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Celebration IX

UCC New England Women's  CELEBRATION IX   "Together We Can ..."

March 28-30, 2014 ** Portland, Maine

Celebration Information

Celebration IX is underway!

Did you know ... 

  • that the colors for Celebration IX are red, white, and black?
  • that Celebration is open to teens from age 14 up?  Share the registration info with the teens in your church! 
  • that there will be shuttle service available between the hotels (the Westin and the Holiday Inn)?  So don't hesitate to sign up for events at both locations!
  • that you can help with hospitality at Celebration?  Find out what you can bring!

"Together We Can ..."

How wonderful it is ... for God's people 
to live together in harmony.

-Psalm 133:1

What is the New England Women’s Celebration?

The New England Women’s Celebration takes place every 4 years at various locations in New England. It is held over (or near) the weekend of Mothering Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Lent, which is traditionally a time when the strict observances of Lent were relaxed for a day so church folks could return to the Mother Church of their roots.

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.



Celebration IX Coordinating Team 

 Name and State  Responsibility
 Kathy Olmsted (MA)  Chair
 Dorothy (Dot) Grosset (ME)  Facility
 Kathy Sahrbek (ME)  Treasurer
 Doris Ames (ME)  Publicity
 Judy Stone (MA)
 Diane Wells (NH)
 Workshops
 Marjorie Brown (CT)
 Helen Schall (RI)
 Program
 Jan Bittner (CT)  Registrar
 Alice O'Donovan (CT)  Displays
 Valerie Peterson (MA)  Music 
 Maren Tirabassi (NH)  Worship



News & Announcements

Click each title to read the whole article

  • Volunteers Needed Greetings all!  Only two short weeks and we'll be gathering in Portland for Celebration IX following our theme "Together We Can ..."  We are inviting you to come together to help us with this event by volunteering some time.  We need folks to help with greeting, ushering, selling UCC items, and being a table deacon for worship on Sunday. If you're interested, contact Kathy Olmsted to volunteer (first.church@verizon.net or 978-948-3769). We know that "Together We Can ..." make this a great Celebration!
    Posted Mar 13, 2014, 5:57 AM by Martha Day
  • Registration Deadline 3/15/14 The registration deadline is fast approaching!  Be sure to get your registration in.  There are still rooms available at the Westin Portland Harborview Hotel, which is newly renovated and fully accessible.  There will be shuttle service between there and the Holiday Inn.  
    Posted Mar 8, 2014, 9:52 AM by Martha Day
  • Helping with Hospitality Because “Together We Can…” is our theme, we’re inviting everyone to help with the goodies that we’ll have at the Hospitality area in the Marketplace. The folks from the Cumberland Church will be overseeing the area, but we’re asking the folks from each state to bring items to share. Here’s the breakdown:Maine – ApplesVermont – CheeseNew Hampshire – Crackers / ChipsMassachusetts – Granola bars / Trail mixConnecticut – Cookies / SquaresRhode Island – OrangesPlease bring your items (wrapped, if necessary) and bring them to the Marketplace. We’re sure you will understand that the plate/container will be difficult to return to you so you should plan on disposable containers. Thank you!
    Posted Feb 16, 2014, 6:04 PM by Martha Day
  • Registration Discount Extended Great news!  The Coordinating Team has decided to extend the deadline for the registration discount through January 31st!  That means you can still register for Celebration IX for the low price of $100 (or $75 for Saturday only).  And all workshops are still open.  So if you haven't registered yet, now is the time!   If you have any questions or difficulty with the registration process, contact our Jan Bittner, Registrar, atjabittner@charter.net or 860-429-3134.   
    Posted Jan 16, 2014, 6:38 PM by Martha Day
  • Westin Portland Harborview Hotel open for reservations Good news!  The Westin Portland Harborview Hotel is now LIVE for group reservations.  You can call the 207-775-5411 number and be directed to reservations ... or you can call 800-228-3000 and request "United Church of Christ" to get the group rate.  
    Posted Dec 15, 2013, 4:29 AM by Martha Day
  • Workshop Updates We have updated the descriptions on some of our workshops!Twilight, Twitter and Taylor Swift: Pop Culture and Spirituality:  This workshop will focus on the intersection between our faith lives and popular culture and will teach several ancient prayer practices that have been updated for use with movie clips, modern music, and the Internet. We will also discuss ways that social networking sites and various apps can help deepen our spiritual lives. Great for all ages! (Saturday morning workshop)From Generation to Generation: Honoring Tradition and Embracing Change in our Congregations: Designed for women of all ages, this workshop will discuss generational differences in faith highlighting the historical events that have impacted the beliefs and practices of each generation. We ...
    Posted Nov 8, 2013, 4:20 AM by Martha Day
  • Speaker Meals ... and why you should sign up! The Speaker meals at Celebration IX are a special way to hear some of our workshop leaders and other guests in a different setting. The meals seem expensive to some, but the only way we can keep the registration to the same price it has been for the last 2 Celebrations is to have the hotels serve meals. We have to sell out the meals to help pay for the hotel use and other services. We add a modest amount to each meal to help pay for our speakers. And, it is another place to fellowship with women from around New England. Please take advantage of these meals which are planned to serve all the health needs of our participants ...
    Posted Nov 7, 2013, 7:23 AM by Martha Day
  • Online registration is now available Online registration is now available!  Go to online registration site 
    Posted Oct 10, 2013, 8:22 AM by Martha Day
  • Tentative Schedule Change Please note that for the Saturday lunch speakers, Kate Braestrup will be speaking at the Holiday Inn, and Melina Rudman will be speaking at the Westin.  This is a change from what is printed in the "Tentative Schedule" section the brochure.  The registration form itself in the brochure had them listed correctly.  
    Posted Sep 28, 2013, 12:51 PM by Martha Day
  • Schedule and Workshops Check out the tentative schedule and the great line up of workshops & presenters!  Online registration will be available soon. 
    Posted Sep 21, 2013, 7:17 PM by Martha Day
Showing posts 1 - 10 of 20. View more »



Testimonies from Previous Retreats

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.