A Note from your Area Conference Minister

Dear Friends in Christ:
First, I want to thank all of you for your expressions of love and gratitude as I complete my ministry with you.  While it is not possible for me to thank each of you individually, know that I treasure all of your kind words and supportive messages.  It has been a joy share this journey with you.  As I said when I announced my retirement, I truly believe in the Communion of Saints—that we are all united in the Body of Christ even when we are separated by time and distance.  I will keep you in prayer as I know you will also.
There is a sometimes overlooked phrase in the UCC Service of Farewell that reads “…trusting that our time together and our parting are pleasing to God.”  I believe, with all my heart, that both of these things are true of the time we have spent together in ministry.  I wish you every blessing for this holy season and for all that lies ahead.

The Rev. Dr. Michael Ciba
Area Conference Minister and Team Leader
Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ 
Many of your churches are mailing a paper copy of your newsletter to my home address or sending me a copy by email. Since I will be completing my ministry in the Southern New England Conference on November 30, please remove my name and address from your mailing list by that date. Once the new ACM is on board, you can connect with them about how they would like to receive communications from your church. Thanks.
Regional News and Association Events

What are you up to? Does your Church or Association have events or news that can benefit from being shared - Meetings, Ecclesiastical Councils, Ordinations, etc?  This newsletter space is just waiting to be populated by your activity!  Please send your events and news Roz Hooks to be included in future bi-monthly publications.   The Southwest Region of the Southern New England Conference is comprised of:

  • Fairfield East Association
  • Fairfield West Association
  • Litchfield South Association
  • New Haven Association
  • New Haven East Consociation

Committees on Ministry - keep your records up-to-date.  Make sure you have sent in your updated members and meeting notices.  We can't connect with you if we don't have the right information.  Send the information to Roz - 


Two New Associate Conference Ministers Named

The Southern New England Conference has called two new Associate Conference Ministers, both of whom have extensive Committee on Ministry experience and are currently serving within the Conference.  Click on the title to read more.

Rev. Carol Steinbrecher & Rev. Margret Hofmeister

Bridge Coverage

The Conference has hired Rev. Samantha Houser as a bridge ACM for both the Southwest and North Central regions. Rev. Houser will serve in a virtual capacity from Dec.1 to March 1, focused on supporting churches in search & call, committees on ministry and responding to urgent needs that arise for clergy and local churches.

 Together We THRIVE

Greetings Authorized Ministers,

We wanted to bring to your attention several upcoming programs that you might be interested in taking advantage of, offered by Together We Thrive.  Details and registration links for all the programs may be found at





Pastors Positioned to help those contemplating suicide (read more)



 Becoming a WISE conference 



Are you involved in planning for the sudden arrival of migrants? Would you like to be? The Southern New England Conference and the Immigration, Refugee, and Asylum Task Team want to hear from you so that we can work together.  Click the title above for more information.



The PATHWAYS Theological Education Board of Directors invites all questioning, curious people of faith to join us for our 6-week courses beginning Fall I (mid-August) and Fall II (beginning late September) (see website for details and registration links). The 12-week UCC Polity course runs three times a year beginning September 7, January 11 and May 17. Enroll now at PATHWAYS Theological Education, Inc

Allowing Others to Use Church Property:
What Churches Need to Know

This year we have received a number of questions about third party use of property—both leasing and one-time or short-term use by individuals and groups.  Earlier in the year I posted Leasing Church Property to a Tenant:  What Churches Need to Know.  Today I have posted Allowing Third Parties to Use Church Property:  What Churches Need to Know.  The first covers leasing and the second covers facilities use.  These should answer some of the basic questions that are filtering up from Local Churches.
Additionally, I’ve recently posted articles on using photos of others in church media, and how to be political but not partisan.  I hope you find these helpful.

Conference Launches Justice Leadership Program

If you feel called to work for justice or are eager to integrate faith and justice work into your life in meaningful and transformative ways, apply now for the Southern New England cohort of the Jubilee programwhich will launch this fall.

Read more about this program here.

Are you called to learn more or take action around Environmental Justice Issues? Visit the SNEUCC's Environmental Ministries web page for ideas and resources.

Green Congregation Challenge

The Green Congregation Challenge is a step-by-step approach that helps churches take small, but consequential, steps towards protecting God’s Creation Learn more about the Green Congregation Challenge.
This month, we celebrate the efforts of the following congregations - and particularly note the first congregations to reach Level 4! Read more about recently-celebrated congregations 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

A Word about Proportional Giving

You’ve probably heard me say before that what binds us together as a denomination is covenant, not creed or practice or structure but sacred relationship and commitment. I give thanks to God for the strength of our covenantal bonds and partnerships. Every conversation or meeting I have with individual churches or pastors is buttressed by our covenantal bonds and indeed would not be possible without them.
Proportional Giving is one of the key ways we express that covenant. Each church recently received a letter about PR from the Rev. David Cleaver-Bartholomew, Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations. I want to personally thank you for your covenantal commitment to the work of the wider church through PG; it is essential to all the transformative things the conference is able to do. I hope you will make time to prayerfully consider how your church can be in covenant by contributing to Proportional Giving. 

Center for Transformational Leadership


Lunch & Learn for Leaders (2022-2023)


  • Small Church Roundtable Group (REGISTER)
  • Time Capsule Teaser:  A Conversation with Pastor Chris Solimene - Reflecting on the Pandemic (READ MORE HERE)

Quarterly Racial Justice Training  OPEN TO ALL

The Racial Justice 101 workshop is designed as an overview session, grounded in the articulations of Christian faith and the belief that faithfulness to God mandates that we all work to bring forth justice for all of God’s people. It offers an introduction to racial formation; invites participants to consider the role of our country’s founding documents in constructing and framing U.S. racial realities; explores contemporary issues of racism; and introduces shared language for discussions of white supremacy. Throughout the workshop, participants are urged to use the lens of their faith and current ministry settings as they think about what they are learning. MORE INFO HERE 

Racial Justice Training for Authorized Clery and MIDs:               Wednesday, Jan. 18, 9 AM-12:30 PM
Racial Justice Training for All:  Wednesday, April 12, 7-9 PM AND Thursday, April 13, 7-8:30 PM

Discipleship Opportunities

Faith Formation Leadership Program

Interested in learning more about the 2022-2023 FFLP program year?
Click here

- Updated!- 

Several of the Faith Formation team's resource pages/lists have been updated with new and current material. These updated resources include Safe Conduct and Church SafetyTalking with Children and Teens about Tough Issues (including the war in Ukraine), and Vacation Bible School.

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!

ReNew: The Green VBS: A product of Spark House, this 5-day curriculum based around Christ's Parable of the Sower. Intended for younger VBS-goers (pre-K through sixth grade).

Under Your WingParents, grandparents, and caregivers of younger children: are you looking for a way to talk about bodily safety and physical development with your 5-7-year olds? If so, check out this video series from the UCC/UUA's Our Whole Lives (OWL) program. Afterward, you're welcome to explore the OWL K-1 Books and Media Recommendations for additional resources.

Look for more helpful materials and curated links under Make Disciples on


Environmental Justice Youth Retreat

Sessions are led by Environmental Justice Intern Lillian Steinmayer. Lillian has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and is pursuing a Master of Divinity at Yale Divinity School. She's a member of the Congregational Church in Goshen, CT, and is looking forward to diving deep into the topics of nature, faith, and what environmental justice looks like.  Click the title for more information.

Outdoor Ministries

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

Edwards House Meeting & Retreat Center, Framingham, MA
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.


Do You Need a Day Away?

Edwards House is now offering Complimentary Retreat Days to SNEUCC Lay and Clergy Leadership Click here for the November & December schedule.

Irons Homestead, Glocester, RI
Nestled in the northwest corner of Rhode Island and where you can still see the stars at night.

Pilgrim Day Camp, Framingham, MA
This is a traditional summer day camp with over 50 years of experience in providing children safe, summer fun. 

Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon, CT
Share the ministry of Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center with your community!  To help you get the word out about Silver Lake’s exciting programs, visit for a collection of materials and resources.  

Celebrations, Transitions and Obituaries

Here we recognize and celebrate Ordination Anniversaries listed from 5 years forward in increments of 5 years, as well as milestone church anniversaries.

November/December Ordination Anniversaries

30 Years

The Rev. Sharon Blackburn - November 29, 1992

The Rev. Jennifer Campbell - November 11, 2007


2022 Milestone Church Anniversaries

370 Years

First Congregational Church of Norwalk

100 Years

Lordship Community Church

(Please contact Roz Hooks if we have missed your anniversary or if you have a specific date to share.)

Transitions within the Southern New England Conference can be found here.

Obituaries within the Southern New England Conference can be found here.


A full list of classified postings can be found here on the SNE website.  Some examples include: Church Administrator, Digital Minister, Organist/Choir Director, Director of Faith Formation as well as items for sale or free.  Visit our classifieds web page for details of each listing.   Church administrators are welcome to use the online template to submit information.

Temporary Ministerial Coverage List

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 the Program Support Associate for your Region:

North Central & Northwest Regions: Deb Holmes,
South Central & Southwest Regions: Roz Hooks:
Northeast & Southeast Regions: Lynn Varney:

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

Newsletter Subscription

You are receiving this newsletter because we've identified you as a local church or you have standing in one of the associations in the Southwest Region of the Southern New England Conference. This newsletter will be sent around the 15th and 30th of each month, with the exception of December 30th. If you would like to unsubscribe or change your email preferences, please visit and enter your email address.


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

125 Sherman St.
Hartford, CT 06105

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