ALL CONFERENCE E-MAIL
April 20, 2011
- Message from the Conference Minister and Conference Moderator
- Spring Clergy Retreat is May 17-18
- Concert at Maine Conference Annual Meeting
- PL Faith Foundations to start in late afternoon
- Celebrating Call, Celebrating Challenge is May 4-6
- UCC Support Staff Network Annual Meeting in No. Conway April 20 - May 1
- Seminarian Scholarships Available
- Save the Date – Small Church Convocation
- In the Resource Center
- Calling People of Faith to Environmental Ministries
- BTS Commencement is May 20
- BTS has a new website
- 2011 PB Health Plan Premium Credit
1. Message from the Conference Minister and Conference Moderator was sent out to all of the clergy and church moderators earlier this week. If you are interested in the future plans for the Maine Conference, you can read the message on the Conference website at http://www.maineucc.org/news/moderator%20and%20CM%20msg%20041811.html
2. Spring Clergy Retreat is coming soon. This year’s spring retreat, led by Barbara Brown Zikmund, is entitled “Does the UCC Matter?” This retreat will explore the experiences of clergy in the UCC and how our denominational covenants support, or do not support, local ministry. Come with a story to share. We will gather at the Living Water retreat center in Winslow, Tuesday, May 17 with registration beginning at 12:30 pm, through lunch on Wednesday, May 18. All clergy, active and retired, Members in Discernment and seminary students are invited. Cost is $125 for overnight and meals, or $90 for commuters with meals. Click here for the registration form http://www.maineucc.org/news/Spring%20Clergy%20Retreat%202011.mht
3. “Called to Tell the Story” is the theme for the 2011 Maine Conference Annual Meeting, to be held at the University of Maine in Farmington, June 23-26, 2011. Join with church members from around the state and learn new ways to tell the “old, old stories of Jesus and his love”. Registration forms, workshop descriptions and much more can be found on the Conference website at http://www.maineucc.org/annualmeeting/2011/AM%20frontpage%202011.html
Saturday evening, the Master Singers USA will perform a concert of varied music tunes and styles. Master Singers USA is a 90+ voice male chorus, from 23 states and 2 other countries, who have toured nationally and internationally, but this is their first time in Farmington. Most of them are past students of Bruce McGinnis, currently the Choir Director at Old South Church in Farmington, who has taught at several colleges and universities throughout his career. Tickets for the Master Singers USA concert can be obtained at firstname.lastname@example.org and are expected to sell out well ahead of the evening of the performance.
4. PILGRIM LODGE FAITH FOUNDATIONS HALF-WEEK TO START LATE AFTERNOON
Because many schools will be in session later than usual due to excessive snow days, the Pilgrim Lodge event "Faith Foundations" (Jun 22-25, for rising 3rd-5th graders) will begin between 4 and 5 pm (instead of the usual 2 to 3 pm). The Outdoor Ministries Committee hopes this small change will allow those whose final school day is scheduled for Wednesday, June 22 to attend this special event tailored for first time campers.)
5. Celebrating Call, Celebrating Challenge – Ministry in a Changing Landscape is a special New England wide, 3-day conference for pastors and students in discernment sponsored by New England Conferences of the United Church of Christ. May 4-6, 2011 at the Westin Hotel in Waltham, MA. This event is designed to provide you with the tools and resources you need to invigorate and renew your passion for ministry and learn new strategies for spiritual leadership. Rediscover the joy and honor of doing ministry through worship, Bible study, workshops and presentations, and networking with colleagues. Don’t miss this opportunity to renew your spirit, learn new ideas, and make new connections! Visit http://www.celebratingcall.org/ to learn more and to register
6. Spring Greetings Support Staff. Have you thought about refreshing your work experience? Perhaps you are feeling stuck in a rut, isolated in your job, or just plain hungry for new growth and development opportunities?
The 2011 United Church of Christ Office Support Staff Network Annual Meeting is full of opportunities that are sure to renew you in both your personal and business lives.
What could be more nourishing than 4 days in a serene New Hampshire mountain setting sharing worship, fellowship and fun with other administrative people just like you? There's even a fun night planned complete with a murder mystery dinner!
There are numerous workshops available throughout the meeting, with great topics like social media, newsletters, dealing with difficult people (who doesn't have those in their church?), boundaries (yes, EVERYONE needs healthy boundaries), barriers, and much more. There is something that everyone can take away from this meeting for professional development, which is a great selling point when you discuss your registration with your boss!
Please visit www.uccossn.org for more information, including registration. The meeting is April 28-May 1, 2011. The deadline has been extended to April 25th. Don't wait-- sign up for your piece of "spring renewal" today!!!
Please note: If you have not already paid your dues, which gives you the privilege of voting at the Annual Meeting ($10/yearly for active members / $5 yearly for Alumni), please feel free to include it with your Registration.
May you continue to be renewed and may you experience a joyous Easter.
7. Attention Seminarians! The Witness Life Commission of the Maine Conference UCC offers scholarship assistance to seminarians who are Members in Discernment/ In Care in an Association in the Maine Conference. Applications must be submitted by May 15, 2011. The Scholarship Application can be found on the Maine Conference website at
http://www.maineucc.org/commissions/cwl/Seminarian%20Scholarship%20Application-%202011-%202012.pdf Please complete and submit as indicated on the application. If any questions, please contact Bill Walsh at 207-615-4556 or email@example.com
8. SAVE THE DATE… The Small Church Mission Team is planning a Small Church Convocation on Saturday, September 17, 2011, 9:00am – 4:00pm at The Church of Universal Fellowship in Orono. Keynote speaker and numerous workshops will be offered geared specifically toward small church issues and concerns. Details and further information are forthcoming. Save this date in your calendar now – you won’t want to miss this very important day-long small church event.
9. In the Resource Center!
The Faith and Practice of the Earliest Christians by Tony Jones
Join Tony as he unveils this late first-century text: the Didache, or "Teaching of the Twelve." You will explore what one early Christian community lived and taught.
*What is The Way of Jesus?
*What does it mean to Be Church?
*When is it important for Christians to look back to the Roots of Faith?
This essential study in the life and practice of the Early Church will challenge any study group, home church, or high school, college, and adult discussion group.
Please remember that the cart for the online catalog is not working, to order any resources send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
or call 1-800-244-0937 or 207-846-5118.
10. Partnering with a Green God: Calling People of Faith to Environmental Ministries is co-sponsored by the six UCC Conferences in New England, and features keynote speaker Bill McKibben, founder of the environmental organization Step It Up and 350.org, a global warming awareness campaign.
Held on May 6-7, 2011 at Silver Lake Conference Center (Sharon, CT). Twenty-two (22) outstanding workshops are being offered, there will be two environmentally-themed worship opportunities, including Friday evening worship with guest preacher, The Rev. Robert B. Coleman from Riverside Church in New York City.
Online registration—including registration for workshops—is available by following this link: http://www.ctucc.org/greengod/.
Scholarship assistance is available from the Witness Life Commission. Contact Steve Hastings at email@example.com or 207-468-3692
11. BTS invites everyone to their Commencement 2011 at Gracie Theater, Husson University, Bangor, on Friday May 20 at 1PM (this ceremony lasts for approximately one hour). The speaker will be the Reverend Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr. Dr. Forbes is the Senior Pastor Emeritus of Riverside Church in New York City and President of the Healing the Nations Foundation. He enjoys the reputation of being one of the finest preachers in the country. To be sure, it is worth taking a day off work to hear him speak and to see our students graduate! Please join us. If you have questions, please email Lesley at firstname.lastname@example.org
12. BTS Rolls Out New Website
BTS has a new website at our traditional address, www.bts.edu Please check it out! Links to our Summer Initiatives, Fall Courses, and 2011 Commencement are right on the homepage. We wish you a joyous Easter.
13. 2011 Health Plan Premium Credit
Grace to you and peace in this holy time of year.
To those who are part of the United Church of Christ Medical and Dental Benefits Plan, at its March 2011 meeting, the Board of Trustees voted to approve a recommendation from the Health Benefits Committee to grant a one-month premium credit to most* participants in the UCC Non-Medicare Health Plan. Investment returns were much higher in the last quarter than earlier in 2010, resulting in a significant increase to Health Plan reserves. Earlier in 2010, the Pension Boards had to increase premium rates for 2011 as a result of higher claims experience and the trend of health care costs. We know that increase places a hardship on many even while it enables us to meet the continuing cost of medical care for our participants. Now, the increased investment returns realized at the end of 2010 enable the Pension Boards to grant this one-month premium credit to most* Non-Medicare Plan participants, which will significantly lower the actual premium increase for 2011.
The premium credit will appear on invoices mailed to employers and self-pay participants for the Third Quarter. Self-pay participants who have their premiums deducted from their monthly annuity payment will receive a check at their home address for the one-month premium credit during the month of July.
*Please note: The premium credit does not apply if either the participant or his/her dependents are enrolled in the UCC Medicare Supplement Plan.