Blog

2019 General Synod of the United Church of Christ

by Rev. Brendan Curran, Assoc. Minister  

Dear BCCUCC,

You might be wondering where I am from June 20th to June 26th.  I will be attending the 32nd General Synod of the United Church of Christ as part of the Next Generation Leadership Initiative.  “What’s General Synod?” some of you might ask… well let me tell you.

General Synod is a meeting of delegates, visitors, and guests from throughout our church, our whole denomination, and it happens […]

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!

by Rev. Brendan Curran, Assoc. Minister         –          May 15, 2019

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. – John 10:10

We can think of “ministry” as being all acts of service. I have heard ministry defined by a member of this church as, “providing what is needed.” We have been sent out as Jesus’s church to do just that… provide what is needed. We are sent out to bring healing for […]

So what is this “Coaching” thing Dale is doing?

by Rev. Dale Azevedo, Sr. Minister          –          May 1, 2019

“Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

As many of you know, I was away for a week last month, selected to participate in a special clergy training focused on Clergy Coaching. I thought it would be helpful to share a little bit about the experience, what coaching is, and how it will be of benefit to us.

First off, it was an amazing experience that taught me a lot and has given me […]

All things in common…

by Rev. Brendan Curran, Assoc. Minister         –          Apr. 15, 2019

“Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them.” -Acts 4:32-34

Resurrection marks the destination of […]

A Lent – Easter Refresher

by Rev. Dale Azevedo, Sr. Minister          –          April 1, 2019

Dear friends,

As we continue our journey through Lent toward our celebration of Easter, I thought it might be helpful to have a “refresher course” on the seasons ahead. Please read and enjoy.

  • Lent – A period of preparation for Easter traditionally lasting 40 weekdays involving fasting, repentance, and prayer. Sundays are excluded because every Sunday is a celebration of Easter (Jesus’ Resurrection). […]

Come to the Water

by Rev. Brendan Curran, Assoc. Minister         –          Mar. 15, 2019

This letter was written for the RI Conference and Brendan is also sharing it here to let us know of a current initiative of the RI conference’s Justice & Witness ministry.

“Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;” -Isaiah 55:1

Beloved Community,

As people of faith we meet our God in all the ways we put love […]

How are you growing this Lent?


by Rev. Dale Azevedo, Sr. Minister          –          March 1, 2019

The season of Lent is almost upon us! For those who may not know, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and runs for the 40 days leading up to Easter (Sundays are not counted as a part of the 40 days as Sundays are considered “little” Easters). Historically, Lent is a time of penitence and preparation. In the earliest days of the church, new converts would take the 40 days […]

Back to Basics

by Rev. Brendan Curran, Assoc. Minister         –          Feb. 15, 2019

Back to basics: How we care for each other and care for the Earth.

“What if Christ is the name of the transcendent within and of every ‘thing’ in the universe? What if Christ is the name for the immense spaciousness of all true Love?” – Richard Rohr OFM

The prophet Isaiah invites the people to come out and find God in the wilderness and in the work for justice..   “Come all you who are […]

Bullying Works…

by Rev. Dale Azevedo, Sr. Minister          –          February 1, 2019

I know, it’s a stupid title. Everyone who has ever bullied or been bullied knows that it works. That’s why it remains such a problem in our society. But as obvious as this title is, I have been starkly reminded of its reality this week. As some of you may know, I spent Tuesday evening at the Rhode Island State House this week. I had been asked by the RI Coalition for Reproductive Freedom (RICRF) to testify before the House Judiciary Committee […]

Believe You Are Beloved.

by Rev. Brendan Curran, Assoc. Minister         –          Jan. 15, 2019

I began the year in Arizona with my NGLI cohort. For those who don’t know, I was admitted to the “Next Generation Leadership Initiative.” NGLI is a program of the UCC pension boards. It is described as,

“A program that has emerged to equip, energize, and empower younger UCC local church pastors to build vibrant congregations that change lives and further God’s mission in the world. It seeks to honor and challenge […]

Finding the Light Together

by Rev. Brendan Curran, Assoc. Minister         –          Dec. 15, 2018

“What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” –John 1:2-5

We can’t find it by ourselves.  That’s the beautiful reminder of this season.  Finding, “the light of all people,” for which we wait to be revealed involves everyone coming together.  The nativity scene we wait to see illuminated by starlight reveals […]

O, Worship the Migrant!

by Rev. Dale Azevedo, Sr. Minister          –          December 1, 2018

“Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt.” (Matthew 2:13-14)

Jesus was a migrant. Like many of the thousands presently standing at our southern border, Jesus, […]

We’re In The Armor

by Rev. Brendan Curran, Assoc. Minister         –          Nov. 15, 2018

(This piece is taken from the report given by Brendan to the 212th Autumnal Meeting of the Rhode Island Conference.)

Friends, to honor our Justice and Witness ministries we engage in as a conference and also to encourage us to speak and work for justice with even greater boldness, I’d like to lift up and share one of St. Paul’s letters to the Ephesians.  In a time of oppression, injustice, and imperial violence St. Paul said to […]

This Will Not Stand

by Cindy Elder, Lay Member          –          November 1, 2018

(Cindy shared this editorial with me on Sunday, October 28, 2018. This was the day after 11 people had been killed in a Pittsburgh Synagogue, and at the end of a particularly challenging hate-filled week in our nation’s history. I was deeply moved by her writing and felt that there was no way I could say it better. She has given me permission to share this with you all. Rev. Dale Azevedo)

Hate is an insidious thing. It masquerades as pride,

God is Gender-Full

by Rev. Brendan Curran, Assoc. Minister         –          Oct. 15, 2018

Every Thursday afternoon, I host community coffee hours at the Coffee Depot in Warren from 3-5pm. Our time together is always exciting as the conversations range from personal updates to faith, spirituality, and even global commentary from lively sojourners! A couple weeks ago, the conversation we were having about toxic expressions of masculinity spilled into a conversation about the importance of using gender inclusive language for God. One of our congregation […]