Silver Lake Announces New Development Associate

Silver Lake Conference Center announced today that Heather Dinneen will be the new Development Associate. Dinneen will help improve fundraising and cultivate donor relationships with the Conference's Outdoor Ministries site.

"I am delighted to welcome Heather to the Silver Lake community," said The Rev. Ryan Gackenheimer, Executive Director of Silver Lake. "Heather brings a wealth of development experience.  Her outstanding work in the non-profit world will fit nicely at Silver Lake.  She has extensive experience and training in developing, educating, and expanding donor bases.  The energy and passion she brings to everything she does will be a gift to Silver Lake and the ministry we do sharing God’s Love."

Read the full article

from the National Setting

Love and prayers lift up Connecticut congregation displaced by fire

A Connecticut congregation formed forty six years before the Declaration of Independence is getting much-needed support from other UCC faith communities after a devastating electrical fire heavily damaged the church's historic sanctuary Thursday night. Firefighters from three states spent hours battling the blaze at Thompson Congregational Church UCC on December 29, which started in the basement and spread up the back of the building.

"The Connecticut Conference has been keeping the members of the Thompson Congregational Church in our thoughts and prayers following the devastating fire last week," said Conference Minister The Rev. Kent Siladi. "We have reached out to the Rev. Jennifer Cook and the congregation to offer our support.  Area churches have joined together to offer assistance as well.  We will provide continuing support to the church as they discern their next steps.  Please hold them in your thoughts and prayers."

Read the full United Church news article

Muslims and Christians in Connecticut share space for interfaith outreach

A unique interfaith partnership has been born in Bridgeport, Conn., in the face of economic hardship, political scapegoating and demographic changes. An iconic UCC church and an Islamic Community Center will be working together in 2017, forging a way forward for Christian and Muslim cooperation, through service to their community.

UCC web partner offering churches free website set-up to kick off 2017

In an effort to make online communication easier and more effective for every United Church of Christ congregation in 2017, the UCC's web partner, Ministry Designs, is giving away websites to every local church that needs one to kick off the New Year. 

In this offer, which runs from January 1 through February 15, Ministry Designs is offering to help create a website for local churches using one of four designs created specifically for UCC. Churches will still be responsible for a minimal monthly hosting fee of $35, which also includes support, system updates, unlimited storage, unlimited pages, and unlimited emails.

News in Brief

Connecticut Women Plan to Join Washington March

In response to the Presidential campaign rhetoric that so often targeted minorities and women, the Women's March on Washington is planned for January 21, the day after the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.

A Connecticut Chapter of the Women's March has been organized to help those who are interested in joining the rally in Washington, D.C.

Read more

Back Bay Mission Accepting Applications for the 2017 Shari Prestemon Social Justice Internship

Back Bay Mission is now accepting applications for the 2017 Shari Prestemon Social Justice Internship.  This internship provides people between the ages of 19 and 35 with a unique opportunity to participate in a 10-week summer program tailored to their interests.

Read more

Back Bay Mission Opens 2018 Mission Trip Calendar

Back Bay Mission's 2018 mission trip calendar opened at midnight central time on January 1, 2017.

Spirit Calendar:   The Truth in the Story

Charlie Kuchenbrod writes: "Faith is trusting the truth of the story - even if the facts are uncertain."

Spirited Wednesday: Jesus' Humanity

The Rev. Dr. Robert R. LaRochelle. writes: "At some point, all of us as human beings need to make some decisions about the direction of our lives."

Upcoming Conference Events
Jan. 8, 2:00 - 7:00 PM
First Church of Christ, Congregational, Hartford
CTUCC young adults are invited to engage in this food ministry at Center Church, helping with food prep, sharing a meal with city guests, and reflecting on the intersection of economic and racial justice issues.
Jan. 18, 6:00 PM
CT Conference Office, Hartford
This workshop is for leaders in all settings (Pastors, Youth Leaders, Giv2 Coordinators and parents) who want to enliven programs through collaborative service work. Participants will be shown a variety of age-appropriate service projects and come away with tips for preparation, engagement and reflection.
Jan. 20-22
Feb. 3-5
Mar. 10-12
Silver Lake Conference Center
The Conference sponsors four confirmation retreats each program year for youth who may benefit from a retreat experience as they prepare for the rite of Confirmation.
Jan. 22, 3:00 - 5:00 PM
Connecticut Conference Office, Hartford
Orientation meeting for people interested in going on a service trip for adults to the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. representative from Simply Smiles will present an overview and answer questions.   
Jan. 29, 3 - 6 PM
First Church in Middletown
High School youth and their leaders are invited to a "No Bake-Bake Off contest." Test your cooking skills and build bridges with Muslim and Jewish youth in a time of fellowship and conversation.  
Stepping Stones Workshop-Rotation 2.0
Feb. 1, 6:00 - 8:30 PM
First Congregational Church of Guilford
Is your Sunday school program stuck in a rut? Rotate your thinking  Join us as we explore new ways of creating a Rotational Model that works for you. Come for dinner, for great engagement and learning!
Stepping Stones Workshop- Praying and Worshiping with Your Youth Group
Feb. 16, 6:00 - 8:30 PM
First Congregational Church of Simsbury
Dodgeball and bowling are great fun, but would you like to spend more time praying and worship with your youth group? Come for dinner and to explore this important aspect of our ministry with our young people.
March 3 - 5
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon
Join us for a three-day interview and training session and become one of the future leaders of Silver Lake!  
Super Saturday!
March 18, 8:00 AM - 3:45 PM
Minnechaug Regional High School,  Wilbraham, MA
Keynote speaker will be author, storyteller, and theologian. Brian McLaren.
April 30, 3:00 - 5:30 PM
First Church of Christ Congregational, West Hartford
A dynamic worship service that will renew your spirit. All youth in grades 5 and up and their pastors, parents, or adult leaders are invited.

Find a complete list of Conference events at:
Other Events of Interest
Jan. 9 - 10
Nantasket Beach Resort, Hull, MA
A gathering of clergy and members-in-discernment of the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island Conferences. Workshop Leader: The Rev. Dr. Alyce McKenzie, Director of the Perkins Center for Preaching Excellence. Clear. focused preaching has never been more essential; come to be inspired again and network with colleagues as we live into the Advent Season. 
April 7 - 8
First Congregational Church of Westbrook
A non-partisan, two-day training for faith communities to better welcome, integrate and offer healing outreach to veterans in their local area.
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