215th Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Conference
When
Friday, June 13, 2014 to Saturday, June 14, 2014

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Where
366 Main Street
Sturbridge, MA 01566

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Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center, Sturbridge, MA

Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and in fact, will do greater works than these… – John 14:12

New Opportunities for Contemplation and Inspiration at 215th Annual Meeting!

Dear Members of the Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ,

The Annual Meeting is one of those rare opportunities to gather together with brothers and sisters of faith from places beyond our local church setting. We experience something of the breadth and depth of the Body of Christ – and know that we are part of something Big! Come to reconnect with friends, for the conversations, the worship, fellowship, and the business of the Conference. Come to learn and to be inspired by dynamic preaching. Come to celebrate and to be joyful together!

Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do, and in fact, will do greater works than these... Johne 14:12

Your Annual Meeting Committee is mixing things up this year, offering more choices and new opportunities for conversation and worship (read on for more details). We hope you will join us! Our Annual Meeting will be an opportunity to hear and share about amazing works of faith taking place in Massachusetts and beyond.

We look forward to seeing you in Sturbridge June 13th & 14th!

Grace and Peace,

Ian Holland, Moderator
Anne Cubbage, Vice-Moderator

Opening and Closing Worship

We will gather and welcome one another with a rousing half-hour of worship on Friday afternoon. Our meeting will end with a service of communion, including the installation of the Rev. Kelly Gallagher as Associate Conference Minister.

Half Hour of Power

30-minute worship options on Saturday morning will include:

  • "Visio Divina" service featuring Taize-style music

  • Spiritual chair yoga class

  • Guided meditation labyrinth walk

  • "Worship walk" beside the nearby lake

Take part in the worship experience that most interests you, and come back to the morning plenary refreshed and ready for a day of mindful work together.

Knock your Socks OffCome and Hear – Testimonies to Knock Your Socks Off!

On Friday afternoon, breakout gatherings will hear and share stories of Greater Works. Come hear stories ‘that give witness to the work of the Holy Spirit’ in Massachusetts, in congregations you know, with people you know. Attendees will choose among four topics:

  • Works of Prayer

  • Works of Generosity

  • Works of Bridge-building

  • Works of Justice

If you would like to donate a pair or more of clean white socks, they will be given to Boston shelters for distribution. Thank you!

A breakout Recognition Luncheon will be the occasion to honor 50-year ordinands, award recipients, those who have completed Christian Educator training, and others. By popular request, we have added a “Recognition Luncheon Only” registration option for friends and family of honorees.

Registration

Please Pre-Register by the May 23th DEADLINE to assure sufficient quantities of meals. We will NOT be able to provide meals for walk in registrations.

Register online now and either pay with a credit card or mail a check

Download a Registration Brochure (PDF)

Important Notes:

  • Registration fee does not include overnight accommodations. Please contact the Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center508-347-7393, and refer to the UCC MASS Conference room block to get our special group rate. Group Code for online reservations: 1306MACONF_001
     
  • For those registered by May 23rd, Old Sturbridge Village is offering a reduced admission rate of $15 per adult on Friday June 13th or Sunday June 15th. Refer to UCC Mass. Conference Annual meeting when you check in at the Visitor’s Center.
     
  • If you have dietary restrictions, other than vegetarian, gluten free or vegan, or any other questions, please contact Jane Logee at (508) 875-5233 ext. 221 or logeej@macucc.org.

Marketplace Tables

The Marketplace will be open to delegates and visitors during the Annual Meeting, Friday June 13th from 2:30-10:00 PM and Saturday, June 14th, 8:30AM to 5:00 PM. Tables are $20. Organizations wishing to rent a table should plan to have someone there at all times.  Anyone not registered for the meeting wishing to operate a table may order meals.

Online Marketplace Table Registration

 

Yvette FlunderThe Keynote Speaker will be Yvette Flunder, Founder and Senior Pastor of City of Refuge United Church of Christ in San Francisco. Bishop Flunder founded the City of Refuge UCC in 1991 in order to unite a gospel ministry with a social ministry. City of Refuge is a thriving inner-city congregation that celebrates the radically inclusive love of Jesus Christ. Preaching a message of action, the church has experienced steady numerical and spiritual growth. In June 2003, Bishop Flunder was consecrated Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship, a multi-denominational fellowship of 110 primarily African American Christian leaders and laity representing 56 churches and faith-based organizations from all parts of the United States Mexico and Africa.


Meeting Resources

Delegate Materials Packet

New Delegate Guidelines

Advance Materials (PDF: 1 MB) 

Proposed Resolution of Witness Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Background Information: A Resolution of Witness Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict


TENTATIVE SCHEDULE
June 13-14, 2014

FRIDAY, June 13, 2014

2:30 PM: Registration & Marketplace Open: Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center

3:30 - 4:30 PM: Opening Plenary I

  • Opening worship – 30 minutes of song, scripture and celebration!
  • Introductions, appointments, elections

4:45 – 5:45 PM: “Come and Hear” – Testimonies to Knock Your Socks Off!

6:00 PM: Dinner

7:15 PM: Plenary II

  • Presentation on the Budget and United Church Mission proposal
  • Keynote Address by the Rev. Yvette Flunder
  • Installation of the Rev. Kelly Gallagher as Associate Conference Minister

9:00 – 10:30 PM: Reception
A gathering time for clergy, delegates and friends

The Marketplace will be open until 10:00 PM.

SATURDAY, June 14, 2014

7:30 AM: Registration Opens: Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center

7:45 AM: Continental Breakfast including New Delegate Welcome Tables

8:30 AM: Half-Hour of Power – Experiential Worship Options

  • Visio Divina service featuring Taize-style music
  • Guided meditation labyrinth walk
  • Spiritual chair yoga class
  • Lakeside worship walk

8:30 AM: Marketplace Opens (Abington/Brookfield)

9:15 – 10;15 AM: Hearings and Forums
Smaller group opportunities for engaging the issues at hand, including:

  • United Church Mission proposal and Conference budget
  • Resolution regarding the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
  • Clergy compensation guidelines
  • Forum with Yvette Flunder

10:30 AM: Plenary III

  • Minister and President’s Address
  • Budget Actions
  • Actions on Resolutions

12:30 PM: Luncheon or Recognition Luncheon (preregistration required)

    • The Recognition Luncheon will honor those who have made special contributions to ministry and mission, including 50-year ordinands, Haystack and Green Church award recipients, those who have completed Christian Educator certification, and Our Church’s Wider Mission recognition recipients.
    • An unprogrammed luncheon will allow more time for conversation and Marketplace visits.

2:00 PM: Celebration of the Life and Ministry of Andy Gustafson
Open to all. Those not otherwise attending the meeting are welcome to come. No registration required.

2:45 PM: Plenary IV

  • Celebration of 30 years of being an Open and Affirming Conference
  • Board Chair report
  • Resolutions and other actions

3:45 PM: Closing Worship — Yvette Flunder preaching

4:45 PM: Contingency Plenary V