The 214th Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Conference took the following actions June 14 – 15 at the Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center:
- Voted to affirm the Resolution Urging Divestment from Fossil Fuel Companies as submitted to the 29th General Synod of the United Church of Christ. The Board of Directors in December had voted to submit the resolution to Synod.
More information and resolution text: macucc.org/divest
Full article: macucc.org/news/detail/231
- Voted to establish four Ministry Councils – Justice and Witness Ministries, Lay Leadership Development, Clergy Leadership Development and Church Development – in place of the Conference’s previous seven program commissions. The authorization is intended to allow the Conference to further test this new alignment, which the Board of Directors called a “simpler, more nimble and collaborative program structure.” The transition to this structure began after last year’s Annual Meeting.
Read more on the restructure
- Voted to allow two churches – All People's United Church in Belmont and North Congregational United Church of Christ in Amherst – to legally merge with the Conference. The two churches have closed and sold their buildings, and the merger allows them to transfer their financial assets to the Conference to continue their ministries in the wider church.
Read more in the Special Mailing to Delegates (PDF)
- Voted to approve Clergy Compensation Guidelines for 2013 which in part include a recommendation for a 1.7% increase over 2012 guidelines, based on the Consumer Price Index increase. Those working on the guidelines acknowledged that there needs to be improvement in how they are presented, and said they plan to pull together a task team to work on that issue in the coming year.
- Approved a 2014 budget for the Conference with income of $2,212, 200 and expenses of $2,262,200 and a transfer from operating reserves of $50,000. This budget marks an approximately 3 percent decrease over the 2013 budget. The meeting also voted that the Conference should continue to retain 47% of Our Church’s Wider Mission Basic Support contributions in the Conference, with the other 53% being forwarded to the national setting of the UCC. The meeting also set 2014 Fellowship Dues at $17.80 per member; a $.20 increase from 2013.
The full text of these resolutions can be found in the Advance Materials and the Spcial Mailing to Delegates found on the Annual Meeting Page.