Conference Resources for Task Teams


What Does the Massachusetts Conference Offer Your Task Team?

The following is a list of some of the resources and opportunities provided by the Conference for justice and witness task teams. This information was compiled following our Fall 2017 Justice and Witness Summit.


Communications

  • Dedicated pages on the MACUCC website for each task team. Teams are encouraged to add, remove, and update material regularly - just send your updated material along, and we'll take care of it!
  • Team members are invited to submit blogs expressing their viewpoint on an issue for publication on our website, our weekly Emailing, and in our monthly newsletter. Please submit to methotk@macucc.org.
  • Our monthly justice and witness e-newsletter EverFlowing Streams covers all issues and goes out to over 1,000 people; team members are encouraged to submit material (methotk@macucc.org  - generally mails mid-month).
  • Our weekly regional e-newsletters will also run your events and notices, targeting congregations and individuals most likely to attend.
  • We can help promote your events and activities through our event calendar, Facebook, website and e-newsletters, as mentioned above. Just ask!
  • Scroll down to access email contacts for each justice and witness task team - we encourage teams to collaborate.

Events

  • Super Saturday: Teams are invited to develop workshop proposals and lead workshops; we provide a large audience for your presentation (macucc.org/supersaturday).
  • We make available Marketplace table space for educational purposes during Super Saturdays and Annual Meetings - a great way to get the word out and connect with those interested in your cause.
  • We have justice-specific banners available to borrow for parades and events.
  • We offer help with scheduling your meetings and events at Edwards House, and provide assistance in copying or ordering material, creating sign-in or evaluation sheets, and other needs.
  • Scroll down for some general event planning tips!

Space

  • Teams have use of Edwards House for meetings, workshops, dinners and retreats (as space is available). Please see policy below. Edwards House can supply your group with easels and newsprint, a podium, LCD projector, screens, microphone, DVD player and staging for a panel of presenters. We also have a small meeting room in the Barn that may be available for task team use in the summer and when Edwards House is full (not available over lunch hour).

More!

  • The Conference provides financial support to each task team to help cover meeting costs at Edwards House, travel reimbursement, event expenses, resources and initiatives.
  • Task teams are invited to submit resolutions (2 per year for all of justice and witness) to be voted on by our Annual Meeting delegates and possibly by Synod.
  • We may be able to give Conference endorsement to grants your task team is seeking.
  • We help provide connections between teams at our justice and witness summits.
  • We can offer suggestions, ideas and feedback for your work.
  • Teams have use of Kelly Gallagher’s and Karen Methot’s time and expertise. Let us know what you need.
  • For help with any of the above, contact Kelly at gallagherk@macucc.org or Karen at methotk@macucc.org.

Edwards House Policy

Edwards House Meeting & Retreat Center is working on written policy for Conference groups such as task teams. Until that is completed, here are some guidelines for use of the facility.

Edwards House is used by Conference staff, councils, task teams and other Conference related groups in the Fall, Winter and Spring (it is used exclusively by the Pilgrim Day Camp in the Summer). It is also rented by churches and outside non-profit groups. At busy times of the year, the conference center can fill up; therefore we suggest that task teams who meet at regular times or that wish to book the dining room for an event, reserve their year's dates as soon as possible in order to assure their preferred dates and times. While it's also fine to book one date at a time, we urge you not to wait too long and to please check with Karen Methot about availability before sending out a notice to your team. Teams can request a certain space, but it is not guaranteed.

Every group, including Conference staff, is charged to use Edwards House space and receive meals. Because Edwards House is not a restaurant, its staff does not keep food on hand, nor is a cook paid to be there at all times. This is why groups may still be charged if they cancel a lunch or dinner meeting; when food has already been purchased specifically for your meeting as is generally the case, and a cook paid to come in, it can mean a financial loss and perhaps a waste of food as well. While there are times a last minute cancellation is unavoidable we urge team leaders to impress upon their group the need to respond early if they are unable to make it so that the meeting can be cancelled or postponed promptly if that becomes necessary. The earlier the cancellation, the less likely your group will need to be charged. If weather conditions are so bad that people shouldn't be on the roads, Edwards House would not charge for last-minute cancellations; but this is always the decision of its staff.

The Conference Justice and Witness program supplies each group with up to $500/year to cover their team's meeting costs.

If your group is the only one meeting at a particular time and you've requested meals, and you are fewer than 10 people, you will still be charged for 10 (the minimum); or possibly provided with boxed lunches instead. If other groups are meeting at the same time, you will be charged for the actual number present in your meeting. Edwards House staff is responsive to food allergies and other special dietary needs; please let us know when reserving your space, and staff will try and meet everyone's needs.

Important note: No group is allowed to bring outside food into Edwards House, and no one except MACUCC employees are allowed in the kitchen for any reason. These are health regulations and are non-negotiable.

If one of your participants has a service animal, please check the regulations here.

Thanks for your cooperation! Edwards House is a wonderful facility and we are pleased to offer it to all justice and witness task teams.


Event Planning: Logistical Basics

Is your team planning a big event? Here are some basic tips, thanks to Estelle Margarones, Disaster Resource & Response Team.

  • When choosing a date, consider what else is happening in the area that may involve the same audience. (Is there a Road Race the same day? Is it the day before Ash Wednesday? Will all your families be out of town for school vacation week?)
  • When choosing a venue, consider whether there's ample parking or public transportation nearby. If it's outdoors, is there a plan for inclement weather? Consider the time of year/weather/sun/wind factors. Do you need a pop up canopy? 
  • When preparing your space, consider the size of the space. Are tables or chairs provided? How many? Do you need a trade show table cover? (Will it fit your table?) Do you have a banner? Does it have your website or branded info? Do you have business cards or brochures? It will be a good idea to have a large plastic 'event bin' full of supplies such as pens, pencils, clipboard, duct tape, scissors, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, donation jar, plastic sign holders for the table, brochures, etc.
  • What audience are you trying to reach? Are there organizations, schools, or churches you can partner with to get the word out? Do any speakers have their own organizational lists where they can promote the event?
  • What are your promotion vehicles? Website? Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? Signs? Mailings? E-blasts? Is there a sharable Facebook 'event'? If you can you get a few stakeholders excited about your event, the ripples of their enthusiasm will have a great reach.
  • What is the benefit to each segment of the consumer population and is that being considered in your promotion? If your event involves children, let them know that they can invite friends. Youth are generally great about inviting friends to events.

Justice & Witness Task Team Contacts for 2017-2018

Actual Justice

Immigration & Refugee

Chile Partnership

ONA

Disaster Resource

Racial Justice

Ecumenism & Interfaith

Restorative Justice

Environmental Ministry

Conference Staff