Retirement Affinity Group: A Season of Jubilee

Retirement Affinity Group: A Season of Jubilee

Retirement Affinity Group: A Season of Jubilee
Thursday, September 30, 2021

Add to my calendar


Bridget Johnson

The Center for Transformational Leadership is pleased to announce an affinity group with a focus on retired clergy co-sponsored by the Pension Boards of the United Church of Christ, Inc.

Are you considering retiring in the next year or two? Or, did you already retire within the past three years?  You are invited to a new Affinity Group, created just for you! The Season of Jubilee Affinity Group is created in response to you, SNEUCC newly and nearly retired clergy.

Can retirement be a jubilee, a time for celebration, growth, and mission?  Can retirement provide opportunities to reflect on new ways to serve God and reach out to others?  Joining theology and spirituality with practices supportive of physical, relational, intellectual, and overall wellbeing, this program provides an opportunity for clergy to explore new pathways in retirement.  A healthy and faithful retirement is grounded in the interplay of intentionality and openness to novelty, grounded in a vision of God’s lively and intimate presence in your life and the world.  Participants will reflect on a theology of retirement, spiritual practices for the next third of life, and practical ways to reimagine vocation in retirement.  While retirement involves “endings,” it is also a time for resurrection and new beginnings as God’s companion in healing the world, locally and globally.

This Affinity Group begins September 2021 and ends September 2022.
Each of six (6) sessions is held from 9 AM-2 PM
The first cohort is limited to 15 participants.
A waiting list will be created. Registration is open now!
Registration DEADLINE is September 20, 2021.

This six session group will meet as listed below from September 30th, 2021 through September of 2022. Each gathering will have a specific topic / theme based on an essential aspect of making the most of your retirement season! This is designed to be a hybrid event with some virtual and some in-person gatherings, when possible.

Each participant will receive a copy of the book, The Jubilee Years: Embracing Clergy Retirement by our opening presenter, Rev. Dr. Bruce Epperly and will also receive several sessions of Spiritual Direction with Spiritual Directors from The Spiritual Life Center of West Hartford, CT. 

Topics Include:

Thursday, September 30, 2021 Vision and Purpose
Presenter: Rev. Dr. Bruce Epperly based on his book, The Jubilee Years. Bruce will share overview of his research with 100 retired ministers, introduce the concept of retirement as Jubilee and offer insights and guidance on creating a vision for a healthy/productive retirement.
Rev. Dr. Bruce Epperly has served as pastor and university chaplain, university and seminary professor and administrator, and is a prolific author and lectionary commentor. With over forty years joining pulpit and classroom, Bruce recently retired after serving eight years as Senior Pastor of South Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Centerville, MA and has relocated to the Washington DC suburbs to be closer to his family. He is the author of over 60 books.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021 Spiritual and Physical Health and Well-being
Presenters: Ms. Andree Grafstein, Ms. Lisa Hudkins, Spiritual Directors, and Ms. Deborah Ringen An essential aspect of a healthy, happy, productive retirement includes attention to one’s wellbeing. Participants will explore ways to maintain vitality during retirement and will discover sound strategies to care for body, mind, and spirit.
Ms. Deborah Ringen MSN RN-BC Faith Community Nurse serves as Minister of Health and Wellness in the Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ. As a faith community nurse for over 18 years, Debbie’s ministry is grounded in best practices for wellness and healthy living for all ages and stages.
Ms. Grafstein and Ms. Hudkins are Spiritual Directors from The Spiritual Life Center of West Hartford, CT. The Spiritual Life Center is “A community that envisions a world where people are spiritually awake and engaged. We provide support for people from any background who seek a deeper spiritual life…”

Wednesday, February 16, 2022 Joyful Service, Becoming a Good Ancestor
Presenter: Rev. Donna Manocchio, retired clergy
The group will explore meaningful service in retirement that respects good boundaries and ignites new ideas and insights of how to mentor, serve, and create new avenues of meaningful engagement using knowledge and experience gained in years of ministry in one’s community and beyond.
Donna K. Manocchio is a retired UCC clergy who served churches in Rocky Hill and Hartford, CT. Since her retirement, she has continued in ministry as a spiritual director, retreat leader, and bridge minister. Donna is a 20+ year volunteer, former chair, and 3 current members of the friends group of Hands on Hartford, a Hartford-based nonprofit organization that provides housing, health, and food support to community neighbors.

Thursday, April 7, 2021, Good Grief and Good Work- Building Resiliency
Presenter: Rev. Dr. Tracy Mehr-Muska
Group will continue to explore ways of making positive adjustments in lifestyle, purpose planning, and explore ways to navigate spiritual and emotional changes as retirement progresses, etc.
Reverend Tracy Mehr-Muska, DMin, is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She is a board-certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains and has served as an interfaith chaplain in a psychiatric hospital, men’s prison, trauma hospital, university, and hospice. She currently serves as the Minister for Mid and Later Life at Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford, Connecticut, and as an adjunct instructor at Hartford Seminary.

June Kindling New Joy
Presenter: To Be Announced
The Cohort will explore new ways to kindle and sustain joy in retirement, especially through underdeveloped passions, gifts, and interests. The group will enjoy an artistic experience of their choosing, good conversation, and an ending ritual.
September Financial Wellness
Presenter: Rev. Dr. Jonathan Lee and colleagues
Group will explore the components of financial security and wellness in retirement, resources, and programs available through the Pension Boards, and the Annuitant Visitor Program as both service available and an opportunity to serve. Participation in Pension Boards benefits is not a prerequisite!

Rev. Dr. Jonathan Lee served local congregations of the UCC for 20 years, was the Director of Institutional Advancement at Hartford Seminary and is currently the Director of Church Relations and Operations at the Pension Boards in New York City.

For Information, Presenter bios, etc., click here.
Questions??  Write to
Ready to register?  click here.

Subscribe to our emails
Framingham, MA Office

1 Badger Road
Framingham, MA 01702

Hartford, CT Office

125 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT 06105

Toll Free Phone: 866-367-2822
Fax: 866-367-0860
General Email: