Environmental Justice Retreat Alum, Director, Speak at Press Conference
Tyra DeBoise, a three-time alum of the Conference's Environmental Justice For All!  Retreat, and UCC Environmental Justice Center Director Pam Arifian, spoke at a press conference this week with Senator Chris Murphy, Senator Richard Blumenthal, and other labor, religious and environmental allies of the CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs.

DeBoise is a member of the Dixwell Avenue Congregational Church in New Haven, and will serve as a youth mentor at this year's retreat, taking place May 19-21 at Silver Lake Conference Center.

"We discussed the importance of climate justice action, and promoted the upcoming March for Science and the People's Climate March in DC," Arifian said. "Why should our future generations suffer from our lack of climate action today?"

Read more, including links to press coverage of the event

Let's Go To The Meeting

By Nancy Taylor
Senior Minister of Old South Church in Boston, MA
 

You gotta be there. I mean, you really gotta be there. I mean, there-in the room, at the meeting, at the Tri-Conference gathering of representatives from the UCC churches of Rhode Island (Give it up for Rhode Island!) and Connecticut (Hurrah for the Nutmeggers!) and Massachusetts (Healthcare for all! Woot woot!). You gotta be there in person in the midst of holy argument and deep discernment.
 
I'm making light, but this is no laughing matter. Meetings such as this constitute a substantive theological and ecclesiastical undertaking for UCCers. That's why we have a conviction about no absentee ballots. It's why we honor and practice discernment ... which means listening to each other long and hard until the Holy Spirit finally squeezes her way in and makes herself known. Such discernment is how we walk the holy high-wire that, in 1957, the UCC suspended between Local Church Autonomy and Covenant. 

Read the rest of Nancy's blog 

UCC Churches to Focus on Climate Change with Earth Day, People's Climate March

The focus on creation care will be very evident in many United Church of Christ congregations over the next few weeks, with Earth Day on Saturday, April 22, followed by Earth Day Sunday. The next weekend, on April 29, the People's Climate March in Washington, D.C. and Sister Marches around the country will be drawing environmental advocates from across the country, called to put their faith in action for the sake of our planet.

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Clergy Transitions

The following ministerial changes were reported to the Connecticut Conference in March 2017:

Rev. Todd Vetter was Installed as at Madison, First
Rev. Steve Finlan was Installed as Pastor of Plainfield, First
Rev. Jack Davidson was Installed as Sr. Pastor at Spring Glenn, Hamden
Rev. Shawn Garan was Installed and Ordained as Associate Pastor at Greenwich, Second
Rev. M. Ashley Grant was Installed as Associate Pastor at Milford, First
Rev. Daniel Hollis, Associate Pastor in Maine, was Ordained at Oxford Congregational
Rev. Persida Rivera-Mendez began her term as Associate Pastor at Newington
Rev. Jack Shackles ended his term as Association Registrar
Rev. Jennifer Cook ended her term as Pastor at Thompson, United
Rev. Alice O’Donovan began her term as Windham Associations Chaplain for Retired Clergy
Rev. Ruth Maedel retired from her position as Co-Pastor at Broadview Community Church and began her term as Pastor Emeritus at Broadview Community Church
Rev. Dr. Harold Smith, retired pastor, Founder and Pastor Emeritus of Unity Hill, Trumbull, died March 21, 2017

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Reflections
Spirit Calendar: Doubting Thomas

Tiffany Vail
writes: " Seeing isn’t believing any longer."


Spirited Wednesday: Easter In the Streets

The Rev. Erick Olsen. writes:  "Sure, we who follow Christ will wind up in strange places and likely with scars of our own. But if the choice is between that and fear behind closed doors, I’m hitting the streets on a quest for real peace."

Featured Event
April 30, 3:00 to 5:30 PM
First Church of Christ Congregational, West Hartford

A dynamic worship service that will renew your spirit!  Come and lift your praises, celebrate vitality, and embrace diversity!  The preacher will be Rev. Da Vita "Day" McCallister. The Revival offering will support IRIS-- Integrated Refugee and Immigration Services.

The event is free and open to all but please register your group.   
Upcoming Conference Events
April 29, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
UCC Southbury
This event will present a timely gathering of speakers:  Chris George, Executive Director of IRIS (Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services); Megan Miller from Church World Service; Aida Mansoor, President of the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut and others. 
May 5 - 7
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon
From chopping wood to repairing buildings, moving picnic tables to raking leaves, there’s a project for everyone, high schoolers through adult. 
May 9 - 11
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon 
Whether you challenge yourself on the high ropes course or lounge in the meadow, swap stories with old friends or spend an afternoon on your own, Clergy Camp is the place to step back from life's demands, unwind, and capture the joy of summer. For authorized ministers to network and engage in self-care.
May 12, 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
CT Conference Office, Hartford
Need some tips on writing or updating your Ministerial Profile? Here is your opportunity to get help from the pros: Kent Siladi, Don Remick, and Barbara Libby.
May 19 - 21
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon
Environmental justice and leadership training for youth in grades 9-12 who care about the health of their communities
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.   
June 30 - July 5
Baltimore, MD
This event is for young leaders ages 13 to 18 who want to experience the vibrant diversity of the wider church.   Participation is limited to 18 from the Connecticut Conference - registration now open.



Find a complete list of Conference events at: www.ctucc.org/events
Classifieds
Other Events of Interest

46th Annual NEAUCE Conference: Toward Common Ground
May 2 - 4
Pilgrim Pines, Swanzey, NH

Three day event gives church leaders involved in Faith Formation a chance to refresh, rejuvenate and renew. 

May 3, 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Yale Divinity School,  New Haven
Yale Youth Ministry Institute free monthly lecture: this lecture will provide historical material and pedagogical perspectives on nourishing youths’ joy by connecting them with the past in ways that foster truth-telling, communal and personal identity formation, agency, lament, and a vital life of faith and hope.    
May 5 - 6 
Andover Newton Theological School,
Newton Center
Nine-hour workshop led by the Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper.  
May 10 - 11
Edwards House Meeting & Retreat Center,
Framingham, MA
Training is based on the National Disaster Interfaith Network Disaster Spiritual Care training course, which trains and credentials faith leaders, spiritual care providers and institutional  chaplains to volunteer as disaster chaplains or spiritual care workers in mass-care settings, or to serve their house of worship or local community during times of crisis.
May 13, 2017 at 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Rocky Hill Congregational Church
Jessica Steytler, librarian with the Congregational Library in Boston, will present a workshop on Archives 101. 
May 16 - 18
Miramar Retreat and Conference Center, D uxbury, MA
Singing God’s Song in Uncertain Times; R enewing our Bodies & Souls - Listening to our Muse;  elebrating Our Lives as Sisters in Ministry   
May 22 - 24
Hartford Seminary, Hartford, CT
An opportunity for religious leaders to engage as communities of “moral deliberation,” to reflect and offer up practical opportunities for engagement in the public sphere.
July 9 - 12
Simmons College, Boston, MA
This biannual conference seeks to nourish, inspire, and sustain church musicians.    
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