First Recipient of 'Do The New' Grant Named

The New London Urban Outreach program, which features dinner parties where church members and guests break bread together, is the first recipient of the Connecticut Conference’s Do The New grant. 
The grant committee awarded the $5,000 grant in recognition of a ministry that extends the love and justice of Jesus in a novel way. 
The New London Urban Outreach of the First Congregational Church, New London, UCC, “aims to break down barriers and honor the image of God in all people,” said The Rev. Sara Ofner-Seals, co-pastor.

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Many Voices One Mission: Extraordinary Things

By Marlene Gasdia-Cochrane, Publications Editor for the MA Conference, UCC

I belong to a monthly book club.  It’s a real book club – not one of those excuses to drink wine clubs – so there are usually insightful, diverse, and lively discussions among the 15-20 people who attend.  This month’s book (which was also a movie) was called “Same Different as Me” – a story that followed the lives and friendship of an international art dealer and a homeless man.

Because of the subject matter of the book, most of the discussion that evening centered on racism, opportunity, evangelism, and homelessness.   However, I brought up an additional insight: the wonderful work one person can do to change the lives of many others ...

As the Spotlight editor, I hear about individuals and church groups doing amazing things every day.

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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: Stone-Blind

By The Rev. Jack Shackles. Jr., pastor of  Taftville Congregational Church.?

Saul was a zealot who gave himself to a God of his own creation – a God who was vengeful and full of wrath.  Saul’s God valued purity over compassion and vengeance over love. Purity and vengeance became Saul’s blinders.  Saul was a “fiery defender of the purity of [his] religion, even to the point of persecuting the church; a meticulous observer of everything set down in God’s law Book.” Philippians 3 (Message). He could not see the God who was “gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love”. Joel 2. 
On the road to Damascus seeking Christians to arrest, Saul was struck stone-blind by the light of the One he chose not to see.  In stone-blind darkness, Saul would find eyes to see the Christ who was and is.  In darkness Saul the zealot was transformed into a Disciple of Christ filled with the Holy Spirit.

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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:


Conference Events 

9th Annual CTUCC Youth Revival
May 5, 3:00 to 5:00 PM
First Congregational Church in Bloomfield

A dynamic worship service for youth in grades 5 and up and their pastors, parents and leaders. The preacher will be the Rev. Trayce Potter, the NEW UCC Minister for Youth and Young Adult Engagement. 

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

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.

13th Annual Silver Lake Golf Tournament 2019
May 6, 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM
The Country Club of Waterbury, CT

Grab your buddies and your clubs and swing into summer with a day on the links, all while helping to support the Connecticut Conference's vital outdoor ministry.

Spring Boundary Training
May 7, 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Church of Christ, Congregational in Newington, CT

Morning Plenary with Rev. Ron Brown. Basic and Advanced Training for Clergy.

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

Zip Equip: Strategic Planning with the Tree method
May 14, 3:30 to 4:10 PM

Participants will have the opportunity to explore the concepts, develop questions, and create possible next steps within their own ministry setting.

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.

Silver Lake Open House
May 19, 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon, CT

In addition to tours of the camp and conference center, the high ropes course will be staffed and open to those who would like to climb, and the disc golf course will be available for those who want to test their skill with a flying disc.

InnoJazz: Church Metaphors
May 21, 2019, 3:30 PM to 4:10 PM

Each session will begin with a thought prompt. Participants will be guided through a process using improv rules to discover what new possibilities creative thinking can open up their ministries.

Clergy Camp
June 26 - 29 
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon CT

Join fellow clergy for reflection, renewal, and worship in the woods.

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

Confidentiality & Mandatory Reporting/Lightening the Load
May 23, 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM
First Congregational Church, Brimfield, MA

Two workshops: attend one or both.  With UCC General Counsel Heather Kimmel and Rev. Dr. Christina Belogour.

Spring Interim Gathering
June 18, 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Congregational Church of Westborough, MA

Agenda for the Day: Together As One General Information, interim life in the new conference, Don Remick presentation: "Powerful Questions Can Change Your Church."

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