Ministries, Programs, and Mission
Pilgrim Lodge: Nestled on the shores of Lake Cobbosseecontee in West Gardiner, more than a dozen cozy cabins linked by a rustic boardwalk welcome each year hundreds of children, youth and church families for a summer camping experience of spiritual challenge and growth. It is also becoming a site for individual churches to hold retreats.
One Weston Court: This is the main office of the Maine Conference UCC located in Augusta, Maine. There is one Conference Minister and two Associate Conference Ministers, Business Manager, Ministries Assistant, and the Administrative Financial Assistant. The Resource Center is also located at the Conference office. The Conference office is the business office for all the UCC churches in the state of Maine.
The Resource Center maintains a library of print and audio/visual resources relating to all areas of church life and mission, which individuals and churches may borrow. It provides information and referral services, as well as consulting services in the areas of Christian education and mission education.
The Maine School of Ministry: Beginning in 2013 as the successor to the Academy of Congregational Life and Leadership, the Maine School of Ministry seeks to support and deepen the spiritual growth of the people of Maine; encourage a culture of learning in our congregations; with the oversight of the MESoM board, and in partnership with Committees on Ministry of the Conference, to work on the preparation and ongoing education of the church’s leaders, lay and clergy; offer tools and education required for Authorized Ministry in the Maine Conference; and continue to explore the theology, practice, and requirements of the ordained ministry as various paths to ministry are developed.
State Youth Council: Comprised of all the high school aged youth in the Maine Conference. Led by an Executive Council of eight elected youth together with three adult advisors, this group holds two retreats a year, leads one of the worship services at Annual Meeting, and offers opportunities for our youth to gather together in fellowship throughout the year as well as supporting participation in regional and national youth events.
Honduras Partnership: A group of people who have devoted energy to maintaining and developing joint projects with the Evangelical and Reform Church of Honduras. We offer opportunities to travel to Honduras for short-term construction, medical or other service, and we also facilitate the travel of Hondurans to Maine to meet UCC groups. Thus we help each other move toward a deeper understanding of our cultural, social and theological differences, experiencing our oneness in Christ as we work together for peace and justice. It is not necessary to speak Spanish to participate.
The Maine Ministerial Relief Society: Provides confidential, emergency financial assistance to Maine UCC clergy and their families through a fund that is administered by trustees from the Maine Conference.
Clergy Communities of Practice: Part of a national network of support groups for clergy, Maine has a network of groups for experienced clergy and for new clergy.
Resourcing the Local Church: The Capital Campaign Endowment Fund income is used for leadership development and special service to local congregations. This committee maintains a policy for use of the annual income and to monitor the requests for use of such funds. Application forms are available for churches and individuals at the Conference Office.
Conference Resource Teams: Equipping the saints for the work of ministry underlies the goals and intentions that the Maine Conference adopted in our Vision & Mission Plan as well as the Moving Forward Together Strategic Plan. All Conference programmatic activity is now channeled toward more flexible community-based ministries (Resource Teams) that can more directly reflect the priorities and passions of our Conference community.
Interim Ministry Network: An affinity group formed to support and provide on-going training of interim ministers. All interim clergy and invited to attend on a regular basis.
Maine Council of Churches: MCC is a statewide ecumenical organization founded in 1938 whose nine denominational members include Maine’s Roman Catholics, Unitarian Universalists and mainline Protestants, including the Maine Conference of the UCC. The Council provides a unified voice, speaking up to policy-makers, the public and the press on issues of economic and environmental justice, human rights and peace. MCC also provides resources to local congregations who wish to learn more and become involved in public advocacy on these issues, including health care reform, global warming, local foods initiatives, environmental health and toxics, homelessness and poverty, anti-torture and human rights efforts and connecting with advocates for justice in other faiths in Maine.
United Church of Canada: Through the exchanging of visitors for Annual Meetings and occasional clergy retreats, the Maine Conference maintains a friendly relationship with the Maritime Province of the United Church of Canada.
Maine Seacoast Mission: This is a multi-denominational effort providing ministers and ministry to coastal and island churches of Downeast Maine. With its flagship, the Sunbeam, Maine Seacoast Mission helps connect often-isolated islanders and brings relief to the needy.
The Wilson Center: Named after author Dorothy Clark Wilson, is the home of the Maine Christian Association and provides Protestant chaplaincy to the University of Maine at Orono. Supported in part by the Maine Conference, many previous chaplains have all been UCC Ministers.