TJ Harper to End Time as Racial Justice Associate

Connecticut Conference Minister The Rev. Kent J. Siladi, Massachusetts Transitional Interim Conference Minister The Rev. Don Remick and Rhode Island Transitional Conference Minister The Rev. Marilyn Kendrix issued a letter yesterday which reads, in part:

Three years ago we initiated a focus on racial justice ministry within our Conferences.  We hired Toyan Harper as our Racial Justice Associate.  In the time he has been with us Toyan, or TJ as he is called, has done exceptional work.

The funding for the Racial Justice position comes to an end in August of 2019.  And TJ is following his plan for the next chapter in his life.

We are also keenly concerned that we not lose this focus and momentum during this transitional time as we shape and develop our new Together, As One Conference. 

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Many Voices One Mission: There Are No Easy Answers

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

It’s never easy to admit you don’t have the answers. In fact, it may be harder than ever, since we’re so accustomed to having answers at our fingertips.  Just Google it, right?

But more and more I’m witnessing the staff and lay leaders of our three – soon to be one – conferences acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers. And let me just say that leaves all of us feeling off-balance and insecure.

Some of the questions are ones that we know will get answers at some point in the not-too-distant future. What will we call the new conference? Will there be one central office? Where?  We don’t have the answers to those questions yet, but we know we will, sooner rather than later.

Some of the questions loom much, much larger.  How will this conference effectively carry out its ministry? How can we, as a newly formed conference, make more disciples?  How can we more visibly and tangibly make God’s love and justice real to the people of southern New England?

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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.


Grow: Part Two

By Dan Smolnik, a member of Spring Glen Church in Hamden, CT

In the first part of this two-part series, I reviewed some findings suggesting that the Church (capital C) in Connecticut is not shrinking, as many might think. We saw from the data that some larger denominations generally experienced reductions in adherents over the period from 1980 to 2010, and several denominations with historically smaller numbers in their pews grew, some of them at dramatic rates.

Now, let’s look at the number of congregations affiliated with each denomination over this same period. Changes in the number of congregations is a metric that typically moves quite slowly, and often lags the change to the number of adherents. Congregations generally change in quanta. That is, a congregation needs a critical number of participants to establish itself, and to remain in existence. So, when change occurs in the number of a denomination’s congregations in a geographical area,  it strongly suggests that meaningful change has occurred to the number of its followers.

Read part two

Super Saturday Registration Closes Friday at Midnight

Registration for Super Saturday, being held March 16 at Minnechaug Regional High School in Wilbraham, MA, will close at 11:59 PM Friday, March 8.

The event features a full day of worship, workshops and networking. The main speaker will be Rebekah Anderson.   Read more and register


Starting With Scripture: Really?

By The Rev. Max Grant, senior pastor of the Second Congregational Church of Greenwich, CT

In my first year in college, I lived down the hall from a guy named Matt.
I never particularly got to know him — we were studying different things and ran in different circles.
But I’ve never forgotten Matt.
Because the thing about him was that he had no patience for pleasantries. If you ran into him in the hallway or the dining hall or walking back from class and exchanged a greeting, he’d ask you how you were doing, seemingly as an empty matter of form.
“How’s it going?” he’d say.
“Great,” you’d respond, not even slowing your gait as you walked by.
But then he would come to an abrupt halt, turn right toward you, look you earnestly in the eye, and ask, “Really?”

Read the full post


The Rev. Marjorie Hall Davis, 86, of Granby, passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 24, 2019, surrounded by her family at her home. Following a career in neurochemistry, The Rev. Davis attended Hartford Seminary and Yale Divinity School and received her M. Div. from Yale and was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 1986. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 30, 12 Noon, at the South Congregational Church, 242 Salmon Brook St., Granby, CT. 
Read the full obituary

A service celebrating the life of The Rev. Dr. Samuel Nathaniel Slie will be held Saturday, March 23, at 12:30 PM, in Battell Chapel, in New Haven, where for decades he served as Associate Pastor of The Church of Christ in Yale University. A much beloved pastor, a friend to thousands, and a beacon for interfaith cooperative ministry, Sam died peacefully at the age of 93.
Read the full obituary

Conference Events 

Peace Works: Silver Lake Summer Camp
June - August, 2019
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon CT

Registration is now open for campers in grades 4 - 12 to encounter God's love in creation; and to learn how to bring that love and justice into the world.

How Are the Children: Advocating for the Human Rights of Palestinian Children
March 14, 2019 at 10:00 AM

Join Conference Minister the Rev. Kent Siladi live online as he talks with members of the CTUCC Palestine/Israel Network: The Rev. Allie Perry, Nancy McLaren, and Dean Ahlberg.

InnoJazz: 10 Nouns 10 Verbs
March 19, 3:30 PM to 4:10 PM

An online session in which participants will be lead through a process using improv rules to discover what new possibilities creative thinking can open up in their ministries.

Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times
March 21, 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
First Congregational Church of Southington, CT

Gain insights about anxiety from child psychologists and then 'test drive' the Unafraid resources by Adam Hamilton.

2019 Maple Sugaring
March 22 - 24
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon, CT

From tap to table, experience nature’s renewal and its sweet gifts at Silver Lake. For 6th - 8th graders.

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 group.

Meet the CTUCC Legislators
April 5, 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Legislative Office Building, Hartford, CT

An opportunity to meet three elected officials who are members of CTUCC congregations.

CTUCC Confirmation Retreat
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.

Counselor Retreat at Silver Lake
April 12 - 13
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon, CT

This retreat is open to all who will serve as counselors at Silver Lake, whether it’s your first time or your 20th time. 

Simply Smiles Mission Trip - Oaxaca, Mexico
April 13 - 20
Spend a week helping the kids who live at the Simply Smiles home for children in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico

Simply Smiles Mission Trip - South Dakota
May 11 - 18
Spend at week Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation working to restore hope for a better future.

Environmental Justice for All! Retreat
May 17 - 19
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon CT

For youth in grades 8 - 12 to explore how faith and justice intersect, learn about current issues in environmental justice and find their talents to make change.

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, receive reports from Board and staff, consider resolutions, and celebrate the Living Waters award.

Save the Date: The first Annual Meeting of the newly formed Together, As One Conference (CT, MA and RI) will be Nov. 1 - 2, 2019, in Worcester, MA



Other Events of Interest

Understanding Islam in America
Weekly from Thursday, March 14 Thursday, April 11, 7:00 to 8:30 PM
John P. Webster Library, West Hartford, CT

These sessions will assist American Christians critically engage resources and provide opportunities to think about how dominant American culture views Islam. Attend one or all.

Letting Go: An NESC Stewardship Event
April 6, 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Faith Community Church, Hopkinton, MA

This one-day program will feature TED-like talks with guided small group discussion, workshops on practical stewardship topics, a panel discussion on real-world experiences, meaningful worship, and fellowship.

48th Annual NEAUCE Conference
April 30 - May 2
Pilgrim Pines, Swanzey, NH

Join Christian Education colleagues for worship, fellowship, and rich discussions. 

"Generosity Transformed" Conference
 April 30 - May 3
Indianapolis, IN

Need to energize and revitalize your church’s strategies for faithful generosity? Does your church find it hard to talk about money? UCC Church Building & Loan Fund would like to make you aware of this ecumenical stewardship conference.



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