June 13, 2022
Having grown up hearing “reduce-reuse-recycle” on repeat, the idea of not putting new wine in old wineskins feels a bit outdated. Maybe this parable of Jesus just didn’t stand the test of time in a world more conscious of our consumption practices?
While it is good to try and reuse as much as we can to care for creation, there’s a very good reason why Jesus used this parable, and why the disciples would’ve immediately understood: The old wineskins had been stretched and worn by the old wine. Unlike some of our plastics which may never biodegrade, these wineskins had a fragile lifespan. To pour new wine into the old wineskins was to risk the skins bursting open and spilling the precious wine all over the ground.
I think on this parable often because it’s a good frame of reference for “getting on the balcony” in a discussion or meeting. Sometimes I’m the one coming with new wine to offer to a conversation, and the “wineskin” - whether it be literal physical space, or mental and emotional space, or even frame of reference - might not be prepared to hold it yet. We’re likely all familiar with that feeling. A dream, vision or hope too big for a previous mindset to contain.
But, if I’m being honest, I reflect on this parable a lot to ask myself if I’m the one holding the old wineskin. I stop to check in with myself and God: “Am I the one too stretched and fragile to hold this new thing?”
And my prayer is always the same: God, help me be new wineskin for your unfolding vision.
PS: I hope you’ll register for the annual meeting next Saturday! It’s all virtual and should be a great day. At least take a moment and read more about it below.
Rev. Alex Shea Will
Area Conference Minister
Northeast Region (Metropolitan Boston and Northeast Associations)
Rev. Shea Will can be reached at email@example.com or call/text: 508-244-4769
Siblings in Christ: Thank you for the invitations to worship with you! I’m currently scheduled through June 2022, but I’d love to begin scheduling for the fall. 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.
Upcoming worship schedule:
June 19 - Union Church - Magnolia
June 26 - Armenian Memorial Church - Watertown
Metropolitan Boston Association
Installation ~ Rev. Dr. Barbara Callaghan at Hancock Church in Lexington, Sunday, June 19, 2022 at 4:00pm.
Conference and Partner Events
Last chance to register!
Register Today - deadline June 13th
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.
The Rev. Dr. Duggan will be speaking on "entrepreneurial ministry," and how churches can reimagine their building usage in creative ways to connect with their communities. Read more here.
Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in the U.S. which took place June 19, 1865, the day when Union troops finally reached Galveston, Texas and told the enslaved people that the Civil War ended, and they were free.
Here are some Juneteenth observances within our churches, our Conference, and the National UCC. Missing some? Let us know. Click here to read more.
Juneteenth Webinar - #Realtalk for White Folx
Monday, June 20, 2022 at 5:00 PM
Becoming Better Partners in the Work of Racial Justice
White supremacy harms everyone, most especially and obviously, people who are not white. But it also harms white folks, sickening our souls and keeping us from experiencing spiritual liberation. We, too, need to be liberated from white supremacy. This requires work – of the head, heart, and hands – that calls on white people to act and be in ways that are different from what we are used to and can be uncomfortable.
Specialized Minister Boundary Training with Rev. Tara Barber and Rev. Stephen Boyd
Tuesday, June 21, 6:00 – 9:00pm ET
This training is geared towards clergy in the New England Region, it is open to ministers serving in specialized settings throughout the United Church of Christ. Serving in specialized setting requires particular attention to boundaries within the ministry setting and home church that are challenging and different from those serving as local church pastors. This training will focus on matters that relate specifically to issues that these ministers face, providing opportunities for clergy to reflect on best practices and growth in their practice of ministry.
*Note - This training completes individual requirements for boundary training ONLY WHEN authorized by a local Committee on Ministry.
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!
- 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
Temporary Ministerial Coverage List replaces the
Pulpit Supply List.
The Southern New England Conference has moved from a "pulpit supply list" to a new Temporary Ministerial Coverage List. The list contains 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 being required to have Boundary Awareness Training as well as Racial Justice Training.
If your church is in need of a new list please reach out the Program Support Associate for your Region:
If you are interested in being included on the new Temporary Ministerial Coverage List please email Deb Holmes.
Opportunities and Resources
Faith Formation Resources
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!
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.
Conference Launches Justice Leadership Program
Adults who feel a call to work for justice or are eager to integrate faith and justice work into their lives in meaningful and transformative ways are invited to apply now for the Southern New England cohort of the Jubilee program, which will launch this fall.
Please click here to read more!
New Blog Post: Political Campaign Intervention Reminder
Election Year Reminder:
Churches Can Be Political But Not Partisan
by Heather Kimmel | published on May 31, 2022
With the election year in full swing, Local Churches of the United Church of Christ can check out these great Our Faith Our Vote resources from the United Church of Christ Office of Public Policy and Advocacy in Washington, D.C. In particular, the Guidelines for Congregations on Political Action can help congregations make informed decisions about how to be politically involved . . . without jeopardizing their status as tax-exempt organizations under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). Read more
The Nancy S. Taylor Leadership Fellowship Program
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 life together. Old South Church is looking for candidates who are in their third or final year of seminary, called to action and to the ministry, who dare to be leaders in a changing world. This is a part-time position, of roughly 15 hours per week with compensation. The Fellowship can begin in the summer or fall of 2022 and will run through the end of May 2023. For more information click here
Save the Date - Wednesday, September 14
Includes Greens Fees, Lunch, Dinner and Beverages.
Thank you for your support of Silver Lake!
Save the Date! 2022 Justice Summit
Saturday, September 24, 2022,
9 AM - 4:30 PM
First Church of Christ, Congregational in Glastonbury, CT
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. For more information, contact Karen Methot at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The UCC Clergywomen’s Leadership Event has been postponed at least twice during the pandemic, and we are excited to be offering the event this September 27-29 in Decatur, GA. “For Such a Time: To Confront, Connect, and Create at the Intersection of Race and Gender” is open to authorized clergywomen* in the United Church of Christ. Registration is now open for the in-person and online gathering. Early bird discounted registration ends July 1. (* This invitation is expansive to include all cis and trans women as well as non-binary people comfortable in a space that centers the experiences of women.)
Center for Transformational Leadership
- 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)
- Time Capsule Teaser: A Conversation with Pastor Chris Solimene - Reflecting on the Pandemic (READ MORE HERE)
Faith Formation Leadership Program Now Completely Online
The Southern New England Conference's Faith Formation Leadership Program
is undergoing similar types of shifts and changes as are happening in the church. Recently the decision has been made to offer this program completely online. Read more here
The Southern New England Conference engages in Outdoor & Retreat Ministry with these sites:
Edwards House Meeting & Retreat Center, Framingham, MA
Irons Homestead, Glocester, RI
Pilgrim Day Camp, Framingham, MA
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon, CT.
Read more about the exciting things happening and coming up at Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center right here.
The Rev. Matthew Arnett, 6/24/1962
The Rev. James Crawford, 6/3/1962
The Rev. James McCloy, 6/24/1962
The Rev. Leonard Warner, 6/24/1962
The Rev. Brita Gill-Austern, 6/12/1977
The Rev. Jamie Howard, 6/19/1977
The Rev. Karen Fritz, 6/20/1982
The Rev. Nancy Stillman, 6/7/1992
The Rev. Branwen Cook, 6/15/1997
The Rev. William Burhans, 6/2/2002
The Rev. Corey O'Brien, 6/3/2007
The Rev. Terrance McKinney, 6/3/2012
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!
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 email@example.com.
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.
Executive Director, Mission at the Eastward, Farmington, ME
Part-Time Communications/Tech Assistant, Wenham, MA
Youth & Young Adult Leader (15 hrs/wk), Boston, MA
Part-Time Assistant Director of Music Ministry, Danvers, MA
Sunday School Coordinator, Stoneham, MA
Interim Director of Religious Education, Lincoln, MA
Youth Conference Minister, Star Island United Church of Christ, Rye, NH
Organist, Lexington, MA
"Owner’s Representative”/Project Manager -Lowell, MA
Find opportunities online.
Search by keyword, Conference, or type of position:
Volunteer - Missionary - Musician - Summer camp staff - Pastorate - Chaplaincy. The Spirit moves in many directions!
|This week we pray for:
Hope Central Church, Jamaica Plain: Rev. Laura Ruth Jarrett
Mount Vernon Congregational Church, Boston: the congregation
West Gloucester Trinitarian Congregational, UCC, W. Gloucester: Rev. Rona Tyndall
Groveland Congregational Church, Groveland: Rev. Robin DeAngelis
|Find out more about Conference and Association transitions here:
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