A Statement on DACA
Colleagues: I commend to you this excellent piece from TJ Harper and Kelly Gallagher regarding the recent decision on DACA. - Connecticut Conference Minister The Rev. Kent J. Siladi
 
An excerpt:

In an act of clarity, truth and compassion, the previous White House Administration created this program, DACA, a covenant between the US government and those undocumented people. The covenant said: "If you give me your identity and pay taxes, like US citizens, then you will be authorized to work in America and attend its educational institutions. You will be able to build a better life for your family." Those who consented to the DACA program entrusted our government to honor its word. 

On September 5th, 2017 that covenant was broken: The current Administration announced it would be rescinding DACA, with a six-month delay. Eight-hundred thousand people who trusted our government were let down. Eight-hundred thousand people who were trying to better their lives were told they might soon face deportation. Eight-hundred thousand people were told they might be forced to live in a country they have never seen.

Together, As One Team Engages with Consultant
By Tiffany Vail
Associate Conference Minister for Communications

Leaders from the three southern New England Conferences met with a consultant last week who will help guide them in developing a proposal to form a new, single Conference.

The Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences have engaged Jim Schnurbusch, of the St. Louis firm  OrgStory , to help develop the plan. Annual Meeting voters in June overwhelmingly voted in support of pursuing a unified Conference.

Schnurbusch has worked with other settings of the denomination, including with the national setting of the UCC in developing its purpose, vision and mission statements. His firm works exclusively with nonprofit organizations.
 

Urgent Appeal for CWS Kits 
With Hurricane Harvey having brought record flooding to Texas and Louisiana, and Hurricane Irma roaring through the Caribbean on its way to Florida, Church World Service has issued an urgent appeal for Cleanup Buckets and hygiene kits.

As of Sept. 3, CWS was already filling requests for 56,687 CWS Hygiene Kits, Emergency Cleanup Buckets and Blankets.

The CWS depot at Center Congregational Church of Meriden, CT, will be open Tuesday thru Friday from 9 AM to 3:30 PM to receive kits. 

Get kit instructions and more at: www.cwskits.org

Get the latest updates from the national setting at: www.ucc.org/disaster
Reflections
Spirit Calendar:  A Time Like This


The Rev. Ryan Gackenheimer writes: " What if 'loving your neighbor as yourself' meant going into your community or farther away and being the change in the world that the arrival of Christ means?"

Spirited Wednesday:  Love and Listening

The Rev. Todd Grant Yonkman writes:  "Deep listening isn’t magic."

Confirmation Retreats Registration Open
Discipleship Matters

The Connecticut Conference sponsors four Confirmation Retreats annually, hosted at the beautiful Silver Lake Conference Center in Sharon, CT.

Join us for a great experience with activities, worship and fellowship appropriate for youth in grades 7 - 9 during their Confirmation year! These weekends are facilitated by trained teams of pastors and educators from throughout our state who work with youth in their own settings.

November 17-19, 2017
January 26-28, 2018
February 23-25, 2018
March 9-11, 2018 
Upcoming Conference Events
Sept. 12, 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Lyman Orchards Golf Club, Middlefield
Registration is still open for this important and fun fundraiser
Sept. 25 to 26
Heritage Hotel & Conference Center, Southbury, CT
Annual Clergy gathering with the theme: What the heck IS the future of the Church?  with   Rev. Dr. Sarah Drummond, Dean of Faculty at Andover Newton Theological School.
Sept. 29 to 30
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon, CT
Connecticut Women of the UCC annual fall retreat open to women of all conferences.  
October 13 & 14, 2017 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Spring Glen, UCC, Hamden, CT
Join us for prayer, praise, testimony, and music that will lift your spirits.  Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith preaching.
Oct. 21, 8:00 AM to 3:45 PM  
Keefe Regional Technical School, Framingham, MA
This full-day event includes morning worship, two workshops, an optional lunch activity, continental breakfast, lunch, marketplace and closing worship. Keynote speaker is The Rev. Noel Andersen, UCC & CWS Grassroots Coordinator for Immigrants' Rights.
Oct. 22, 2:00 PM
The Bushnell Center of the Performing Arts,
Hartford, CT
Salisbury Sinfonietta & the Conference invite  Connecticut & Regional Church Choirs   to participate in a event for Remembering the Reformation Quincentennial, and Celebrating Unity Today. A pre-concert talk titled: Luther talks with Pope Leo X  will also be part of the day.
October 25, 2017 at 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM
First Church of Christ, Simsbury, CT
Come spend the day with author Paul Nixon to explore "Changing Ministry in a Hyper-Gutenberg World." Featuring: breakout sessions looking at various models of the church that are thriving; a panel of UCC leaders who are doing innovative ministry here in Southern New England; a panel of "Nones" and "Dones" finding meaning in the secular realm beyond the church.
October 27 & 28, 2017
First Church of Christ, Farmington, CT
First Church and the Farmington Valley American Muslim Center have partnered to offer this event with internationally known speakers from both faiths keynoting and workshops on specific topics providing opportunity for conversation and learning among Christians and Muslims.
Nov. 3 - 5
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon, CT
A retreat for youth Thinking About Working for God. What are your gifts? How can you let your light shine in the world? Where is God calling you to serve?   Gather for a time of dreaming and discernment!
Nov. 7, 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Church of Christ, Congregational in Newington
Save the date - details coming soon.
Nov. 18, 6:00 to 10:00 PM
Wallingford Country Club
Please join us for an evening of dancing, dining, fellowship, and fundraising for Silver Lake!  You can dress fancy, or campy, or a little of both! Includes a buffet-style dinner, live music and a silent auction.
Find a complete list of Conference events at: www.ctucc.org/events
Churches in the News
Workers Mark Labor Day with Demand for Increased Minimum Wage

The “Fight for 15” took to the streets across the country and across Connecticut this Labor Day. Rallies were planned in hundreds of cities nationwide in support of the movement to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Dozens of people participated in the protests in Hartford, East Hartford, Manchester, New Haven and Waterbury on Monday.

(Above) Members of Immanuel Congregational Church, UCC Hartford at the Labor Day march and rally for a $15 minimum wage at Center Church, UCC in Manchester.
Clergy Transitions

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

Rev. Kendrick L. Norris ended his term as Interim Pastor at New Britain, First.
Rev. Margaret Hofmeister begins as Senior Pastor at New Britain, First.
TJ Harper begins as Associate for Racial Justice Ministry.
Rev. Dan England ended his term as term as Acting Associate Pastor at Fairfield, First.
Rev. Vern Swett began his term as Associate Pastor at Fairfield, First.
Rev. Abby Gackenheimer ended her term as Transitional Minister at Plainville.
Rev. Lee Ireland ended her term as Interim Pastor at Chester.
Rev. Alan Froggatt begins as Pastor at Chester.
Rev. Nada Sellers ended her term as Interim Pastor at Branford, First.
Dr. Efrain Agosto ended his term as Supply Pastor at Hartford, First.
Alan Munshower leaves SLCC as Summer Assistant Director.
Cecile Gilson retired as Executive Assistant to the Conference Minister.
Rev. Joseph O. Shaw, Jr., retired pastor, died June 20.

Classifieds
Other Events of Interest
Sept. 8 - 9
Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center, Framingham, MA
One of four regional events to which Committees on Ministry, authorized ministers, and members of the UCC who are interested in the proposed changes to the UCC Manual on Ministry are invited to take part.
Oct. 31, 8:15 AM to 4:00 PM
Edwards House Meeting Center, Framingham, MA
Planned in collaboration with Ernst & Young Financial Planning Services®, this seminar is designed to provide tools and resources to lay and clergy to make handling their finances and planning for the future easier.
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