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ConferenceCast 169: 4/17/2014: Video Edition

"We Should Have Seen it Coming": Rev. Dr. Thomas Clough

CTUCC Featured Videos

Weekly Reflections from The Spirit Calendar and Spirited Wednesday

Earth Day in a Time of Climate Change, by Ms. Patricia Bjorling

The Worst Thing is Never the Last Thing, by the Rev. Matthew Crebbin

News and Announcements

First Church of Christ in Mansfield Stands for Peace

MANSFIELD CENTER -- U.S. Senator Chris Murphy was a surprise visitor to the peace vigil in Mansfield Center last Wednesday afternoon. On his way to a meeting at the University of Connecticut, Murphy spotted people waving and holding signs in front of the First Church of Christ in Mansfield (Congregational) UCC, and made a point to meet the group. 04/21/2014

Connecticut Churches Greet Easter with the Rose of Dawn

HEBRON, HARTFORD, and EVERYWHERE -- Over 200 people gathered in the field behind Gilead Congregational Church UCC in Hebron for the annual Easter Sunrise Service. Wrapped in blankets, with hands curled around steaming cups, some even with their dogs on leash, worshippers arrived just before 6:00 am as the pre-dawn sun painted the eastern sky fiery red and yellow. At the same hour, over 150 worshipers gathered at Hartford's Elizabeth Park Overlook, gazing over the capital city skyline a the same radiant shades of dawn. These were but two of many sunrise services held across Connecticut (and the world) by congregations, ecumenical groups, and clergy associations, in celebration of Easter's first breathless moment. 04/21/2014

Transitions in Transitional Ministry

NEW BRITAIN -- In 1976, the Alban Institute's Loren B. Mead looked at the period between pastors in a local church -- a time frequently regarded as fruitless -- and saw real possibilities. His 1986 Critical Moment of Ministry: A Change of Pastors, significantly strengthened the view of the interim time as both significant and beneficial for a congregation, and contributed to the development of a specialized ministry for interim pastors. After forty years, transitional ministry itself is in transition, with multiple new models and even more new questions. 04/16/2014

In Memoriam: Martha Eshelman Brown

HAMMONDSPORT, NY -- Martha Eshelman Brown, the beloved spouse of the Rev. Gary Brown, former pastor of the First Congregational Church UCC in Stmford, passed away quietly and peacefully at her home on Keuka Lake, surrounded by her family, on Palm Sunday, April 13, 2014. She was a high school special education teacher, a volunteer, community activist, choir member and sometime actor. She lit up a room when she entered it. She was 70. 04/16/2014

Report from Jerusalem -- In the Year 33

JERUSALEM (HARTFORD) -- Tensions have been rising in Jerusalem as the annual Passover celebration draws near. Radical anti-Romans have protested the arrest of Jesus Barabbas this week, while others in the city have cried for help to a Nazarene traveling healer in a parade that evoked royal prophecy. Grim-visaged officials of the Temple and of the Roman Governor have declared their willingness to use all necessary measures to prevent disorder during the festival, which has swelled the local population with thousands of pilgrims. 04/15/2014

Vantage Point: As We Enter Holy Week

HARTFORD -- Conference Minister the Rev. Kent J. Siladi returned to online video today with a Holy Week reflection for the members and friends of the Connecticut Conference. In the six minute reflection, he moves through the stories of the week's events as recounted in the daily Gospel readings of the lectionary. "We are a people who are bound together by a story -- God's story," he told the viewers, and prayed that God would open our hearts and minds to them in the coming week. 04/11/2014

Celebrating Twenty Years of a Trans-Pacific Partnership

HARTFORD and SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA -- This month, a twelve-person delegation will travel to South Korea to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Connecticut Conference's ecumenical partnership with the Kyung-Ki Presbytery in the Republic of Korea. Conference Minister the Rev. Kent J. Siladi will head the delegation and offer a major address to the Presbytery's Annual Meeting at the Gwang-Myoung Church. The group's six clergy will fan out to preach at local churches on Sunday, April 27th, and the delegation as a whole plans to offer a musical tribute to their Korean hosts during the visit. 04/04/2014

Conference Thanks Pledging Churches

HARTFORD -- During a live-streamed video webcast today, Connecticut Conference Minister the Rev. Kent J. Siladi thanked the ninety churches who had submitted their annual giving pledge for 2014 by April 1st. "We are grateful for your pledge and for your support of Our Church's Wider Mission," he told the viewing audience before drawing the names of two churches -- First Church of Christ in New Britain and First Church in Winsted -- to receive special thank-you gifts. 04/02/2014

Are You Invited to Silver Lake? You Are! Believe It!

SHARON -- As the last storm's snow melts and evaporates beneath the April sunshine, Silver Lake Conference Center is preparing for this summer's influx of deans, counselors, and excited conferees. Deans have trained and begun their search for counselors. Several summer staff members have begun their work preparing programs and resources. And the creative minds and hands have been at work making flyers, handouts, and videos to catch the eye. 04/01/2014

New England's Mission 4/1 Earth Has Begun

HARTFORD -- New Englanders may justifiably breathe a sigh of relief at the departure of a wintry March, one which snarled roads in Connecticut with a four inch snowfall on its very last day. For UCC members and friends, however, that breath is also a summons to aid the very same planet whose capricious weather may be a sign of climate change -- as April first marks the beginning of this year's Mission 4/1 Earth effort (and that's no April Fool's prank). 04/01/2014

Touchstones with History: Antidisestablishmentarianism

HARTFORD -- Our theme this month is antidisestablishmentarianism. Yes, that long word in English is part of our heritage. 03/26/2014

Legislative Advocate Hits the Ground Running

HARTFORD -- Michele Mudrick, Legislative Advocate for the Connecticut Conference UCC, had two days to prepare for the start of the 2014 Legislative Session of the General Assembly. The session began on February 5th and will adjourn on May 7th. Through dozens of meetings, public hearings, written testimonies, and a recent trip to the nation's capital, she is fully engaged in the justice issues that concern the Conference. 03/26/2014

A Day for Girls and Their Dolls

COVENTRY -- Girls having a tea party with their dolls is nothing unusual. At Second Congregational Church of Coventry, the party went a bit further. On Saturday, over 50 girls gathered with their dolls for an American Girl Garden Party. These young ladies -- and their dolls of course -- ate snacks, made crafts, and even had a picture taken with "real" American Girls. 03/26/2014

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Weekly Podcast

ConferenceCast 169: 4/17/2014

Sacred Conversations on Race Ministry

News Briefs

Conference Seeks Nominees for Living Waters Award

Back Bay Mission Opens Applications for Social Justice Internship

Selected Programs and Announcements: April, 2014

CTUCC Churches in the News

Upcoming Events

Awakenings 2014

Apr. 24 - 27 -- Save the date for this ecumenical study conference! More information is...

Spring Action Weekend

Apr. 25 - 27 -- Give something back to Silver Lake! Catch up with old friends,...

Historian's Workshop

Apr. 26, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm -- Calling church historians and history buffs! The annual United Church...

Connecticut Conference Choir Rehearsal

Apr. 26, 10:00 am - noon -- At this meeting, we will discuss our plans for the...

Journey to the Water's Edge II: Joy Need Not Wait Till Morning

Apr. 29, 8:15 am - 4:30 pm -- Journey to the Water's Edge is the third in a...

FVA/Simply Smiles Mission Trip

May 3 -- A joint church mission trip for adults to the Cheyenne...

The Science of Climate Change & Global Warming, Followed by a Discussion About How to Talk About Cli

May. 3, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm -- Registration 9:00 am No preregistration required Climate Change Presentation by Dr. Karim...

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No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here. Donate Now Mission 4/1 Earth 2014, April 1 - June 15 Spring Action Weekend at Silver Lake, Apr. 25-27 Historians' Workshop, Coventry, Apr. 26 Journey to the Water's Edge II, Madison, Apr. 29 NEAUCE Annual Gathering, Craigville, MA, May 6-8 Clergy Camp, Silver Lake, May 13-16 Green Church Information and Resources Universal Health Care Information and Resources Marriage Equality Resources
The Connecticut Conference United Church of Christ
United Church Center
125 Sherman Street
Hartford, Connecticut 06105
(866) 367-2822