Eric S. Anderson|
Minister of Communications and Technology
This regular audio podcast begins with a spiritual reflection, and then offers the current news and upcoming events in the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ.
We get very excited about the tongues of fire above the heads of the apostles, but they didn't make quite so great an impression on the crowds on the first Pentecost. They were amazed and bewildered by what they said, and the languages they said it in. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are not stark clarity, says Eric Anderson, but mystery and a new commission. Young people took up their commission to believe and to declare at last Friday's Youth Revival in Bridgeport, and so have fourth and fifth graders in Milford who have produced their second video, this one on the miracles of Jesus.
Cecile Gilson has been feeling the joy of God's gift: the appointment of our next Conference Minister, Kent Siladi. She shares some of the journey and much of the joy in her reflection today. Church World Service has issued an emergency call for new Cleanup Bucket donations after 2,500 of them have been shipped to the Midwest. At Silver Lake, Pam Arifian has been appointed Sustainability Director and will oversee the new Environmental Justice Center at Silver Lake, providing both educational programs and serving as a communications nexus for advocates around New England and the UCC. Just down the road in Cornwall, they're celebrating their recycling efforts for Mission 4/1 Earth and every day of every year.
Our bodies are adapted for the outdoors, and we need encounters with nature to restore ourselves and reduce our stress. "Jesus went to the mountain, to the lakeshore, to the woods, to the garden," say Anne and Tim Hughes, "to pray, to preach, to just be with his friends." In the news, we celebrate the election of Kent Siladi as Conference Minister, and look ahead to the 20th anniversary of our partnership with the Kyung-Ki Presbytery in South Korea. Last Saturday, Christians met in Boston for a day of Climate Revival, and just yesterday, Somers raised the bell into place in the frame of their new church's steeple.
Jesus warned Peter that others would take him where he did not wish to go. This came home pretty sharply for Mike Penn-Strah, kept housebound for six weeks by a knee injury after a fall this winter. Despite chafing over his difficulty, he found, "When I least expected it, and barely attempted to perceive it, I received blessing upon blessing." Mystic Congregational Church UCC offers a heartfelt happy birthday to their South Korean partners, the Dongbu Sun-lin Church, via video. Newtown pastor the Rev. Matt Crebbin reminds us that there is far more work yet to be done to address gun violence.
As Mission 4/1 Earth begins, Patsy Bjorling makes that deep connection to the source of our faith. In Christ's resurrection we are new people, we need to live lives that make a difference. Governor Malloy signs the Gun Violence Prevention Act, a mural artist looks at the different faces of Jesus in a Good Friday painting, and we hear a somewhat different account of the resurrection of Jesus.