Words from your Area Conference Minister

Do not remember the former things?or consider the things of old.  I am about to do a new thing;  now it springs forth; do you not perceive it?  I will make a way in the wilderness?and rivers in the desert. 

~ Isaiah 43:18-19 

Making All Things New was the theme of the 34th General Synod of the United Church of Christ held in Indianapolis from June 29th to July 4th.

True to that theme, was the election of Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson as the first woman, and the first Black woman, to lead the denomination as General Minister and President.?This historic election wasn’t the only evidence of this theme. Throughout the activities of General Synod, in worship, plenary sessions, or special event meals, this theme was expressed in vivid ways as the Spirit was alive and active in our midst.

For me, experiencing the movement of the Spirit at Synod was both communal and personal. There were moments during worship when we as a body were moved by the Spirit to sing and clap, to get up on our feet to give thanks and praise to God. A more personal moment for me was during Nada Bolz-Weber’s Keynote Address. My understanding and interpretation of a well-known scripture passage from the Gospel of Matthew was made new for me.  

Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber quoted Jesus as directing those carrying worry to look to the birds in the sky, who do not worry about reaping or sowing but are still fed by God. “I think it’s more than him saying, ‘Look, literally, birds are better at trusting God than you,’” she said. “I think Jesus gets that the beautiful things that surround me are meant to be enjoyed today. And that they are the exact same things I totally miss out on when I’m busy worrying about tomorrow.”? 

Hearing that was an “Aha!” moment for me because it offered a perspective on that passage that I had not considered before. On any given day, what beautiful things have I missed because of worrying about tomorrow? You can be sure that every day since hearing that, far less beautiful and joyful things have passed by me unnoticed.  

I hope that during this summer season, you can find time to look at the birds in the sky. And that you can set aside your worries, so that you might perceive the ways that the Spirit is making all things new. 


Rev. Margret Hofmeister

Area Conference Minister, Southwest Region

For more details about General Synod and events I mentioned in my article, visit: 

Regional, Association & Church 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 monthly publications.  The Southwest Region of the Southern New England Conference is comprised of:

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 at


Emmaus Coaching Program - As Members in Discernment, you are on a journey--discerning God’s beckoning voice, calling you into ministry. A Together We Thrive coach can be a great companion wherever you are on that journey— ready to ask powerful questions, challenge any assumptions that may be holding you back, and just generally traveling alongside you as you learn and reflect on what lies ahead.  Hurry, program ends December 2023!

Clergy Renewal

Throughout the Bible, spiritual renewal is lifted up again and again as essential to human wellbeing. Keeping the sabbath holy is one of the ten commandments. The 50-year Jubilee of rest is even extended to the earth. Jesus routinely stepped away from the demands of his ministry to pray alone. Self-care is not selfish; it is faithful.  Click above for more information.

Boundary Awareness Training

The Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ invites our Authorized Ministers into the following conversations around clergy wellness and boundaries.  Click above for more information.


Here we recognize and celebrate Ordination Anniversaries listed from 5 years forward in increments of 5 years, as well as milestone church anniversaries of 100+ years (acknowledging every 25 years).

If your name or church has been missed please contact Roz Hooks and updates will be made to your record and reflected in the next newsletter.



The Rev. Dr. Heather Arcovitch - 7/26/2023




First Congregational Church of Guilford


United Churches of Durham


The Congregational Church of New Canaan

First Church of Christ, Congregational of Redding, CT


Milton Congregational Church 

Prospect Congregational Church, UCC


Southport Congregational Church


Evangelical & Reformed UCC


Conference & Partner Updates




See all the great updates from the 4th Annual Meeting!

Reports, Photos, and Recordings.

Search Committee Gathering -
Consensus/Building a Team Dynamic
Monday, July 31, 2023 at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM 

If you serve on your church's search committee, this event is for you.  Rev. Liz Garrigan-Byerly, Executive Minister for the Area Conference Ministry Team, and Jill Ford, Search & Call Associate, will lead this 2-hour Zoom gathering for church search committee members.  The focus for July 31 will be how your committee can build a team dynamic that will help you make decisions using a consensus model.  Mark your calendars for 7/31/23 7pm to 9pm.  Registration is required.  Click HERE to register.


Becoming a Trans-Affirming Church Affinity Group Offered This Fall:  

In this time of rising transphobia, our congregations are called to be places of welcome, affirmation, and belonging for trans and nonbinary people. This Affinity Group is a peer learning cohort for lay leaders and clergy, and will include learning about trans experiences and leading transformational change. Each participating congregation will receive a $500 mini-grant to initiate trans affirmation in their community.  Applications due August 15.


Offerings from MESA

There is so much to learn when you are new to a COM! This webinar supports orientation of new COM members by covering topics such as roles, boundaries, theological foundations, ethical participation, and discernment. This webinar is meant to compliment, not replace, orientation provided by COMs. All are welcome, but especially appropriate for new COM members


These Cross-Pollination Gatherings are intended for local church leaders involved in racial justice ministries. This is an opportunity to exchange ideas, celebrate successes, and troubleshoot challenges. Join us!  
These sessions take place on the fourth Monday of each month at 6:30 PM via Zoom. Next one is Monday, June 26th.   Sign up here.


Protecting Your Church: Considerations in the Wake of Civil Unrest

The foundation of mitigating risk is proper planning. Now more than ever, developing a disaster preparedness plan is critical.  This plan should include all potential incidents (weather, chemical spills, civil unrest, and pandemics). Since many churches have not resumed operations, now is the perfect time to address these concerns as part of your plan to reopen. Churches across the country have recently encountered new challenges in the form of peaceful protests that have turned violent; naturally, congregations are concerned about their church property. Based on options for consideration provided by the Department of Homeland Security, we have provided information to help keep your congregation and church property safe. Without knowing specific information about a facility and its threat environment, it is not possible to recommend considerations that are specific for your house of worship.  Insurance Board protects your ministry by offering resources to support it.

New Partnership to Bring Incredible Days to Edwards House 

The Southern New England Conference's Edwards House Meeting and Retreat Center is partnering with Incredible Days to host four weeks in July during which youth and intergenerational groups can sign up for mission programs where participants will stay at Edwards House and do daily service projects focused on addressing urban poverty in Greater Boston.  JUST TWO WEEKENDS REMAINING!

2023 STEWARDSHIP Resources

Discover Your Why: How a Clear Purpose Strengthens Evangelism, Giving, and Impact
Wednesday, Jul 26 2023 - 7:30 PM
Narrative Budgets: Telling your Story by the Numbers
Wednesday, Aug 23 2023 - 7:30 PM
All Stewardship Webinars offered in 2023 by the National UCC Office are listed here. 




Money and Beyond: Practical Ideas for Stewardship in 2023

 What does stewardship ministry look like today? What are the best practices to incorporate into your fall stewardship campaign? Join Grace Pomroy as she explores what stewardship is (and what it isn't), how to talk about giving with Millennials and Gen Z, how to make "the ask" during your fall stewardship campaign, and what the future of church funding might look like. Grace will share a mix of stories, data, and practical tips that you can use this fall and all throughout the year. Saturday, September 16 from 10 am until noon. Register here.

Faith Formation

Incredible Faith Mission: Boston 

Four week-long programs in July.  Youth and intergenerational groups can sign up for one of the four Sunday-Friday programs, in which participants will stay at Edwards House in Framingham, MA, and do daily service projects focused on addressing urban poverty in Greater Boston. 


Announcing 2023 Justice Summit Preachers 

The 2023 Justice Summit, taking place Oct. 7 in Boston, MA and online, will be focused on Trans and Nonbinary Belonging in the Church. It will begin and end with worship, each with a keynote preacher. Rev. Nicole Garcia - Faith Work Director at the National LGBTQ Task Force - will preach at the opening worship service, and will also lead a workshop on Raising a Progressive Christian Voice in the Public Square. Rev. Tyler Connoley - Conference Minister for the Central Pacific Conference - will preach at the closing, and will lead a workshop on Genderqueer Heroes in the Bible. Read about these two preachers below. 


Outdoor Ministries


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

Do You Need a Day Away?
Edwards House provides Complimentary Retreat Days to New England Non-Profit, Lay, and Clergy Leadership. Two different opportunities can be found here

Hospitality Manager Hired for Edwards House & Irons Homestead - Bryan Gallagher

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.

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 - registration now open!
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. 

Transitions and Obituaries

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. The Regional Newsletter will now be sent on a monthly basis. The regular schedule will be on or near the Third Tuesday of each month. If you would like to have events included please make sure to have them submitted by the Second Wednesday of the month to Roz Hooks.

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
860-761-7196 ext. 165

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