Last-of-its-Kind Special Meeting Held in West Hartford

In what will be the last gathering of its kind, delegates, guests, and clergy of the Connecticut Conference gathered together on May 18 to worship, receive reports from the Board and staff, consider resolutions, and celebrate the Living Waters award.

The Special Meeting will likely be the last stand-alone meeting of the Connecticut Conference: if approved by General Synod in June, the conference will join with the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Conferences to form a new united conference that will come into being Jan. 1, 2020. The three conferences will have a joint Annual Meeting Nov. 1 - 2 in Worcester, MA.

The meeting, at at First Church of Christ in West Hartford, began with a rousing worship featuring musical performances by the combined choirs of Immanuel Congregational Chancel Choir and Faith Congregational Church choir, song leader the Rev. Mia Douglas, pianist Wayne Dixon and Michael Korman, Conductor Mark Singleton, and drumming and dancing by Friendz World Music.

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Find a photo gallery, full text of the sermon and the Conference Minister's address, and text of the resolutions and other supporting documents on the Special Meeting Page.

Is Your Church Approaching a Financial Cliff?

By Charlie Kuchenbrod and Susan Townsley

Is your church approaching a financial cliff? Wondering how to avoid going off the edge? Read on for a primer on how churches wind up on the edge of the cliff, and to hear about some upcoming learning opportunities to help reverse direction.

The Fiscal Cliff is the dramatic budget deficit that occurs “suddenly” when a church has been using up assets to support the operating budget and then assets run out.  A church may be moving merrily along and suddenly come upon the realization that there is no going forward: the cliff is right here.  Still, could it have been foreseen?  Could assets have been employed to explore new options rather than consumed propping up a budget that is not sustainable?
There are tools that can be employed to map out the journey ahead and anticipate the challenges.  In this way we have the opportunity to employ innovation, restructure, restarting, sale of building, partnering and other such strategies, long before we get to the financial cliff.

Read more, and sign up for upcoming webinars on this topic

Strengthen The Church Offering - Materials Available

Churches were recently sent materials to be used in taking the Strengthen the Church Offering - one of the four special offerings taken by the United Church of Christ each year.

In the Connecticut Conference, the money raised through the offering is used for ministries with youth and young adults, for Silver Lake Conference Center and for Faith Formation programming. Some of what the funds made possible last year included a new waterfront spin wheel at Silver Lake, which encourages teamwork, a gathering of Urban Interns from East Hartford and UConn, and opportunities for congregations to engage in Innovation Labs to redesign faith formation programs.

To learn more, or to order additional materials, visit:

Many Voices One Mission: A Community of Colleagues – and Colleagues in Community

By The Rev. Mary Nelson, South Central Regional Minister for the CT Conference, UCC

One of the side benefits of my work as a Regional Minister that I deeply appreciate is the opportunity to travel. I am traveling to work, of course, and I rarely get to see the place I’m visiting outside a church council meeting or windowless hotel conference room—but often it’s the people with whom I am meeting who bring me such joy, I don’t even notice that I haven’t left the building in two days. A trip to Chicago means the chance to see my colleague Mark; a trip to Boston means I might reconnect with Kate; time in D.C. means coffee with Michael and Amber; a visit to Cleveland means a hug with Elizabeth and Keri and Cheryl and probably a few bonus-hugs I didn’t anticipate. This upcoming trip to Milwaukee for Synod will mean seeing a whole host of people I probably haven’t seen since the last Synod, and I am so excited.

I am excited to work with such amazing people all over the country. The United Church of Christ brings me together with smart, interesting, dedicated Jesus-lovers everywhere.

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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: A Little Less Faith

By The Rev. Kristen Provost Switzer, Minister of Youth and Mission at Newtown Congregational Church

When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be made well?’ The sick man answered him, ‘Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Stand up, take your mat and walk.’ At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. ~ John 5:6-9

This has never been a story about faith.
The man who is about to be healed in this story is less than enthusiastic when Jesus asks him if he wishes to be made well. He doesn’t even give a slightly affirmative answer. He names limitations to his situation and reasons why he will never be healed.
The well in this story is a symbol of divine healing. 

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 

CTUCC Racial Justice Training
June 10, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Congregational Church in South Glastonbury, CT

This training seeks to unmask racism while creating a common language with which we can identify the social and institutional constructs of racism. Fulfills the training requirement for clergy.

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.

CTUCC Racial Justice Training
July 23, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
First Congregational Church of Guilford, CT

This training seeks to unmask racism while creating a common language with which we can identify the social and institutional constructs of racism. Fulfills the training requirement for clergy.




Other Events of Interest

Not Your Grandmother's Dinner Party
June 8, 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
First Congregational Church, New London

Come dine with guests from the New London Homeless Hospitality Center.

2019 Craigville Theological Colloquy
July 8 - 12
Craigville Retreat Center, Craigville, MA

Faith & Science:  The Choices We Make with Dr. Jennifer J. Wiseman and Professor Ron Cole-Turner.  


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