the weekly emailing
Conference Leaders to Host 5 Online Forums On New Conference Votes
Leading up to the second  Tri-Conference Annual Meeting  of the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences, Conference leaders will be hosting a series of five online forums in May and June for discussion about the upcoming votes to formally create a new, unified conference.

Delegates to the Annual Meeting, to be held June 15 - 16 at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, will be asked to pass a a covenant agreement and a set of bylaws for the new conference and to elect a new Board of Directors.


Association Gatherings Offer Chance to Discuss the Vision for a New Conference
The  Together, As One Planning Team   and the  Annual Meeting  Steering Committee want to ensure that everyone is informed about the  Vision, Mission and Purpose  of the proposed new, unified conference. Team members  have requested the opportunity to discuss the Vision at upcoming Association gatherings in the Connecticut and Massachusetts. conferences.

RSVP Now for Jim Antal's Retirement Celebration
All are invited to join in an evening of merriment and celebration honoring the Rev. Dr. Jim Antal, Minister and President, for his 12 years of faithful, loving service to the MACUCC.

The celebration will be held:
Saturday, May 5, 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Sarah Wyman Whitman Gallery, WamsWorks
Worcester

All are welcome, but please RSVP that you will be attending.
Many Voices, One Mission: You Can't Go Back
By Rev. Don Remick
Associate Conference Minister in the Massachusetts Conference, UCC

There are lessons we keep learning over and over.  In my work with churches around visioning and vitality I talk about the goal of becoming healthy, faithful and effective in that changing landscape of ministry.  We explore how essential it is to understand the fundamental "WHY" of the church which comes to them from God.

And then I attended the funeral for Tiffany Vail's father: Robert Vail.   The pastor and folks from the church shared sweet, funny, touching stories from his life and faith.  And I was reminded that in every church there are and have always been people who just get this. 
 


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.
Curriculum - Which Resource Is Best For Your Church
By Debbie Gline Allen
Christian Education & Youth Ministry Consultant 

There are so many Sunday School curriculum resources out there - how do you even begin to choose the best one for your church?

If your church is like so many others, you were very excited when you chose that "new curriculum" a few years ago. But somehow it has grown old and tired, and it doesn't seem to work as well as you thought it would. If this is the case for you, I recommend stepping back and taking a look at it again, and following an evaluation process that will guide your planning for the next program year.
 
Read more
Racial Justice Podcasts Available Today
By TJ Harper
Racial Justice Associate

There are times when voices outside of congregations, associations, and the Conference can have a different perspective and shed new light on the call to racial justice. 

Thus far, we have two podcasts available with two experts in the realm of racial justice. We hope that you tune in for these conversations to hear about the stories of these two leaders in academia and the faith context.  Please, listen to these podcasts individually or within your congregations; spread the word; and share any helpful insights.

Conference Looking for Green Congregations
The Massachusetts Conference is looking to hear from churches that have completed a Level in the Green Congregation challenge, to they may be recognized at the Annual Meeting Recognition Lunch on Saturday, June 16, 2018.  
Learn more about the Green Congregations program at: macucc.org/greencongregations .

If your church has completed a level, please contact Patti Babcock by May 7th at babcockp@macucc.org.

Upcoming Conference Events
United Church of Christ History, Theology, and Polity
May 29 - June 8
Camp Calumet, Freedom, NH
There is NO SUBSTITUTE for learning about the UCC in direct, face-to-face conversation with others-and in beautiful, spirit-filled surroundings!   You are encouraged to enroll in the Summer Institute if you are a  seminarian, seminary graduate, clergyperson seeking dual standing, or anyone who wants to refresh their knowledge about the UCC.
April 12, 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM
The Salvation Army, Canton
Hosted by the Emotional and Spiritual Care Committee under the Massachusetts Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (MA VOAD), the Conference, and the Salvation Army, this summit will offer presentations to introduce attendees to local and regional resources ready to assist in disasters.
 
Preparing for the Search & Call Process: The Adventure Begins
April 21, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Edwards House Meeting Center, 
Framingham
Workshop designed to provide valuable information for middlers or seniors who are ready for the Search & Call process within the United Church of Christ. 
 
Faith Formation/Certification Class - Basics of CE and Administration
April 21, 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Edwards Church, Northampton
Instructor:  Karen Ziel
 
Day of Covenant - Specialized Ministry
April 25, 5:30 to 8:00 PM
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham
Day of Covenant for those clergy in specialized ministries.
 
Education for Effective Youth Ministry: Youth Bible Study and Worship
April 28, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham
Instructor: Rev. Maren Tirabassi

Deadline for Submitting Haystack Award Nominations
May 1
The Justice & Witness Council is now accepting nominations for its 2018 Haystack Awards which recognize participation in charitable and social justice ministry.

Brown Bag Lunch Webinar: Stewardship
May 2, Noon to 1:00 PM
Online
Why does how we talk about money in the church matter? Join colleagues for a discussion and sharing of best practices facilitated by Jonathan New, Associate Conference Minister for Stewardship & Financial Development

May 5, 10:00 AM to noon
Edwards House Meeting Center, 
Framingham
An opportunity to network and share experiences with your MACUCC colleagues.

Interim Gathering - Who is Your Neighbor?May 12, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham
The 'mission field' has changed.  In this new era of ministry, our outreach to our neighbors takes on a new level of significance. And thriving churches are churches 'without walls.' presented by Rev. Dr. Liz Magill and Rev. Don Remick   

May 12, 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Edwards Church, Northampton

Led by the Rev. Jonathan New. Also available via video conference.


Application deadline: June 9
Dancing on the Head of a Pen: A Writer's Workshop for Clergy with Robert Benson
Nov. 12 - 18
Warren Conference Center, Ashland

This workshop will feature teaching sessions with noted writer Robert Benson, time for writing, and evenings spent listening and responding to each others' work.

Tri-Conference Annual Meeting  
June 15 - 16
Mass Mutual Center, Springfield
A joint Annual Meeting of the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences where delegates will be asked to officially vote a new, unified conference into existence.

Free Online Webinars
These webinars are offered free of charge to members of the Massachusetts Conference through a partnership with Practical Resources for Churches. Click title to register.
April 17, 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Led by W. Lee Dickson, Executive Director of the Godly Play® Foundation, a Godly Play Trainer and Mentor.
 
Renting Church Property: Opportunities, Pitfalls and Tax Consequences
April 24, 7:00 - 8:00 PM
Led by Renato Matos, a Partner at Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld LLP
April 25, 7:00 - 7:30 PM
Join author Sophfronia Scott as she discusses the book she wrote with her son , Tain Gregory, about the faith journey which began when Tain asked to enroll in Sunday school. 

April 26, 7:00 - 8:00 PM
A cross+generational model to get people talking about why ministry matters and why giving matters.
Transitions
Classifieds
Other Events of Interest


Awakenings Conference
April 26 - April 29
The United Congregational Church of Holyoke, MA

Interact with leading-edge speakers, Bart Ehrman, Deena Grant, Chung Hyun Kyung, Peter Rollins, and Carol Howard Merritt. Explore with workshop leaders, artists and musicians who see our faith traditions as part of the answer to today's polarized environment. MACUCC staffers Don Remick and TJ Harper will both be presenting.

Friday, April 13, 10 AM - 3 PM: Seekonk Congregational Church, UCC, RI
Saturday, April 14, 10 AM - 3 PM: Barrington Congregational UCC, RI
Rev. Chris Davies from the national UCC office, along with other leaders from southern New England, is coming to Rhode Island to lead four exciting workshops over two days and talk about exciting ministries in RI and beyond.

April 19, 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Atkinson Congregational Church, NH
Training on the topic of suicide for faith leaders.
 
Convocation 2018: Growing by Half: Part-time Pastor, Full-time Church
April 20 - 22
Portland, ME
A collaboration of the Maine Conference UCC and The BTS Center looking at a congregations experiencing heightened vitality through part-time pastoral leadership.


Solar for Synagogues (and other houses of worship)
May 1, 2018 at 7:00 PM
Temple Aliyah, Needham, MA
Hear from synagogues that have successfully installed solar and meet with select solar vendors. UCC churches have been invited to attend this free presentation.
May 1 - 3
Pilgrim Pines, Swanzey, NH 
'Be Who God Meant You to Be' A conference for anyone who may be a Christian Educator, Youth Leader, Clergyperson, or Lay Person. Includes worship, music, workshops, fellowship, friends, and FUN!

5th Annual Environmental Justice For All! Retreat
May 18 - 20
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon, CT
Meet other youth who care about the health of their communities, and find out how to take action!

PREACH IT! A one day workshop on thematic preaching and worship planning
May 31, 2018 at 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Woodridge UCC, Cranston, RI
Rev Susan Cartmell, MACUCC minister and author of "Uncommon Preaching," will explore with other clergy her approach to preaching and lead participants through a step by step process to try some new approaches.

July 29 - Aug. 4
Pilgrim Lodge, West Gardiner, ME 
Camp Pride, a week-long residential camp for LGBTQ youth and their allies, exists as a space for LGBT youth to explore their identities, their faiths, and themselves, in addition to all the regular summer camp activities.
The Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ
508-875-5233
macucc@macucc.org
http://www.macucc.org