Historic Mass Conference UCC Annual Meeting June 16-17, 2017
On June 16-17 delegates Karen Bernardo, Christina and David Oliver, Susan and Bob Hoffman, Rev. Ann Abernethy and Rev. Laura Gronberg attended the historic Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ, 218th Annual Meeting in Hartford, CT. Over 1,000 people gathered for the first-ever as a joint Tri Conference Annual Meeting with Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Also attending from the Village Church were John Hargrave, (his title, member of the Publicity Board) and Jade and Isaac Hargrave. Both days were filled with hearings, plenary sessions and an energetic and engaging worship service on Friday and Saturday.
The keynote speaker was UCC Minister and President, the Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer and the worship leader was the Rev. Maritza Angulo de Gonzalez, the Co-Pastor of Manantial de Gracia, “Spring of Grace” in West Hartford, CT.
In January 2017, following a year of discernment, the boards of directors of the three conferences unanimously approved a resolution to form a new conference, and at this conference delegates voted decisively to move ahead, “Together, As One,” to form a new combined Conference. There was ample time for concerns and questions and the consensus was that the formation of a Tri Conference will provide a stronger voice speaking for justice, as well as allowing for greater opportunities for collaboration, interdependence and unity.
“I am proud of you,” Rev. John Dorhauer explains. “Your yes today matters, and your yes today casts a vision for the future that was not otherwise available to you. And, my covenant promise to you is that the entire denomination will walk side-by-side with you on whatever journey unfolds.”
The Village Church was recognized by the Mass Conference with two stewardship recognitions as overall top givers in 2016 for Our Church’s Wider Mission Basic Support and Neighbors in Need. The Massachusetts Conference also passed a resolution expressing opposition to Massachusetts sentences of life imprisonment without opportunity for parole and they voted to sell a small parcel of land in Ashland. Now the delegates are excited and anxious to share insights and awareness of the breadth of the Massachusetts Conference with the entire congregation. Stay tuned for some exciting happenings in the Fall.
Susan & Bob Hoffman & Karen Bernardo receiving Mass Conference Awards.