A Note from your Area Conference Minister

July 1, 2021

Dear Colleagues in Ministry,

I keep hearing reminders that summer is a slower time in the life of the church but I also hear concerns that this may not be true this summer in the way it may have been true in the past (if it ever was true).  Even if the life of the church doesn’t slow down, we definitely need to.  All of us, including pastors, need time for rest and renewal. 

I urge you to make that time for yourselves and your families in whatever way makes sense for you.  I pray that God’s love will continue to bless you and your ministry.

Michael Ciba

The Rev. Dr. Michael Ciba  [he/him/his]
Area Conference Minister and Team Leader

Conference Events and Resource


SNE Conference Launches the Phillis Wheatley Fund

The Southern New England Conference has launched a new fund named in honor of Phillis Wheatley, who was the first African American woman to publish poetry, and who was baptized into and became a member of Old South Church in Boston in 1771, two years before she was manumitted (freed from slavery) by the Wheatley family.
The Phillis Wheatley Fund will bring life to two new ministries: SNEUCC Theologian-In-Virtual-Residence Program, and SNEUCC Summer Internship Program for Seminarian Formation. The offering at the Rev. Goodwin's Installation on June 19 will support the formation of this fund.  For more information, click here.

Millennials Ministry Retreat

July 16-17, 2021, Killam's Point, Branford, Connecticut

Come the whole time, come for part of it, whatever works in your schedule!  We will be gathering around 7pm to allow people a chance to arrive after work on Friday.  RSVP here.  Join the Millennials Ministry on Facebook. For questions or more information contact Katie Howe


Click here to download a shareable flyer.

Click here to register to attend the July 8th book group.

Click here to register to attend the August 12th book group.

Click here to register to attend the September 2nd book group.

Resources to purchase books from independent book sellers.

Silver Lake Worship Videos Available

The Silver Lake Conference Center has made a complete virtual worship service available for churches that they may use - in whole or in parts - to celebrate their church's participation in outdoor ministry. Click here for more information.

Tech Deacons Meetups - morning and evening options.

You are invited to join Rev. Eric Elley, Digital Minister, and other local church colleagues for weekly Tech Deacons Roundtable Discussions. During these gatherings we will provide an arena for churches to support one another by sharing ideas, bringing questions, and identifying new trends and opportunities in digital ministry.  In these videoconferences, we will recognize that there won't be one expression of digital ministry to fit all churches.  Yet now is the season for the sharing of ideas and experiences -- we all are endeavoring to figure out the coming season of digital ministry.

Every other Tuesday at 11am (7/13, 7/27 ...), and alternate Tuesday evenings at 7pm (7/6, 7/20 ...)  Click here to find more information and ways to register for these ongoing discussions on the ever evolving landscape of digital ministry in the Southern New England Conference.

Thursdays for the Soul - United Church of Christ

Polity Primer 101: How is our polity lived out at General Synod? 

Thursday, July 1 - 3:30 - 4:30  The United Church of Christ has a way of governing itself (“polity”) that’s different than many other denominations. Bound together by covenant and freely entered into through congregational autonomy, the UCC gathers in many different expressions to be the church. Every two years, the United Church of Christ comes together for worship and business, taking time to speak to the church about matters of faith and conscience. Come listen to some UCC History, Theology, and Polity teachers talk about the gifts and challenges of our structure, how our theological values show up at General Synod, with attention to proposed resolutions for this year’s General Synod.  Register Here

ECM Announces Conference Offices to Remain Shut Through Labor Day

The Rev. Darrell Goodwin, Executive Conference Minister, has announced that the Conference offices in Framingham, MA and Hartford, CT, will remain closed at least through Labor Day.  Click HERE to read more or view a video message about this announcement.

Looking Ahead


Registration is open for in-person camp at Silver Lake Conference Center this summer!  Scholarships are still available. More information can be found here.

Regional Clergy Conversations with Rev. Dr. Michael Ciba

Southwest Regional Clergy will receive email announcements with zoom links, but please consider adding these clergy conversations to your calendar:

  • July 8 at 3pm
  • August 18 at 11am
  • August 31 at 3pm

UCC General Synod 33 - Rooted in Love

Please consider registering and attending this virtual UCC General Synod, July 11 - 18, 2021.  You don't need to be a delegate - you can register as a guest.  This is a great way to experience the richness of the United Church of Christ from your living room.  Registration is now open.  Visit the UCC General Synod web site to learn more about the rich programs and worship that is planned.

October 2021 Super Saturday Workshop Proposals Now Being Accepted.

You are invited to share your gifts as a workshop presenter at our virtual Super Saturday on October 2nd and/or 9th.  Workshops are 90 minutes or 120 minutes depending on your preference. 
October’s keynote speaker is Monica A. Coleman, Award-Winning Scholar, Writer and Minister.   The upcoming October Super Saturday theme is: Building on God’s Promises:  A Time for Personal Renewal - 3 John 1:2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.   Super Saturday will focus on a personal renewal – spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, physiologically, and overall health. 
Our goal is to have submissions in before the end of summer, so if you are interested, please complete the workshop proposal form by July 15, 2021, sending it to Andrea Bellarosa, Events Coordinator. 
Please feel free to pass this link to others who you think would be a great presenter.  And remember to send your proposals and your questions, comments to Andrea Bellarosa, Events Coordinator by July 15, 2021.

Meet Global Ministries Partner Elena Huegel

Elena currently serves in Chiapas, Mexico and previously served with the SNEUCC Chile Partnership. She will be visiting New England in July and is open for zoom meetings or events with local congregations on July 20th, 22nd, 23rd or 29th. To schedule a meeting with her, please contact Rev. Beverly Prestwood-Taylor via email. You can learn more about Elena’s ministry through Global Ministries (a joint witness in mission between the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ) by clicking here.

Discipleship Opportunities

You're Invited! Chronicle Your Church’s Resiliency

Are you looking for a fresh, new inter-generational program this summer that will engage your youth and benefit your congregation? One that will make the concept of “resiliency” come alive? 
We invite you to proclaim your resiliency! Join us in this ground-breaking project, The Resiliency Time Capsule: Stories of Adaptation, Lessons for the Future.  Let’s face it. Most of us simply want to forget 2020 ever happened. But, like any event that involves death and resurrection, it is important to record what happened and, more importantly, how we as the Church responded.

Click HERE to learn more about this project and how your church can participate, from the Center for Transformational Leadership of the SNEUCC.

SNEUCC Virtual Faith Formation Summit

Saturday, September 18 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Relationships, Resiliency, and Re-Entry: Adaptive skills for local church leaders. Audience is local church Pastors and Faith Formation practitioners, including members of the Faith Formation Leadership Certification Program, and Faith Formation Communities of Practice. Registration is now open

Stewardship Resources

Are you familiar with the three-legged stool of stewardship?  Found out more at the Stewardship, Generosity, Fundraising & Financial Management web page of the Southern New England Conference.  "For wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also." ~ Matthew 6:21

Other Side of the Hill - Climate Action in Rural Communities

July 10-25, 2021 - Registration Opens July 1, 2021

The Interfaith Power & Light network has been offered a unique opportunity to be among the first to share the new short film, 'Other Side of the Hill'. Plan to share it with your congregations and members!

The film is a hopeful, inspiring look at local leaders on the ground in rural America who are leading climate action in their communities. But it is also about coming together, finding common ground and new climate frameworks, and shining a light on rural voices as we envision a path forward. The film will be available for free online viewing July 10 - 25. Registration opens July 1. You can watch the trailer and sign up to get a registration reminder HERE. 

Regional News

Do you have events that you'd like to have highlighted here?  Please send your stories to Jill Ford, Program Support Associate, so that the good news of your impactful ministry can be shared with your regional colleagues.

The Southwest Region of the Southern New England Conference is comprised of:

  • Fairfield East Association
  • Fairfield West Association
  • Litchfield South Association
  • Naugatuck Valley Association
  • New Haven Association
  • New Haven East Consociation

Find out more about Conference and Association activity use these web links:  

Southwest Regional Newsletter Subscription

You are receiving this newsletter because we've identified you as a local church or you have standing in one of the associations in the Southwest Region of the Southern New England Conference. This newsletter will be sent around the 15th and 30th of each month. If you would like to unsubscribe or change your email preferences, please visit and enter your email address.


Southwest Region of
The Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ

125 Sherman St.
Hartford, CT 06105