Youth Commissioned to Carry Living Water into the World
HARTFORD - Youth and young adults from across the Conference were commissioned to accept God’s living water and carry it into the world at a special Earth Day Youth Revival on Sunday at Faith Congregational Church.

“Are you ready? Can you do it? Will you do it? Will you accept the living water today and share it with the world in all the ways you feel called to?” asked The Rev. Edwin Pérez, Jr. “There is a mandate with your name on it. What others have begun, we will complete. This is our time. Young people, this is our season. We will be brave, we will be bold, we will be productive, we will give freely for freely we have received the gift of hope for all we do.”

“Deal or no deal?”

With that, Pérez invited the youth forward and they filled the front of the church, each to receive a laying on of hands and blessing.

Korean Delegation Trip Day 6:
Reflecting the Light of Christ
Editor's note: This is an update from one of the 10 Connecticut Conference delegates just returned from 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.

By Rev. Lauren Lorincz, Pastor of the Colchester Federated Church in Colchester, CT

Greetings on our last full day here in South Korea! We spent the majority of our day attending the Annual Meeting of the Kyung Ki Presbytery. We participated in Opening Worship and heard a sermon from one of our Partner Pastors, Rev. Kim, Moon Hee who is the Pastor of Gambukdong Church (Partner of Granby First Church.) Rev. Kim preached on the theme "the light of the world." With thanks to Irene Choi translating and handy headsets we could wear in one ear we could understand Rev. Kim's sermon.

Rev. Kim told the gathered Body of Christ to go out and talk to people, understand their needs. Walk step by step with one another. For the light is freely given to us through Jesus Christ. He asked us to consider what our lives and the world would be like without light? For light is for everyone. 

Rev. Davida Foy Crabtree Honored with
2nd Silver Lake Award
By Brian Lapis

The Silver Lake Conference Center Board of Directors is excited to announce that the Rev. Davida Foy Crabtree has been selected as the recipient of the 2nd Annual Silver Lake Award. The board will present the award at the Silver Lake Award Celebration, A Garden Party Honoring The Rev. Davida Foy Crabtree, on Sunday, October 14, 2018, at Farmington Gardens in Farmington, Ct. 

“We are delighted to honor Davida as the recipient of the Silver Lake Award,” said the Rev. Ryan Gackenheimer, Silver Lake Executive Director. “For decades, she has embodied the ministry of Silver Lake, offering an extravagant welcome, lifting up young leaders, loving creation and all of God’s children, and offering hope for a world filled with God’s love and light. She has done this in the community, in the local and wider church, and especially at Silver Lake.”

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 for more information
Many Voices, One Mission: Wrestling With Our Past
By Rev. Wendy Vander Hart, Associate Conference Minister for the Massachusetts Conference, UCC
What we remember and how we remember matters. I struggle with the concept of commemorating an assassination. As I write this, today, April 4, 2018, is an ugly anniversary. This day 50 years ago Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in Memphis Tennessee. There is great evidence that we still have a long way to go in realizing his dream and the fulfillment of this nation's promise that all are created equal (I would add - in the image of our Creator).
Through Racial Justice training that the Connecticut Conference initiated, and spread to the Massachusetts Conference, our mission is to move from tolerance to unity as well as to unmask, dismantle and eradicate racism. As I have experienced it, a huge part of Racial Justice training is learning and helping others to see. In this context we are teaching and learning to see the world as God sees it. The practice of seeing and remembering is steeped in our Christian faith.
Recently, I was meeting with leaders of one of the churches I serve. A large anniversary of the church's founding looms and they asked me - what best practices have I witnessed around celebrating anniversaries? I noted that connecting history to the present day and its issues has been a most effective commemoration.

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: Crossing Paths

By Rev. Shepard Parsons
Pastor and Preacher at the First Church of Christ in Woodbridge, CT

It was one of those days. You’re walking down the road wondering, “How did I get here?” Not just here on this particular piece of geography, but how did I come to be in this place in my life. The heat and light play tricks on your eyes and you think you see something coming out of the wavy, blurred edge of the blacktop’s horizon. Can’t be. But there it is, a pickup barreling toward you and you think, “How’d they get here?”

It was one of those days. Another let down, another disappointment, one more discouragement and rejection. And so you take to the road either to remember or to forget. Your mind flits back and forth from the events of the day and the always moving, never changing landscape outside your window. You gaze ahead and out of the shifting edge of the future there is a figure, a person walking toward you. “Who is that,” you wonder, “‘What are they doing in the middle of way out here?”
And so it was that an Ethiopian eunuch and a believer in Jesus crossed paths on the road through the desert between Jerusalem and Gaza.

 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: .
BU School of Theology Invites Congregations into Lilly-funded Project

The Boston University School of Theology (BUSTH) is inviting mainline New England Protestant congregations to apply to become part of "Creative Callings," a project being funded with a $1.5 million Lilly Endowment grant.

The project is a five-year grant to create and facilitate an innovation hub aimed to generate fresh reflection and creative ministries around vocation. BUSTH is now opening applications for congregations to participate in the innovation hub. 

Global Ministries is Seeking Global Mission Interns

Global Ministries is offering a unique experience for young people - college graduates to age 30 - to serve as a Global Mission Intern.
Global Mission Interns serve one to three years in a country where Global Ministries works.
Placements match the gifts of the candidate and they vary from working with youth in crisis, addressing poverty, fighting for reconciliation, to supporting children.

Upcoming Conference Events
Leading up to the second Tri-Conference Annual Meeting of the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island conferences, Conference leaders will be hosting a series of five online forums for discussion about the upcoming votes to formally create a new, unified conference.

Tuesday, May 15, 7:00 PM Sunday, May 20, 4:00 PM
Wednesday, May 30, 1:00 PM Thursday, June 7, 7:00 PM
Tuesday, June 12, at 7:00 PM
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:
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 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 19 - 25
Andover Newton Theological School, Newton, MA
Because Andover Newton is moving to Yale Divinity School, a selection of some 70,000 books will be available for sale at prices of $3, $5, and $10.
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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