Korean Delegation Trip Day 1: Hope and Hospitality
Editor's note: This is an update from one of the 10 Connecticut Conference delegates currently visiting the Republic of Korea (PROK). They are marking the 24th year of the partnership between the Conference and the Gyeonggi Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Korea. Updates will be published as they come in at ctucc.org .

By Rochelle Stackhouse, Pastor of the Church of the Redeemer in New Haven

The theme for our first 24 hours with our Korean partners might be Hope and Hospitality. Our partners have fed us wonderful food and driven us all over Seoul and to the DMZ. They have housed us and dealt with our needs. We feel so connected to one another in our faith and through our cultural curiosity.

Hope came to us during our visit to one of the saddest places on earth: the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. The war that has never ended, tunnels dug from the North over several decades join the threat of nuclear weapons to bring fear to the people of the South. And yet sculptures, bells, monuments, and a train station sing of hope. That train station has been built though no rails exist, purely in the hope of unification when someday the trains will run.

Thompson Church Helps Residents With Addiction

Thompson Congregational Church is looking to serve those in the community who are fighting addictions. Beginning in May, the church will begin distributing money for Thompson residents seeking recovery from addition.
The funds will come from the church’s Holbrook Fund, a fund that dates back to the Civil War era. It was created by Civil War Surgeon, Dr. Lowell Holbrook who set up the fund for Thompson residence who needed help with medical bills.

Strengthen the Church Materials Arriving
CTUCC Churches should watch their mail next week for the arrival of flyers promoting the re-conceived Strengthen the Church offering. A few sample offering envelopes will also be enclosed, and churches are encouraged to request more if needed.

Strengthen the Church is one of the four special OCWM offerings of the United Church of Christ (along with One Great Hour of Sharing, Neighbors in Need and the Christmas Fund).  Churches are encouraged to take the special offering on or around Pentecost Sunday, May 20.

In covenant with the UCC, the Connecticut Conference Board of Directors has approved a change in how this offering will be received. Ninety percent of the offering will be used to support Silver Lake Conference Center, Youth and Young Adult Ministries and Faith Formation Ministries in the Conference; the remaining 10 percent will be shared with the national setting's Strengthen the Church initiatives.

Visit ctucc.org/strengthenthechurch for more information
Many Voices, One Mission: Collective Power
By Pam Arifian, Director of the UCC Northeast Environmental Justice Center at Silver Lake Conference Center.
When there’s so much work to do to create a just and sustainable world, sometimes it’s hard to feel like my individual contribution is anything more than a drop in bucket. When faced with issues of environmental racism, climate refugees, polluted waters, sometimes I doubt whether my small actions make any difference at all.  
The EJC ministry helps connect our individual actions to help us realize our collective power. The ministry is rooted in the understanding that each of us is a magnificent creation of the Divine, and that each of us is bestowed with unique gifts and opportunities to contribute to the creation of a beloved community, of shalom, of heaven on earth.

Many Voices, One Mission  is a new regular series highlighting the ministries of the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences of the United Church of Christ.
Starting With Scripture:
The Life-Giving, Death-Defying, Hope-Inspiring, Love-Filled Power of God

By Rev. Allie Perry
Pastor, Shalom United Church of Christ in New Haven

Peter and John had, the day before, been arrested and thrown in prison. Their crime? Doing the “good deed” of healing a man lame from birth. 

Peter and John were effectively challenging and, in their own way, much like Jesus with the money changers’ tables, symbolically upending the existing power structure, by channeling and exercising an altogether different power, a Spirit power that in the name of Jesus can bring life out of death, enlivening lifeless limbs, liberating despairing lives.
This is a formidable power, life-giving, death-defying, hope-inspiring, love-filled. This is a power that with courage confronts “powers and principalities,” with boldness denounces violence, and with fervor insists on and practices love-in-action. This is the power of the risen Christ that we as Christians proclaim and embrace. This is the power that is at the heart of our faith.

 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: ctucc.org/subscribe .
Upcoming Conference Events
April 22, 3:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Faith Congregational Church, Hartford
A dynamic worship service that will your renew your spirit. For all youth in grades 5 and up and their pastors, parents, or adult leaders. 
April 27 - 29
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon
Catch up with old friends, make new friends, and work hard to prepare YOUR conference center for the coming summer.  
April 28, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Mystic Congregational Church, Mystic
Rev. Gordon Bates, Laurie Blefeld (York Correctional Institution), Rev. Marilyn Kendrix, Adam Smedberg (Church World Service) and Rev. Catherine Zall (Homeless Hospitality Center of New London) will address various topics dealing with incarceration. After lunch, there will be a 90th celebration highlighted by Recognized Women and Celebrated Clergy Women.
May 1-3,
Pilgrim Pines, Swanzey, NH
This three day event gives church leaders a chance to refresh, rejuvenate and renew. Don't we all need that? Speakers:
·        The Rev. Da Vita D. McCallister
·        Dr. Pamela Shellberg
·        Rev. Emilia Halstead
May 8, 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Church of Christ, Congregational, Newington
Basic and Advanced Boundary Training for Clergy with advanced workshops on retirement, financial leadership, self-care, and virtual safe church boundaries.
May 17, 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM
Seabury, Bloomfield, CT 
Retired clergy are invited to join for lunch and fun.
May 18 - 20
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon
An intentionally diverse conference for youth in grades 9 to 12 who care about the health of their communities.
June 5, 2018 at 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Lyman Orchards Golf Course, 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. The 12th Annual Silver Lake Golf Tournament 
June 15 - 16
Mass Mutual Center, Springfield, MA
Registration is now open for the second joint Annual Meeting of the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences.
June 27 - 30
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon
Join fellow clergy for reflection, renewal, and worship in the woods.

Find a complete list of Conference events at: www.ctucc.org/events
Other Events of Interest
Registration deadline April 28

May 1 - 3, 2018
Carefree Resort and Conference Center, Carefree, AZ

Keynote Presenters are the 2017 Antoinette Brown winners Rev. Loey Powell & Rev. DaVita McCallister.
April 21, 2018 at 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Edwards House Meeting Center,
Framingham, MA
Members-in-Discernment throughout New England are invited to this event to help understand how to navigate through the entire process within the UCC.
April 22, 3:00 to 4:00 PM
First Congregational Church of Southington
The Milton and Katherine Chaffee Lecture on the Future of the Church this year will feature The Rev. Dorhauer, author, theologian and current General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ.
April 26 - 29
The United Congregational Church of Holyoke, MA
Interact with leading-edge speakers, Bart Ehrman, Deena Grant, Chung Hyun Kyung, Peter Rollins, and Carol Howard Merritt. Explore with workshop leaders, artists and musicians who see our faith traditions as part of the answer to today's polarized environment.
April 28, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
First Congregational Church, Meriden
UCC minister, singer/songwriter, author, and Convergence Music Project CEO Bryan Sirchio will lead a fun, heart-warming and mind-expanding day.
April 28, 1:00 to 7:00 PM
First Congregational Church, New London
One in a series of dinner parties with guests from local churches and guests from the New London Homeless Hospitality Center with a goal of building relationships across differences of economic status, culture, and race.
May 2, 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Yale Divinity School, New Haven
Dr. Almeda M. Wright and Mr. Nyle Fort will explore the necessity of empowering youth to be active agents in their own lives and communities.
May 7-11
Chirst Cathedral Church, Hartford
Conflict is normal and inevitable whether in the home, school, community, church or workplace. Leaders in all walks of life often have a responsibility to help others work through their conflicts. 
May 19, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham, MA
Learn how empower others to solve their own problems. Led by Rev. Todd Weir and Rev. Jim Latimer.
May 31, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Woodridge UCC, Cranston, RI
Rev Susan Cartmell, a Massachusetts Conference UCC minister and author of "Uncommon Preaching," will explore with other clergy her approach to preaching and lead participants through a step by step process to try some new approaches.
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