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Friday, November 10, 2006

ANTS Student E-News November 10, 2006 - EVENTS BOARD

In this message

- Mercy Center Advent Programs
- Mercy Center: Nonviolence: The Spirit & Practice of Personal & Social Change
- Creative Worship Planning for Lent and Easter
- SAVE THE DATE! January 25, 2007
- John and Caroline Westerhoff are coming SAVE THE DATE!
- "Voices of Men" Sexual assault Presentation - Nov. 17

Mercy Center Advent Programs

God’s Love Song: An Advent Weekend Retreat With Florence Trahan, RSM

Friday December 1, 7:30 pm – Sunday December 3, 1pm $240.

This weekend retreat provides an opportunity to prepare for Christmas by reflecting on the most beautiful love song ever heard; the song of our merciful God revealed in the person of Jesus. We will let Scripture, music, silent reflection; optional sharing and Eucharistic liturgy lead us into the mystery of Advent.
“But how can this be?”: Advent day of Reflection With Claire Rusowicz

Wednesday December 6 9:30am – 3:30 pm $45.

Mary’s question to the messenger Gabriel echoes down the ages and into our own expectations for Emmanuel’s redeeming presence in our “weary world.” What are the signs that encourage your hopes for Christmas – what enables you this year to trust the promise of “good tidings of great joy?” Today spend time with others to center your prayers and preparations for the Advent season. This day will include group reflection and time for individual prayer and quiet, inspired by scripture readings, poetry and music of this blessed season.

Journey with Mary: An Advent Retreat Day With Janet Weber, RSCJ

Thursday December 14 9:30am – 2:00pm $35

Madeleine L’Engle writes: “This is the irrational season, when love blooms bright and wild. Had Mary been filled with reason, there’d have been no room for a child.” In the midst of the busy rush to Christmas, it is good to take time to ponder and savor the mystery of Mary’s fiat, and allow love to bloom bright and wild within our own being. This silent retreat day will begin with a presentation and end after lunch with a short period of communal reflection.

Mercy Center: Nonviolence: The Spirit & Practice of Personal & Social Change

with Janet Chisholm

What kind of world do you want for yourself and for the children of the future? A foundation in active nonviolence will provide the principles and tools to help you change the world. You are not powerless, you’re one of the people we’ve been waiting for!

As Dr. King declared, “It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence; it is a choice between violence and nonexistence.” Active nonviolence is a spiritually-grounded power for transforming daily life; it’s a path toward personal, community, national and global change.

Discover how to talk more openly without avoiding sensitive topics, such as politics and sexuality. Reconnect to your own power and resources for active peacemaking.

No matter what your previous training, experience or spiritual path, you will leave refreshed, inspired and committed to transformative nonviolence as a way of life and a vehicle for social change.

Friday, December 8, 2006, 10:00 am - Sunday, December 10, 5:00 pm

$250 shared room, central bath/$165 commuter fee. Scholarships Available

Janet Chisholm , Program Presenter is a Nonviolence Trainer and Peace and Justice Coordinator at Kirkridge Study and Retreat Center in Pennsylvania. Janet developed a a nationally-recognized interactive program on nonviolence called "Creating a Culture of Peace," trained in 30 states, and prepared 300 trainers, including in Palestine. She is a popular speaker and writer on active nonviolence and the Chairperson of the national Episcopal Peace Fellowship. Formerly, Janet worked at the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), the oldest multi-faith peace organization in the United States, as Interim Executive Co-Director and as Coordinator of Nonviolence Training.

To register call Mercy Center’s Guest Services: 203.245.0401,

or register online,
Creative Worship Planning for Lent and Easter

January 17, 2007

During this day colleagues - clergy and lay - will
gather to reflect on the texts of Lent and will explore
various ways in which to engage the congregation in
the themes of the Lenten season.For all the details -

SAVE THE DATE! January 25, 2007

a gathering of Senior and Associate Teams

Save the date of January 25, 2007 for an event for
multiple staff teams serving congregations in the
Massachusetts Conference, UCC. The event will
begin with registration at 9:30AM and continue until
3:00PM in Edwards House at the Framingham
Conference Center. The focus for this gathering
will be on building relationships of trust using
appreciative inquiry as an effective tool.

The Revs. Patricia Hayes and Larry Peers, will be
the facilitators for this gathering. Patricia is currently
serving as Senior Minister at Christ Congregational
Church in Brockton. Prior to her call
to Brockton, Patricia worked for six years as a
consultant for The Alban Institute, developing the
seminar “Building Healthy Staff Teams” based on her
work with staff teams around the country. She has
served in a variety of roles on staff teams, and looks
forward to mutual conversations on the topic.
Larry is currently the Associate for Pastoral
Development in
the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Program and an
Alban Consultant.
Look for more info coming

John and Caroline Westerhoff are coming SAVE THE DATE!

February 9 and 10, 2007

Clergy and church educators come hear John and
Caroline Westerhoff! Join us for a welcoming
reception, booksigning and presentation on Friday
Feb. 9th as well as for a day of presentations and
small group work on Feb. 10th. The topics will
include: The Teaching Ministry of Pastor and
Educator, Living into Our Baptism, and The
Making of Christians: Formation, Education, and
Instruction.More details! -

"Voices of Men" Sexual assault Presentation - Nov. 17

"Voices of Men," an entertaining and informative multi-media play
that addresses sexual assault, date rape, dating violence, domestic
violence, sexual harassment and the objectification of women, will be
presented Friday, Nov. 17 at 8 pm at First Church Unitarian, 19 Foster
St. in Littleton, Mass. Admission $10 adults, $8 students/seniors in advance, $2more at the door.

Humor, celebrity impressions, and video clips illustrate these topics
in a light-hearted way that promote learning and understanding. The
show gently raises awareness of our cultural attitudes towards
violence against women.

We encourage educators and students to attend, and urge them to host
"Voices of Men" at an assembly at their school to bring the show to
young adults. Our goal is to raise awareness about how violence
against women is perpetuated, and to eradicate it through education.

Join us for an entertaining, informative and sobering reflection on
violence against women through popular films and the talents of an
actor/activist who has worked to end violence against women since

About the author/actor:
Ben Atherton-Zeman is a spokesperson for the National Organization for
Men Against Sexism and a speaker on violence prevention. He has
presented in 35 states, Canada, China and the Czech Republic. Since
1991, Ben has worked in preventative education for rape crisis
centers, domestic violence programs, and state coalitions. Visit

For more information and tickets, contact Susan Tordella,

From I-495 North, take Exit 30 (Route 2A, Littleton/Ayer). Turn right
off the ramp onto Route 2A East and continue about 3/10 of a mile to
Rogers Street, then turn right. The church is right around the corner.
Parking is available on the street and in the town lot directly
opposite the church. The building is accessible to the handicapped.
Telephone number: (978) 486-3044

"Take Back Your Time" is a collaboration between the Massachusetts Council
of Churches and the national "Take Back Your Time Day" organization. The aim
of Take Back Your Time is to draw attention to imbalances in work and
leisure in American cultural life. It offers a special opportunity for MCC
congregations to engage in theological reflection and personal practice
relating to Sabbath observance.

The initiative asks one to choose four windows of time from October 24, Take
Back Your Time Day, to December 31, 2006 to:
-rest body and mind
-reflect on life's deeper meaning
-reconnect with family, friends, and community
-reclaim time
-revive energy for life
-renew your relationship with Jesus Christ
-recreate balance

The MCC has a bulletin insert available for churches and also
provides great resources on how to Take Back Your Time with your family and
spiritual life at

ANTS E-news
Karen Brockney and Jason Bachand