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TA1 Board Goes on Retreat; Makes First Votes

The newly formed Together, As One Board of Directors spent six hours gathered on Saturday, sharing openly about the qualities they love about their respective historic conferences, and the less positive aspects they would like to leave behind as they move into a new one.

The 17 Board members, three Conference ministers and other staff spent the day at the First Congregational Church in Woodstock, CT., guided in conversation by facilitator Barbara Lemmel, Director of Tending the Fire.

The new board was formed following the June vote by the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences to join together to form a new, unified conference.

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North Branford Open Doors Cry "Welcome All"

“So God’s doors are always open to you, which of course begs the question, are your doors open to God?”
Rev. Vance Taylor asked this question during his sermon on Open Doors Sunday at North Branford Congregational Church. It’s a question not only for individuals, but for congregations as well. For the North Branford Congregation, a pair of bright green and red double doors sit on the front lawn, saying to the local community that not only are God’s doors open to all, but so is the North Branford church.
The Open Doors were an effort by the North Branford worship team to change the way they brought God’s word to the community. What often is called Rally Day or Homecoming Day in churches throughout the state, North Branford called Open Doors Sunday.

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Many Voices, One Mission: Face To Face

By Drew Page, News & Media Editor for the CT Conference, UCC

I usually work alone. Most days, I sit in my office working on projects that almost always require some collaboration or input with others — and I do this with nobody else in the room. When we have meetings, we often do them with video conferencing software. If I need to reach out to someone or respond to a question, I can simply send an email, even when the person is a colleague 3 floors above me.
But often, I choose to walk to their office to talk with them.
This may seem to some like I am inconveniencing my colleagues who have their own work to perform. But I find that face to face communication can save time and improve the clarity of a discussion.

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

Starting With Scripture: Listening God

By The Rev. Nicolette Siragusa, pastor of Bolton Congregational Church, UCC, CT

“Do you want solutions, or do you just want me to listen?”
I consider myself to be a smart and helpful person. Ten years ago, called as a solo pastor at the age of 28, I was eager to show how smart, how wise, how discerning I could be. When people came to me to talk, I was quick to offer advice and try to fix problems, to prove myself helpful, capable, and worthy of being called as their pastor.
This is a pattern I followed not just in my professional life, but in my personal one as well – thinking quickly and offering solutions and advice.
A very dear friend of mine is also quick-witted and a good problem- solver. In the beginning of our friendship, when I told him about a bad day or a difficult issue, he readily told me how I could fix everything. His solutions often sounded perfect for his personality and setting, and not at all workable for mine.
It was really annoying. Not surprisingly, he felt the same way about my ‘helpful’ suggestions. 

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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.

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.


Youth Group Advisor - New Canaan, CT


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