A New Holiday for the UCC

by Sir John Hargrave


In 1754, Benjamin Franklin published this famous drawing in his newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette. Until that point, the early American colonies were operating like independent fiefdoms, and Franklin was encouraging the colonies to come together to form something greater than the sum of their parts.

Because it’s the earliest graphical representation of a united America, some call it the first American political cartoon. That simple line drawing was reprinted countless times, because the message was so easy to understand: united we are powerful, but divided we are dead.

In America, we value independence. We celebrate our great leaders, inventors, and businesspeople for their independent thinking. Our favorite movies are about rugged individualists, from outlaw cowboys to space fighters. Our biggest national holiday is even named Independence Day.

But the truth is that we’re not just independent, we’re also interdependent. Our churches are deeply connected with our communities. Our communities are connected with our country. Our country is connected to a global economy, a global internet, and a global environment.

Why is it that we have Independence Day, but no Interdependence Day? Where is the holiday to celebrate our connection with each other, and the world?

For those of us within the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences of the United Church of Christ, our Annual Meeting is that day. It is a time to come together as a wider church: to learn, network, laugh, pray, sing, and worship together. It is a time to celebrate our interdependence.

At this year’s Annual Meeting, we’ll be combining these three conferences for the first time. Like Franklin’s cartoon, we’ll be combining forces to create something more powerful than we’ve ever seen.

The Annual Meeting is a chance to deepen your faith, to be inspired, and to learn what your fellow UCC churches are doing. This year’s meeting, like those revolutionary meetings of the early American colonists, will be historic.

Like the early American colonists, together we can do amazing things. Join us and celebrate Interdependence Day.

The Tri-Conference Annual Meeting will be held on June 16th and 17th at the Hartford Convention Center. Click here to register and learn more.

Sir John Hargrave

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