November 2023 

Faith Formation News 

Nine Faith Formation Leaders Achieve Certification

by Debbie Gline Allen

The Southern New England Conference boasts of having the only entry-level equipping program specifically for faith formation and youth ministry leaders in the United Church of Christ. This year, nine faith formation and youth ministry leaders were awarded their Certificate in Faith Formation and Youth Ministry Leadership.  Read more...

Debbie Gline Allen on Sabbatical in December

Greetings Friends;
     We have all learned so much about the intersection of faith formation, families, and congregational life since the pandemic. My laptop directories are overflowing with files, links, and notes that I wish to consolidate into one place - a document that will encapsulate best practices, attitudes, and models as we move forward. This will happen as I take vacation followed by a month-long sabbatical from November 24th through January 1st.

     For any faith formation and youth ministry needs you may have during this time, please reach out to Debby Kirk, Faith Formation Team Leader.

     May you have a blessed holiday season, and I look forward to sharing my insights with you in 2024.

Values Voting with OWL

by Debby Kirk

In a recent Our Whole Lives training, leaders demonstrated the impact of a "Values Voting" exercise.  What a gift to offer youth a structure for thoughtful dialogue, and a space to learn from respected peers and elders. OWL increases the agency of youth.  The program does not dictate behaviors, but instead empowers youth with language to communicate their values and information to make careful decisions. Read the blog post

Trainings & Workshops for Leaders

Faith Formation Leadership Program 

“Completing this program allowed me to shift from being a faith formation volunteer to becoming an empowered and respected leader in my congregation.”

- Teresa Bielecki,
Director of Christian Education & Faith Formation,
First Congregational Church UCC, Lebanon, CT

Upcoming Classes

  • Serving Together — Mission for All Ages
    November 18, 2023

    with Rev. Dr. June Cooper and Rev. Kevin Weikel
  • Boundary Awareness for Faith Formation and Youth Ministry Leaders (and Local Church Musicians)
    January 7, 2024
    with Rev. Greg Morisse
    (Does not fulfill the Boundary Awareness requirement for clergy.) 
  • Faith Formation 101 — Practices for a Sustainable Ministry January 20, 2024
    with Debbie Gline Allen, C.M.C.F.

Click here for more information and to register

Contact Debbie Gline Allen, Program Director at

Keeping our Sacred Spaces Open and Safe

Church Safety Workshop - Saturday, November 18

Lisa Gonzalez at the UCC Insurance Boards, local insurance agents, and the federal government Protective Security Advisor Program will present information. Churches will feel better equipped to extend extravagant welcome while keeping themselves and their ministries safe.

The program will be In person only, from 2 to 5 PM at the First Congregational Church, UCC in Shrewsbury, MA

 Advent Chapel of the Heart

An online devotional time for clergy, faith formation practitioners, and lay leaders.  All are welcome to attend this forty minute Zoom program for prayer, music, and quiet reflection on the season.  
Staff Recommendations

SNEUCC Youth Programs

 2024 Confirmation Retreat Season

Registration is now open for our spring retreats. Select your preferred date and make a deposit to reserve space for your group. Each retreat is led by two experienced facilitators.

Weekend @ Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center:
February 9th - 11th, 2024  Register

Overnight @ Craigville Retreat Center: This retreat has a waitlist
March 1st - 2nd, 2024 Register

Overnight @ Craigville Retreat Center: Note new location
March 8th - 9th, 2024 Register 

 Overnight @ Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center:
March 22nd – 23rd, 2024 Register

New England Regional Youth Event (RYE) 2024