Read about Celebration IX which was held in Portland, Maine, on March 28-30, 2014.
The purpose of the Celebrations is to reach women in the pews and to involve them in learning and sharing their faith beyond the local church and Conference setting. It is organized by women from United Church of Christ (UCC) congregations across New England, however women from all denominations and religious traditions are welcome to attend.
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Dorothy Pitman from New Hampshire says:
Having missed only one of the Celebrations I am looking forward to attending Celebration IX in Portland. It is such a moving experience for me to be in the midst of hundreds of UCC women all singing, praying, and sharing together. An experience that I will forever remember.
Marsha Sheehan from Saco, Maine, says:
There was NO way I could give up a whole weekend to attend Celebration VII in Burlington! It was certainly not something that was feasible for me, a 37 year old wife and mother of two children with a full time job and many commitments within the church. With some coaxing by church friends Kris Galasyn and Laurie Mooney I was convinced to join a carpool of women from my church, and as the date approached I wondered what I was thinking -- how could I give up this much time? The ride from Maine flew by as Kris, Laurie, Lynne Siulinski Meredith Jordan and I shared stores and got to know each other better. From the moment I walked into the registration area I could feel the amazing spirit and energy. Nearly one thousand women: all there to grow and learn and worship. The weekend was filled with shining moments, useful information, inspiring messages. I returned to my husband, children, job, and church renewed in spirit and with a better sense of the wider UCC community.
Liz Reed-Swale comes from Rock Hill, Connecticut:
Around the time I graduated from college, my mother and I began the tradition of an annual mother-daughter retreat. It has been a wonderful way for us to move beyond simply filling each other in on our daily lives and really getting to know each other as adults. Mom invited me to Celebration VII after finding out about it at her church. What impressed me most was the planning that had to have gone into the weekend: our every want and need was anticipated and taken care of, from quiet time to discussion to snacking to supporting the global community. And the music! Singing with over 900 other women is a moving experience; I was in tears more than once throughout the weekend. There was time to take walks (though we had to wear long johns!), time to meet and chat with other participants, and time for just the two of us to talk and share. It was a powerful, strengthening three days. In the doldrums of a gray, cold winter, our experiences at Celebration VII made me feel alive and new, and that spring definitely was on its way.