the weekly emailing
A Statement on DACA from the MACUCC
An excerpt from the statement written by Associate Conference Minister The Rev. Kelly Gallagher and Racial Justice Associate TJ Harper:

In an act of clarity, truth and compassion, the previous White House Administration created this program, DACA, a covenant between the US government and those undocumented people. The covenant said: "If you give me your identity and pay taxes, like US citizens, then you will be authorized to work in America and attend its educational institutions. You will be able to build a better life for your family." Those who consented to the DACA program entrusted our government to honor its word. 

On September 5th, 2017 that covenant was broken: The current Administration announced it would be rescinding DACA, with a six-month delay. Eight-hundred thousand people who trusted our government were let down.  Eight-hundred thousand people who were trying to better their lives were told they might soon face deportation. Eight-hundred thousand people were told they might be forced to live in a country they have never seen.
Together, As One Team Engages with Consultant
By Tiffany Vail
Associate Conference Minister for Communications

Leaders from the three southern New England Conferences met with a consultant last week who will help guide them in developing a proposal to form a new, single Conference.

The Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences have engaged Jim Schnurbusch, of the St. Louis firm  OrgStory , to help develop the plan. Annual Meeting voters in June overwhelmingly voted in support of pursuing a unified Conference.

Schnurbusch has worked with other settings of the denomination, including with the national setting of the UCC in developing its purpose, vision and mission statements. His firm works exclusively with nonprofit organizations.

What's Next for Survivors of Harvey

By The Rev. Don Remick
Associate Conference Minister
In the spring of 2010, eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island were hit by two storms. Each delivered over a foot of rain. We worked for over two years following those floods helping oversee long-term recovery.

Read this post to find out what we learned, and what you can do to help.
Offering Spiritual Care in Post-Hurricane Texas
Disaster Resource & Response Team member Fred Meade has been deployed to Texas with the American Red Cross to provide disaster emotional spiritual care. He writes:

Working with the Red Cross is a powerful witness to the way in which those whose motivations are pure can make a significant difference in the lives of those who have been marginalized by disasters.

Hurricanes Highlight Disaster Preparedness Month

It's a sad coincidence that there's heightened awareness of disasters right now, during Disaster Preparedness Month. We are aware of the devastation Hurricane Harvey wreaked and we continue to watch Hurricane Irma as she strengthens and approaches landfall. 

Read this post for helpful resources as  you have disaster preparedness conversations with your church councils and clergy associations:
DACA - Not a policy, not an amalgamation of letters, but PEOPLE in peril
By the Rev. Dawn M. Adams
MACUCC Immigration and Refugee Task Team

In 2009, my family moved to Massachusetts. This was a challenging decision for all of us. Our children, who were 14 and 12, were none too happy about such a move. To them, the move meant leaving their home, leaving their friends, leaving organizations that they participated in. To quote their sentiment, we were making them leave their lives behind them. While we tried to involve them as much as possible in the decision making process, the choice to move was not theirs. We, the adults, their parents, made the decision.  We had to move for economic reasons. My husband had taken a job in Massachusetts. He commuted for over a year before our whole family finally crossed the border.

Fortunately for my family, the border was a state border and not a national one.
Upcoming Conference Events
Sept. 8 - 9
Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center, Framingham, MA

One of four events being held across the UCC to which Committees on Ministry, authorized ministers, and members of the UCC who are interested in the proposed changes to the UCC Manual on Ministry are invited to take part.

Sept. 17, 3:00 PM
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham
MACUCC will host a free screening of Ava Duvernay's Netflix Documentary "13th," which discusses how the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution has a loophole currently being exploited. It will be followed by a discussion on mass incarceration.

Sept. 27, 6:30 to 8:00 PM
First Congregational Church of West Brookfield
Training for pastoral relations committee, best practices, and ways to be proactive in establishing a group. Led by Associate Conference Minister The Rev. Kelly Gallagher.

Racial Justice Training II
Sept. 30
Edwards Church, Framingham
Level II Racial Justice training. Participants must have successfully completed Level I to be eligible for this 8-hour course. The focus is Track A - Deep Dive of Institutional & Cultural Racism.
Oct. 14, 10:00 AM to Noon
Edwards House Meeting Center, 
An opportunity to network and share experiences with your MACUCC colleagues.
Super Saturday
Oct. 21, 8:00 AM - 3:45 PM
Keefe Regional Technical School, 
Registration is now open. The full-day event includes morning worship, two workshops, an optional lunch activity, continental breakfast, lunch, marketplace and closing worship. Speaker is Noel Anderson of Church World Service.
Oct. 31, 8:15 AM to 4:00 PM
Edwards House, Framingham 
Planned in collaboration with Ernst & Young Financial Planning Services®, this seminar is designed to provide tools and resources to lay and clergy to make handling their finances and planning for the future easier.

Nov. 9-11
Craigville Retreat Center
Nothing planned for the Veteran's Day break? Teens grade 6-12 are invited to join us for this 2-day retreat as we live into being the hands and feet of Christ.

  See more at:  
Events Especially for Clergy
Sept. 21, at 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham
All clergy who have joined the conference within the last year, or were unable to attend last year, are invited to attend and meet fellow clergy.

Tending the Fire
Sept. 27-29; Nov. 8-10,  Jan. 3-5 
Trinity United Methodist Church, Springfield
Tending the Fire helps clergy "think systems" in their congregations and their personal lives, so they can lead change that lasts. Participants must attend all three retreats.

Oct. 4 - 5
Pakachoag Church, Auburn
Level 1 Boundary Awareness Training (BAT) for anyone that needs to complete this requirement.  

Oct. 5, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Edwards House, Framingham, MA
In this workshop for clergy, Christina Belogour, co-leader of the Pastoral Counseling Center at Myrtle Baptist Church in West Newton will briefly review a few basics of trauma and disaster work.

Oct. 12,  9:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham

This day will begin with a morning focus on the Making It Real program in Massachusetts. 
The afternoon will focus on the new UCC Local Church profile and some of our growing insights and best practices for filling it out. 

Nov. 1, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham
A Racial Justice Training day just for interims to become familiar with the insights and concepts and how they might help in interim ministry.
Tending the Fire
Nov. 1-3, Glocester, RI
Jan. 9-11, Framingham, MA
Feb. 27-Mar. 1, Sharon, CT
Tending the Fire helps clergy "think systems" in their congregations and their personal lives, so they can lead change that lasts. Participants must attend all three retreats:

  See more at:  
Faith Formation Classes for All*
*and those pursuing Christian Educator Certification
These classes are open to lay persons and authorized ministers who want to further their education and understanding about faith formation, and are part of the Christian Educator's Certification Program of the Massachusetts Conference.
UCC History, Polity, & Identity
Nov. 4 , 8:30 AM - Noon
Centre Congregational Church, Lynnfield
Dec. 9,  8:30 AM - Noon
Edwards Church, Northampton
Instructor: Rev. Jonathan New, Associate Conference Minister, MACUCC
Old and New Testament
Mar. 3, 8:30 AM - Noon
Centre Congregational Church, Lynnfield, 
Mar. 24,  8:30 AM - Noon
Edwards Church, Northampton
Instructor: Rev. Don Remick, Associate Conference Minister, MACUCC
Complete course list and registration information:
Free Online Webinars
Sept. 7, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM 
This free webinar will provide practical, engaging, and developmentally appropriate ideas for youth ministry. 

Sept. 26, 7:00 to 8:00 PM
This webinar will address how clergy and church leaders can support parents as they speak about faith at home with their children.

Oct. 5, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
As Christmas become more materialistic and frenzied each year, churches can help families to reclaim the season of Advent as a time of waiting in anticipation for the coming of the Christ child.

Oct. 19, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Faith-formation at home doesn't need to be a daunting prospect. 

Go to list of upcoming webinars

The Rev. Mr. Malcolm Cox Bertram Jr. 
died on August 30, 2017 from complications of Alzheimers. He was 84.

His formal ministry in the United Church of Christ (UCC) began when his first church, Trinity Congregational Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was one of the first to join the UCC. His church ministry led him to the Garden City Community Church in Kansas followed by 21 years at Syosset Community Church in NY. He concluded his formal ministry at the Second Church in Newton, MA. He retired in 1997 and joined the Federated Church, E. Orleans, MA. 

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday September 9, 2017 at 1:00 PM at the Federated Church, 162 Main Street, East Orleans, MA.

The Rev. Mr. Fredrick W. Atwood-Lyon passed away on Sunday, August 27, 2017 in Dover NH.

The Rev. Atwood-Lyon served churches in Massachusetts, Vermont and NH.  While in Massachusetts, he served as a Conference Consultant and Chairperson of Evangelism and Church Growth Task Team.

A memorial service will be held on October 1, 2017 at 2:00pm at the Durham Community Church, UCC, 17 Main Street, Durham, NH.

Read more at:
Mr. Wayne Earl  c alled to Union Congregational Church, UCC, Walpole as Interim Minister
Effective: Sept. 5, 2017

The Rev. Ms. Esther Rendon-Thompson leaving Union Congregational Church, UCC, Walpole as Pastor
Effective: Sept. 3, 2017

The Rev. Ms. Pamela McGrath
Called to First Church of Christ in Longmeadow as Senior Pastor
Effective: Sept. 1, 2017

Leaving North Community Church, Marshfield Hills as Pastor
Effective: Aug. 31, 2017

The Rev. Mr. Jonathan Rehmus leaving Village Congregational Church, UCC, Cummington as Pastor
Effective: Aug. 30, 2017

The Rev. Ms. Emily Kellar c alled to The Congregational Church of South Dartmouth, UCC as Designated Term Pastor
Effective: Aug. 30, 2017

The Rev. Mr. Robert Naylor  l eaving The Pilgrim Church of Duxbury, UCC as Interim Pastor
Effective: Aug. 29, 2017

Other Events of Interest

Sept. 13, 7:00 PM
Trinitarian Congregational UCC, Concord

Honoring Michael Murphy, Memorial to Peace and Justice architect.

Sept. 23, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Hadley Farms, Hadley, MA
Sponsored by the Pioneer Valley Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility

Oct. 7, 10:00 AM
Agape Community, Hardwick, MA
Co-sponsored by the MACUCC Justice and Witness Council.

Sustainable House Of Worship (SHOW) Workshop
Oct. 15, 1:30 to 5:30 PM 
First Church of Christ in Longmeadow 
Sponsored by Mass. Interfaith Power & Light

LGBT Asylum Gala!
Oct. 21, 5:30-10:30 PM 
Beechwood Hotel, Worcester 
Sponsored by the LGBT Asylum Task Force
The Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ