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Siladi Fields Ideas on Facebook Live

Conference Minister the Rev. Kent J. Siladi invited people to come online  with him on Facebook this afternoon to share innovative initiatives going on in their churches.

Many shared ideas ranging from hiring a musician or artist in residence to replacing Sunday School with a bi-monthly Hands on Faith program to tossing a pumpkin from the church's portico roof the last Sunday of October.

Watch the video on, or watch on Facebook to read the ideas shared in the comments

Many Voices, One Mission: Viability

By The Rev. Dr. Jonathan New, Associate Conference Minister for Stewardship & Financial Development for the MA Conference, UCC

Churches are closing. 
This hits home regularly because I’m the Massachusetts Conference staffer working with churches considering closure.  In the UCC, from 2012-2015, 111 churches closed – one every two weeks.  The Massachusetts and Connecticut Conferences had one closure per year during this period, while Rhode Island had none.  However, I would note that currently the Mass Conference has 2-4 churches each year that are in some stage of the closure process, particularly if we consider that some of our churches essentially close through “adoption” – merger of a non-viable church with a relatively vital church. 
Churches are closing and – guess what? – that’s normal.  

We tend to think of churches as beyond time, assuming they should simply endure.  But, like people, all churches have a birth, a life, and a death.

Read the full post

Many Voices, One Mission is a regular series highlighting the ministries of the CT, MA, and RI Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Churches in the News

WSFB.COM: Plainfield Students Head to School in Killingly Following Fire

KILLINGLY, CT (WFSB) - Students from the Plainfield Memorial School headed back to school on Friday at a different school in Killingly.

Their school was damaged by a fire two weeks ago, so students are using the old Killingly High School as a temporary home ...

Friday, students were welcomed back with cheering, signs and high-fives.

"It's hard enough to go to school the first day," said Rev. Johnathan Chapman, pastor, Westfield United Church of Christ. "To go to a completely different town, to a school you've never been in before, I hope they know much they are loved even if we haven't met them yet."

Watch the news report

Starting With Scripture: *SIGH*

By The Rev. Timothy Haut, Senior Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Deep River (UCC)

"You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh. The fundamental things apply as time goes by." These famous lyrics from the 1942 movie Casablanca remind us that things as simple as a kiss or a sigh are universal, fundamental experiences of human life.  But a kiss is NOT just a kiss. A kiss is a glory, a wonder, a streak of light and joy erupting in the heart. To be kissed for the first time is to be gobsmacked by love. The last kiss we share with one we love is a sweet, sad, soul-piercing farewell.  
And a sigh is NOT just a sigh, either. It is the breath of grief, sorrow, frustration, helplessness, an admission of our vulnerability, a wordless prayer for help. 

Read the full post


Starting with Scripture is a weekly devotional written by current and former clergy and church leaders of the Connecticut Conference, UCC. Subscribe to receive the reflection each Monday at:

Upcoming Conference Events

Second Annual Silver Lake Award - Garden Party Fundraiser
Oct. 14, 2:00 to 5:00 PM
Farmington Gardens, Farmington, CT

The Silver Lake Board will present The Rev. Davida Foy Crabtree with the 2nd Annual Silver Lake Award at this garden party.

Rise Up for Climate, Jobs and Justice
Sept. 9, 1:00 PM
New Haven Green, New Haven, CT

Around the world, hundreds of thousands of people will demonstrate on behalf of climate, jobs, and justice. Join the UCC Northeast Environmental Justice Center and others from the CTUCC at this march.

Seeds Need Good Soil: Enhancing Stewardship Programs
Sept. 11, 6:30 to 8:30 PM
Rocky Hill Congregational Church, Rocky Hill, CT

Free Workshop! Bring new ideas and energy to your fall (or spring!) stewardship campaign. Led by Charlie Kuchenbrod, Executive Associate Conference Minister.

General Association 2018: Innovation Association
Sept 24 - 25
Heritage Hotel & Conference Center, Southbury, CT

An Innovation Hub experience including networking, collaboration and connection with keynote speaker The Rev. Dr. Katherine R. Henderson.

CT Women UCC - Day of Retreat
Oct. 6, 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Center Congregational Church, Manchester, CT

A day of meditation and relaxation centered around "Planting Seeds of Hope Across the Generations."

Next Steps Workshop: Retreats that Renew and Refresh!
Oct. 16, 6:00 to 8:30 PM
John P. Webster Library, West Hartford, CT

Come and explore creative ideas for your next retreat! Icebreakers, discussion questions, theme outlines and craft ideas.

Super Saturday
Oct. 20, 8:00 AM to 3:45 PM
Keefe Regional Technical High School, Framingham, MA

Join us for a full day of worship, workshops and networking. Keynote address by Dr. David M. Csinos, who writes widely about faith formation, children's ministry, youth ministry, and culture. 

Reviving Justice: Inspire / Connect / Act
Oct. 27, 1:00 to 5:00 PM
First Church of Christ in Simsbury, CT

Gather for worship, networking, and workshops. Connect with faith and community leaders who are working for environmental, economic, and racial justice.

Confirmation Retreat: Discipleship Matters
Nov. 2 - 4
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon, CT

Join us for a great experience with activities, worship, and fellowship appropriate for youth in grades 7-9 during their Confirmation year! 

Nov. 2 - 4
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon, CT

An annul event for youth who want to grow their leadership skills.The weekend will include racial justice training as well as favorite camp activities -- low ropes, campfire with s'mores, and a night hike.

Tending the Fire
Nov. 6-8; Jan. 8-10; March 12-14
Framingham, MA & Sharon, CT

This series of retreats helps clergy “think systems” in their congregations and their personal lives, so they can lead change that lasts.


Communication Specialist - Manchester, CT (Center)


Other Events of Interest

Dr. Peter Steinke Workshops: Teaching a Fish To Walk & To Make A Difference
Sept. 14, 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Trinity Lutheran Church, Vernon, CT

Dr. Peter Steinke will lead two workshops on his new books, Teaching Fish to Walk and  To Make a Difference.

Not Your Grandmother's Dinner Party
Sept. 22, Oct. 20 & Nov. 17, 1:00 to 7:00 PM
First Congregational Church, New London, CT

An orientation to homelessness in New London, theological reflection about our call to care for the most vulnerable in our society, and the sharing of a meal with guests of the Homeless Hospitality Center.

UCC W.I.S.E. Conference for Mental Health
Sept. 29
South Church, UCC, Andover, MA

Learn about action steps for individuals and congregations to become WISE (Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive and Engaged) about mental health.

Building A Longer Table: Embracing the Disability Community
Oct. 15, 2:00 PM
Hartford Seminary, Hartford, CT

This workshop will provide a look at the difference between accommodating, inclusion and embracing the disability community.

Ebony and Ivory Ball
Oct. 27, 7:30 PM to 11:00 PM
224 Ecospace, Hartford, CT

An evening of music, wine, appetizers, yummy desserts, and dancing, to benefit a scholarship fund to send two youth to UCC General Synod.

Widening the Welcome
Nov. 1 - 3
Niagara Falls Convention Center, Niagara, NY

Workshops and panels; invited speakers include Traci Blackmon, Sarah Lund, Jennifer Brownell, and keynote speaker John C. Dorhauer, UCC General Minister and President.



Connecticut Conference, UCC
125 Sherman Street, Hartford, CT 06105
Toll Free in CT: 866.367.2822 | 860.233.5564