the weekly emailing
Sanctuary: It's More Than a Room
By John Allen
Member of the MACUCC Immigration and Refugee Justice Task Team and of the Congregational Church of Needham

Most of our churches have Sanctuaries already.
They house our worship, our meetings, our choir rehearsals. They are places where some sit alone to find a space for a deep-felt prayer to be heard. Our youths' rushing feet thunder through them in the midst of some game or another. Our children's eyes often widen at the majesty of the space.
Many churches have realized, though, that Sanctuary is more than a room. It's a mission.

Bullitt-Jonas Named Winner of EcoPreacher Contest
The Massachusetts Conference Missioner for Creation Care, The Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, has been named the winner of the 2016 EcoPreacher Contest.

EcoPreacher is a website that features sermons, essays, movie and book reviews, creative writing and ecotheological reflections. It is run by The Rev. Dr. Leah Schade, PhD, Author of Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology and the Pulpit  and Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship for the Lexington Theological Seminary.

Register for Super Saturday to Get Discounted Items
Upcoming Conference events

Feb. 25, 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Centre Congregational Church, Lynnfield
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 3 - 5
Craigville Retreat Center, Craigville
Teens grade 6-12 are invited to join us for a weekend retreat as we journey to the heart of Lent.  Through art, music, writing, and movement, we'll explore how we can use this season to grow in love for ourselves, our loved ones, our enemies, the earth, and God.
  Confirmation Retreat: "Not That Kind of Christian: Re-articulating Faith for a New Generation"
Mar. 10 - 11, Prindle Pond, Charlton
These retreats, offered for confirmation classes and their leaders, still have space.  

March 11, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
April 8, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham
An opportunity to network and share experiences with MACUCC colleagues. No fee but advance registration is required.

March 18, 8:00 AM - 3:45 PM
Minnechaug Regional High School, Wilbraham, MA   
Brian McLaren
A full day of workshops and networking. Keynote speaker will be author, storyteller, and theologian.Brian McLaren.

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

The Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
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. 
Human and Faith Development
Apr. 1, 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Centre Congregational Church, Lynnfield
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.

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

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Local Buzz
200 people came to two tea parties hosted by the Houghs Neck Congregational Church in Quincy on Saturday. Young girls from near and far gathered for two hours of crafts, dancing, snacks and socializing with their favorite on-screen princesses.

An ever-present reminder of First Congregational Church's distant ties to slavery overlooks the historic house or worship's sanctuary.  A "slave pew" remains.
The Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ