Empowering Youth in Environmental Justice

By Pam Arifian

A new and engaged community was formed at the 4th Annual Environmental Justice For All! Retreat, which took place at Silver Lake Conference Center this past weekend. A signature program of the UCC Northeast Environmental Justice Center, this Retreat marked a new chapter for the program.

This year, the EJ4A! Retreat was open to all high-school youth regardless of race or ethnic identity.

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Unity in Diversity

By Sir John Hargrave, a member of The Wellesley Congregational (Village) Church 

I've always thought Paul showed a sense of humor when he wrote that passage about "many parts, one body" in his letter to the Corinthians. "In this body," I imagine him writing in an early draft of the letter, "we are each a part. One of you, and I won't name names, is a pain in one of my body parts."
If you get to choose your part of the body, most of us would like to be the eye, or the mouth, or the heart. Few of us would choose to be the spleen. The gallbladder is not in high demand. Nobody wants to be the butt of jokes, much less the butt of the body of Christ.

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NOW is the Time to Call Your Legislator
By Michele Mudrick

As your legislative advocate, I have been working on your behalf in opposition to two bills that would expand casino gambling in Connecticut, Senate Bill (SB) 957 and House Bill (HB) 7239.

Now is the time when I need your help.

Call or visit your your state representative and ask him or her to vote NO on all Casino Expansion Bills AND to support two Amendments to the Bills: to allow a referendum in East Windsor AND to require a societal impact study.

Now is the time. The CT Legislature ends on June 7, in less than 2 weeks.

Bulletin Inserts Available to Publicize Historic Meeting

The Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences are making available bulletin inserts for churches to use to let members know about the historic Tri-Conference Annual Meeting taking place June 16 - 17 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT.

This Annual Meeting marks the first time the three conferences will hold annual meetings Together, As One. And it is the first time since the United Church of Christ was formed in 1957 that delegates will be asked to endorse the idea of joining together to form a new conference.

Bulletin inserts can be downloaded, or bundles of pre-printed inserts can be requested for free.

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Scholarship Information Now Online

Information and applications for three scholarships available through the Conference are now online.

The Cynthia Wheeler CARR Scholarship is designed to aid a person of any age intending to further her/his skills in some aspect of sacred music at institutions of higher education. 

The Historic African American Church Scholarship is for for members of the 6 Historic African American UCC churches in the CT Conference who have graduated from an accredited CT high school and will be attending, or planning to attend in 2017, an accredited college (4 yr. or 2 yr.).

The Member in Discernment Scholarship is for Members in Discernment of a CT Conference Association who are, or will be, attending an accredited college or seminary.

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Spirit Calendar: Begin Now

Charlie Kuchenbrod 
writes: "There are many times when I still don’t get it, when I am waiting for someone, somehow, to clean up this mess of a world.  Do you need another list of all the ways that the world is broken?  I need to get to work.  We need to get to work."

Spirited Wednesday: As We Are One

The Rev. Susan Izard writes:  " To be one as God and Jesus are one is a remarkable image.  It does not suggest division, separation or exclusiveness.  Instead, it implies completeness, wholeness and unity.  It invites us to set aside our differences, our prejudices and our arrogance so that we might become one with our brothers and sisters of the faith and in the world."

Featured Event
May 28, 3:00 PM
Faith Congregational Church, Hartford

A time of worship and celebration of the ministry of The Rev. Da Vita McCallister, who is leaving the Connecticut Conference staff after having served for nine years.   
Upcoming Conference Events
May 31, 5:45 PM to 8:30 PM
CTUCC Office, Hartford
Join us to recognize our Thinking About Working For God Apprentices and the congregations that are nurturing them. A light supper will be provided followed by a program of testimony.   
June 6
Lyman Orchards Golf Club, Middlefield
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. 

Together, As One Online Forum
June 7, 7:00 PM

An online forum open to anyone who would like to join a discussion about the proposal to form a new Conference. With Kent Siladi (Connecticut Conference Minister), Vard Johnson (Massachusetts Conference Board member), and Barbara Libby (Interim Rhode Island Conference Minister)

Together, As One Online Forum
June 8, 1:00 PM

An online forum open to anyone who would like to join a discussion about the proposal to form a new Conference. With Jocelyn Gardner Spencer (Connecticut Conference Board member), Corey Sanderson (Massachusetts Conference Board member), and George Peters (Rhode Island Conference President)

Together, As One Online Forum
June 8, 7:00 PM

An online forum open to anyone who would like to join a discussion about the proposal to form a new Conference. W
ith Kent Siladi (Connecticut Conference Minister), Corey Sanderson (Massachusetts Conference Board member), and Barbara Libby (Interim Rhode Island Conference Minister) 

Tri-Conference Annual Meeting
June 16 - 17

Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford, CT 

The historic first joint Annual Meeting of the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences. With UCC General Minister & President John Dorhauer as keynote speaker.

General Synod 31
June 30 - July 5
Baltimore, MD
Join with thousands of faithful members of the United Church of Christ for formal church witness, inspirational worship, and fellowship 
August 26, 11 AM to 5 PM
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon
A cookout lunch will be provided, as well as time to participate in traditional Silver Lake activities, explore on your own, take a group decade photo, and join in worship. 
Find a complete list of Conference events at: www.ctucc.org/events
Other Events of Interest
June 5 -  9, 6 PM - 9 PM each evening
Yale Divinity School, New Haven
This ​weeklong ​course ​of evening sessions is ​designed ​for ​pastors, ​seminarians, lay ​leaders, ​and ​youth ​ministers to gather ​for ​fellowship ​dinners, ​lectures, ​and ​workshop ​breakouts ​to ​name and discuss some of the ​adversities our ​youth ​face every day.    

OWL Training in New Hampshire
June 30 - July 4

The First Church, Nashua, NH

This workshop trains teachers in how to teach participants about sexuality in age-appropriate ways.

July 9 - 12
Simmons College, Boston, MA
This biannual conference seeks to nourish, inspire, and sustain church musicians.    
July 10 - 14 
Craigville Reterat Center, Craigville, MA
A full week including presentations, Bible reflections, daily worship services, small group discussions, singing, playing music and Keynote Speaker Professor Lee C. Barrett.
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