Youth Called on to Use Their Gifts

A packed house of youth and adults at the 9th Annual Youth Revival were urged to use whatever gifts they have to spread the good news of God's love.

"It doesn’t take a Seminary degree, you don’t need the affirmation of your friends, you don’t need to be a certain age—you have a story to tell the world and God has called you to go forth and tell it," said Rev. Trayce Potter, UCC Minister for Youth and Young Adult Engagement.

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Read Testimony of Skylar Haines

See a photo album

   Watch Video Highlights

Historic Quad Board Gathering Marks End and Beginning

WOODSTOCK, CT -- There was warmth and humor in shared worship, fellowship and discernment as the members of the Together, As One (TA1) Board of Directors and members of the Boards of Directors from the historic Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences gathered on May 4 to celebrate their work and hear updates on the progress that has been made in the formation of a new conference in southern New England. 

Read the full article here

Several board members wrote reflections:

A Both/ And Moment - The Rev. Lauren Lorincz
"We are waiting for God and running the race.  We are in the already and not yet.  So it’s not either we celebrate what will be, or we grieve what has been.  We can do both, acknowledging that we are all bringing a complexity of thoughts and feelings to these gatherings."
Read Lauren's full post

A Bittersweet Day - The Rev. Timoth Sylvia
"in the midst of it all, I felt the all-too-familiar blend of joy and sorrow, excitement and grief experienced as we birth something new together. The day, surrounded by those whom we have grown to know and admire over these many years, was bittersweet."
Read Timoth's full post

For the Healing of Our World - The Rev. Kari Nicewander
"We live in a world that is in desperate need of healing, of redemption, of repentance, of change ...  And we can only do this work together. We can only become more just, more compassionate, more peaceful, if we support one another on this journey. Because it is not easy, and it is not meant to be easy."
Read Kari's full post

We've Arrived - The Rev. Maxwell Grant
"This has asked each conference to travel through some unfamiliar country, to be sure.  In its own way, it’s asked us to imagine some major re-routing.  But over the years of these gatherings, both here and in so many other places, I don’t think any of us have heard that dispiriting “clunk” warning us that we have truly lost our way, or the voice urging us to turn back and retrace our steps."
Read Max's full post

It’s a New Thing! - The Rev. Cleo Graham
"We waited for the Lord who renewed our strength and kept us dancing with the holy breath that propelled us forward, back and in the middle of our community building exercises. We are more than acquaintances we are spiritual siblings.:
Read Cleo's full post

Silver Lake Partners With Hartford’s Re-Center

Silver Lake Conference Center has a new partner in its efforts to create a more just and welcome community. After more than a year of conversation and organization, a Hartford-based non-profit known as Re-Center just completed a week-long retreat at the Connecticut Conference’s outdoor ministry site.
The Re-Center is a nonprofit company that partners with people and organizations to improve the lives of those in marginalized communities. 

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Many Voices One Mission:
Innovate and Create

By Susan Page Townsley, Associate for Innovation, Leadership and Change for the CT Conference, UCC

Churches need to be more innovative.  Clearly, the old way of doing things is not working, as demographic studies will show.  The exact number of churches closing per year is hard to track , but we know from our own United Church of Christ experience that 1105 UCC churches have closed in the past 10 years, and that our UCC membership nationwide has decreased by more than 25%.

The good news is that these facts should give us a new willingness and energy for trying new things, for thinking about how to follow Jesus on newly forged paths, and for thinking about how to be the Body of Christ in radically new paradigms.  Urgency is a friend of change and we need life-giving, Jesus-following change.

But how to cultivate the practices that foster innovation and creativity?

Read this post for few tips for clergy and church leaders.


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 Short Time; A Big Opportunity to Witness

By Grace O’Connor, a now UConn graduate who just finished an internship with the Connecticut Conference through the Urban Semester program 

It seems hard to believe that a whole semester has already passed.  On one hand, it feels as though I am still just beginning, but on the other, I know I have gained a huge amount of valuable experiences and knowledge during my relatively short time here at CTUCC ... 

My internship experience has taught me how to be involved in justice work and has allowed me to become a part of the CTUCC community.  With faith at its center, UCC brings the message of Christianity and applies it to the injustices in today’s world.  

Read the full post

Starting With Scripture: Prepared For The Journey

By The Rev. Candace Whitman, Pastor of Union Chapel on Fishers Island, off the coast of Connecticut

Lauren Winner in Wearing God relates a practice of African-Americans during the days of the Jim Crow south.  When family members traveled a distance, they couldn’t be sure they would be able to get food along the way.  They weren’t welcome at roadside restaurants. So they would need to take quite a bit of food with them, and some have shared fond memories of how when they were young girls, they would stay up late with their mother the night before a trip, packing sustenance in shoe boxes – “fried chicken, peanut butter and jelly, deviled eggs, chocolate layer cake, nuts, raisins and cheese.”  All this with a thermos of lemonade.  People without a lot to eat themselves provided for those who would otherwise have nothing. Lovingly.

Read the full reflection

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 

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.

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.

Building a Planned Giving Ministry
May 22, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
First Church of Christ, Congregational, Farmington

Charlie Kuchenbrod, Executive Associate Conference Minister, will lead this session on why cultivating planned gifts is a ministry and about a four-step process for building the ministry.

Pension Boards: Retirement Planning seminar
May 23, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Ethan Allen Hotel, Danbury, CT

All members age 50 or over who have an Annuity Plan account balance are invited to attend.

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."

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


Caretaker of Irons Homestead - Glocester, RI
Purpose: To carry out the mission of the Conference by maintaining the Outdoor Ministry Site at Irons Homestead and providing for warm hospitality and effective retreat meeting space for guests

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 Belogou
Shape Note Singing
Saturday, May 25
First Congregational Church of Woodstock, CT
Workshop from 4:00 to 6:00 PM
Community Concert at 7:30 PM

Nym Cooke is the leading authority in the country, if not the world, on early American choral music.

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