Resources for Ministers
The Maine Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC) has gathered a variety of resources for our ministers related to spiritual wellbeing, financial support, educational opportunities, ministerial standing, and the search and call process. As a Conference, we seek to support all those serving as church leaders in our local congregations. Not finding what you need? Please let us know! You can contact the Maine Conference Office at 207.662.3100 or via email.
Ministerial Standing and Search and Call
Different Conferences have different processes and guidelines surrounding ministerial standing and the search and call process. In the Maine Conference, both processes start with making contact with our Ministerial Staff. You can be in contact with either Conference Minister Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola or Designated Term Associate Conference Minister (ACM) Rev. Alexis Fuller-Wright to be directed to the appropriate resources and guidelines. You can also contact our Ministerial Staff our your Association Moderator to be added to the Pulpit Supply List.
Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola
Email for questions about Ministerial Standing and Search and Call.
Education and Training
In the Maine Conference, we encourage the continued growth and learning of our church leaders through a variety of methods including continuing education, Boundary Training, and other educational events. One-time events will be listed on this page as they come up, ongoing and recurring events will stay listed for you to learn more about at any time.
Have questions about what training sessions is required for your maintain your ministerial standing and how often? Contact your Commitee on Ministry Chair or contact Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola.
Maine School of Ministry
The Maine School of Ministry (MESOM) is a ministry of the Maine Conference and offers affordable courses taught by a highly qualified faculty. These courses are designed for adult students who are exploring their own spiritual formation or exploring a call to ministry as well as ordained clergy seeking quality continuing education.
Continuing Education Opportunities
Clergy Boundary Training
Recognizing that creating and maintaining professional boundaries is an ongoing skill over the course of a clergy person’s ministry, Clergy Boundary Training is a requirement in all Associations for maintaining ministerial standing.
Ongoing event listings coming soon!
Communities of Practice
It takes a village to sustain the hard, holy work of ministry. One neighborhood of the village is a Community of Practice (CoP). CoPs are structured, facilitated small groups of colleagues who meet regularly for mutual support, accountability, and learning.
Groups will have 4-5 members plus a compensated facilitator. Groups are available for Members in Discernment (MIDs), active ministers, and retired clergy. Each group commits to monthly, two-hour meetings on the dates of their choosing. Our staff makes every effort to form groups of pastors with common ministry contexts.
If you are interested in staying in your current community of practice or joining a new one, registration is now open. The cost for the year is $250, which will be billed in 2 installments. For pastors serving local congregations, it is strongly recommended that the congregation provide this registration fee.
Spiritual Directors and Coaches
Are you curious about finding a spiritual director to work with? The Maine Conference recommends using the database of Spiritual Directors International (SDI) to find someone who fits your needs and goals. Through their database, you can view spiritual directors and spiritual companions, retreat centers, and formation and training programs that are displayed according to your specific search criteria. It is updated constantly and available to you around the clock.
Here you’ll find a list of organizations and individuals recommended by our staff who offer ministry and leadership coaching.
The Maine Conference awards a limited number of scholarships to Members in Discernment (MIDs) preparing to become Authorized Ministers in the UCC. Scholarships are to be used solely for tuition payments and funds will be disbursed directly to the educational institution.
Awards may be limited to $1000 or less depending on the number of applicants. Applications are reviewed in June each; If funds allow, a second round of applications may be reviewed in October.
Other scholarships outside for both MIDs and other church leaders may be available through our Associations.
Financial Relief Opportunities
Maine Ministerial Relief Society (MMRS)
Authorized ministers of the Maine Conference who have faithfully served or are currently serving our congregations are eligible for assistance for themselves, a spouse, and dependent children when in fiancial need through the Maine Ministerial Relief Society (MMRS). These funds are intended for one-time emergency needs such as an accident or illness, emergency travel expenses to care for family, or other unexpected emergency needs. Funding for these grants is provided by an endowment held in the Consolidated Trust of the Maine Conference.
For more information on MMRS or to request assistance, please contact the Rev. Dr. Maria Laviola. All conversations are strictly confidential.
Massachusetts Congregational Charitable Society (MCCS)
Are you a retired minister or the spouse, widow(er), child, or former spouse of one? If so, you can apply for financial relief and support through the Massachusetts Congregational Charitable Society. Applications are due on April 1st of each year and recipients are determined in May.