Our Conference Newsletter
January 3, 2017
                        Happy New Year and Happy Epiphany to all! 
On Friday, January 6, 2016, we celebrate Epiphany, the time when we remember the Magi and their journey from the East to find and pay homage to the Messiah, who was born in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:1-12). They set out without knowing their destination, following a celestial sign - the star seen at its rising. It could not have been an easy journey - even for people of resources and status. Not sure they were on the right path, they stopped and asked directions [imagine - three men stopping to ask directions!] unfortunately from exactly the wrong person, from King Herod, the Roman authority in Judea. But they eventually found the Christ child, delivered their   gifts and worshiped Him.
 
    We at the Rhode Island Conference - United Church of Christ are also on a journey. You will recall that in 2015 the RICUCC Board of Directors committed to a process of "discernment," along with the Boards of Directors of the Massachusetts and Connecticut conferences, to consider a possible new covenant between those three conferences, with the suggestion that it might take the form of a single New England Conference in place of the three statewide conferences. Some of you attended informational meetings on this process in several regions in the spring of 2016. While the discussions continue among the "RI-MA-CT Planning Team" (composed of the Conference Ministers and Board Presidents) and at the Board of Directors' level, it is critical that all members of the RI Conference - be they delegates or members of a congregation - have an opportunity to share their ideas.
 
     As a denomination, we are inheritors of the congregational meeting that gave rise to the town meeting form of government. Our church polity is based upon the "priesthood of all believers." We are not a denomination with a hierarchy dictating policy and belief. Understanding this, the Board of Directors voted to hold one more, statewide meeting, to address the proposal. All are invited to share their opinions, both positive and negative, and to voice their thoughts, concerns and suggestions. THE GOAL OF THE MEETING IS FOR EVERY VOICE TO BE HEARD. There is no right or wrong opinion.
                                        This meeting has been scheduled for:
                                   
Sunday , January 29, 2017
                                                         2:30-4:30 P.M.
                                       Marriott Hotel, Orms Street, Providence.
 
    The Facilitator of the meeting will be The Rev. Bob Naylor, who has extensive experience in consulting and writing since his retirement as Senior Minister at the Second Congregational Church (UCC) in Greenwich, Connecticut. Early in his career, The Rev. Naylor was on the national staff of the UCC Office of Church Life and Leadership, and served as an area conference minister in Pennsylvania. He has also taught as an adjunct professor at Lancaster (PA) Theological Seminary.
 
 
All of our congregations are on a journey together, to plan for the future of the Rhode Island Conference - UCC. We may not have the clear light of the Christmas star which guided the Magi. But we do have a covenant relationship with one another and a commitment to work together to find the best direction for the future.  On this Epiphany, let us recall the words of the Salem covenant, from 1629: "We covenant with the Lord and with one another and do bind ourselves in the presence of God, to walk together in all the ways which are revealed to us by God, as the Word is made known to us."                                     May it be so,
 Frances Munro
                                                Administrative Vice President
      RICUCC Board of Directors
P.S. There is no playoff game on January 29th
News Items:

ONLY 4 COPIES OF
UNITED CHURCH
OF CHRIST
2016 - 2017
CALENDARS
LEFT!!!
Conference Office 
401-724-7700
Do not Miss
January shows
of
 The Mountaintop at Trinity Rep Theatre Providence


April 3, 1968. Martin Luther King, Jr. returns to Memphis' Lorraine Motel after delivering his famous "mountaintop" speech. There he is visited by a spirited young maid who challenges him to come to terms with his life, life's end, and legacy.

This breathtaking re-imagining of the last night of one of America's greatest heroes achieves what only theater can do - it brings Dr. King to immediate, spontaneously felt life.

The Mountaintop - with surprising humor and newfound urgency - draws audiences a bit closer to the summit.
Group rates available for Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017
How about
this as a
New Year Commitment!



Check out Rev. John C. Dorhauer's
weekly podcast on UCC.org.   
The United Church of Christ General Minister and President offers these weekly messages so that "the art and practice of spiritual reflection is modeled as a priority and not just a part time avocation."
To listen to this weeks podcast, click here.  


Keynote Speaker: Br ian McLaren


Super Saturday - March 18, 2017


Super Saturday is a full-day of skill building offering numerous workshops, a keynote address, worship, a marketplace of vendors and ideas and an opportunity for church leaders, both clergy and lay, to network with one another.  This spring's Super Saturday is being co-hosted by the Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island conferences of the UCC. We hope to see you there!!
PLEASE ADD THESE DATE TO YOUR CALENDARS

Installation - Rev. Dale Azevedo 2/26/17 at Barrington Congregational Church

Annual Meeting of RI, MA, & CT UCC Conferences - 6/16 & 6/17/17 Hartford, CT

UCC General Synod  - Friday 6/30/17 - 7/4/17 Baltimore, MD

Youth@Synod - Friday 6/30/17 - 7/4/17 Baltimore, MD 
I n Our Conference:
State House Rotunda
Wed. Jan. 4 
3:00pm - 4:00pm     
Seekonk Congregational Church 
Sun. Jan. 8  
1:00pm - 5:00pm     
RI-MA-CT Ongoing Conversation About the Future 
  Marriott Hotel Prov.
Sun. Jan. 29
2:30 - 4:30 
Edgewood Congregational Church 
Thurs. May 4
8:00am - 3:00pm      
Other Events
Trinity Repertory Theatre
Sun. Jan. 15 
2:00pm     
Rhodes on the Pawtuxet 
Mon. Jan. 16
8:00 am      
Harvard Divinity School
Wed. Jan. 18
Thurs. Jan. 19
8:30am - 3:30pm      
Langston Hughes 22 Annual Poetry Reading
RISD Museum of Arts 
Prov., RI 
Sat. Feb. 5 1:00pm    
Barrington Congregational Church 
Sun. Feb. 26
3:00pm      
MACUCC
Minnechaug Regional High School, MA 
Sat. Mar. 18
8:00am - 3:45pm      
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