A Note from your Area Conference Minister

Dear Friends in Christ:
May this season of Thanksgiving help us remember the many ways we have been blessed as we commit ourselves to being an even greater blessing to our communities.


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

Regional News and Association Events
JaQuan K. Beachem will be Ordained by the New Haven Association on Sunday, November 21, 2021 at 4pm at Spring Glen Church UCC in Hamden, CT. The Ordination will be both in person and virtual.  If in person, everyone must wear a mask.  To participate virtually, visit Spring Glen Church's website:

What's new with you?  Does your Church or Association have events or news that can benefit from being shared - Meetings, Ecclesiastical Councils, Ordinations, etc?  This newsletter space is just waiting to be populated by your activity!  Please share your events and news with Jill Ford, Program Support Associate ( to be included in future bi-monthly publications.

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

Conference Events and Resources

(visit SNEUCC.ORG/EVENTS for a full list of events)

Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs

National and Indiana Clergy Renewal Programs provide an opportunity for pastors to step away briefly from the persistent obligations of daily parish life and to engage in a period of renewal and reflection. Renewal periods are not vacations but times for intentional exploration and reflection, for drinking again from God’s life-giving waters, for regaining enthusiasm and creativity for ministry.

Details and application materials for the 2022 programs are now available. Eligible congregations will be able to apply for grants of up to $50,000 each to support a renewal program for their pastor. Up to $15,000 of the grant may be used for congregational expenses associated with the renewal program.  Applications are open now through April 27, 2022

UCC Counsel Urges Caution Regarding Boy Scout Charters

United Church of Christ General Counsel Heather Kimmel is advising that churches speak to an attorney before taking any action regarding Boy Scouts of America charter agreements or renewals in light of the BSA’s bankruptcy filing.  Kimmel said churches that are chartering organizations are receiving documents related to the Chapter 11 plan which gives several opt-in choices and an opt-out choice.  “Each choice involves waivers of important rights,” Kimmel said.  Read more here.

God Talks: Interview with Rev. Dr. Michael Ciba

In a recent God Talks video conversation, Executive Conference Minister the Rev. Darrell Goodwin spoke with Michael Ciba about his work an Area Conference Minister, influences on his work, and his wife's impact on his call to ordained ministry.  Click here to read and watch.

Afghan Refugees:  How to Help

In response to the influx of Afghan refugees, the Southern New England Conference will soon offer additional staffing to help connect and support congregations, resettlement agencies, and, ultimately, our new neighbors.

Find a survey and resources here.

Do we have your church leaders listed correctly?

Have your church administrator (or whoever handles your church's email account) visit the Church Dashboard to make sure we're connecting with all the current leaders in your church.

Save the Date - Small Church Summit

Date:  Saturday, February 26, 2022

Location: Edward's House, Framingham, MA

Contact the Center for Transformational Leadership for further details.

Congregational Economic Evaluation Tool

This survey helps leaders compare their stewardship and financial practices to other faith communities and to identify best practices they can implement. The survey is available at
For additional information, resources and upcoming events click here for the Stewardship, Generosity, Fundraising and Financial Management page.

November Environmental Ministry Team Calendar

Don't miss this month's curated collection of events, resources, and climate action opportunities from the SNEUCC Environmental Ministry Team!  Read it here.  Has your congregation joined the '21 in 21' Green Congregation Challenge?  Learn more here:  Green Congregation Challenge

Pastoral Counseling Programs Available to

Authorized Ministers

Ministry is a demanding profession.  The great and small stresses of life and the give and take of parish ministry can be challenging.  The Southern New England Conference is committed to the well-being of its Authorized Minsters and to providing support for those who provide leadership to the church.  Thanks to the generosity of historic benefactors, we are able to provide Authorized Ministers with standing in an Association of the Southern New England Conference, and their spouses/life partners/significant others, with a short-term, three-session consultation for stabilization and referral. Please click here to learn more.

UCC History & Polity in Late Winter 2022

The Penn Central Conference will be offering a fully on-line UCC History and Polity class beginning February 11th and running until April 1st. The class meets via zoom every Friday for 3 hours (2:00 – 5:00 EST). They will use a Basecamp platform for each cohort, which works very well. Last year almost 50 students came from as far away as Hawaii, South Dakota, Maine and California. They welcome MIDs, POCs, Dual Standing…and those who have interest in our history and contemporary life. The cost will be $300.  Any individuals or COMs interested are welcome to contact Rev. Dr. Carrie Call or Rev. Nora Foust with questions. The Penn Central Conference will have an on-line registration later in November.

Boundary Training - 1.0 Foundations of Boundary Training

WHEN: Tuesday, January 18, 2022 and Wednesday, January 19, 2022 9am to 3pm (lunch provided both days)

WHERE: at The Plymouth Church in Framingham, 87 Edgell Road, Framingham, MA 07701

DETAILS: limited to 12 participants.  Cost and other details, including a registration link can be found here.

Discipleship Opportunities

Restful Advent - Zoom Chapel

Tuesdays (11/30 to 12/21) 9:00am to 9:45am

Join us on Zoom each Tuesday during Advent to pray, rest, and reflect.  We will follow the Restful Advent Devotional developed by Rev. Emma Brewer Wallin, Minister for Environmental and Economic Justice. Register here.

SNEUCC Prayer Vigil for World Aids Day

Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone's Voice

Wednesday, December 1st, 2021 at 12:0pm via Zoom.  Join us for a noontime online prayer vigil of readings and music.

This World AIDS Day, UNAIDS is highlighting the urgent need to end the inequalities that drive AIDS and other pandemics around the world. 
Without bold action against inequalities, the world risks missing the targets to end AIDS by 2030, as well as a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and a spiraling social and economic crisis.  Register here.

Safe Environments Webinar

Wednesday 12/8, 2-3pm via Zoom

This one hour info session will provide orientation to Abuse Prevention Resources from the UCC Insurance Board. Pastors, Deacons, Faith Formation leaders, Trustees, and HR Committee members are encouraged to attend. Debby Kirk, Faith Formation team leader will provide an orientation to the materials.  Sample templates for policies, background checks and screening, as well as training programs for teachers and volunteers will be reviewed.  Register here.

SNEUCC Virtual Confirmation Enrichment Programs

Once again, the Faith Formation team will be offering virtual enrichment gatherings for your local church confirmation classes.

Upcoming dates for enrichment program sessions include:

  • Racial Justice: January 23rd, 2022 (TBD soon)

  • UCC 101: February 27, 2022

  • Discernment: March 19th, 2022 (Super Saturday)

  • Interfaith Exploration: April 3rd, 2022 (TBD soon)

Contact Faith Formation program support associate Sean Amato for more information about registration and session content.

Outdoor Ministries


The Southern New England Conference engages in Outdoor & Retreat Ministry with the following sites:

Edwards House Meeting & Retreat Center, Framingham, MA
Edwards House offers fully-equipped meeting space for working gatherings both large and small as well as a warm, intimate setting for small overnight retreats.

Irons Homestead, Glocester, RI
Nestled in the northwest corner of Rhode Island and where you can still see the stars at night.

Pilgrim Day Camp, Framingham, MA
This is a traditional summer day camp with over 50 years of experience in providing children safe, summer fun. 

Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon, CT
With more than 60 acres of wooded land on lakeside shores, Silver Lake offers many opportunities for young people.

Celebrations, Transitions and Obituaries

Beginning in September of 2021, this bi-monthly newsletter will recognize and celebrate Ordination Anniversaries listed from 5 years and forward in increments of 5 years, as well as milestone church anniversaries

November Anniversaries

50 Years
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Walter
325 Years
First Congregational Church in Danbury

(Please contact Jill Ford if we have missed your anniversary.)

Transitions within the Southern New England Conference can be found here.

Obituaries within the Southern New England Conference can be found here.


A full list of classified postings can be found here on the SNE website.  Some examples include: Church Administrator, Digital Minister, Organist/Choir Director, Director of Faith Formation as well as items for sale or free.  Visit our classifieds web page for details of each listing.   Church administrators are welcome to use the online template to submit information.

Pulpit Supply Information

Please email Jill Ford at for an updated copy of the regional pulpit supply list. 

If you are interested in being included on the Southwest Region pulpit supply list please contact Jill Ford.

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