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Challenges, Questions, Pitfalls, and Joys: The Reality of Serving a Church

Clergy Conference

Sunday, August 29 to Friday, September 3

Archived Conference Page

This is an archived conference page for a conference in a previous season.

Please visit the 2014 Conference Listings Page for current conference information.

This conference will focus on clergy serving local congregations in their first 1-10 years of ordained ministry. We welcome those serving UU and UCC churches as well as ecumenical colleagues to join us for 6 days of programming, collegiality, and time for rest and renewal as we gear up for the new church program year. This conference is co- sponsored by the Pastoral Excellence Program of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Our Morning Theme talk will be led by Rev. Dr. Larry Peers:
“Expeditions Into What’s Possible: Re-Viewing, Revising, Recomposing Our Ministries”

“I know that the adventures to be had on these journeys are not about the confirmation of what is already known, but about expeditions into what is possible for people to know about their lives.” Michael White, Maps of Narrative Practice

In this program , we will draw from the emerging perspectives and practices of narrative leadership and utilize these for deeper and imaginative reflections on “what is,” “what could be,” and “what’s next” in both our individual lives and our lives as religious leaders. Together we will take some “expeditions into what’s possible” as we utilize personal, spiritual and organizational tools and practices that allow us to interact with the stories of our lives, our ministries and our ministry settings in some new ways.

In addition to a series of short presentations, there will be opportunities to engage with the topics through individual reflection, scriptural study, small and large group discussions, and expressive arts (journal writing, art, etc.).

The topics include:

  • Overview of the principles and practices of narrative and leadership
  • Stories that we tell and stories that tell us
  • A narrative model for “reading” our life and ministry situations
  • Exegeting, honoring and shaping the congregation’s story
  • Moving beyond the problem saturated story in our own leadership or settings
  • Re-authoring and discovering alternate stories
  • Making “sacred shifts” that inform new directions in our lives and ministry

About Larry Peers

Larry Peers is a senior consultant, clergy coach and seminar leader with the Alban Institute, with expertise in whole systems strategic planning, congregational growth and change, clergy coaching, and conflict management. He has also served on the adjunct faculty of Harford Seminary. An ordained minister for over twenty years, Larry has served local congregations, worked as a director of congregational growth and research for the UUA national office, and served on a Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Program with UCC clergy. He has doctorates in congregational studies from Hartford Seminary and in organizational change from Pepperdine University, as well as specialized training in narrative therapy, ontological coaching and Appreciative Inquiry.

Other happenings throughout the week:

Chapel Services led by Rev. Jane Rzepka, Rev. Donna Schaper, and more!
Afternoon writing workshop led by Rev. Donna Schaper
Afternoon photography workshop led by Rev. Tom McMillan

Registrar: Kris LoFrumento, Administrator of the Pastoral Excellence Program, email hidden; JavaScript is required, (508) 875-5233 x274
At the time of registration, please submit reg form along with one check made payable to MACUCC with “Star Island Clergy Conference” on Memo line. This payment includes the $150 room and board deposit per person and the $100 program fee per person. Send both the check and reg form to Kris LoFrumento, MACUCC, One Badger Road Framingham, MA 01702.

Program Fee ($100) and Room & Board deposit ($150) are due at time of registration.

Download Registration Form

Adult Rates (18+)






Clergy Conference Adults






Questions about rates? Contact the conference registrar.

Our Mission

Our mission since 1915 is to hold and maintain Star Island and such other property as the Corporation may hold or acquire, as a center for religious, education, and kindred purposes consistent with the principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ.

Our Vision

Our vision is to create on Star Island an environment that frees all who come to renew spiritually, explore matters of consequence, and gain knowledge about the world as it might ideally be.

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