Welcome to Ever Flowing Streams... Together as One!

A message from Kelly Gallagher, ACM for Justice and Witness, Massachusetts Conference

Greetings Ever Flowing Streams readers! It is with great joy that I announce to you that the Massachusetts Ever Flowing Streams newsletter will now be shared with our Together As One colleagues, becoming a justice and witness newsletter for the new Tri-Conference. From this issue onward, we will seek to let everyone know about the amazing justice work happening in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, as well as events available to everyone. We hope this will give everyone an opportunity to learn about what is happening in our sibling states, and to get to know both staff and lay leadership in the justice and witness community across borders.

During this transition period, a staff person representing each state will help answer questions and field comments regarding justice and witness issues. Read more

Kent Siladi and Pam Arifian Discuss Impacts of Climate Change in New Video

Connecticut Conference Minister the Rev. Kent Siladi and Pam Arifian, the Director of the Northeast Environmental Justice Center at Silver Lake Conference Center, held a live video conversation on January 11 to talk about the impacts of climate change and how it shapes the work of the church today and in the future.
The conversation began with reactions to the Second Volume of the National Climate Assessment which was released in November 2018. This report is produced by the U.S. Global Change Research Program and is mandated by the Global Change Research Act of 1990. Siladi later asks Arifian to comment on the moral and spiritual responses to the climate crisis.  Finally, the conversation dives into the intersectionality of climate change and Justice work.
“Climate intersects with, perpetuates, exacerbates all of it,” says Arifian. “Those who are most marginalized are already and will continue to be impacted the worst or disproportionately so.”

Photo: Pam Arifian, Director of the Northeast Environmental Justice Center at Silver Lake Conference Center (CT)

RI UCC Haiti Delegation Posts Updates, Photos

A delegation of nine members of the Rhode Island Conference traveled to Haiti this month as part of the Conference's Haiti partnership. One of the participants, Irons Homestead Director Jennifer Geary, posted updates via social media. Her updates are below:

Sunday: Jan. 13:  Worship at the church in Fontamara built by the RICUCC Haiti Task Force, Daehler Hayes brought greetings, and the team delivered soccer equipment to this coach for a team Daehler supports. Missed worshiping at the church in Timarche because of horrible traffic. Visited the first well the task force built.  Read more and view photos here

Photo of celebration dinner by Jennifer Geary

Love Knows No Borders

by Kelly Gallagher 
The line of 400 or more people walked quietly down the beach, 4 by 4 in a strange and fascinating procession. On a cool December day in San Diego, with signs and birds, in stoles and clergy collars, robes and bright t-shirts, this mixed posada moved slowly and deliberately toward the border between Mexico and the United States. There were people of many races, many colors, many traditions, ages, abilities and backgrounds from all over the US – people of faith gathering at this wall to bring witness and word: Love Knows No Borders.
In that group of so many were people from the Tri-Conference, in San Diego for the Authorizing Ministry for the 21st Century Conference offered every other year for ACMs and Conference Ministers to discuss common issues and best practices around Search and Call, church vitality and such. There was something powerful about sharing this time together in this place – at this border. Read more   

Photo: Connecticut Conference Minister Kent Siladi and Campbell Lovett participate in the border action.

Super Saturday Features Justice-Related Workshops

The Tri-Conference Super Saturday is a day of worship, workshops and networking. The next session is March 16 in Wilbraham, Mass. All are welcome! Register early to reserve your spot - most workshops have limited space. Justice related workshops include these:

  • Loving Thy Neighbors in the Greater Community - Outdoor Church
  • Climate Change Resonance Circle 
  • Let's Talk About Nuclear Weapons. What Can We Do?
  • Faithful Steps for Supporting Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers  
  • Reframing/Transforming Justice: Using Talking Circles for Social Justice, Racial Justice and Social Change
  • The Impact of Systemic Racism on Congregations & Communities  
  • Beyond Sticks and Stones: Perspectives on Bullying Prevention and Intervention
  • How Are the Children? Palestinian Children in Israeli Military Detention
  • Extra! Extra! Learn all about it!!  (Just Peace Players)
  • Lunch Activity: Observations and Thoughts on Immigration, Refugee and Asylum Seekers on Our Border


Becoming an Immigrant Welcoming Church

From the UCC: Refugees, asylum seekers and migrants come to the United States seeking safety, security, freedom and opportunity, but instead many experience suffering as they fear raids, deportation, and witness their families being torn apart. A 2017 UCC national General Synod Resolution calls on UCC congregations and settings to become an Immigrant Welcoming Church.

Sign up and stay connected; also access worship resources, policy actions and more here.


Troubling the Waters for the Healing of the World: Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2019

April 5-8, 2019 ~ Washington, DC  

From Church World Service - In 2019, we gather at a time in which people of faith and conscience are again called to stand in the prophetic stream of those who have come before us, those who were not afraid to stir up #GoodTrouble for the sake of God’s kingdom. The history of engaging in #GoodTrouble is embedded in our faith tradition and our history as a nation and in the world. In the Bible, we read stories of the midwives who resisted Pharaoh and preserved the lives of Hebrew baby boys. We see Moses challenging the authority of Pharaoh, and Jesus overturn tables run by money changers. Throughout our U.S. history, Native peoples resisted land theft and cultural assimilation by European settlers through many forms of resistance. Read more

If These Walls Could Talk 

The Rev. Traci Blackmon, Associate General Minister of Justice and Local Church Ministries United Church of Christ, marked the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday by calling for the building of bridges, not walls — indicating there is no wall strong enough, high enough or entrenched enough to stop those who seek freedom. She offered this address at the St. Louis History Museum.  
I’d like to begin by sharing the words spoken by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. on September 13, 1964 in Berlin, Germany, three years after the erection of the wall that divided Soviet-occupied East Berlin from US occupied West Berlin, two months after the Civil Rights Act was enacted, and a month before Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize. 

The visit to Berlin came about after West Berlin’s Mayor, Willy Brandt, invited Dr. King to participate in a memorial service for President John F. Kennedy who had been assassinated one year prior. Because Dr. King stood for revolutionary change through non-violent resistance, he also received an invitation to speak in East Berlin from Heinrich Grüber, a pastor at a church there who was also a prisoner in a concentration camp for three years during World War II for openly criticizing the Nazi Party.  Read more

Related: Take action - Tell our new Congress to take up the mantle of good governance


Support Survivors of Human Trafficking

From the United Church of Christ - January is recognized in the US as Human Trafficking Awareness Month and the 2009 UCC Synod Resolution against human trafficking urges congregations to recognize January 11 as Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Human trafficking, also known as modern slavery, affected some 24.9 million people in 2016 and is one of the most profitable forms of transnational crime. Traffickers prey on those who are in vulnerable communities and force them into labor, exploit them in commercial sexual enterprises, and move them across national or state borders against their will.  Read more and take action

UCC Extends Matching Grants for CWS Cleanup Buckets Until June 2019 

by Carol Fouke-Mpoyo

United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries has extended the deadline to June 30, 2019, for UCC congregations assembling Church World Service Emergency Cleanup Buckets to apply for UCC Matching Grants of up to $250.

Members of the denomination can assist hurricane and other disaster relief efforts by pre-assembling these supplies that are warehoused by CWS, ready to be shipped at a moment's notice when the need arises.

UCC Disaster Ministries will consider Matching Grant applications for other kinds of CWS Kits, such as CWS School Kits, but is giving priority to groups assembling CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets.  Read more


The Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island Conferences, United Church of Christ

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