This letter was sent association wide to all churches and members on June 23, 2020:
June 22, 2020
Call to the Churches from The Board of Directors of the Central Massachusetts Association, Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ
We live in turbulent and unsettled times. As Jesus told us, things long hidden will be exposed. The racism and the subtle and not so subtle impacts of status and privilege in this country have come to the forefront. As your Board of Directors, we invite you to follow the way of Christ’s love for God, neighbors, and self by choosing to:
LEARN—Learn the truth of our country’s history by the stories we have been taught and by the ones that were not told in classrooms. Learn the stories of people who lived here at the time of the Pilgrims and who live here still. Learn what happened to people who had been free and were brought to this country to be enslaved. Learn about the continuing policies and laws that favored some and excluded others. Understand how those past decisions shaped attitudes and actions which impact all of us now.
EXAMINE—Look at the conscious and unconscious biases in yourself, your church, your community, this country and the world. We are all products of the culture that forms us. Jesus gave and gives sight to the blind that we might be set free from attitudes that are contrary to the way of God’s love. What needs Jesus’ healing?
ACT—Just as there are four Gospels, there are many ways to respond to the call of Christ to respond to what you have uncovered. How might churches and individuals respond?
The Central Mass Association requires and provides anti-racism training for its Board of Directors and Committee on Authorized Ministry and we will be considering this as a requirement for our clergy as well. This training is available to churches. The SNEUCC and our national church offer many kinds of resources too. Let us embrace them and go to work. All are encouraged to visit the available racism resources on the SNEUCC website: https://www.sneucc.org/responding-to-the-scourge-of-racism-resources
May the Holy Spirit lead us. May we strive to grow in God’s love and share it with one another and in a world where we are called to work with God to build God’s kin-dom here on earth as it is heaven.
The Central MA Association Board of Directors
The Central Massachusetts Region is comprised of faithful churches and clergy proclaiming and living out the Good News of Jesus Christ, in covenant with the Southern New England Conference, the United Church of Christ and the ecumenical community.
The Central Massachusetts Association is the only Association in the region. The Association office is centrally located in the heart of the commonwealth and is located inside the WamsWorks building at:
Central MA Association, SNEUCC
6 Institute Road, Box #5
Worcester, MA 01609
The Southern New England Conference is now a proportional giving conference. Click here to find out more.
Associate Conference Minister
The Rev. Elizabeth Garrigan-Byerly
In the Central Massachusetts Association, Liz assists with pastoral searches and transitions, provides support for churches and pastors, and works with Association committees.
Program Support Associate