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Mon, Sep 18


Pilgrim Pines Camp and Retreat Center

Clergy Convocation 2023: Why Stories Matter

Clergy Convocation is an annual event for Authorized Ministers of the NHCUCC. The event provides a variety of activities and opportunities for worship, reflection, learning, recreation, and fellowship with other NHCUCC ministers. The event takes place over the course of three days.

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Time & Location

Sep 18, 2023, 1:00 PM – Sep 20, 2023, 1:00 PM

Pilgrim Pines Camp and Retreat Center, 220 W Shore Rd, Swanzey, NH 03446, USA

About the event

In the time of Covid-19:

For the safety of all, no registration will be considered complete without proof of up-to-date COVID vaccination.

Clergy  Convocation is an annual event for Authorized Ministers* of the NHCUCC.  The event provides a variety of activities and opportunities for  worship, reflection, learning, recreation, and fellowship with other  NHCUCC ministers. The event takes place over the course of three days,  Monday afternoon through Wednesday lunch at the beautiful Pilgrim Pines  Camp and Retreat Center in Swanzey, NH. Come spend about 48 hours with  many of your NHCUCC colleagues in ministry. Worship and play together at  the lake in the wooded southwest corner of NH. Eat and learn in  community and experience fellowship and Sabbath rest among the trees and  along the lakeshore. Ministers who serve in settings that are not local  congregations (such as chaplains and others) are welcome and encouraged  to participate as well.

(*- ordained, licensed or commissioned  ministers with standing held by an Association of the NHCUCC / OR – a  minister whose standing is held elsewhere in the UCC or other  denomination but who is serving in a NHCUCC setting / OR –  retired UCC ministers residing in NH and active in the NHCUCC or one of  its local congregations)

(MIDs who have received approval for ordination or who fit the above description of Authorized may also attend.)

Some  structural details: The convocation opens and closes with worship.  Overnight accommodations, meals are by Pilgrim Pines. Accommodations are  single occupancy with private bath. The featured presenter(s) provides  ten hours of teaching/learning/presentation on the prepared topic over  the course of five sessions. Mornings begin with an optional “Morning  Watch” worship experience (out of doors, of course) before breakfast. A  social hour with various refreshments and time for fellowship is  scheduled before each of the evening meals. Tuesday afternoon is set  aside for “free time” for beach time: walking, sunning or swimming;  reading, a long bicycle ride (bring your own bike), shopping, or etc. Conversation often extends later into the evening for those who so  chose.

Come join the Rev. Dr. AbbyLynn Haskell and the Rev. Holly Tomilson  as they share with us why storytelling is essential to humans. We will  explore the biology, psychology, sociology, and ministry of stories; the  spiritual practice of storytelling in the Biblical world and in Jewish  & Christian traditions; and tell stories of ministry. Let us gather  this fall to share stories that inspire and motivate us.

The  Rev. Dr. AbbyLynn Haskell thoroughly enjoys eating whoopie pies, the  smell of campfires and the sound of laughter.  AbbyLynn has been  delighting in the joy and ministry of storytelling since graduating from  Bangor Theological Seminary in 1999.  She has served churches in New  Hampshire and Maine in the roles of pastor, associate pastor, and  director of program development.  She firmly believes storytelling to be  a vibrant way of shaping community, worship and pastoral care that  effectively shares the Gospel.  AbbyLynn completed her Doctorate of  Ministry in Semiotics, Church and Culture at Portland Seminary of George  Fox University in 2022 with a dissertation focus on Teaching the Art of  Sacred Storytelling for Use in Ministry.  She takes great joy in  teaching and supporting others in their work to develop their preaching  craft. AbbyLynn shares her storytelling ministry at retreats and  conference events as well as summer Sunday mornings on the Sunrise Boat  Church YouTube channel. AbbyLynn also loves sailing, is a USCG Captain  and runs a coastal sailing retreat business  with her husband that operates out of Saco Bay, Maine.

The  Rev. Holly Tomilson believes in the power of stories. She loves  listening to The Moth Radio Hour to hear people tell their stories. One  aspect of ministry that Holly enjoys is hearing the stories of her  parishioners. She has worked both as a chaplain and in parish ministry.  Holly Is currently serving as the Moderator for the Rockingham  Association, is on the Clergy Convocation Planning Committee, is a  leader at her home church, and is on the Board of Directors for the NH  Alliance for End-of-Life Options. She is also a certified End-of-Life  Doula. Holly lives in Deerfield, NH with her dog, Cato.


  • 1 hour


  • 1 hour


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