Words from your Area Conference Minister

Good People:

Full disclosure: I do not like running.
I do, however, love exercising, working out, and playing sports. But running is merely something I do in order to do those other things. While I may have been bitten by the “running bug” a bit during the start of the pandemic, when gyms were closed and we were stuck inside, you will not catch me running a 5k, let alone a marathon. Yet, year after year, I’m struck by the beauty of the Boston Marathon.
As an athlete, I know that the Marathon is an incredible testament to the power and resiliency of the human body. I’m in awe of what these athletes – amateur and professional – put their bodies through to cross that finish line after 26 grueling miles.
But what really touches my heart every year, more than the physical aspect of the race, is the way in which the marathon gives us a glimpse of the Beloved Community that the Church can and should be.
Where else but the Marathon will tens of thousands of people, line the streets for miles and miles, to cheer on thousands of strangers? No one asks about their gender, sexual orientation, race, or political affiliation. It doesn’t matter that some are dressed in the most expensive running gear money can buy, while others are dressed in the silliest costumes you’ve ever seen. From mile 1 to the finish line in Copley Square, tens of thousands of people stand out all day to encourage one another. “Look how far you’ve come!” They scream. “You’re doing amazing – keep going!” They shout. “Here, drink this!” they say while handing our Gatorade. People of all ages and physical abilities encouraging, supporting, and helping one another, quite literally, run the race.
What if our congregations embodied the spirit of the Marathon? How would we look, and function if we metaphorically (and maybe sometimes literally) lined the streets of our neighbors’ lives to cheer them on?
May our churches be places in which all people can come to find hope and tangible support for the race of life and faith.

With love and thanks,

Rev. Alex Shea Will
Area Conference Minister
Northeast Region (Metropolitan Boston and Northeast Associations)

Rev. Shea Will can be reached at or call/text: 508-244-4769.  

ACM Availability

Siblings in Christ: Thank you for the invitations to worship with you! I’m currently scheduled through June 2023, and I’d love to continue scheduling in 2023. I am eager to visit with each of you, join you for life together, and even preach if you would like. Please reach out and let me know a few options of what might work for you and your congregation.  

Regardless of whether you’ve yet to meet in person, or have been meeting in person for months, we are all dealing with the ramifications of this pandemic in one way or another. I am praying for each of you and our congregations as you navigate how best to love, care for, and be present with one another. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.

Association & Regional Updates & Celebrations

Metropolitan Boston Association

Installation, Rev. Jonathan Page, Wellesley Hills Congregational Church, Wellesley, MA on Sunday, April 23, 2023 at 3:00pm

Park Avenue Congregational Church Rummage Sale50 Paul Revere Road (at the intersection of Paul Revere Rd. and Park Ave.) in Arlington Heights, MA.
Saturday, April 29, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Please stop by and check it out! 

Installation, Rev. Jennifer Macy, First Congregational, UCC, Somerville, MA, on Sunday, May 7, 2023 at 3:00pm 

Installation, Rev. Nathaniel Klug and Rev. Kathryn Novotny, The First Parish in Lincoln, on Sunday, June 11, 2023 at 4:00pm

The Metropolitan Boston Association needs you! There are openings on the Committees of the Association and both clergy and lay representatives are needed.  Please contact the Nominating Committee for more information: Rev. Tony Kill, Rev. Rick Chrisman or Rev. Lisa Loughlin.

Save the Date!  MBA Spring Meeting, Sunday, June 25, 2023.  More details to come.

Northeast Association
Northeast Association, SNEUCC | Facebook

Ordination - Renee Manning, South Church in Andover, Sunday, April 30, 2023 at 3:00pm

Installation, Rev. Pamela Cochrane, Maple Street Congregational Church, Danvers, Sunday, June 4, 2023 at 3:00pm

Save the Date!  Spring Meeting of the Northeast Association will be May 7, 2023 at 3pm at First Congregational Church of Georgetown, UCC. Register here.


Do we have your church leaders listed correctly?

Please have your church administrator (or whoever handles your church's email account) visit the Church Dashboard (part of the Southern New England Conference's data base) to make sure we're connecting with all the current leaders in your church. If you have difficulty logging into your account, please contact Nancy Stubbs.

Let us know!

You are doing great ministry! Let us help make sure others know about it. Tell us about your stories, news and event information. Don’t be modest!  We’re waiting to hear from you. Email Lynn at


April Ordination Anniversaries

15 Years
Rev. Laura Ruth Jarrett, April 6, 2008
Rev. Christopher Lyman Waldron, April 6, 2008
Rev. Jeffrey Vonwald, April 13, 2008

20 Years
Rev. Suzanne Bossert, April 13, 2003

50 Years
Rev. Nancy Richardson, April 6, 1973

 Church Milestones in 2023

The Wellesley Congregational Church - 225 years
First Congregational Church in Melrose, UCC - 175 years

Please contact Lynn Varney if we have missed your anniversary.  Anniversaries are listed from 5 years and forward in increments of 5.  If your church is celebrating a milestone anniversary, please let us know so that the Northeast Region can celebrate with you!

Conference & Partner Updates

Save the Date! 

Northeast Regional Gathering

Sunday, May 21, 2023, 2pm-5pm

Plymouth Congregational Church in Belmont
582 Pleasant Street
Belmont, MA 02478

Come and G.R.O.W. with us at the Regional Gatherings this spring! We hope that local church leaders, authorized ministers and association leaders will join Conference staff and board members for the chance to connect, collaborate and strengthen our covenantal connections in person. You can watch the invitational video here find more information here and register here.

4th Annual Meeting of the Southern New England Conference
June 17, 2023
DCU Center, Worcester, MA

  • UCC General Minister Nominee to Give Annual Meeting Keynote – Read More 
  • Hospitality Team Seeks Volunteers – Sign up here 
  • Vendor and Display Registration open – Sign up here 

Racial Justice Trainings

The Damascus Project of the Minnesota and Wisconsin Conferences invites other authorized ministers seeking anti-racism training to two upcoming cohorts of our Exploring Implicit Bias course. Coursework is a blend of asynchronous content and three zoom sessions facilitated by Rev. Jia Starr Brown and Anna Stamborski of the Twin Cities. The content was developed by COM members and ACMs in both Conferences and beta tested last year. It is designed to align with the Marks and to fulfill the Manual on Ministry requirements for ongoing DEI training.

We have room for more participants in the upcoming session: April 20-May 25, zoom sessions April 27, May 11, May 25 10am-noon Central Time
Register here.   The fall cohort is live October 12-November 16 with facilitated zoom sessions October 19, November 2 and 16 10-noon Central Time. SNEUCC Authorized Ministers should check with their COMs to verify if this training meets their requirement.

Clergy Boundary Awareness Training: Clergy Health and Wellness

Thursday, May 4, 2023 at 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Framed through the lens of clergy health and wellness, join in for a not-so-typical clergy boundary training. Through both presentations and small group collaborative learning, participants will focus on several key areas for balance and wellbeing in their ministry.

Call for Clergy Renewal in 2023 

In late 2022, the Council of Conference Ministers (CCM) and the Alliance of Associate Conference Ministers (AACM) of the United Church of Christ wrote a pastoral letter in which they urged every ministry setting to consider the following...continue reading here

Worship is an essential and vital part of Christian community. In the United Church of Christ, we believe that each setting is best equipped to discern the Holy Spirit’s guidance for itself. That means each local church develops and leads its own worshipping life. However, the local church is never “on its own.” Through covenant, it is connected with every other setting of the United Church of Christ. This curated list of resources is offered by the wider church in covenantal support of our local churches.  

New Partnership to Bring Incredible Days to Edwards House 
The Southern New England Conference's Edwards House Meeting and Retreat Center is partnering with Incredible Days to host four weeks in July during which youth and intergenerational groups can sign up for mission programs where participants will stay at Edwards House and do daily service projects focused on addressing urban poverty in Greater Boston.


News: 2022 Giving to SNEUCC Exceeds Expectations

Local church giving to the Southern New England Conference came in over budget for 2022 – welcome news as the new Conference emerges from the pandemic. Read the details, and see a thank you video from Board President Tracy Keene and a video looking at what was made possible by Proportional Giving to Our Church’s Wider Mission in 2022.  Read more here

2023 STEWARDSHIP Resources
Webinars offered from 6:30 to 7:30pm CT
Apr 26 – Rethinking What God Calls Volunteers to Do
Register here.  
May 24 - Building an Endowment 
Register here.  
All Stewardship Webinars offered in 2023 by the National UCC Office are listed here.  

Proportional Giving Video & Infographic Available to Churches

The Southern New England Conference has posted a video and infographic to aid churches in understanding the impact of their contributions to Proportional Giving to Our Church’s Wider Mission.  Read more and see video and downloadable infographic here

Search & Call Journey Website

The Area Conference Ministry Team is delighted to announce the launch of our new and enhanced webpage for the Search & Call Journey. As part of discerning who will be their next partner in mutual ministry, congregations also engage in vital conversations and discernment about who God is calling them to become and how God is calling them to serve.
The team has designed a 5-step process, built off the resources offered by the Ministerial Excellence, Support and Authorization Team at the National Setting.  It includes an orientation video and updated and downloadable documents for each phase. Read more here.

Center for Transformational Leadership


April Lunch & Learn: Caring Congregations: What the Pandemic is Teaching Us

April 20, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM • Online

Rev. Dr. Frederick ‘Jerry’ Streets will offer a framework for exploring some of the on-going positive and challenging results the influence of the pandemic is having on the church.  

Faith Formation

52nd Annual NEAUCE Conference 

May 4 - May 6, 2023 

Pilgrim Pines, Swanzy, NH 
Registration for this New England Association of United Church Educators closes April 19.  This year’s event is all about Innovation! 


Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Environmental Justice Retreat 
May 6, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM  (Registration deadline: April 21) 
Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center, Sharon, CT 
Open to all ages, middle school through adults, this day-long retreat offers an exploration of environmental racism and environmental justice; engaging scripture and spiritual practices that inspire and sustain action; and experiencing God’s Creation firsthand.

Outdoor Ministries

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

Edwards House Meeting & Retreat Center, Framingham, MA 

Do You Need a Day Away?

Complementary retreat days for SNEUCC Lay and Clergy Leadership at Edwarads House on May 18, 2023.  More information here
Complementary retreat days for new England Non-Profit, Lay and Clergy Leadership on June 1, 2023.  More information here.

Irons Homestead, Glocester, RI

Pilgrim Day Camp, Framingham, MA  

Pilgrim Day Camp registration is full for the summer.  Summer Staff can apply here.

Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon, CT 

Program Director Hired for Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center 
Aila Brennan, who has worked for over 20 years in the outdoor industry, has been named Program Director of the Silver Lake Camp and Retreat Center. Brennan has most recently been serving as the compliance officer at the camp. The change in role is effective immediately.   

Ongoing Updates

The Southern New England Conference maintains Temporary Ministerial Coverage (TMC) lists for all 6 SNEUCC regions. These lists contain Clergy and Lay people that are interested in providing Sunday Supply, Sabbatical Coverage, and Bridge Coverage. All the people included on the list have had a Criminal Background Check and are required to have Boundary Awareness Training as well as Racial Justice Training. 

These TMC lists are regularly updated in real time.  If your church is in need of a list, please reach out to Northeast Region PSA, Lynn Varney at or for North Central & Northwest Regions: Deb Holmes, or for South Central & Southwest Regions: Roz Hooks:

If you are interested in being included on any of the Temporary Ministerial Coverage regional lists, please contact Jill Ford at


Please click here to view all of the SNEUCC obituaries. 

Please click here to view all of the SNEUCC Transitions.

Please click here to view all of the SNEUCC Classifieds.


This week we pray for: 

Sanctuary United Church of Christ, Medford: 
Rev. Wendy Miller Olapade

Melrose Highlands Congregational Church: 
Rev. Katherine Omberg

Christ Church United, Dracut:
Rev. Christopher Hart

Byfield Parish Church, Georgetown: 
Rev. Brent Fugate

(Here is the link to the 2023 Northeast Association Prayer List for congregations to include in their prayer lists and bulletins.)

Quick Links 

Southern New England Conference Blogs 
United Church of Christ 
SNEUCC Facebook

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The Regional Newsletter will be sent monthly on the third Tuesday of the month.  If you would like to have events included, please make sure to have them submitted by the second Thursday of the month to Lynn Varney:


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

21 Church St.
Winchester, MA 01890

Office Hours: 
Monday - Friday: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

This newsletter is made by possible by your church's contributions to
Proportional Giving to Our Church's Wider Mission.