Facing the Truth in Alabama: Reflections from Interfaith Freedom and Justice Ride 2019

In early January, a delegation of 37 Christians and Jews from Hartford traveled together to Alabama to retrace the steps of civil rights leaders.

The trip, dubbed the Interfaith Freedom and Justice Ride 2019,  was spearheaded by the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut (JFACT), the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford’s Jewish Community Relations Council, and Faith Congregational Church and Immanuel Congregational Church, both in Hartford.

United Church of Christ representatives included Connecticut Conference Minister the Rev. Kent Siladi, Immanuel Congregational Church Senior Pastor the Rev. Kari Nicewander, Immanuel Associate Pastor The Rev. Isaac Lawson and Faith Congregational Church Pastor Stephen Camp. 

Read their reflections and photos and read news coverage of the trip

Camp and Nicewander will discuss the trip tomorrow (Jan. 18) on FOX61 Morning News between 9 and 10 AM.

Two CT Churches Leave Legacy Behind

By Drew Page

Two CT Conference churches held their last worship services and closed their doors in recent months. Ivoryton Congregational Church held its last worship on Dec. 30, and Waterford Congregational Church held its last worship September 30.

“’For everything there is a season’,” says CT Conference Minister the Rev. Kent Siladi. “For several churches in the Connecticut Conference, they have made the difficult and faithful decision to end their ministries as a congregation and to give thanks to God for the ways in which the faithful have lived out their ministries through these local churches.  In these instances the church that is ending its ministry often asks itself, ‘What will be our legacy gift?  In that way the church continues to make an impact through their stewardship of the assets remaining.  We are grateful for the impact that these churches have made, for their witness and for their lasting impact made through their legacy gifts.”

Read more

Siladi and Arifian Discuss Impacts of Climate Change

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.

Watch the recording here

Many Voices, One Mission: This In-Between Time

By Debbie Gline Allen, part-time Christian Education & Youth Ministry Consultant for the Massachusetts Conference United Church of Christ

Many congregations are longing for “The Good Old Days” — those days that our elders refer to when Sunday Schools were overflowing with children, youth groups were active and visible, and high school graduates returned to church after college. We need to acknowledge that those days are gone. Yet we don’t seem to want to admit that the ways we still form the faith for our children and youth (and adults) — inherited from those bygone days — can no longer meet the needs of today’s congregations.

For the past year and a half that I have been serving the historical Massachusetts Conference as its Christian Education and Youth Ministry Consultant, I have received at least one or two calls or e-mails a week from congregations wondering what to do to bring back their Sunday School or youth ministry program. Many hope that a new curriculum will do the trick, but what we’re experiencing is a much more complex issue than a one-size-fits-all solution. 

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.


Starting With Scripture: Let Us Not Be Silent


By The Rev. Sue Latourette, pastor of the Congregational Church of North Stonington, CT

For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch. ~ Isaiah 62:1?

Reading Isaiah during Advent helped me remember how inspiring his powerfully poetic words are.  With news cycles continually telling of an America I don’t recognize any more, I’d begun to lose heart.  Then I heard Isaiah vowing to “not keep silent.”  Speaking to a people who had given up hope their homeland would ever be what they’d dreamed, Isaiah promised to never shut up about it.  “Well,” I thought, “neither will I.” 

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

Webinar: Conversation on Parish Health Ministry
Jan. 18, 10:00 AM to 10:30 AM

Join Conference Minister the Rev. Kent Siladi as he interviews Deborah Ringen, an experienced Parish Nurse from the First Church of Christ, Congregational in Old Saybrook, CT.  This webinar is intended to share information with local churches about how they might initiate a health ministry  wellness program in their local church. 


Tools for a Sustainable Ministry
Jan. 24, 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
First Congregational Church of Southington, CT

Come and explore suggested best practices offered by the folks at Ministry Architects.  Join colleagues and peers for dinner, fellowship, learning and sharing!

Faith Formation Summit
Feb. 2, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Niantic Community Church, Niantic, CT

The Faith Formation staff of the three southern New England Conferences invite you to join peers and colleagues to "summit" together on this all important work of our congregations, making disciples.

2019 Women Clergy Event: Food for the Journey
Feb. 5, 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM
South Congregational Church, 
East Hartford, CT

Clergy women are invited to a day of relaxation and prayer. Explore the indoor labyrinth, relax with kinetic sand and soulful music, find time to create in the art space or find silence in the prayer corner.

CTUCC Confirmation Retreats
Feb. 8 - 10
March 1 - 3
April 5 - 7

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.

Conference Wide Racial Justice Training
Feb. 11, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Middlefield Federated Church

This "From Tolerance to Unity" training is an eight-hour day where we seek to unmask racism, create a common language around issues of racism, and inspire people to do more work to eradicate racism.

TAWFG Apprenticeship Deadline
Feb. 15

Middle and high school youth, and college age young adults, are invited to apply for this job-shadow program.

Conference Wide Youth Racial Justice Program
Feb. 15 - 16
Congregational Church in South Glastonbury, CT

The focus & goal of this program is to unmask the covert forms of racism that live within our country, and shed light on information that is commonly unknown in the younger generation

Celebrating Faith Milestones: Connecting Generations in Joy
Feb. 28, 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
First Congregational Church of Southington, CT

Come and explore ways to incorporate this meaningful faith formation activity into your ministry.

Super Saturday
March 16, 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Minnechaug Regional High School, Wilbraham, MA

A full day of worship, workshops and networking.

Interfaith Exploration
March 31, 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Hartford Seminary, Hartford, CT

An exploration of the three Abrahamic Religions - Christianity, Islam and Judaism - designed for confirmation classes and youth groups

2019 Special Meeting of the CT Conference
May 18, 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
First Church of Christ Congregational in West Hartford

We will gather together as a historic Connecticut Conference in this transition year to worship together, receive reports from the Board and staff, to consider resolutions that might come before the gathering, and to celebrate the Living Waters award, before the potential formation of our new Conference and its first Annual meeting on
Nov. 1 and 2, 2019.


Program Coordinator - Conference Staff Position
The Massachusetts Conference United Church of Christ, in collaboration with the Connecticut Conference, seeks a talented, entrepreneurial and experienced authorized minister to join our team as we implement Together We Thrive: Nurturing Pastoral Leadership projects funded through a five year grant received from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.  


Other Events of Interest

Mary Collins: At the Broken Places
Jan. 24, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
JPW Library, First Church, West Hartford, CT

What happens to a family and to a child when that child transitions from female to male, or male to female?  Local author, professor, and parent Mary Collins will share her family’s story.

Non-Directive Coaching Skills Basics for Busy Pastors
Jan. 29, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham, MA

Led by Rev. Todd Weir and Rev. Jim Latimer, who teach how to listen powerfully and not give advice. 


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