the weekly emailing
MACUCC Represented at State House Climate Action
Two Massachusetts Conference representatives took part in a lunchtime stand in at the Massachusetts State House today calling on Governor Charlie Baker to take urgent action on the climate crisis by releasing an executive order to cease all new fossil fuel infrastructure projects in the Commonwealth.

Emma Brewer-Wallin, who is returning to the Conference as a climate intern, and Old South Church in Boston Associate Pastor John Edgerton took part in today's action, which was organized by Mass Power Forward, a coalition of environmental, climate, community and faith groups.
Responding to, Preparing for, the Hurricanes

From the MACUCC Disaster Resource & Response Team:
Where will Jose Go?

Hurricane Jose is wandering around the Atlantic Ocean.   It has changed intensity from a Category 4 to a Category 1.  It is unclear where it will go or what it's strength may be.  And as we have watched the progress of Hurricane Irma and others it is clear how difficult it is to predict the path and strength of a storm at any given moment.  At this point it seems unlikely that it will make landfall.  BUT, there is a worst case scenario that it could strengthen and then make landfall in New England. 

It's always wise to be prepared: just in case - here are some resources.

Disaster Update: How to be Helpful
We've been watching stories of earthquakes, mudslides, wildfires and flooding rains around the globe.  We've been watching. And we're wondering. What will it take to help these folks recover?  We want to help.  We need to help. And we want to do it the right way because they will need overwhelming help in the aftermath of overwhelming disasters.    
Read more

Hurricanes, floods, fires, and earthquakes have recently occurred in proportions previously unseen. The magnitude and multitude of the recent traumatic events have left us keenly aware that we must be prepared to deal with not only the traumatic events themselves, but the physical, emotional, and spiritual aftermath.

The Disaster Resource & Response Team is offering a trauma and spiritual care workshop on Thursday, October 5, at Edwards House Meeting & Retreat Center, Framingham. This event features interactive exercises and provides the basic tools and interventions that will be most beneficial to those who have suffered trauma. There will be components of self-care included and participants will be encouraged to find ways to "spiritually inoculate" their faith communities.

In Memoriam: Rufus Cushman, Stewardship Master

By The Rev. Jonathan New
Associate Conference Minister for Stewardship

Those who think stewardship is about money have it wrong; stewardship is, primarily, about people. That's just one of the many stewardship lessons I learned from a man who I consider a stewardship master - Rufus Cushman. 

Rufus, who died this week at age 88, will be remembered by many of us in the Massachusetts Conference and beyond for keeping stewardship real and people at the heart of it.  A former insurance man and son of a banker, he was comfortable with money. More importantly, he knew what the proper use of it could accomplish - a difference in the lives of people. 

Read Jonathan's full tribute here

A Memorial Service for Rufus will be held at the Union Church of Proctor, 5 Church Street, Proctor, VT at 2:00 PM on Sunday, October 1st.

Read his obituary here
Equipping Volunteers Builds a Strong Community Church
THe Parish Paper
September, 2017

Sociologist Joshua Packard describes an emerging population he calls the "dones." They are "spiritual refugees" from organized religion who were once long-time members, but who pass through the exit door of the church and never look back. Though many reasons exist for their departure, a significant theme is the feeling of being of ignored or underutilized. "It's hard for me to be just a passive worshiper," one of Packard's interview subjects said. "I've got to do things. That's how I understand my faith and how I understand God."

Upcoming Conference Events
Sept. 17, 3:00 PM

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.

Churches Alive! Introductory Gathering
Oct. 4, 7:00 PM
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham
Come learn more about this year-long program, in which churches will work together to deepen the spiritual lives of their congregations, gain a clear picture of your church's potential and come alive in discovering your church's passion and vocation.
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. 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. 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.
Helping Families Celebrate a Holy Advent
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. 
Baby Steps: Bringing Children Back to the Sanctuary
Nov. 14, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Leader Michelle Ketepall discusses the small, intentional, creative changes she took to engage children and welcome families back into the worship service after children had been made unwelcome.

Go to list of upcoming webinars
The Rev. Mr. Allen M. Comstock c alled to First Congregational Church, UCC, Montague as Interim Pastor
Effective: Sept. 6, 2017 

The Rev. Mr. Robert Naylor  
Leaving The Congregational Church of South Dartmouth as Interim Pastor
Effective: Aug. 29, 2017
Correction: It was incorrectly reported last week that The Rev. Naylor was leaving Pilgrim Church in Duxbury.

Other Events of Interest

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