37 Southern New England Youth Experience Synod

Youth from all over southern New England boarded a bus for Baltimore in the early hours of June 30. They had gathered at First Church in Windsor the night before to get acquainted and do some prep work for Youth @ Synod. This group was part of a collaborative effort of the RI, CT, and MA Conferences.

There were 37 in the group from Southern New England, representing 25% of the registrants for Youth @Synod. Though participants do not serve as voting delegates, these young leaders connect with the wider church and learn about social justice issues.  Participants in Youth @ Synod were actively engaged in three resolutions. They attended committee meetings, drafted their own statements, and presented testimony.  Rhode Island youth even created graphics for the resolution regarding rights of children living under Israeli Military occupation. The Synod schedule was modified to allow these teams three minutes to present to the full body when these resolutions were brought to the floor.

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#TheNow: Nobody Else Can Do This

My name is Xavier Blyden and my church home is with the congregation at the United Congregational Church of Bridgeport. This fall I will start my Junior Year at Defiance College in Defiance, OH.
As Henri Nouwen said, “that which is most personal is most universal.” Knowing yourself inwardly allows us to connect with what we have outside of ourselves. I agree with this idea that looking within ourselves as individuals, as a church and congregation will help us to locate the divine brightness that might be covered with the debris from the emotional and physical wars that plague our world.

At General Synod 2017,  the Rev. Traci Blackmon shared a story about a trapeze artist who had crossed a tightrope between the U.S. and Canada whilst doing many stunts. Although the crowd cheered with great enthusiasm, when he asked for a volunteer to cross the gap on a tightrope in a wheelbarrow with him pushing it, no one volunteered. The Rev. Blackmon asked us to jump in the wheelbarrow of justice across the great divide. How many would, even with the church pushing it across?

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UCC Young Adult Service Program Has CT Opening
First Church in Simsbury, CT, has one more opening for a young adult intern interested in living in intentional community with other young adults who share a common commitment to mission and justice work, congregational service, spiritual growth, and personal discernment.

The church is hosting two to four young adults September 2017 through July 2018 as part of Young Adult Service Communities (YASC), a program of the United Church of Christ.  Eligible adults are aged 21-35. This one year service program is similar to Americorps and faith-based versions of this offered by many denominations. FCC Simsbury will be the very first "YASC" site in Connecticut.

Young adults in the program will be serving nonprofits in the Hartford area. The one remaining opening is for an intern with Our Piece of the Pie.  This is a competitive opportunity, with interviews by the denomination, the congregation, and the non-profit. 

UCC Stewardship Theme Materials Available
The 2017 UCC Stewardship Theme Materials and Resources
are now available for download.

The $35 cost includes both theme materials and supplemental campaign resources, including bulletin inserts, letterhead, bulletin covers and resources for sermon preparation, small group study, and suggestions for both a short-term fall and longer year-long Stewardship campaigns.

Spirit Calendar: Songbooks

Alan Munshower 
writes: "People who already know the song – sing loud!"

Spirited Wednesday:  Road Trips and God-Sightings
The Rev. Alison Buttrick Patton writes:  "Maybe we have more God-sightings on road trips simply because that’s when we’re actually paying attention.'" 

Upcoming Conference Events
August 26, 11 AM to 5 PM
Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon
A cookout lunch will be provided, as well as time to participate in traditional Silver Lake activities, explore on your own, take a group decade photo, and join in worship. 
Aug. 29, 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Details to be announced.
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 Confernce Center, Sharon
Connecticut Women of the UCC annual fall retreat open to women of all conferences.  
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.
Find a complete list of Conference events at: www.ctucc.org/events
Other Events of Interest
July 27  42: The Jackie Robinson Story 
6 - 9 PM, First Congregational Church of Woodstock
A FREE summer movie series open to the local community focused  on recent award winning films that explore race relations in society, followed by a facilitated discussion.
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.
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