400 Years of Colonization, Doctrine of Discovery and Manifest Destiny

From an address given by the Rev. Kelly Gallagher, Justice and Witness Ministries, for the event 400 Years: Truth & Healing for the Next Seven Generations

I stand in what is called today Northampton, the historic land of the Nipmuc and Pocumtuc peoples. I am here two generations on my father’s side and five generations on my mother’s side from European ancestors of Irish descent. I come also as a spiritual descendant of framers of the Doctrine of Discovery, as well as the Pilgrim and Puritan communities who took this land as their own in the name of their Christian institution and with the blessing and belief of the Doctrine of Discovery.  Read more.

Event tonight! Looking Deeply at Thanksgiving, with Rev. Kelly Gallagher

On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, All Other Ground is Sinking Sand

by Bridge Conference Ministers the Rev. Marilyn Kendrix and the Rev. Don Remick

Marilyn:  The election is over.  And yet I feel invited into despair for our nation in these last few days. I thought I lived in a nation where kindness and civility would win the day…overwhelmingly.  I thought I lived in a nation where truth and honesty and compassion and care for one another would achieve a landslide of support. But I don’t. This past week’s almost 50-50 result has proven that I don’t. 

But that revelation has reminded me that my hope is built on something more than politicians and civil society. My hope is built on the love of God and the ever-present reality of the Holy Spirit working in our lives.  As that song says, on Christ, the solid rock I stand.  All other ground is sinking sand.  Read more

Hold Onto Hope

by Deborah Ringen, Transitional Minister of Health and Wellness for the SNEUCC

The holidays are approaching, and coronavirus positivity rates, hospitalizations and deaths are rising. A glimmer of hope is sparked as two vaccines are nearing application for approval by the FDA. We are sad. We long for family celebrations! This is perhaps the hardest time to continue our vigilant effort to protect ourselves and others by maintaining social distancing, wearing masks and washing our hands frequently.  Read more

Working for Justice: Giving Thanks for the Southern New England Conference Task Teams

by Karen Methot, Justice and Witness Ministries  

Thirty-six years ago, the Open and Affirming Ministry Team of the Historic Massachusetts Conference convened for the first time. Six years later, the Historic Rhode Island Conference partnered with the Mission Evangelique Baptiste Bethesda churches in Haiti. Both groups are still active today - a testament to the dedicated volunteers that comprise our Justice and Witness Task Teams and partnerships, 13 groups in all. 

Team members donate their time, gifts, and passion to educate and guide churches, speak to state legislatures, demonstrate, collaborate, conduct grass-roots work in their chosen area of interest, and build international relationships that enrich all involved. They are truly a gift to our conference!

Read about each group's work and reach out to team chairs here.

Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples: A Workshop

An online workshop, "Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change: Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples," will be offered by Paula Palmer of the Friends Peace Teams (Quakers) on Sunday, Dec. 6, from 5-7 PM. During this 2-hour Zoom workshop, you'll experience the history of European colonization of our country through the voices of the Indigenous peoples, European and American leaders, and Western historians. Participatory exercises and small group discussions supplement the prepared presentations. All are welcome. Register here.

Learn more about interactive online workshops for congregations and youth groups here.

Transgender Folks and Christianity

On Saturday, Nov. 21, from 11 AM-1 PM, transgender activist, Hebrew Bible scholar, and author Austen Hartke will lead a workshop via Zoom introducing participants to issues affecting transgender individuals, especially transgender folks in relationship to Christian churches. The program is presented by Edwards Church in Northampton, MA and endorsed by the ONA Ministry Team of the SNEC. Attendance is limited.  Learn more and sign up here. 


New Haven Register: Black Church Project in New Haven Aims to Provide Culturally Affirming Addiction Treatment

Dixwell Avenue UCC (CT) to host program

Kimberly Guy has not used crack cocaine in 18 years, a success she partially attributes to her ability to seek and receive help for her addiction...Now, Guy is preparing for work as a research assistant for a local treatment program that is expected to launch in March 2021. Guy spoke Thursday, as city officials announced the National Institutes of Health awarded the community a $3 million grant to run a five-year addiction treatment research program called The Black Church Project. Read more

A Thanksgiving Prayer for Those Who Are Weary 

by Jessica McArdle, Interim Minister, Writer and Researcher; and a reflection by Deborah Ringen, Transitional Minister for Health and Wellness 

As we continue to shelter in place, O God, will we ever be able to sing your praises? Will these anxious hearts weary and heavy from sorrow be lifted? Can Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas even be celebrated this year, when we’re separated from those we love?   

Before you and you alone, we acknowledge these painful uncertainties. Loss of employment, housing and health, are ravaged further by inequality. Loved ones lost are unable be mourned. Events that once sustained us have been put aside. Deep divisions and animosity persist. Creation and her peoples crumble under the weight of injustice and exploitation. Read more

Ever Flowing Streams is edited by Karen Methot, SNEUCC Justice  and Witness Ministries. Issues are published the first and third Thursdays of the month. Your contributions are welcome! Send to for consideration.

Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ
Framingham, MA office: 508-875-5233
Hartford, CT office: 866-367-2822
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