two-day boundary awareness training for clergy.

Disaster Chaplain Training
May 10 - 11
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham
This chaplaincy training is based on the National Disaster Interfaiths Network Disaster Spiritual Care training course, which trains and credentials faith leaders, spiritual care providers and institutional  chaplains to volunteer as disaster chaplains or spiritual care workers in mass-care settings, or to serve their house of worship or local community during times of crisis. 

June 7 - 8
Miramar Retreat Center, Duxbury
This overnight  retreat, led by Matt Carriker and Susie Allen, is intended for people in all stages on the spiritual path (clergy and lay).  Whether you feel like a beginner, or a long-time traveler, you will find nourishment here for your soul. 

 
June 30 - July 5
Baltimore, MD
This event is for young leaders ages 13 to 18 who want to experience the vibrant diversity of the wider church.  Registration now open!

Application deadline: Sat., June 10
Event: Nov. 13 - 19
Warren Conference Center, Ashland
Join author Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove in a writing workshop focused on both the craft of writing and the vocation of tending to words for the sake of faithful social change.

See more at: macucc.org/events
Transitions
The Rev. Ms. Estelle Margarones
- l
eaving Centre Congregational Church, UCC, Lynnfield as Interim Pastor;
Effective: March 15, 2017
- called to First Trinitarian Congregational Church, UCC, Scituate as Interim Pastor
Effective: March 22, 2017

The Rev. Mrs. Carol Steinbrecher c
alled to First Congregational Church of Sharon as Interim Pastor
Effective: March 19, 2017

Classifieds
Other Events of Interest
March 23, 2:00 - 3:30 PM
United Parish of Auburndale, Newton
At this  Massachusetts Council of Churches event, pastors are invited to learn from a PR professional about how to "get your point across, represent your church accurately, and pitch newsworthy stories."
March 24 - 25
Holiday Inn, Boxborough
 
Outdoor Exploration and Meditation
March 26, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

April 6, 2017 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Pilgrim Congregational Church, Southborough
Showing of a documentary focused on six LGBT elders living in the Boston area.

46th Annual NEAUCE Conference: Toward Common Ground
May 2 - 4
Pilgrim Pines,  Swanzey, NH

 
"From Bricks to Mortals": A Workshop on Innovative Building Use @ Andover-Newton
May 5 - 6
Andover Newton Theological School, Newton 
May 9, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
The Epicurean Room,  Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, Marlborough

May 25, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
South Congregational Church, Springfield

49th Annual Secretaries Gathering - Craigville
June 11 - 13
Craigville Retreat Center

Mass. Convention of Congregational Ministers Summer Barth Session for Pastors 
June 12 - 13
First Church and Parish, Dedham

July 9 - 12 
Simmons College, Boston
The Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ
508-875-5233
macucc@macucc.org