Dear siblings in Christ,
This week, I had the privilege of attending the Kansas Leadership Center’s Your Leadership Edge conference, along with other SNEUCC staff. There are 238 participants from all over the country and representing sectors as diverse as public education, corrections, business, non-profit, healthcare and faith communities. Even though I can only see 25 of the participants on my screen at one time and we mostly “speak” through the chat, it was invigorating to learn with and from such a diversity of perspectives and contexts. I forgot how much of my day to day interactions are within the church world and/or within New England. Now, I love both of those things very much; I’ve chosen to anchor my adult life in them. But I need a wider perspective. And I can’t get that only by reading about it or observing it from a distance; I’ve got to interact with others. 
One core principle of the model is that we cannot move forward on complex problems without a diversity of perspectives. Often, those may be at odds with one another; but only by including all of them will we be able to progress. What a blessing then, to discuss leadership in my small group with a Native American woman from Texas working in higher education and a white male correctional officer from rural Kansas.
June is Pride Month, a season to uplift and celebrate the dignity, equality and freedom of those who identify as LGBTQ. As a CCN article recently wrote: “Pride gatherings are rooted in the arduous history of minority groups who have struggled for decades to overcome prejudice and be accepted for who they are.” This month and these celebrations are for and about that community (not for corporations who want to cash in on a social movement or allies who wish to proclaim their own perspective). And yet, it is something that blesses us all. Like the leadership conference, it exposes us to voices and perspectives that are not necessarily part of our day to day contexts, that may even be at odds with our own perspectives and experiences. That only makes us better human beings, and more faithful disciples of the one who was constantly expanding the circle of God’s belovedness until it included all.
Where will you engage with a different perspective this week? How will you invite the wild and wonderful diversity of God’s Spirit that is present in the world into your world? What will it be like to celebrate and uplift the dignity of each beloved child of God?
In faith,

Connect with your ACM
Clergy check-ins will continue in June and then take a break in July & August. Please register for the upcoming check-ins so you can be sure to receive the Zoom link. In addition, please take 3 minutes to fill out this brief survey. As we look toward the fall, we are eager to have your feedback help shape what we offer.

The following is the schedule set up by Rev. Garrigan-Byerly for the monthly check-in for clergy. You will need to complete a simple form to receive the Zoom link for the meeting. The links have not changed, just being made available. If you misplace the link it is okay to register again.

Click here for the Zoom link for the 4th Monday of the month clergy check-in
Click here for the Zoom link for the 2nd Tuesday of the month clergy check-in

Whether you are clergyperson, MID, lay leader or church goer without a specific role, if you want to have a chance to chat one on one with Liz Garrigan-Byerly, you can sign up here

If you have a special event happening in worship and would like me to attend (virtually for now), or wish me to preach at your church, please reach out!

Installation of the
Rev. Darrell Goodwin

Join us online for the installation of the Rev. Darrell Goodwin as the first Executive Conference Minister of the Southern New England Conference. 
The Rev. Goodwin, who began serving on Jan. 1, is the first openly LGBT black person to serve as an Executive Conference Minister in the United Church of Christ. As the Chief Vision-Keeper, he is responsible for guiding the conference and its affiliates to have a positive and lasting impact in our world.
The Rev. Traci Blackmon, Associate General Minister for Justice and Local Church Ministries for the United Church of Christ, will preach at this installation.
Please click here to register or for more information.

Healthy Relations Committees with
Rev. Tara Barber and Rev. Stephen Boyd
June 21, 2021 @ 7:30PM - 9:00PM

Pastoral Relations Committees provide essential leadership in the life of a congregation. Come to this workshop to explore what the purpose of a PPR Committee is and is not. We’ll be talking through a newly developed PRC covenant to help name the priorities and commitments of a well-functioning PRC. Stephen will share best practices from around the church and be prepared to answer your questions. Click here to register.


UCC Pension Boards Introduces Member Assistance Program:
The New MAP+Work/Life Benefit

All of us at one time or another have experienced some type of personal crisis or life event that resulted in grief, stress, financial loss, and more. At the Pension Boards, we are fully committed to your health and personal well-being. We care when life throws you a curve ball.
The Member Assistance Program + Work/Life Program, or MAP+Work/Life, offered through West Health Advocate Solutions, a leading clinical health advocacy company, is a no-cost benefit that gives you confidential access to a Licensed Professional Counselor or Work/Life Specialist. Through in-person visits, and unlimited, confidential phone consultations, these specialists can walk you through any of life’s temporary setbacks. Click here to find out more. 


June is designated as PRIDE Month

In case you were not able to attend the Health and Wellness Conversation with Kathie Carpenter, it is not too late. Here are some ways to engage your congregation with this topic. The conversation recording may be found on Vimeo at:

A Bibliography of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Materials for Children can be found here.

You can also find it on the SNEUCC Health Ministry webpage under Health Topics or under Resources on the SNEUCC Open and Affirming webpage.

You are encouraged to check out both webpages where you can find helpful information on health related topics.


Pausing to Replenish
Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM

Humans need to Replenish. We get stuck in cycles of complacency, busyness, and restlessness. Our spirits are exposed to negativity, pain, and everyday stresses, internally and externally.
This workshop will help you get centered for your higher purpose.  Learn to identify the signs that you are feeling depleted. We will explore and build on a variety of methods and maintenance tools of spiritual replenishment.
Take this day to create space to pour in positive energy.
Join us at Irons Homestead and experience the peaceful waterfront and Path of Mindfulness. Bring a bag lunch and your water bottle. Light morning refreshments and all supplies will be provided.
Contact Kate Ostertag at to inquire about overnight accommodations the night before this event.

Together We Thrive Affinity Groups beginning June 2021

New Affinity Groups are forming. 
  • Touched by Jesus:  Playing with Prayer
  • Clergy Women Connections: Learning to balance, juggle and breathe
  • The Rainbow Path: Small Group Experience for LGBTQIA+ Clergy
  • Tending the Holy Fires in One Another: Group Spiritual Direction
Visit the Together We Thrive (TWT) web page for more information.


Are you ready to think about new ways to be church in your local community? The Small Church Collaborative is inviting churches in transition to bring a  team of leaders to a discussion about how to share ministry in new  ways. We will hear the initial ideas for creating a Small Church Collaborative, listen for your input, and invite you to start the discernment about whether this new way of serving local communities is right for your congregation. Thursday, July 22 from 6:00PM-7:30PM.

September 19, 2021

Rev. Charley Eastman
Pilgrim Congregational Church, UCC
15 Common Street
Southborough, MA 01772

September 26, 2021 at 3:00PM
Central MA Association Annual Meeting - NEW DATE

October 17, 2021
Rev. Jen Munroe-Nathans
Congregational Church of Littleton
330 King Street
Littleton, MA 01460-1253

October 24, 2021

Rev. Marilyn Wilcox
The United Church of Clinton
109 Haskell Avenue
Clinton, MA 01510-2735

November 14, 2021
Rev. Candice Ashenden
Athol Congregational Church
1225 Chestnut Street
Athol, MA 01331


Radical Belonging: A Mental Health Sunday Resource for All:

Spring has finally sprung, and the additional hours of sunshine welcome us brightly into May, Mental Health Month. The United Church of Christ and The United Church of Canada honor this month by dedicating the third Sunday of May as Mental Health Sunday, a time to celebrate mental health and recommit ourselves and our congregations to being places of welcome, inclusion, support and engagement with everyone.
Radical Belonging: Mental Health Sunday Resource for All offers liturgies and education materials any congregation of any denomination can download a PDF or accessible Word version for free and use to celebrate Mental Health Sunday. It was created in prayer and partnership between the United Church of Christ Mental Health Network and The United Church of Canada, with generous contributions by Rev. Dr. Sarah Lund, the United Church of Christ’s Minister for Disabilities and Mental Health Justice. Within it, you will find liturgy that challenges the systemic sins that create “otherness” and ableism, resources that share the stories of people living with mental illness and disabilities, and words of grace and celebration for the opportunities we have as the Body of Christ to love, care for and accept one another.
Please click here to read more.

Silver Lake Sunday Worship Videos Available

The Silver Lake Conference Center has made a complete virtual worship service available for churches that they may use - in whole or in parts - to celebrate their church's participation in outdoor ministry. Click here for more information.


Many churches have been asking re. Covid Guidelines. It is difficult for the Conference to put out guidelines for the whole Conference because the situations vary so greatly across our region. 
However, All guidance from the Conference is here.
From National some of the latest guidance is here.
And their general pandemic page is here
Our Executive Conference Minister’s video statement and explanation of why our offices are remaining closed at least until Labor Day is here. 
CT released this graphic to explain the new guidelines on masking for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people. 
Here’s a discussion of how different churches are responding to the new mask guidelines. 
And on May 25, EMA is offering a webinar to help faith organizations cope with stress as we emerge from the pandemic. Register at this link. 
We are certainly keeping you in prayer as you consider how to best reopen.

Return to Congregational Singing Panel Discussion
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
3:30PM - 4:30PM

Join us for resources and ideas to help your congregation return to singing in a way that is safe and practical for you. We realize this is a deeply contextual issue, so we can't give you all the answers, but our panelists will provide resources, ideas and plans from their own work, encouragement and advice.

Online registration thru this link.

Brian Hehn - Director of the Center for Congregational Song
Karrie Rushing - Music Director, First Presbyterian Church, Greenville, NC and board member for Presbyterian Association of Musicians

Additional information can be found by clicking on these links:

Sing! The Center for Congregational SongCovid

Sample of a local church's plan to move forward

Click here to see all COVID resources 


Please email Deb Holmes at for an updated copy of the regional pulpit supply list. 


Designing Hybrid Faith Formation for the Post-Pandemic World
June 10, 7:00 - 8:30 PM

Fuel For Hybrid Faith Formation Ministry

(An online presentation for faith formation with all ages) For decades the church and faith formation have relied on in-person, fixed-time gatherings, events, and programming offered in physical spaces. The pandemic disrupted this “default” model, and pushed us to experiment with new models. Hybrid models of church and faith formation integrate in-person gatherings at church or in family groups or small group meetings with online content with a rich menu of faith forming experiences. Click on the link above for more information and to register.

Youth @ Synod


This summer the United Church of Christ will host a virtual General Synod gathering on July 11-18.  Delegates from all over the country will convene for worship and discussion of resolutions.  Planners have also been busy preparing special parallel programs for youth and young adults. Youth @ Synod is a life-changing experience of the wider church for teens ages 13-18 and past participants name the powerful impact of the event. Read more here.


Click here to view the Faith Formation Newsletters.


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

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, Irons Homestead offers religious and educational groups a sacred space to lean into nature and connect more deeply with God and one another.
Pilgrim Day Camp, Framingham, MA
This is a traditional summer day camp with over 50 years of experience in providing children safe, summer fun.  PDC is located on 113 acres of sprawling fields and woods at the SNEUCC Framingham property. The camp ensures fun, and emphasizes a warm welcome for each child, care for the natural world, and respect for the differences among us.
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 to take risks and try new things with the support of an intentional Christian community. 


The attached list is an updated list of churches in the North Central Region that currently have active food pantries and outreach meals for people in need. Please email Deb Holmes at to have your church information included or updated. North Central Region List.


From the WamsWorks website

Trauma Training Tuesday's (TTT)

Trauma Training Tuesday was created by Worcester Addresses Childhood Trauma (Worcester ACTs) to give all who care for themselves and others with experience of trauma, the opportunity to gather together for training, networking, lunch and camaraderie on the 3rd Tuesday of every month, at WAMS.
Since March 17th all trainings have been conducted virtually. We look forward to the day that we may once again gather in person for the trainings at WAMS.

Please click here for more information.



Fueling Inclusion, Voice, and
Opportunity for All

WAMS Works with individuals and community partners to inspire economic and education equity through social change. 

Click here to learn more about WAMS.

Worcester Fellowship

Please check their website for updated information.


Appalachian Trail Mini-Mission Day Trips
Take One Day this Summer
Bring Four Volunteers to Sheffield
Sit 10:00AM to 3:00PM and 
Make Magic!

Begun in 2018 as a shared ministry of two Sheffield churches, First Congregational Church, UCC and Christ Trinity Church (Episcopal and Lutheran), ‘Trail Magic” is back and we’re inviting you to share it with us. 
We have all the supplies, we’ll guide the set up and clean up, we’ll even bring most of the day’s food.  You simply pick a day, bring four people and a $50 Big Y gift card, sit in the shade, and create a corner of kindness in the world.  It’s the easiest, most rewarding, least expensive, most volunteer inclusive mini-mission trip you’ll ever do!
Our 2021 Appalachian Trail Ministry will run from June 21st – August 14th. Guest Mission Days will occur on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays during the season.
For more information, or to register for a 2021 one-day Mini-Mission Trip please contact Rev. Jill Graham at grahamj@firstuccsheffield.orgClick here for a flyer to share.



June Anniversaries

50 Years
The Rev. Richard A. Jones

45 Years
The Rev. Dale McQueen

35 Years
The Rev. Dr. Beverly Prestwood-Taylor

25 Years
The Rev. Natalie Maynard

15 Years
The Rev. Debra Edgerton

Please contact Deb Holmes if we have missed your anniversary. 
Anniversaries are listed from 5 years and forward in increments of 5.

Is your church celebrating a milestone anniversary? Let Deb Holmes (  know so that the entire North Central Region can celebrate with you!


Click here to see all church transitions in the conference.



The Rev. Richard H. Taber died on May 24, 2021 surrounded by his family. In addition to his wife Joanne, he leaves his children, Chris, Matt, Laura, Maria, Joslin and Desean; and grandchildren, Katie, Ben, Rachel, Andrew, Ash, JoJo, Nicky and Elijah.
He was ordained at Yale Divinity School in 1976, and started his ministry at Wilton Congregational Church.  He was then called to the Salisbury Congregational Church in 1981 eventually becoming Pastor Emeritus.
Please click here to read more.

The Rev. M. S. "Des" Desmond
died on June 1, 2021 in Southbury CT.  He was the Pastor Emeritus at the Congregational Church of Brookfield since 2003.
The Memorial Service will be on Sunday, June 27th in the afternoon at the Congregational Church of Brookfield, CT.
When more information is available it will be posted here.

 Please click here to view all SNEUCC Obituaries. 


Seeking 6' Grand Piano for Sanctuary - Grafton, MA

Minister of Music - Southborough

Music Minister - Southbridge, MA

Administrative Assistant - Spencer, MA

Please click here to view all SNEUCC Classifieds




Central Mass Association Meeting Information:

The Committee on Authorized Ministry:
Meets the 3rd Thursday of each month at 9:30 AM.

The Board of Director's:
Meets the 3rd Thursday of each month at 2:30 PM

Windham Association Meeting Information:

Monthly Council meeting:
Is held on the 4th Thursday of each month at 2:30 PM.


North Central Region of
The Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ


Office Hours: 
Monday: 8:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday: Closed