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A Note from your ACM

Good People:

Epiphany Blessings to you! This week I want to draw your attention to an email that went out during Advent which you may have missed. It’s a combined letter from the Council of Conference Ministers (CCM) and Alliance of ACMs (AACMs). In acknowledgement of the hard and faithful work of our clergy over the past few years, the conference is asking every setting to “give permission and blessing for two consecutive weeks away for renewal leave, not counted as vacation time” in 2023.

My prayer is that the Spirit of God’s abundance will cast out any fear of scarcity and move every setting to give this gift to their clergy. If you are a clergy person and you believe you need help framing this in your setting, please do reach out to me; I’d be happy to think it through with you and/or help discuss it with your leaders.

As always, holding each of you in prayer.

-Alex

Rev. Alex Shea Will
Area Conference Minister
Northeast Region (Metropolitan Boston and Northeast Associations)

Rev. Shea Will can be reached at sheawilla@sneucc.org or call/text: 508-244-4769.  

ACM Availability


Siblings in Christ: Thank you for the invitations to worship with you! I’m currently scheduled through April 2023, and I’d love to continue scheduling in 2023. 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.

Association News

Metropolitan Boston Association

Save the Date!  Service of Ordination, Susan Clinkenbeard, on Saturday, January 28, 2023 at 1:30pm at the Hope Central Church, Jamaica Plain and livestreamed. 

Save the Date!  Service of Ordination, Martha Schick, on Wednesday, February 5, 2023 at 7:00pm at Old South Church in Boston and livestreamed. 

Northeast Association

Save the Date!  Service of Installation, Rev. Genna Hosterman, on Sunday, February 12, 2023 at 2:00pm at South Church in Andover and livestreamed.

 

Conference and Partner Events

Churches Called to Offer Additional Time for Clergy Renewal in 2023

In a pastoral letter sent to churches, moderators and clergy, the Council of Conference Ministers and the Alliance of Associate Conference Ministers for the UCC encouraged every setting to “give permission and blessing for two consecutive weeks away for renewal leave, not counted as vacation time” in 2023.
 

"Everyone in judicatory ministry has witnessed the compounded weariness and stress experienced by our authorized ministers over the last almost three years," said Rev. Liz Garrigan-Byerly, Executive Minister for Area Conference Ministry. "And while it may feel as though we are on the other side of the peak of pandemic, the impact remains." Read more here


Radical Inclusion: Extending the Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Jan. 16, 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM • Online
Join SNEUCC Theologian in residence, Bishop Yvette Flunder, who will lead worship and participate in an online discussion with attendees afterward. Congregations are encouraged to host watch parties and dialogue in their own settings.


Engaging Christian Contemplative Practices:

Facilitated by Rev. Matt Carriker of the Agape Spiritual Community, participants will engage in practices that lead to deeper spiritual revelations as they explore the mystical dimension of faith. This series supports the “Becoming a Church of Contemplatives in Action” Resolution that passed overwhelmingly at the United Church of Christ (UCC) 2021 General Synod and supports participants to explore new practices to engage in deeper contemplation.  
Series starts Wednesday, January 18th from 7:00-8:30 PM (REGISTER)
 
 

A Note from Rev. Dr. David Cleaver Bartholomew
Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations, SNEUCC

The last day to record 2022 contributions to the SNEUCC has been announced as Jan. 12, 2023.  And, here are 3 money related matters David wants to remind you of...  Please read about these important reminders here.

____________________

2023 STEWARDSHIP Resources

Webinars offered from 6:30 to 7:30pm Central Time

Jan. 25, 2023 – 3 Best Practices: Set a New Year's Resolution for Increasing Giving

Register here.

Mar 22, 2023 - Changing Landscape of Giving: What we can learn from Millennial and Gen Z Donors 

Register here.
All Stewardship Webinars offered in 2023 by the National UCC Office are listed here.  


Antoinette Brown Award Nominations

Celebrating the life and ministry of Antoinette Brown and all women in ordained ministry, the national setting announces that nominations for the Antoinette Brown Award are open until January 31, 2023.  Nomination forms can be found here, and visit the ABS webpage for more information and to support the work of the Antoinette Brown Society.


From Practical Resources for Churches

An Effective Approach to a Cooperative Parish
Tuesday, January 17, 2023, 2:00 - 3:00 PM EST
Wednesday, January 18, 2023, 2:00 - 3:00 PM EST
Thursday, January 19, 2023, 2:00 - 3:00 PM EST
Leader - Kay Kotan
Have you ever wondered how to effectively form cooperative parishes that result in healthy ministries and positive community impact? In this three-part webinar series, you will walk through the steps for cooperative parish discernment and how to truly cooperate through a shared vision. In addition, you will discover what it means to cooperate through ministries and resources for Kingdom impact in a healthy and an effective cooperative parish model.

Blessed Youth: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness With Children and Teens
Thursday, February 16, 2023
2:00 - 3:00 PM EST
Leader - Rev. Dr. Sarah Griffith Lund
Join author, advocate, and pastor Rev. Dr. Sarah Griffith Lund for conversation, stories, and practical steps about how faith communities can offer support and hope to children, teens, and their families living with mental health challenges. 


From MESA

Specialized Minister Boundary Training with the Rev. Tara Barber and the Rev. Stephen Boyd

Monday, February 6, 6:00 – 9:00pm ET
This training, hosted by Revs. Tara Barber and Stephen Boyd, 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.


Save the dates for Upcoming Racial Justice Training!

Racial Justice for Faith Formation & Youth Ministry Leaders
Jan. 14, 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM • Online
Students will explore how to create a common language around racism, to unmask racism in our lives, and to encourage long-term engagement in racial justice ministry as a spiritual issue. More info here

Racial Justice Training: Microaggressions
Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at 8:30 AM
A microaggression is a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group, such as a racial or ethnic minority (definition from Oxford Languages). Join us to learn about this form of racism.  Read more and register here.

Racial Justice Training for All
Wednesday, April 12, 2023 at 7:00 PM, online
Both clergy and lay people are welcome to join us for this 3-1/2 hour, on-line Racial Justice 101 training facilitated by Rev. James D. Ross II, Minister for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Completed session may apply toward racial justice training requirements for clergy.  More info here.


UCC New England Women’s Celebration
Growing in Grace will be held on March 17-19 in Manchester, NH
Keynote Speakers are

  • Dr. Marcia McFee
  • Rev. Dr. Velda Love
  • Rev. Karoline Lewis, PH.D

Early bird registration discount is good until February 1


UCC Rural MinistriesNourishing the Seeds of Faith 

 


New Search & Call Journey
Website Launched

The Area Conference Ministry Team is delighted to announce the launch of our new and enhanced webpage for the Search & Call Journey. As part of discerning who will be their next partner in mutual ministry, congregations also engage in vital conversations and discernment about who God is calling them to become and how God is calling them to serve.
The team has designed a 5-step process, built off the resources offered by the Ministerial Excellence, Support and Authorization Team at the National Setting.  It includes an orientation video and updated and downloadable documents for each phase. Read more here.

Center for Transformational Leadership

 

 

Lunch & Learn for Leaders 2022-2023 Workshop Series

Lunch & Learn for Leaders is a monthly series hosted by the Center for Transformational Leadership. Every third Thursday, join us at noon for an hour-long session of learning and discussion. Each month we will offer a bite-size opportunity to learn valuable concepts and practices from a subject expert. Our wide-ranging topics are relevant to areas of mission and ministry that you, our clergy and lay leaders, have indicated are timely for your congregations. The Lunch & Learn for Leaders series is offered at no cost to participants through your proportional giving!

Upcoming Sessions: 

January 19, 2023: Building Congregational Legacies
We need to change the narrative of declining congregations from failure, closure, and death to legacy building, completion, and resurrection.  God is present throughout this process.  This is a conversation for all churches experiencing decline, and especially for churches that are facing viability concerns.

Session Presenter: Charlie Kuchenbrod was raised in the UCC on Long Island.  After a career in healthcare management, Charlie was called to serve the Connecticut Conference in 2002. He brought his management skills and experience to the financial affairs of the Conference and consulting with congregations.  In April of 2021, Charlie’s relationship with the SNEUCC changed from employee to consultant and he currently serves as the Legacy Church Specialist. Charlie is a member of the newly reunited Granby Congregational Church and lives in North Granby with his wife, Becky Sielman.  Parents are only as happy as their least happy child, and Charlie and Becky are blessed with two happy adult children. REGISTER HERE

February 16, 2023: Discerning Your Church’s Future 
When you consider your church, do any of these statements resonate with you?

  • There is concern about the future of our church.
  • The church needs to consider new possibilities-what options and resources are available to transform our work.
  • The congregation is going to need to make some important decisions about the future soon.
  • The church is at a threshold moment and needs to know how to move forward.
  • The church is ready for vitalization or renewal but isn’t sure how to start.

If you agree with any or some of the above, please join Karen Ziel, Assistant Director of SNEUCC’s Center for Transformational to learn about the options and resources available to your church in this moment.  Karen will present an overview of the assessment and discernment tools and support that can be offered to our Conference congregations through the Center for Transformational Leadership. REGISTER HERE

 

Discipleship Opportunities

 

NEW Offering! Youth Retreat: Sabbath in a Modern Age

Weekend retreat for youth in grades 7-12 on March 17-19, at Craigville Conference Center on Cape Cod.  Facilitators are Matt Carriker and Sarah Buteux
 
 
February 18, 2023 at Irons Homestead  
May 6, 2023 at Silver Lake 

Faith Formation Resources

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).

Outdoor Ministries

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 

Obituaries

 
Please click here to view all SNEUCC obituaries. 
 

Celebrations

January Anniversaries

5 Years

Rev. Nikira Toshiko Hernandez, 1/1/2018

Rev. Calvon Jones, 1/1/2018

10 Years

Rev. Karl Gazarian, 1/13/2013

Rev. Dean LeFrancois, 1/13/2013

25 Years

Rev. Joan MacPherson, 1/4/1998

Rev. Jessica McArdle, 1/1/1998

35 Years

Rev. Norman Bendroth, 1/1/1988

Rev. Valerie Jones Haven, 1/1/1988

Rev. Phillip Winders, 1/1/1988

40 Years

Rev. Paul Hanna, 1/1/1983

Rev. James Mitulski, 1/1/1983

Rev. Valjeanne Paxton, 1/1/1983

Rev. Dudley Rose, 1/1/1983

Rev. Renate Rose, 1/16/1983

 

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!

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 Northeast Region PSA, Lynn Varney at Varneyl@sneucc.org

If you are interested in being included on any of the Temporary Ministerial Coverage regional lists, please contact Jill Ford at fordj@sneucc.org

 

Let us know!

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 varneyl@sneucc.org.

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. If you have difficulty logging into your account, please contact Nancy Stubbs.
 

Called to Serve

 
UCC Opportunities 
 
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: 

Mystic Side Congregational Church, Everett:  the congregation
 
Bethany Congregational Church, Foxborough:  Rev. Christopher Dodge
 
Main Street Congregational Church, Amesbury: Rev. Joan MacPherson
 
Ballard Vale United Church, Andover: 
Rev. Adam Isbitsky
 
(Here is the link to the 2023 Northeast Association Prayer List for congregations to include in their prayer lists and bulletins.) 

Find out more about Conference and Association transitions here:

Transitions

More...

 

Subscriptions:

This is an edition of the Northeast Region (including the Metropolitan Boston and Northeast Associations) E-Newsletter that will be sent every other week.

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

21 Church St.
Winchester, MA 01890
781-369-1396
VarneyL@sneucc.org 
www.sneucc.org/northeast

Office Hours: 
Monday - Friday: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

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