Living Waters Award

Persons honored by the Living Waters Award are those who work for justice, live ethically, build community, and promote the common good in their workplaces and in their communities. This award recognizes outstanding Christian ministry, life, and witness that is done OUTSIDE the church setting as an expression of one’s faith.

For more information, contact Sioux Wilusz or at 860.761.7109.


Past Recipients 

Note: The Lay Ministry Award was renamed the Living Waters Award in 2004, to reflect our understanding that all Christians are called to ministry by virtue of their baptism into Christ.

1999. Robbins and Meg Barstow who sought all their lives to live the ideal of Christian love as taught and exemplified by Jesus.

  1. Sanford Cloud and his family for their commitment to education and justice in the African American community

and Christopher Cox, Vice President for Development and Communications at Mystic Seaport for his vision that led to the creation of the Amistad Foundation

  1. Samantha Leathers 11 year old girl from Simsbury who raised money for the International Myeloma Foundation by asking family and friends to give her money instead of presents for her birthday, and then has gone on to raise funds for other causes.
  2. Betsey Reid (New Samaritan Corporation) and Walter T. Smith (who helped create the New Samaritan Corporation)
  3. Russ and Fredericka Brenneman for years of service to the people of the state of Connecticut through their law careers
  4. Gloria McAdam for faithful witness in service to the poor and hungry in our midst as Director of Foodshare for over 20 years;

and Gladys Hernandez for many contributions to her community and to the city of Hartford as a teacher, and as an advocate for marginalized persons, especially children, people of color, and those with HIV/AIDS

  1. Bruce Barrett for his strategic and timely use of the billboards his company owns to make an important witness for diversity and inclusiveness inthe public sphere
  2. Elizabeth Horton Sheff for her faithful witness seeking justice for the residents of the city of Hartford in education, housing, and health and her leadership through Sheff vs O’Neill, which brought serious attention to inadequate educational opportunities for city youth and has stimulated ongoing initiatives to redress the inequity between city and suburban schools.
  3. John J. Ramos, Sr. for his leadership in the world of public education, his deep commitment to the children and their needs, and for his role beyond administration to that of advocate and visionary.
  4. Dr. Jeri Hepworth, Family Medical Therapist, Leading in innovative ways to serve patients, families, doctors and the community. 
  5. Bryan Nurnberger, President and Founder of Simply Smiles helped children smile, empowered families to find dignity in their environment and worked to bring food and shelter for the least of these.
  6. Marilyn Graham, Executive Director of HOPE, Inc. you have helped families in Southeast Connecticut find dignity in home ownership.  In addition you have provided opportunities for Connecticut church members to be involved in something beyond their walls.
  7. Carole Fanslow, works as the Minister of Music at Unity Hill United Church of Christ, where she has been a member since the church was formed in 1988 upon the merger of Park Street Congregational and Trinity United Church of Christ. Many other volunteer activities.
  8. Nancy Carrington, Executive Director Connecticut Food Bank.
  9. Anne Kirkpatrick & Jo-Ann Hornyak, Field of Flags

and Dr. Gordon and Nancy Crouch, Medical Clinic in Masooli, Uganda

  1. Pat and Jerry Blakey, Cornwall UCC, Various volunteer activities

and Allison Rivera, President of St. Martin de Porres Academy in New Haven

  1. Kellyann Day, CEO of New Reach, Inc. New Haven
  2. Joelle Murchison, Associate Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer The University of Connecticut
  3. Marjorie Roach, retired nurse; and Hugh and Kate McLean, retired educators. Read more
  4. Steve Lane, co-founder of Quiet Corner Refugee Resettlement (QCRR)