Conversation about the UCC with Rev. Dr. David Cleaver Bartholomew
Together with the United Church of Christ nationally, the Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ (SNEUCC), and the Metropolitan Boston Association we are a part of a much wider church than our single congregation. Next Sunday, October 23, following worship, we will host Rev. Dr. David Cleaver Bartholomew, Director of Stewardship, SNEUCC, for a conversation about our participation in the wider church. Please plan to join the conversation in the Reception Room after worship next Sunday.
The polity or organizational structure of the United Church of Christ recognizes “The basic unit of the life and organization of the United Church of Christ is the local church (UCC Constitution).” There are other “settings” of the church (Association, Conference, General Synod) in addition to the local congregation and all are in a covenantal relationship with each other.
Local churches are gathered in regional bodies called Associations who oversee and authorize and ordained ministers. The association ordains new ministers, holds ministers’ standing in covenant with local churches, and is responsible for disciplinary action; typically, a specific ministerial committee handles these duties.
Local churches also are members of larger Conferences. A conference typically contains multiple associations. Conferences provide support for the search-and-call process. Conferences also provide significant programming resources for their constituent churches, such as Christian education resources and support, interpretation of the larger UCC’s mission work, and church vitality.
In the United Church of Christ, there is freedom for Associations and Conferences to organize themselves thus the duties and responsibilities outlined above may divided out differently from one Conference to the next. For example, some Conferences are so small they operate as the Association as well.
The SNEUCC is the union of the historic Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island Conferences. The SNEUCC has 615 local churches, more than 1600 authorized ministers and nearly 120,000 members. Rev. Darrell L. Goodwin is the Executive Conference Minister. The SNEUCC is divided into 6 regions served by an Area Minister and 26 Associations. For example, the Rev. Alex Shea Will is the Area Minister for the Northeast Region and serves the Northeast Association and the Metropolitan Boston Association. Hills Church is a part of the Metropolitan Boston Association (MBA).
Join us after worship on October 23 for a conversation with Rev. Dr. David Cleaver Bartholomew, Director of Stewardship for the SNEUCC, in the Reception Room.