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Conversations with CTUCC Legislators

Earlier this week, Conference Minister the Rev. Kent Siladi talked live on Facebook with State Rep. Anne Hughes, a member of First Congregational Church of Norwalk, CT, about how her faith informs her work in the Legislature.  View the video here.

Continue the conversation with Hughes and three other Legislators who are members of CTUCC churches on April 5, from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, CT.  All members and friends of CTUCC churches are invited to meet with Hughes as well as Senator Tony Hwang of the Greenfield Hill Congregational Church in Fairfield; Senator Christine Cohen of First Congregational Church of Guilford; and Representative Russ Morin, of the First Church of Christ Congregational in Glastonbury.

Learn more


The Clergy Housing Allowance Continues

The following information was provided by Heather E. Kimmel, United Church of Christ General Counsel

In a much-anticipated decision, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals delivered welcome news to clergy: the clergy housing allowance is constitutional. The decision reversed the ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, which ruled in 2016 the clergy housing violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. 

In a 3-0 decision, the Seventh Circuit agreed with the Treasury Department’s arguments that the clergy housing allowance is constitutional because it puts ministers on equal footing with secular employees receiving the same benefits; it eliminates discrimination between ministers of different denominations, which may be smaller or poorer and thus less able to provide employer-owned housing; and it avoids excessive entanglement with religion by avoiding the need for the IRS to determine what activities are the business of the church.
Read more

 


Tom Thatcher Joins the Silver Lake Team

By Jennifer Kronholm Clark

SHARON –Tom Thatcher may be new to Silver Lake – he started as Administrator on March 5 – but he has been working in summer camps since 1999 and living in the Northwest Corner for just over three years. 

“Everyone’s been super welcoming and friendly,” Tom said of his first month. “I’ve really enjoyed meeting people, first at Deans Retreat, and now through phone calls.”

As Administrator, Tom acts as the camp registrar, helping families find the right week of camp for their children and navigate the required forms. He is the first voice you’ll hear on the phone and the first face you’ll see when you walk in the door. He helps out with general office work, from databases to mailings, supports fundraising efforts, and handles camp communications.

Read more


Super Saturday: Pictures and Videos

Pictures and videos recorded live at Super Saturday can be seen on the Massachusetts Conference Facebook page. Edited videos will be available soon.  (You do not need a Facebook account to view items on the Conference Facebook Page)


Many Voices One Mission: Cultivating Connections

By Pam Arifian, Director of UCC Northeast Environmental Justice Center

The ministry of the UCC Northeast Environmental Justice Center (EJC) is all about helping people to make and cultivate connections. Through educational and advocacy programs, we help folks connect their decisions and actions with the impacts of those actions on larger environmental and social justice issues, and how we are called by God to be responsible caretakers of Creation. 
 
One of the activities that I enjoy facilitating with summer campers is called the “Web of Creation” and involves participants claiming roles of various species in an ecosystem, from fungus and worm to bee and flowers to fox and hawk. With lengths of string, we learn together what species are linked and how, for example, a berry plant is linked to soil community, pollinators, water and sun, and it is also linked with whatever species it supports. The result is reasonably controlled chaos as the participants get tangled in an interconnected web.

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.

 

A Message from the Together As One Conference Ministers

The CT, MA and RI Conference Ministers released a letter on Friday, March 15 in response to the violence in New Zealand. It said, in part: 

Let us be resolute in exercising God’s love and compassion to all of God’s children. Let us be beacons of light and hope and compassion. Let us live the love and justice of Jesus.

Read the full letter here


Starting With Scripture: What We Deserve

By The Rev. Jack Perkins Davidson, Senior Pastor of Spring Glen Church in Hamden, CT.

What if — now hear me out on this one — what if they didn’t deserve it?
 
When yet another unarmed black person is killed by police, you can count the seconds before someone proclaims that the victim should have just been more respectful to the authorities. When yet another mass shooting consumes the headlines, it’s only a matter of time before someone argues that the victims should have been carrying guns. When yet another family is separated from their children while legally seeking asylum at the border, the story is immediately misconstrued as illegal aliens irresponsibly putting their children in harm’s way.

Read the full post


Obituaries

The Rev. Mr. Edward A. Walker, once a pastor at the  Congregational Church of Brookfield, CT, died on Monday, March 11, 2019 at his home in Dennis, MA with his caregivers and friends by his side.  A Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, April 26, 2019 at the Dennis Union Church.

Read the 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.

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.

Zip Equip: 5 Characteristics of Innovation
April 2, 3:30 PM to 4:10 PM
Online

Equipping church leaders on the best thinking from the organizational development and change management world.

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.

InnoJazz: Gifts of Darkness
April 9, 3:30 PM to 4:10 PM
Online

40 minute innovation sessions to foster creative thinking.

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

Retreats that Renew and Refresh!
April 25, 6:00 to 8:30 PM
First Congregational Church, West Hartford, CT

Explore ideas for your next retreat in this Stepping Stones workshop.

2019 Spring Action Weekend
April 26 - 28
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon, CT

Catch up with old friends, make new friends, and work hard to prepare YOUR conference center for the coming season. 

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

Classifieds

Meeting and Retreat Center Director - Mass. Conference Center, Framingham, MA
 

Other Events of Interest

Wilderness Companions Speaker Series
Asylum Hill Congregational Church, Hartford, CT; 6:45 PM

March 28, Dr. Susan Eaton
April 4, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III
April 11, Rev. Dr. James Forbes

Health Ministry/ Parish Nursing Trends 2019
April 3, 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Masonicare at Ashlar Village, 
Wallingford, CT

Workshop on new trends in Faith Community Nursing and on Spiritual Care for People with Dementia

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