|A Note from your Area Conference Minister
As the weather gets warmer, the days get longer, and spring arrives in force, I pray that you will take comfort and receive power from the presence of the Holy Spirit in your church and in your life.
The Rev. Dr. Michael Ciba
Area Conference Minister and Team Leader
Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ
|Regional News and Association Events
What are you up to? 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 send your events and news Jill Ford and Roz Hooks 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
Registration is now open!
Annual Meeting will be held on June 18, 2022, 9am – 2:30pm using the virtual platform Hopin. Advance materials, Delegate materials and other information about the meeting can be found here: 2022 Annual Meeting.
You are specially invited to participate in the Conference Mass Choir, or to offer a Speakout. See the Annual Meeting page for details.
May 24, 2022, 7pm to 8pm via Zoom
Leaders: Elizabeth Garrigan-Byerly, Isaac Lawson, Jeff Nelson
Are you a UCC church with questions about the search & call process? Join national and conference leaders from the United Church of Christ who will be answering your questions about the process of searching for and calling a new pastor. Use this link to register for this virtual program.
The Nancy S. Taylor Leadership Fellowship
Old South Church in Boston is seeking applicants for this inaugural fellowship. Fellows will be immersed in the life of Old South Church and actively participate in worship leadership, committees and boards to learn about and to help shape our live together. Download this flyer for more information on this exciting new opportunity.
Harwich Church offers Seminary Scholarship
The First Congregational Church of Harwich is making available a scholarship of around $600 from the Wood Fund. Ministry and Christian Education students who are members of congregations that are within the Southern New England Conference of the UCC are invited to apply for this scholarship to assist with the cost of attending seminary. Read more here. Applications must be postmarked by May 31, 2022.
Conference Launches Justice Leadership Program
If you feel called to work for justice or are eager to integrate faith and justice work into your life in meaningful and transformative ways, apply now for the Southern New England cohort of the Jubilee program, which will launch this fall.
Read more about this program here.
Are you called to learn more or take action around Environmental Justice Issues? Visit the SNEUCC's Environmental Ministries web page for ideas and resources.
Green Congregation Challenge
The Green Congregation Challenge is a step-by-step approach that helps churches take small, but consequential, steps towards protecting God’s Creation Learn more about the Green Congregation Challenge.
This month, we celebrate the efforts of the following congregations - and particularly note the first congregations to reach Level 4! Read more about recently-celebrated congregations here.
- Trinitarian Congregational Church, Concord, MA - completed Level 1
- Church of Christ Congregational UCC, Norfolk, CT - completed Level 2
- South Church, Andover, MA - completed Level 4
- Old South Church in Boston, MA - completed Level 4
First Congregational Church, Southington, CT - pledged to begin work on Level 1
A Word about Proportional Giving
You’ve probably heard me say before that what binds us together as a denomination is covenant, not creed or practice or structure but sacred relationship and commitment. I give thanks to God for the strength of our covenantal bonds and partnerships. Every conversation or meeting I have with individual churches or pastors is buttressed by our covenantal bonds and indeed would not be possible without them.
Proportional Giving is one of the key ways we express that covenant. Each church recently received a letter about PR from the Rev. David Cleaver-Bartholomew, Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations. I want to personally thank you for your covenantal commitment to the work of the wider church through PG; it is essential to all the transformative things the conference is able to do. I hope you will make time to prayerfully consider how your church can be in covenant by contributing to Proportional Giving.
- May 19: Lunch & Learn for Leaders: Reaching Your Community - Church Podcasts 101 (REGISTER)
- June 16: Lunch & Learn for Leaders: Conflict & Community (REGISTER)
- July 11-15: Sacred Spaces, Sacred Times: Into the Future (REGISTER)
Small Church Roundtable Group (REGISTER)
Save the Date; 2022 Justice Summit
Saturday, September 24, 2022
9AM to 4:30PM - Location TBD
The 2022 Justice Summit is a one-day event hosted by the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ to inform, engage, and offer opportunities for connection among people interested in issues of social justice. This year's Justice Summit will focus on racial justice. Click this link for more information.
2022 UCC Member in Discernment Gathering
May 20 - May 22, 2022
The UCC MID Gathering is designed for Members in Discernment (MIDs) with a UCC Association, in preparation for authorized ministry in and on behalf of the United Church of Christ. Seminarians, graduates, participants in Regional Theological Education Programs, and other MIDs are welcome. This is an opportunity for MIDs to gather for networking, relationship building, mutual support, for the sharing of national resources and information, and for inspiring worship together! To ensure the health and safety of MIDs, national staff, and affiliated ministry representatives, and in accordance with UCC policies, this year’s event will again be fully virtual. Due to the ongoing circumstances we are all experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 virus, MESA is waiving registration fees. Contributions from Conferences/Associations are voluntary and will be greatly appreciated and applied to subsequent MID events.
For additional information regarding the meeting, please contact Rev. Dr. Renee Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org Reigster HERE by May 17, 2022.
May 26th, 2022 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm
This workshop provides skills, knowledge and attitudes to prevent child sexual abuse in congregations. Topics discussed include: safe environment, working with parents, prevention strategies, signs and symptoms, and responding to disclosures. This is a modified workshop with materials from ChildrensTrust Fund MA. Rev. Domenik Ackermann is Minister for Education at West Parish Church in Andover, MA, and a Ph.D. Candidate at Boston College. He is a Child Abuse Prevention trainer certified by the ChildrensTrust Fund MA. Register here!
Thursday, June 23rd, 2022 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Are you spinning your wheels in your faith formation efforts? Feeling stuck or tired after countless pandemic pivots? Wondering about next steps and how to plan for fall?
Come and hear how one church overcame roadblocks, embraced the opportunities presented by the pandemic, and re-imagined a holistic vision for faith formation. Patricia Berry, Minister of Faith Formation and members of her team at United Congregational Church will outline the ways their congregation is living out a life-giving ministry model based on a grassroots process, shared power, and a theology of abundance. This workshop will discuss practical tools such as deep listening, identifying gifts and passions in the congregation, and alternative metrics. You'll gain insights for building intergenerational relationships and re-visioning a faith formation ministry that is led by the Holy Spirit.
Interested in attending? Register here!
The Faith Formation Leadership Program is taking its summer break, but will return in October 2022 with a new slate of exciting educational opportunities. Keep an eye on this space (and FFLP's website) in early June for information on how to register.
Interested in learning more about the 2022-2023 FFLP program year?
Several of the Faith Formation team's resource pages/lists have been updated with new and current material. These updated resources include Safe Conduct and Church Safety, Talking with Children and Teens about Tough Issues (including the war in Ukraine), and Vacation Bible School.
God's World in Community: a new resources from PA's GenOn Ministries that emphasizes intergenerational gathering and activities based on the Book of Acts. Fully available online!
ReNew: The Green VBS: A product of Spark House, this 5-day curriculum based around Christ's Parable of the Sower. Intended for younger VBS-goers (pre-K through sixth grade).
Under Your Wing: Parents, grandparents, and caregivers of younger children: are you looking for a way to talk about bodily safety and physical development with your 5-7-year olds? If so, check out this video series from the UCC/UUA's Our Whole Lives (OWL) program. Afterward, you're welcome to explore the OWL K-1 Books and Media Recommendations for additional resources.
Look for more helpful materials and curated links under Make Disciples on www.sneucc.org.
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. The SUMMER 2022 CAMP BROCHURE can be downloaded here. Registration is now open.
Share the ministry of Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center with your community! To help you get the word out about Silver Lake’s exciting programs, visit www.silverlakect.org/promote for a collection of materials and resources. Read more about the exciting things happening and coming up at Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center.
Save the Date for the 2022 Silver Lake Golf Tournament
|Celebrations, Transitions and Obituaries
Here we recognize and celebrate Ordination Anniversaries listed from 5 years forward in increments of 5 years, as well as milestone church anniversaries.
The Rev. Alison McCaffrey (April 14, 2002)
2022 Milestone Church Anniversaries
Lordship Community Church
(Please contact Roz Hooks or Jill Ford if we have missed your anniversary
or if you have a specific date to share.)
Transitions within the Southern New England Conference can be found here.
Obituaries within the Southern New England Conference can be found here.
Racial Justice Advocate Part-Time Position Available
The Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ (SNEUCC), has a part-time opportunity for a Racial Justice Advocate. This position is funded for a maximum of two years. The Racial Justice Advocate engages and supports local congregations, Conference staff and volunteers to enhance racial equity in all settings of the UCC and surrounding communities. Learn more 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 send an to email Roz Hooks at email@example.com 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 be in touch with Ms. Deb Holmes via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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, with the exception of December 30th. If you would like to unsubscribe or change your email preferences, please visit sneucc.org/subscribe and enter your email address.