Star Gathering UCC 2 Family Conference: Live Green, Love Green: Ecology, Faith and Justice

August 4, 2018 to August 11, 2018

All of the Star Gathering conferences have united in our mission of Ecology, Faith, and Social Justice! Join our fun and supportive community as we take action towards transforming and deepening our relationship with the Earth. New and old friendships will be cemented as we enjoy inter-generational activities, educational and spiritual programs, games, crafts, and environmental exploration on our beautiful island home. Be green with us!

Theme Speaker

The Rev. Dr. Jim Antal is a Minister and President of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ, and former Executive Secretary of the Fellowship of Reconciliation.  He provides national leadership as a climate activist for the United Church of Christ.

Minister of the Week

Reverend Matilda Rose Cantwell, MSW, is the College Chaplain and Director of the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life at Smith College. She served as a Senior Fellow for three years before that, developing an initiative to promote a “justice, identity and social change” theme, designed to undergird and rejuvenate social justice work with contemplative practices. Currently she is working with colleagues and students on two small seed grants, one of which is in support of undocumented students; the other in collaboration with the wider community on refugee resettlement. Her interests and pursuits include faith- based activism, ecofeminism, mental health and spirituality, psychoanalytic theory and theology, the philosophy of active non-violence, and spiritual development in children and young adults.

Prior to beginning her official ministry Matilda was trained and worked as a Clinical Social Worker, leading creative writing groups, therapeutic farming/gardening programs for teens, and organizing forums deigned to build bridges and introduce transformative justice into underserved communities. She has studied interfaith dialogue in Indonesia and explored religious themes in Honduras, Guatemala, and Nepal, developing a concept of “spiritual sustainability” with respect to religious beliefs and foreign aid.

Matilda holds a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Lewis and Clark College, a master’s degree from Smith College School for Social Work, and a master of divinity from Yale Divinity School. Her love of the natural world began in childhood, and one of her greatest influences was her grandparents who were lifelong Star Island conferees, and her mother, also a conferee, who raised her among chickens and goats and taking long walks along a river in central Ohio. Matilda enjoys cycling, running, hiking and gardening, and most of all spending time with family, which includes two boys ages 7 and 10. She enjoys writing and has written and published a poem or two here and there.

Matilda was a Shapley Book Fellow on Star Island for the 2014 IRAS conference, where she presented her paper, Beyond Belief: Shifting the Discourse on Religion in Higher Ed and Beyond. She oversees her department’s blog, which is at  She is working on a paper with a colleague about the theological and clinical implications of ‘Facebook grieving;” wherein virtual communities are created around those that have deceased; that was developed when she was awarded a research grant and participation in a one year project;Memory: Form, Function and Fallibility, through Smith’s interdisciplinary Kahn Institute Seminar.

She is very honored and excited to work with Jim Antal, and all the great people who attend SG2, and engage in worship and play with adults and children on the magical island.


Program Fee

$115/adult, $90/child


Scholarships are available. Please contact the conference registrar for information and application form.

Room & Board Rates

These rates include lodging, meals, and ferry transportation.

UCC2 Family Standard Shared Standard Single Motel Shared Motel Single
Adult 18+ $967 $1,315 $1,191 $1,747

Youth rates are determined by age on the first day of the program, regardless of room type.

UCC2 Family Under 6 6-11 Yrs 12-17 Yrs
Youths Free $448 $640


Ferry Schedule

Saturday, August 4
Departure: Portsmouth 2:25 p.m.
Arrival: Star Island 3:25 p.m
Saturday, August 11
Departure: Star Island 8:20 a.m.
Arrival: Portsmouth 9:45 a.m.


Contact the Registrar, Medora Barnes


Sara Garthwait and Heather Bell (Co-chairs)