This has been a good year for Connecticut Women of the United Church of Christ. “God is Still Speaking and Connecticut Women Are Listening” was the theme of our Fall Luncheon at Immanuel Congregational Church in Hartford. John and Betty Mahon, who helped create the “Barbara Fund” under the auspices of A Sacred Place, were our guests. The fund helps support a program of college courses for the women at York Prison in Niantic.
December found us sharing a Christmas luncheon with the Staff at the Conference Center. We are grateful for their friendship and assistance. In February 2007, the Board, in response to a request from our Conference Minister, Rev. Davida Foy Crabtree, unanimously voted to name “our” cabin at Silver Lake in honor of Amy Ogden Welcher, the first President of the National Council of Congregational Women of Connecticut, which eventually became CTWUCC. We’re excited that work will begin on our cabin this fall.
“Let Your Light Shine!” was the theme of our 79th Annual Meeting in late April at Immanuel Church, Hartford. Twenty-three Special Lay Women from around the Conference were recognized. Their lives demonstrate gracious and generous sharing of their gifts with their communities and churches.
In June came General Synod 26, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the United Church of Christ. Many of our women volunteered to offer an extravagant welcome to the anticipated thousands of guests coming to Hartford. Under the coordination of two of our Board Members, Margie Kreitler and the Rev. Melanie Enfield, more than 170,000 cookies of all varieties were made available at the Civic Center! Thank you to all who baked, transported, worked in the “cookie” room and delivered cookies. Synod was an incredible experience for us all.
Connecticut Women had the distinct pleasure of recommending through our Conference Office three women as part of a group of Honored Laywomen at a Synod Luncheon. Doris Andrews, of the United Church of Christ, Southbury, Irene Choi of First Church of Christ, Congregational, Glastonbury and Dawn Scott of the Dixwell Avenue, United Church of Christ, New Haven were honored. They are truly “Beacons of Light” in their churches and communities.
I am grateful to all who have served this year on the State Board. The circle is large and the spirit is good. This spring, we voted to support a Church World Service program in Africa, “Giving Children Hope,” for those who have lost their parents to AIDS or who may be HIV positive themselves. It will be officially launched this fall at a November 3rd Gathering at First Congregational Church of South Windsor.
The Board continues to ask how we might better serve the women in our UCC churches. Finding women to take on the responsibility of being officers continues to be a challenge. What are women today searching for? Should we become a Ministry Team for Women’s Issues? Do we re-structure? These are some of the questions we’re facing. And we will continue to explore ways to help our women in Connecticut “Let Your Light Shine!”