DECEMBER 2020
NC Region Resource Update
"Farm to Family Food Box" Program - An invitation from the Food Ministry Network

As the COVID-19 pandemic grows worse, food insecurity continues to increase across the nation and in Connecticut. The USDA has partnered with farmers, ranchers, specialty crop producers, food processors and distributors, and non-profit organizations to ensure that all Americans have access to the fresh and wholesome food they need at this time. Food previously destined for restaurants and bulk purchasers has been re-directed to create family-sized boxes which are being made available to local non-profits for distribution. Food Pantries with refrigerated storage can have access to a number of boxes for distribution.

If your parish or food pantry is interested in participating please contact Cyrena Thibodeau, liaison for the Dept. of Agriculture, for more information. Please note, the program is time sensitive and boxes go quickly!
THANK YOU TO ALL OUR PARISHES WHO CONTINUE TO WORK CREATIVELY TO GET FOOD AND RESOURCES TO THOSE IN NEED. THANKS BE TO GOD FOR YOUR GIFTS AND MINISTRY.
Heating Assistance - Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) is extending the enrollment period for the COVID-19 Payment Program for both residential and non-residential customers through at least Feb. 9th. Further, the Winter Protection Program, which protects eligible households (“hardship cases”) against heat source shut-offs during winter months, is also in effect from Nov. 1 through May 1 (more here). According to CT-211 Gas and electric utilities CANNOT EVER BE SHUT OFF if lack of the utility creates a life-threatening situation. To learn about the Eversource Winter Protect Plan, click here.
Recording: NC/NW Food Ministry Network Conversation last month with state social workers tasked with building capacity to address food & housing insecurity. Guests included Geoff Luxenberg from Hands on Hartford (2 min. mark) Ann Scully from 2-1-1 Info Line (12 min. mark). Followed by a group Q&A.

Interested in learning more about the Food Ministry Network, reach out to Deacon Bonnie Matthews.
Your Place Hartford, in collaboration with St. Monica’s Episcopal Church, the St. Monica’s Development Corporation, and the FaithBased Initiative in Hartford have been serving the families in Hartford through our Annual Community Christmas Party for the last 5 years. Our goal is to gift each registered family with a $100 gift card for groceries, in addition to providing each child a wrapped gift. To learn more about ways to support this community effort. Click here.
Rentschler Field Food Distribution CONTINUING through DECEMBER:
Tuesdays & Thursdays 12/1 - 12/22. Closed Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and 12/24, 12/29, 12/31.

For other food distribution sites including the Mobile Foodshare program, click here. For the southern parts of our region check w/ Connecticut Food Bank, here.
Be Inspired Dance Poetry Music
An invitation from our Cathedral: On Sunday, Dec. 27, ECCT will be offering a virtual worship service, A Festival of Christmas Lessons and Carols. The service will be pre-recorded at our Cathedral and will premiere on ECCT's YouTube.
Photo of Christmas tree lights by Jeswin Thomas via Pexels.
Join the Virtual ECCT-wide Lessons and Carols Anthem Choir! Marianne Vogel, director of music at our cathedral, is gathering vocalists to sing a Christmas anthem during the service. For more information please contact Marianne.
12/05-12/07 The Story of Christmas! Join us as we dance to end hunger! All proceeds from Ahavah will benefit St. Vincent de Paul in Middletown. Tickets here.
12/12 Dance & Dialogue engage with the art of dance to explore central issues that are plaguing our society such as mental illness, climate change, and human inequality. Register here.
Racial Healing, Justice & Reconciliation
Recording: Racial Disparities in Youth Education and Juvenile Justice - ECCT hosted a zoom conversation on racial disparities in CT's education and juvenile justice systems in Nov. For more info on this topic reach out to Kelli Ray Gibson.
Recording: Cathedral Poetry Night with Dr. Lindsay Rockwell on Nov. 19 - an hour of poetry, music, and dialogue, and a conversation on racial justice and reconciliation. Look for more poetry gatherings in the future.
LOOKING FOR MORE RACIAL JUSTICE RESOURCES?
• Every week new resources are being shared in the ECCT Weekly eNewsletter
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• JOIN the Racial Healing Justice and Reconciliation Ministry Network Here.
• To receive valuable resources from RHJR in your inbox, send an email to ecctrhjr@gmail.com.
Opportunities to Gather
12/08 - NC Region Wardens Gathering from 6-7 PM. This upcoming program year will be like no other. Join with other wardens from the region to share best practices, lean on each other's learning, share opportunities for connection and collaboration, and wonder together what God is up to in our world today.
NC Clergy Coffee Hour 3-4 PM on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month. This is an informal, no stress, come as you are invitation to gather as a region clergy group. There is no agenda, we can co-create the space that we need together to share, connect, and pray. Next gatherings are Nov. 10 and Nov. 24. Zoom Link & Meeting ID: 914 2122 9296 & Passcode: 611939
More Opportunities to Learn & Grow
Forma21 Conference: A Digital Gathering
Coming in January! ECCT is a sponsoring diocese for the 2021 Forma Conference, held virtually January 26-28, 2021. This year’s theme is Embodying Spiritual Practices and will include workshops, plenary sessions, and worship opportunities. View the schedule, meet the Wisdom Leaders, and register on the Forma21 website. As a sponsoring diocese, ECCT has received 40 free registrations available to formation leaders. To apply for a free registration code, please fill out this form. When registering on the Forma21 Conference site with the code you receive, please note ECCT’s conference liaison is Marcus Halley (mhalley@episcopalct.org).
12/05 - St James, Farmington & the Spiritual Life Center present a year on Christian Spiritual Practices. Part of walking the way of Jesus and truly living the Christian life means drawing forever closer to the Divine presence. In our busy lives, however, finding new, creative, AND practical ways to live the Christian life and engage in our spiritual journey (we are all on one, by the way) can be very challenging indeed. Dec. 05 from 10 am - noon will focus on Spiritual Direction. Members from the region are invited to join in via Zoom, here.
Parenting in the Wilderness: A Sacred Space for Connection & Fun: Parenting in the Wilderness has been an important resource for parents' navigating these challenging times. As Fall has added countless other Zoom meetings to parents calendars, we have realized this offering has run its course. We will be exploring other ideas to support parents in the future. Please send your suggestions and ideas to Bishop Laura Ahrens.
12/19 - Worship Leader Training: How to lead Morning Prayer from 10 AM - 12 PM. Our Book of Common Prayer includes the wonderful service of Morning Prayer, one of our Daily Offices. Designed to be led by clergy or laity, Morning Prayer may be offered by lay leaders in a parish on those occasions when a priest cannot be present to preside at the Eucharist. In this workshop participants will experience the beauty of Morning Prayer and learn how to lead it. Click here for info & registration.
Think Spring! Dream about Gardening
01/16 - Community Garden Ministry Network: Catch up and Start up - How has your garden been growing amidst a pandemic and a drought? We know the need for your produce has likely greatly increased; and we know you've been working hard to keep your garden fruitful. Join gardeners throughout ECCT from 10 am - noon over Zoom, for a chance to share stories (what worked, what didn't?) about this year, and words of wisdom for those who might be looking to start up a garden next year. You're also invited to send 3 photos from your garden this year to Letty Naigles by 12/28. Register Here. Questions? Contact The Rev. Virginia Army.
The DEEP's Urban Green and Community Gardens Grant Program provides funding assistance to develop or enhance urban open spaces for public enjoyment and/or environmental education. Promotion of open space in an urban setting may include development of a community garden or reclaiming and enhancing existing open space for the public's use. Grants are awarded to projects that demonstrate the highest ability to benefit urban communities in close proximity to population centers. Stay Tuned for 2021 Grants.
Region Resource Reminders
  • Looking for a place to try online worship? For an ongoing list of ECCT Parishes hosting livestream services click here
  • 2-1-1 is a one-stop connection to the local services folks in your community may need, from utility assistance, food, housing, child care, after school programs, elder care, crisis intervention and much more. For more info click here. 
  • 3-1-1 It is similar to 2-1-1 but region specific to the city of Hartford. More info here.
ECCT Resources
ECCT Resource for COVID-19 are continually being updated, including:
• Messages from our Bishops • Financial Resources • Self-Care Resources • Digital Communications Resources • Worship Opportunities • And More...
Safe Church Training 2021: All ECCT Safe Church Training (SCT) includes an online course followed by a 3-hour live session on Zoom. Training will start again in January, no trainings in Dec. More info & registration here.
Communications for the North Central Region
* Subscribe to this Newsletter to have stories from the Region delivered straight to your inbox at www.episcopalct.org/enewsletters

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* Check out the Region Calendar on the ECCT website.
The intent of the Monthly Snapshot is to raise awareness of region gatherings, ministry network events, opportunities for parish collaboration, and invitations to participate in God's mission together! Each Snapshot looks two months ahead. For your announcement to be included in the next Snapshot be sure to contact our Region Missionary, Erin Flinn, by the last week of the month at eflinn@episcopalct.org