A Blessing for September 

Dear Friends,
As we travel into this new program year full of plans, hopes, and uncertainties I invite you to pause to read this blessing from poet Jan Richardson.
At the core of our faith is the promise that we held dear by the Divine who call each of us “beloved.”  May this be the God that children and youth encounter in our communities.   


Debby Kirk, Director of Faith Formation
Beloved Is Where We Begin
Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace
If you would enter into the wilderness,
               do not begin without a blessing.
Do not leave without hearing who you are:
               Beloved, named by the One 
                                             who has traveled this path before you.
Do not go without letting it echo in your ears,
               and if you find it is hard
                                             to let it into your heart, do not despair.
                                                            That is what this journey is for.
I cannot promise this blessing will free you
               from danger, from fear, from hunger or thirst,
                                             from the scorching of sun or the fall of the night.
But I can tell you that on this path there will be help.
I can tell you that on this way there will be rest.
I can tell you that you will know the strange graces
that come to our aid only on a road such as this,
that fly to meet us bearing comfort and strength,
that come alongside us for no other cause
than to lean themselves toward our ear
and with their curious insistence whisper our name:

Feature Story

"Why Pay for Faith Formation Staff
When We Don't Have Any Children?"

by Debbie Gline Allen

Some congregations no longer have any children or youth as part of their life together. This leads some of their congregants and lay leaders to ask, “Why budget for a faith formation staff person and programming when we don’t have any children or youth?” [Read the full article]

Special Thanks!

Many of you know that Sean Amato, who served as the Program Support Associate for Faith Formation and editor of this newsletter resigned his position with SNEUCC as of September 1.  Sean is starting his final year of seminary, which includes field education.   We are deeply grateful for Sean's time with us and wish him all the best as he moves forward with his studies. -- Debby and Debbie

Faith Formation Leadership Program '23-'24  Registration Now Open!

by Debbie Gline Allen

Through the Faith Formation Leadership Program I met gifted colleagues that I would have never met before, learning much from their experiences and practices that I can apply to my own programs.” 

        - Michelle Rawlinson, Director of Christian Education, Congregational Church of Littleton (MA) 

Faith Formation Leadership Program Schedule of Classes 
Click here for more information and to register

Engaging Our Sacred Scripture’s Story 
October 14, 2023 OR February 10, 2024 
Rev. Don Remick 

Exploring Curriculum & Digital Resources 
October 21, 2023 OR February 3, 2024 
Debi Mastroni-Kenyon and Rev. Jenn Mazur 

Exploring the United Church of Christ — Our History, Our Beliefs, Our Identity
October 28, 2023 OR March 23, 2024 
Dr. Jill Baker in partnership with Eden Theological Seminary   
* Registration for this class will open soon

Serving Together — Mission for All Ages 
November 18, 2023 OR March 2, 2024
Rev. Dr. June Cooper and Rev. Kevin Weikel 

January 7, 2024 OR April 27. 2024 with Rev. Greg Morisse                                    *Does not fulfill the Boundary Awareness requirement for clergy. 

Faith Formation 101 — Practices for a Sustainable Ministry 
January 20, 2024 OR April 6, 2024 with Debbie Gline Allen, C.M.C.F.

To register for any or all of the classes in the Faith Formation Leadership Program, visit the program's webpage and select your preferred classes and dates.

Each class has its own online registration form.
Click on the title of the class and complete its form.
We recommend enabling the auto-fill on your computer if you have not done so to simplify this process. This allows us to keep better records of registrations, so your patience is appreciated.
We have a rolling registration.
Work with your church leadership to gather the funds needed to pay for the classes. Additionally, participants have the option to take all of the classes for a Certificate in Faith Formation (and/or Youth Ministry) Leadership OR a la carte, taking just the classes needed.

We look forward to working with you during our program year,
and welcome you to reach out via email if you have any questions or concerns.

NEW! Faith Formation Round Table

Intergenerational Worship

on Zoom at 11 am on October 5 Register

Looking for ways to engage all ages in worship? Clergy, Faith Formation leaders, musicians and lay leaders are invited to exchange ideas on how to create, articulate, and implement a theology of inclusion.  Register

Staff Recommendations
  • Seasonal Resources for HalloweenThanksgiving, and Advent from Building Faith
  • Cookie Church - “Cookie Church is a child-centered, but not-just-for-kids, mostly child-led evening [worship].” 
  • Dismantling Toxic Achievement Culture - an interview with Jennifer Breheny Wallace, author of Never Enough.  Good lessons for the church to heed. Available as podcast or transcript.

SNEUCC Youth Programs

Youth Retreat: Sabbath in a Modern Age

November 10th-12th, 2023 at Silver Lake Conference and Retreat Center
Sharon, CT. Cost is $195 per person

Facilitated by Rev. Matt Carriker, this weekend retreat is intended for teens in grades 7-12 and their youth leaders. Whether you have come to SNEUCC retreats before, or have never been on retreat, come to find nourishment for your soul. 

Click here for more information  There are still a few more spaces!

2024 Confirmation Retreat Season

Registration is now open for our spring retreats. Select your preferred date and make a deposit to reserve space for your group. Each retreat is led by two experienced facilitators.

Weekend @ Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center:
February 9th - 11th, 2024  Register

Overnight @ Craigville Retreat Center:
March 1st - 2nd, 2024 Register

Overnight @ Irons Homestead Camp & Retreat Center:
March 8th - 9th, 2024 Register

 Overnight @ Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center:
March 22nd – 23rd, 2024 Register

New England Regional Youth Event (RYE) 2024

July 28 - 31, 2024 at Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center in Sharon, CT

RYE returns in 2024 and will include worship, recreation, and workshops for youth ages 13-18 and their adult leaders. Save the date and plan to attend with a group from your congregation.

We invite youth leaders and their teens to participate in the planning process. Fill out this interest form if you would like to get involved and receive the link to our next Zoom meeting on Wednesday, September 20 at 7:00 PM.  For more information, please contact Debby Kirk.

OWL Trainings

Our Whole Lives – Faith and Sexuality Education
Register now to reserve your spot!  

More about Our Whole Lives faith and sexuality training.

Look for more helpful materials, curated links, and Faith Formation news under Make Disciples on www.sneucc.org.  

2023 SNEUCC Justice Summit:
Trans and Nonbinary Belonging in the Church

Saturday, October 7, 2023
 Old South Church, 645 Boylston Street, Boston, MA

  This full-day event will include worship and preaching, workshops, relationship-building, and connection.
Trans and non-binary teens and their allies are welcome!

Click here to register for in-person participation,
or click here to register to participate online!
Partner Events

Practical Resources for Churches

PRC has archived materials on their website and offers live webinars most every week. 

Yale Youth Ministry Institute

For a complete listing of partner events, please see our events calendar.

SNEUCC Classifieds

The SNEUCC Classifieds page has job postings as well as items for sale.  Church administrators are welcome to use the online template to submit information related to your church's advertised needs.

Help Us Connect!

Is there a new Faith Formation leader in your congregation? Have your church administrator (or whoever handles your church's email account/communications) visit and update the Church Dashboard to make sure that we're connecting with all the current leaders at your church.

As always, feel free to reach out to your Faith Formation staff members ?if you have a question or suggestion in this or any other regards: 
Debby Kirk, Faith Formation Team Leader
Debbie Gline Allen, Minister of Faith Formation


Faith Formation Team:
Debby Kirk, Faith Formation Team Leader - 860-761-7103
Debbie Gline Allen, Minister of Faith Formation - 508-244-4332

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