"Test and Quarrel": Rev. Dr. Michael Ciba
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Weekly Reflections from The Spirit Calendar and Spirited Wednesday
One Body, by the Rev. Kent Siladi
Delight, by the Rev. Jocelyn B. Gardner Spencer
News and Announcements
Blessings in Uncertain Places: General Association Celebrates Gifts of the DarkwoodSHARON -- Forests by day, particularly the glades of Silver Lake Conference Center, offer refreshment to the spirit. After sunset, however, human beings often still fear the Darkwood, which imagination populates with venomous snakes, hungry predators, and monsters both human and superhuman. Dante Alighieri gave it poetic expression in The Commedia (Divine Comedy) opens with its hero (Dante himself) lost in a dark wood, in terror of ravenous beasts, and unable to find the "straight way" to safety and salvation. But there are gifts in the Darkwood, the Rev. Dr. Eric Elnes told participants in this year's General Association at Silver Lake Conference Center: blessings which cannot be found on the path of certainty and success. 10/01/2014
Sacred Journey ReflectionWINDSOR -- Castella Copeland is a member of First Church in Windsor. She was a participant in the 2014 Sacred Journey trip to the Republic of Korea this past July. Below is an excerpt of a speech Ms. Copeland shared in her church. 10/01/2014
Supportive Services for Veteran Families Funding Not RenewedBILOXI, MS -- The Department of Veterans Affairs chose not to renew its generous grant in support of Back Bay Missionís Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. This program, providing services for homeless and at-risk veterans on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, will end on September 30, 2014. 10/01/2014
Hearings Share Annual Meeting Theme and ResolutionsHARTFORD -- Four hearings were held across the Conference last week in preparation for the 2014 Annual Meeting. These meetings, held in Guilford, Hartford, Brookfield, and Mansfield, offered clergy, lay leaders, and church members from around the state an opportunity to hear topics of discussions and ask questions about the main theme and the two resolutions that will be presented at the 2-day Conference event on October 17-18 in Cheshire. 09/24/2014
UCC Represents at People's Climate MarchNEW YORD CITY -- On Sunday, September 21, a record 400,000 people converged in midtown Manhattan to lift up their voices as one, proclaiming the need for urgent action on climate change. The People's Climate March was not a singular event. Over 2,800 solidarity events were held in 166 countries around the world. 09/24/2014
Conference Announces Staff Reorganization and New VacancyHARTFORD -- In a message to church leaders today, Connecticut Conference Minister the Rev. Kent J. Siladi announced reconfigured staff positions and assignments, consistent with serving two primary guides for mission: Leadership Development and Congregational Vitality. "We are excited about working together," he said, "to allow these two priorities to come alive in new and dynamic ways to fulfill the vision that is unfolding in these days." 09/02/2014
Can't Make It Without You: Conference Minister Invites All to Annual MeetingHARTFORD -- In a new addition of Vantage Point, Connecticut Conference Minister the Rev. Kent J. Siladi extends a warm invitation to members and friends of Conference churches to come to the Annual Meeting, which will be held at Cheshire High School October 17-18. 09/17/2014
Because We All Need to EatNEW HAVEN -- Chickens clucked gently in their spacious pen at Common Ground High School, which hosted the sixty-plus civic, religious, business, and agricultural leaders for the Just and Holy Food conference. Presenters considered issues related to local sourcing, environmental degradation, marketing practices, and genetically modified organisms. They called for systems that provide better access to healthier foods for all the people of the planet. 09/17/2014
Search Committee Formed to Begin Seeking New General Minister and PresidentCLEVELAND -- When the Rev. Geoffrey Black announced his retirement in mid-August, the United Church of Christ Board promised to move quickly to identify a candidate to serve as the denomination's next General Minister and President. A search committee of 18 members, confirmed by the Board, is now in place, ready to tap the next executive to lead the UCC into the future. Two of its members work and worship in the Connecticut Conference. 09/10/2014
General Synod 2015 Preachers AnnouncedCLEVELAND -- When the General Synod of the United Church of Christ gathers next summer in Cleveland, delegates and visitors will celebrate the "Unexpected Places" they find God. To help illuminate those unexpected places, a quartet of pastors and theologians from the UCC and partners will unveil, in their own words, where the StillSpeaking God is found each day. 09/10/2014
Our Environment, Regardless of Religion or PoliticsWILTON -- We have been hearing a lot about climate change and global warming, and our reactions to this information varies, partly depending on our religious and political persuasion. However, as a member of the clergy, I see my job, in part, as one of bringing diverse opinions and perspectives together around meetings of common interests and concerns. I make a practice of attending worship services and political rallies of those whose religious and political points of view are very different from my own, yet I come way learning that the differences that divide us, though significant, are less than the common bonds that unite us. 09/05/2014
Expanding Programming through the Sacred Conversations on Race MinistryHARTFORD -- Mr. Isaac Monts of Hartford has joined the staff of the Connecticut Conference UCC as Acting Program Assistant for the Sacred Conversations on Race Ministry (SCRM). Mr. Monts will provide support for the growing number of the ministry's Welcoming Initiatives, including the Rev. Dr. Joseph D. Clemmons Job Training Program (JCT), now entering its third year. 09/03/2014
Standing with a Community in PainFERGUSON, MO -- After a Ferguson police officer fatally shot an unarmed African-American youth during a three-minute noontime encounter, the community launched a series of protests to express their anger and their grief. The Connecticut Conference despatched a small delegation to listen to the stories and to offer the lessons learned while suffering in the national spotlight. They did not go to fix a problem that exists solely there, said Conference Minister the Rev. Kent Siladi. "We are going because of our own wounded-ness." 09/03/2014
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CTUCC This Week Email Updates
ConferenceCast 177: 9/26/2014
Women's Spirit RetreatOct. 3-5 -- All are welcome to join us for this weekend of...
Connecticut Conference Choir ConcertOct. 11, 7:00 pm -- The Connecticut Conference Choir presents an evening of Sacred Songs...
Climate Stewardship SummitOct. 12 - 13 -- Hosted by the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network (IREJN), this Climate Stewardship...
CTUCC Korean Partnership 20th Anniversary Celebration DinnerOct. 15, 7:00 pm -- In 2004, the Connecticut Conference entered an ecumenical partnership with...
Pre-Annual Meeting Authorized Ministers' Lunch and ProgramOct. 17, 12:00 - 2:00 pm -- Pre-Annual Meeting Event-Friday, October 17th Authorized Ministers' Lunch and Program...
2014 Annual Meeting of the CT ConferenceOct. 17-18, 2014 -- The Steering Committee has designed a two-day Annual Meeting beginning...
Fall Action WeekendOct. 24-26 -- Catch up with old friends, make new friends, and work...
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