Libby Announces Retirement Plans


Interim Conference Minister The Rev. Barbara J. Libby has announced her retirement from active ministry (and her service to the Rhode Island Conference) as of July 15, 2018. Libby will have served the Conference nearly four years during a time of considerable soul searching by the Conference about its future. The RI Conference will have been in six years of interim time since its last settled Conference Minister. Libby was preceded for two years by longtime Rhode Island pastor The Rev. Dr. Beverley Edwards.

An anticipated vote at a Tri-Conference Annual Meeting in Springfield, MA on June 15 & 16, 2018 will help clarify the future plans for the Rhode Island Conference, as it moves toward forming a new Conference in conjunction with the Massachusetts and Connecticut Conferences (Read more here).

The Board of Directors has appointed a Search Team for a Transitional Conference Minister led by The Rev. Cleo Graham, Vice President for Administration. This Search Team is undertaking a nationwide search to find a transitional leader who is expected to come on board by July 1, 2018 (to overlap with Libby). (The opening is listed on the national UCC ministry opportunities website.)

“This has been an extraordinary opportunity for me, in my final years of active ministry, to walk with the Rhode Island Conference UCC through a time of discernment, as the Conference has dreamed about its future," Libby said. "It has been both a wonderful challenge and a privilege to imagine what the future might hold for the pastors, churches, and congregations of the RI Conference UCC in this extraordinary time of the Church in the 21st century."

"The vote in June, 2018 will clearly have a significant impact on the future for this Conference. Mid-July, 2018, seemed like the right time for me to retire and let new transitional leadership guide the Conference into the next chapter, even as I step into my next chapter,“ she said. “It will be exciting to see how the future of the Rhode Island Conference UCC unfolds!”

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