Procedures if the IA Conference is Full by April 15

The International Affairs Conference welcomes registrants of all races, religions, ethnic groups and sexual orientations. In the event the conference is oversubscribed, the following guidelines are followed to ensure a fair and inclusive registration process.

Vital Conference Staff

The number of conference staff for whom spaces are necessary varies from year. This number includes but is not limited to Committee members, Speakers, Youth Staff, Workshop Leaders, the Minister of the Week and family members of those people.

New Shoalers

In order to continually enhance and grow the International Affairs Conference, places will be reserved for all new Shoalers who apply by the March 10 deadline, up to 15% of the total conference attendance. (A new person who is a spouse or partner of an Old Shoaler is not considered “new” for this purpose.) This 15% guideline does not include speakers or other vital conference staff.

Former Ministers and Speakers

To honor the contribution of former ministers and speakers, they will be guaranteed a place for three years immediately following the year served.


To ensure the continued existence of the conference through time, no fewer than 55 and no more than 85 children under the age of 18 will be registered, with an attempt to maintain a balanced children’s program.


Up to 15% of the total places at the conference will be used for: 1) Past Committee members, Youth Program Director, and Registrar/Treasurer will be guaranteed one year for each year served immediately following their service 2) Volunteers who contribute greatly to conference activities.

March 10 Deadline

Registrations received later than March 10 will be placed at the end of the waiting list, in the order received.

Previous Year’s Waiting List

If possible, places will be reserved for those not admitted the previous year due to over registration. Applicants must apply on time and must not have withdrawn from the waiting list the previous year.

Applicants to Other Conferences

If the conference is oversubscribed, applications from those accepted at other Star Island conferences will not be considered until all others have been offered places.


Once these commitments have been met, a lottery will be held to determine the ranking of other applications for the conference until all places are filled, followed by applicants on the waiting list. The lottery process will be handled by the Registrar and at least two other persons appointed by the Conference Committee.

Minister of the Week

Minister of the Week

Rev. Robin Bartlett is the Senior Pastor of the First Church in Sterling in beautiful Sterling, MA, a multi-denominational Christian congregation affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Previously, she served as Interim Director of Religious Education at UU Area Church at First Parish in Sherborn, MA, the full time intern minister at First Parish in Brookline, MA, and as summer minister at First Parish in Lexington. She was ordained into the UU ministry at First Parish in Brookline in October, 2013.

She is passionate about multigenerational and multicultural ministry, preaching, children’s worship, singing, prayer, our Unitarian and Universalist theological traditions, and Jesus and his ministry. Having been brought up steeped in choral singing and musical theater because of her choir director mother, her favorite past time is singing. She can be found singing in choirs (most recently the BU Seminary Singers), sight reading alto parts of hymns at church, doing karaoke at dive bars, or belting show tunes around the piano at Club Cafe in Boston. She also loves reading, sushi, Boston, Massachusetts, and her network of family, friends and colleagues. She adores the irreverent comedy of Louis C. K., So You Think You Can Dance and Downton Abbey.

She currently lives in the parsonage in Sterling, MA with her husband, Andy Linscott, who is a PhD student in the Department of Religion. They also share their home with their three children, Cecilia Barraza, Eloisa Barraza, and Isaac Bartlett Linscott.