the weekly emailing
Massachusetts Conference churches and their members will now have free access to a series of webinars and a library of books, articles, videos and CDs through a new partnership between the Conference and Practical Resources for Churches, a New York based organization. Church members will also be able to contact the PRC's staff of consultants.

A catalog of available resources, including recorded webinars, can be found on the Conference website. Upcoming webinars will be on the Conference Event Calendar and included in the weekly Emailing.

The Rev. Charlaine Aspel, PRC Executive Director, is a UCC clergy person with standing in the New York Conference.

"Charlaine and and her staff curate resources ensuring they are current and relevant in the ever changing landscape of ministry in the 21st century," said Associate Conference Minister Ellie Richardson, who arranged for the partnership.

Delegates to Vote on Prison Resolution; Ashland Land Sale
The 218th Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Conference - to be held as part of the historic Tri-Conference Annual Meeting June 16 - 17 in Hartford, CT - will take up a resolution on life imprisonment without well as a potential sale of unused Conference-owned property.

Delegates are being asked to approve a resolution, entitled "Expression of Opposition to Massachusetts Sentences of Life Imprisonment Without Opportunity for Parole," sponsored by the Christ's Community Church in Chicopee and First Congregational Church, UCC, Ashfield. 

Delegates to the meeting will also be asked to authorize the Board of Directors to sell land in Ashland, at the far west end of the property where the Framingham offices, Edwards House Meeting & Retreat Center and Pilgrim Day Camp are located. The land has never been used by the camp or the Conference.
Another Appeal?
By Jonathan New
Associate Conference Minister for Stewardship and Financial Development
You are about to receive an Annual Appeal letter or email, and some of you are going to be wondering "Didn't I just get an appeal back in December?!"
As it turns out, we have two different appeals each year because this funding helps us accomplish different goals.
The Annual Appeal - going out to individuals in letters and emails next week - helps fund the overall mission and ministry of the Massachusetts Conference.  While 63% of funding is from local churches, the remaining 37% comes from programs, retreat center and camp revenues, endowment income, grants, and - yes! - donations.
In fact, individual donations and other miscellaneous income make up about 8% of the Conference's total funding.  Without these contributions, we can't offer Super Saturday events, Crossroad/ New Beginnings programs, Christian Educator certification, or provide core support of local churches in calling clergy, dealing with conflict, or managing finances. 
Bulletin Inserts Available to Publicize Historic Meeting
The Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences are making available bulletin inserts for churches to use to let members know about the historic  Tri-Conference Annual Meeting  taking place June 16 - 17 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT.

This Annual Meeting marks the first time the three conferences will hold annual meetings Together, As One. And it is the first time since the United Church of Christ was formed in 1957 that delegates will be asked to endorse the idea of joining together to form a new conference.

Bulletin inserts can be downloaded, or bundles of pre-printed inserts can be requested for free.

Learn More

A Once-in-Three-Generations Opportunity
By The Rev. Michael Ciba, Southwest Regional Minister of the Connecticut Conference

In the 12 years I have been a Connecticut Conference Regional Minister, in the weeks before Conference Annual Meetings, my message has always been:  "you really, really, really, should attend this year's annual meeting and you really, really, really should encourage delegates from your church to attend."

But the 2017 Tri-Conference Annual Meeting on June 16 & 17 is so much more than another Annual Meeting!  You really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really  need to be there.

This is a "once-in-three generations" opportunity to discern how God is calling us to be the church in our time.   Why would you want to be anywhere else?

Read more about the Together, As One proposal 
Registration Open for New Conference Online Forums
Leading up to the historic, first-ever Tri-Conference Annual Meeting of the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island Conferences, Conference leaders will be hosting a series of five online forums, or webinars, open to anyone who would like to join a discussion about the proposal to form a new Conference.

The free webinars will be no longer than 90 minutes each (depending on the level of audience participation) and will be limited to 100 participants each. They will be held at various times on May 16, May 21, June 7 and two on June 8.

Go to the website for details and to register
New Administrative Assistant hired
RubĂ©n Bonilla-Santiago is joining the Massachusetts Conference staff as an Administrative Assistant. He will be working in the Winchester office supporting the ministry of Associate Conference Minister The Rev. Wendy Vander Hart and the Metropolitan Boston and Northeast Associations.

Read more
Upcoming Conference events

Workshop Proposals Deadline: May 31
October 21, 2017
Keefe Technical Regional High School, Framingham

If you would like to share concepts and practices you've developed that are changing your congregation or community's mission and ministry, we invite you to consider submitting a workshop proposal.  As a workshop leader, your registration will be free.  

Free webinar: Kids' Multi Faith Camp - YOU Too Can Do It!
May 11, 7:00 to 8:00 PM
In this webinar, Del Hokanson will share how she created a weeklong kids' summer camp in collaboration with Islamic, Jewish, and Buddhist communities in Colorado Springs. 

May 12, 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Need some tips on writing or updating your Ministerial Profile? Here is your opportunity! Don Remick from Massachusetts, Barbara Libby from Rhode Island and Kent Siladi from Connecticut will be on hand to help.

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. 

Authorized Ministry Luncheon
June 16, 12:00 to 3:00 PM
Hartford Marriott Downtown

This luncheon, a pre-meeting event to the Tri-Conference Annual Meeting, is an opportunity for authorized ministers, lay leaders and others to gather and share time in community with UCC General Minister & President John Dorhauer.

June 16 - 17
Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford, CT 
The historic first joint Annual Meeting of the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences. With UCC General Minister & President John Dorhauer as keynote speaker.
June 21, 2017 at 5:30 to 9:00 PM
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham
Beverly Weinhold will offer a presentation from a nationally recognized, evidence,informed sexual abuse prevention curriculum created by Darkness to Light.

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:
The Rev. Mr. Jonathan Goodell called to Pilgrim Congregational Church, Lexington as Bridge Pastor
Effective: May 8, 2017

The Rev. Ms. Cara Davis called to First Congregational Church of Lee as Sabbatical Pastor
Effective: May 7, 2017

Other Events of Interest
July 10 - 14
Craigville Retreat Center, Craigville, MA

A full week including presentations, Bible reflections, daily worship services, small group discussions, singing, playing music and Keynote Speaker Professor Lee C. Barrett.

May 16, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 
Providence Zen Center, Cumberland, RI

May 20, 12:00 PM 
Riverway Lobster House, South Yarmouth

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

June 11 - 13
Craigville Retreat Center
June 11, 2017 at 2:00 PM
Congregation B'nai Israel, Northampton

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