216th Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Conference

216th Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Conference

216th Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Conference
Friday, June 12, 2015 to Saturday, June 13, 2015

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University of Massachusetts (Hotel UMass)
1 Campus Center Way
Amherst, MA 01003

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Please visit our main Annual Meeting page for information


New Location
New Voices
Renewed Spirit to Enliven!

The Annual Meeting is one of those rare opportunities to gather together with brothers and sisters of faith from places beyond our local church setting. We experience something of the breadth and depth of the Body of Christ – and know that we are part of something Big! Come to re-connect with friends, for the conversations, the worship, fellowship, and the business of the Conference. Come to learn and to be inspired by dynamic preaching. Come to celebrate, worship and be joyful together!


Keynote Speaker & Preacher


Worship & Music

Children's Programming


Opportunities for New Delegates

Delegate Materials

New Location /  Lodging





Registration is closed



The New Revised Standard Version of 2 Corinthians 4:7 tells us: “But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.” 

Eugene Peterson’s The Message adds some insight through its interpretation of these words:

“If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at.”

It is both a humble and an encouraging reminder to us. We are the clay and God is the potter. By ourselves we are ordinary, fragile, vulnerable, unadorned, simple and perfect in our imperfection. And, yet, within that ordinary imperfection we carry something extraordinary and incomparable: the grace and compassion of God’s love.

Our Annual Meeting will be shaped by this theme. You will hear stories of the extraordinary power of God at work in our fragile and ordinary churches. You will hear how it transforms lives. You will encounter how our brokenness carries the healing for the broken lives and broken world around us.

Our keynote presenter, Nadia Bolz-Weber (author of Pastrix), will challenge us to open ourselves to the shaping of God’s hands and the binding heat of God’s kiln. This will be echoed throughout the business, worship and fellowship of our time together, in all the ordinary and extraordinary moments. 

Keynote Speaker and Preacher

Nadia Bolz-WeberThe Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber is founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints, a Lutheran mission church in Denver, Colorado. She is a leading voice in the emergent church movement, and author of Pastrix: the Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint (Jericho, 2013). “The passion behind her words… is as deeply pastoral as it is God-drenched and liberating” (Phyllis Tickle). Learn more about Nadia at www.nadiabolzweber.com. Her Keynote Address will be open to the public, so invite your friends to join you for this part of the meeting!

Read more about Nadia Bolz-Weber, and find out how to get tickets for her public keynote address, by visiting: macucc.org/nadia. If, however, you are registering for the Annual Meeting itself, PLEASE DO NOT REGISTER SEPARATELY for the keynote address. It is included with your overall registration.


Business to be conducted will include discernment and action on proposed resolutions regarding mass incarceration (presented by Christ’s Community Church in Chicopee) and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (presented by the Council on Justice and Witness Ministries at the request of the Palestine-Israel Task Team of the Conference). The Board of Directors will present a proposal to sell the two Conference-owned buildings at Craigville on Cape Cod, and use the proceeds to more fully fund the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Endowment. Streamlined Clergy Compensation Guidelines will be proposed by the Clergy Leadership Development Ministry Council, and delegates will take actions related to the Conference budget and nominations. 

Worship & Music

Opening worship on Friday afternoon will draw us together and open us up to see the treasure all around us! Friday evening worship will feature a sermon by Keynote Speaker Nadia Bolz-Weber. Closing worship on Saturday will include communion and our own Jim Antal, Minister and President, preaching. Worship music will be provided by Rashad McPherson and DivinePURPOSE, a group of singers and musicians poised and purposed to spread the message of the gospel through music. 

Children's Program

A children's program will be available for children ages 4-10 on Friday from 2:45 p.m. - 9:15 p.m. and Saturday from 8:15 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. EXCEPT during meal times.  Please click here for more information.


The Marketplace will be located on the 1st and 2nd floor concourses  of the Campus Center at UMASS, Amherst throughout the meeting. Tables are available for $30 per table per day. Go to information on reserving tables here.

Opportunities for New Delegates

Are you coming to Annual Meeting for the first time this year? Welcome! Here’s how to learn about the meeting and your role:

  1. Check out our web resources for new delegates at www.macucc.org/newdelegate.
  2. Participate in the New Delegate Orientation Webinar: Wednesday June 10, 2015 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM 
    The Rev. Ian Holland, Moderator, with staff member Dawn Hammond, will offer an introduction to Annual Meeting: what to expect, how to participate in debate, how to vote, opportunities for worship and fellowship, and how to make the most of your experience as a new delegate. Please register so we can be sure to include you when we send instructions for joining the webinar.
  3. Join us for dinner! During the dinner hour (5:30-7:00 PM) at the Dining Commons on Friday June 12th, experienced Annual Meeting attendees will be at specially-marked tables to greet you, hear from you and answer your questions about the meeting. If you are coming to both Friday and Saturday of Annual Meeting, this is the session you should attend.
  4. Join us for breakfast! If you are coming for Saturday only, please join us for breakfast at the Blue Wall Café food court in the Campus Center between 7:30 and 8:30 AM. Experienced Annual Meeting attendees will be at specially-marked tables to greet you, hear from you and answer your questions about the meeting. 

Supporting Documents & Materials:

New Location & Lodging

Your Annual Meeting Committee continues to think creatively about the meeting, and this year, like last, will involve an experiment or two. We are excited about our new venue at the University of Massachusetts (UMASS) Amherst with its great facilities, food, and opportunities to be outside from time to time.

Click for larger UMass map

Our new site allows us to offer more options for housing and dining than in the past. Please read this information carefully before making your selections during the registration process.

Lodging registration is now closed. 

Now available: A UMass campus map showing what is taking place in what buildings.

Click map at right to see a larger image or download a PDF.

Lodging – Two On-Site Options, Both Including Breakfast:

Option 1: Single Rooms in Residence Hall Suites
$64 per person

  • Suite apartments are located in the North Residential Area of campus, about 2500 feet from the Campus Center where our main meeting areas will be located, or about a 10-minute walk. It is also possible to drive between these apartments and the main meeting areas.
  • Apartments contain four single bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a shared living space with kitchenette. All are air-conditioned. Elevator access is available.
  • Linens are provided, but you will need to make up your bed.
  • Persons staying in the Residence Hall suites will have breakfast at the Worcester Dining Commons, midway between the residence and the Campus Center. (If walking is difficult for you, and you need information about an accessible breakfast alternative, please contact the Registrar, Jane Logee, at logeej@macucc.org or 508-875-5233.)

Option 2: Hotel UMass
April 29 Update - all hotel rooms booked for the Conference have been taken.


Friday Dinner and Saturday Lunch
UMass Dining Services emphasize variety, quality, local sourcing and sustainability. We think you will enjoy meals at Annual Meeting!

1. Dining Commons
With a couple of exceptions (see below), meals for Annual Meeting participants will be eaten at the
Worcester Dining Commons. The Commons has multiple cafeteria ‘stations’ from which to select meals, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. Access will be by meal card issued to you at registration.

2. Accessible Option – Blue Wall Café
The Dining Commons is located about 1000 feet from the Campus Center and our main meeting areas. If you cannot comfortably walk this far (or would like to eat your meals with someone who can’t do so), you may eat lunch and dinner at a food-court-style café in the Campus Center itself. You will need to Indicate this preference when you register, because you will need a different kind of meal voucher.

3. Recognition Luncheon
On Saturday there will be an optional Recognition Luncheon, which will provide the occasion to honor 50-year ordinands, award recipients, those who have completed Christian Educator training, and others. By popular request, we are once again offering a “Recognition Luncheon Only” registration option for friends and family of honorees. The Luncheon will be buffet style, held in the Student Union Ballroom, which is located about 500 feet from our meeting area via indoor walkway. There is no additional cost for this luncheon, but you will need to pre-register for it when you register for the meeting.


Parking will be available at a discounted rate of $5 for 24 hours, at the Central Parking Garage located below the Campus Center. Those staying in the North Residential Area will be issued a complimentary parking pass for a lot near that location.

Tentative Schedule

Friday, June 12, 2015

2:00 PM: Registration & Marketplace Open
Campus Center, UMass, Amherst

3:00 – 4:00 PM: Opening Plenary I -Campus Center
  • Opening to the Spirit! 20 lively minutes of scripture and song
  • Introductions, appointments,elections
  • Presentation on the Budget
4:15 – 5:15 PM: “Treasure in Clay Jars”–Stories of Transformation and Revelation
Campus Center breakout rooms

5:30 PM: Dinner
Worcester Dining Commons

7:00 – 8:00 PM: Hearings
Campus Center breakout rooms
Smaller group opportunities for
engaging the issues at hand, including:
  • Resolution Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
  • Resolution on Dismantling Discriminatory Systems of Mass Incarceration in Massachusetts
  • Clergy Compensation Guidelines
  • Conference Budget and United Church Mission update

8:15 – 9:00 PM: Evening Worship
Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber preaching

9:15 – 10:30 PM: Reception
Marriott Center, Campus Center,
11th floor

A gathering time for clergy, delegates
and friends

The Marketplace will be open until 10:00 PM.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

7:00 AM: Worcester Dining Commons Opens
for Breakfast

7:30 AM Registration and Marketplace Open
Campus Center

8:30 – 11:00 AM: Plenary II - Campus Center
  • Budget Actions
  • Action on Clergy Compensation Guidelines
  • Actions on Resolutions
  • Other Actions

11:30 AM Lunch - Worcester Dining Commons


Recognition Luncheon - Student Union Ballroom, pre-registration required]
The Recognition luncheon will honor those who have made special contributions to ministry and mission, including 50-year ordinands, Haystack and Green Church award recipients, those who have completed Christian Educator certification, and Our
Church’s Wider Mission Recognition recipients. In order to attend, you must register
for the Recognition Luncheon as part of your Annual Meeting registration

1:00 – 2:30 PM: Keynote Address and Conversation with the Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber
Fine Arts Center

3:00 – 4:00 PM: Plenary III - Campus Center

  • Board Chair Report
  •  Other Actions

4:00 – 5:00 PM: Closing Worship
The Rev. Jim Antal, Minister and President, preaching


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