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New Reviving Justice Event to Offer Workshops, Worship, Inspiration

The Rev. Dr. Damaris Whittaker
will be the worship leader

The Connecticut Conference is teaming up with several ecumenical and civic partners to offer a NEW gathering this fall.  Reviving Justice: Inspire, Connect, Act will bring folks together for uplifting worship, followed by a time to connect and then take action around local justice issues.

The program will be hosted by First Church of Christ in Simsbury, from 1:00 to 5:00 PM on Saturday, October 27.

“The Connecticut Conference has a long tradition of hosting Revival worship.  This year the Racial Justice Board of Directors decided to expand the format to include not only dynamic multi-cultural, multi-racial worship, but also a space to learn and connect around justice issues,” said Isaac Monts, Associate for Justice and Leadership.

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'Incredible' Growth at Silver Lake

SHARON – “Hey, relax, you’ve got this.” Alex peered up into the trees at a small body clinging to a pole. She made a small adjustment to the belay line and tried again. “Just put one foot out onto the log. I’ve got you.”

Slowly, uncertainly, the camper unfurled, stepping out onto the Catwalk. With cheers from below, and continued encouragement from her belayer, she made her way across the obstacle. When her feet finally touched the ground, her face erupted into an enormous grin.

“I didn’t think I could do it!” she said. 

Alex held out her hand for a high five. “I knew you could.”

This scene played out multiple times a day over the seven weeks of the Silver Lake summer conference program this year.

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Many Voices, One Mission:
The Sometimes Difficult, Always Important, Evolution of Language

By Tiffany Vail, Associate Conference Minister of Communication for the CT, MA, and RI Conferences

Language – and the evolution of language – is a fascinating thing. It can also be a frustrating and difficult thing. Because change is never easy.

I’m a journalist by training, having worked as a newspaper reporter before beginning in Conference communication more than 20 years ago. As a journalist, it was considered of utmost importance to use the proper rules when writing, for consistency and clarity. The Associated Press Stylebook is the “Bible” of newsrooms – the go to place when it comes to questions regarding proper use of titles, capitalization, etc. We each had one on our desk.

A new edition of the AP Stylebook is published every, single year. Why? Because language is changing so quickly.

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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.

CAUCE Reflects- Welcome 'Home'

By Tracy Fouke Bausum, Commissioned Minister of Discipleship Education and CAUCE Coordinating Committee Member

When I think of the most joyous welcomes two images come to mind immediately.  The first is from the epilogue portion of the movie “Love Actually.”  The scene is Heathrow Airport and people are reuniting with loved ones ~ relatives, old friends, new acquaintances, all ages and all backgrounds.  They are hugging, kissing, shaking hands ~ joyful in loving and being loved. There is a deep sense of connectedness. The second image is from Vacation Bible School. By the second and third days, the kids come bursting through the front door of the church smiling, singing and greeting us with hugs, high fives, and jubilant energy.  They feel that sense of belonging and being loved. 

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Obituary: The Rev. Dr. John B. Pelletier

The Rev. Dr. John B. Pelletier, former pastor of the North Madison Congregational Church, passed away peacefully on Saturday, September 15, 2018 surrounded by family at St. Mary’s Hospital in Watertown. He was 76.

The Rev. Pelletier was ordained as a priest in 1968, but according to his obituary, found himself ahead of his time serving in the Roman Catholic church.

A funeral service will be held for The Rev. Pelletier on Saturday, September 22nd, 11:00 AM at the First Congregational Church of Watertown.  A memorial service will also be held at First Church of Bethlehem at a date to be determined. There will be no calling hours. 

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Starting With Scripture: Last of All

By The Rev. Jonathan Chapman, pastor of Westfield Church in Killingly, CT

I’ve always scoffed at the disciples arguing about who was the greatest among them. Particularly in Mark, our gospel lection this week, the disciples are notoriously dimwitted. So the answer is obvious to readers: none of them is. None of them is the greatest or the best. They’re broken and hurting, lost and bewildered. One might even say, they are—in some way—the least.

I think there’s a lot of competition in our conference to be the greatest—to have the best attendance numbers or the most yearly baptisms, to have the biggest budgets or the largest percentage increase of pledged income from year to year. We squabble at annual meeting, sliding backhanded comments and not-so-subtle bragging into our sessions. Not outright arguing, but making a case for our individual greatness nonetheless.
And yet, Jesus’ words for his disciples are his words for us still today—it’s not the greatest who find the kingdom first. It’s the last of all.

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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.


Free portable wheelchair lift available - New Britain, CT

Youth Ministry Coordinator - New Britain, CT

Music Director - North Branford, CT

Other Events of Interest

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