Parent Fights Racism In School Curriculum
By Drew Page
News & Media Editor

Institutional racism is perhaps the most difficult form of racism to eradicate. It is deeply embedded in our legal system, our financial system, our justice system, even in our public schools. But one Connecticut parent and pastor found that speaking up was enough to make a change.
 
Rev. Kari Nicewander was attending her son's fourth grade class to see presentations about Connecticut History, a topic covered by every fourth grade in the state. Nicewander watched as each student in the class, dressed as an important figure in our state's history, gave a speech about their chosen subject.
 
"I still wonder if I would have noticed it, if my son were white," said Nicewander. "I wonder if I would have noticed it, if all the children were white."
 
As each child gave their speech, Nicewander became more and more upset. Every child gave a speech about a white person.
 
Super Saturday Workshop Proposals Now Being Accepted
Clergy and laity who would like to share concepts and practices that are changing their congregation or community's mission and ministry are invited to submit a workshop proposal for Super Saturday.
 
Workshops that may be of particular interest include:  creative worship, church vitality in the 21st century, church leadership, faith formation/christian education, youth ministry, spiritual practices, care & wellness, community ministries, social media, and outreach.
 
Super Saturday is being held March 17, 2018 , at Minnechaug Regional High School in Wilbraham, MA. Keynote speaker will be The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, host of Just Faith, an MSNBC.com program, and Senior Minister at Middle Collegiate Church, a 900-member multiracial, welcoming, and inclusive congregation in New York City. 
 
As a workshop leader, your registration will be free. The submission deadline is Dec. 20, 2017.

Reflections
Spirit Calendar: Something's Happening

Emily McKenna writes: "Take comfort in knowing that however your world may change during this time, the word of the Lord remains the same."


Spirited Wednesday: Counter-Culture

Rev. Brenda Pelc-Faszcza writes: "December comes differently when it comes as Advent."

Upcoming Conference Events
Dec. 1 - 3
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon
Two retreats: one for 4th - 6th graders and one for 7th and 8th graders. Celebrate Christmas, Silver Lake-style! Experience the hope of the Christmas promise with new friends and old as we create blessed community
Dec. 12, 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
First Congregational Church, Essex
For clergy, an opportunity for innovation thinking seed planting and encouragement. Hosted By Susan Townsley, Associate for Innovation, Leadership and Change
Jan. 26-28,
Feb. 23-25,
Mar. 9-11 
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon, CT
A great experience with activities, worship and fellowship appropriate for youth in grades 7 - 9 during their Confirmation year!
Feb. 6, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
North Stamford Congregational Church
Part of the “Food for the Journey” program started in 2013 to help women ministers prepare for the season of Lent.
Find a complete list of Conference events at: www.ctucc.org/events
Clergy Transitions: November 2017

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

Rev. Nina Barlow Schmid installed as Pastor, South Windsor First.
Rev. Isaac Lawson installed as Associate Minister, Immanuel.
Rev. Persida Rivera-Mendez installed as Associate Pastor, Newington.
Rev. Cynthia Carr installed as Pastor, Watertown First.
Rev. Fredd l. Ward, III installed as Senior Pastor, South East Hartford.
Rev. Sara Krhla was ordained at Church of Christ Congregational Goshen.
Ms. Janine Baryza-Ly ended her term as Licensed Lay Minister at Hartland First.
Rev. Jon Zappulla began his term as Supply Pastor at Hartland First.
Ms. Julia Manners ended her term as Commissioned Minister of Faith Formation at Westbrook and begins her term as Commissioned Minister of Christian Education and Youth at Niantic.
Rev. Susan Murtha ended her term at Interim Pastor at Farmington First and begins her term as Interim Minister at Redeemer New Haven.
Rev. Jay Terbush begins his term as Interim Pastor at Ellington.
Rev. Laura Westby ended her term as Interim Pastor, New Fairfield.
Rev. Don Bailey-Francios retired as Senior Pastor, Ellington.

Local Churches in the News
Local Hunger Action Team Marks Anniversary, Successes

A little over three years ago, Stephanie Haines, who is the Minister of Mission and Faith Formation at Gilead Congregational Church, reached out to Beatrice Maslowski, a community network builder at Foodshare.

The result was the formation of a Hunger Action Team (HAT) serving the towns of Hebron, Andover, Marlborough, and Columbia, a group that celebrated a 3-year anniversary - and a list of impressive accomplishments - recently.

Classifieds
Other Events of Interest
Dec. 6, 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
Yale Divinity School, New Haven
How Your Church Can Grow Young featuring Dr. Kara Powell, Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute and Pastor Mike Park of Hope Church NYC
Dec. 7, 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
Catholic Center, Bridgeport
A discussion on the economic and social impacts of the proposed casino in Bridgeport.
Dec. 17, 3:30 to 4:30 PM
Madison Town Green
Elected officials, community and religious leaders have been invited to attend as we carry the names of victims of gun violence in CT — from Sandy Hook to the violence in our streets— to honor their loss AND to raise awareness of the need for legislation to protect us from gun violence.
January 8 - 10 and/or April 23 - 25
Glastonbury Abbey, Hingham, MA 
Retreats offering clergy the opportunity for refreshment and renewal following the two busiest seasons of the church year. Facilitated by The Rev. Deborah Roy
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