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.
Eric Anderson reflects on the challenge of appreciating God's grace in the world - looking about and choosing to see it will be his Lenten practice this season. Diana Butler Bass describes the contemporary Great Awakening at Super Saturday, and in East Haven food at discounted prices reduces the burden on stressed families. A new Vantage Point takes up several facets of Lent, and Maxwell Grant offers this week's wisdom: "Receiving ashes can feel like a performance to some. but we need to remember how grounded it is in a truth we might just as soon forget."
Cecile Gilson brings the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus down to earth, as she shares some of the fears and pains of the disciples. UCC leaders across the nation and the state urge participation in the Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath in March. A play in Wilton helps people to understand where their perceptions of racial issues have some of their roots. And we will shortly begin the 2014 Lenten Carbon Fast.
Tim and Anne Hughes spent time with God in a truly deep way recently: literally under the sea, reveling in the life they found there. Tamara Moreland rejoices in the crazy jazz quilt of our society, bringing together so many different pieces, all of whom need one another. The Conference Minister and Sacred Conversations on Race Ministry Team voice their concerns about the mistrial in the death of Jordan Davis, Newtown pastor Matthew Crebbin urges participation in this year's Gun Violence sabbath, churches in Bridgeport and Salisbury form a new partnership for service and for worship, and the Conference offers new publications: the Vantage Point video series, the CTUCC mobile app, and the Spirited Wednesday devotionals.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., saw it decades ago, when he noted that the Church was once more powerful in the lives of its society, transforming "the mores of society." Day McCallister heard echoes in Michael Ciba's recent blog post on "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." There's a difference between the original short story and the film adaptations: in the films, Mitty takes on a real adventure. For both McCallister and Ciba, "The time for 'the secret life of the United Church of Christ' is over. It's time to make God's fantasy our reality." In the news, churches can assist the outreach of Simply Smiles in Mexico and South Dakota by participating in the Church Coffee Program. Conference Minister Kent Siladi shares his Vantage Point in the first of a regular video series. Two conferences will cooperate on a new interdependent workshop and celebration event, the upcoming Super Saturday on March 1st.
God told Moses, "I am." And so Charlie Kuchenbrod begins his own statement of faith: "God is," a brief statement that invites further exploration and holds further depth of meaning. The UCC's New England conferences will engage in a renewed Mission 4/1 Earth effort in late spring, seeking to protect our fragile planet. Youth from North Guilford, Orange, South Glastonbury, and Prospect made sandwiches, traveled miles, spent hours in the cold, and all to raise awareness and provide real assistance to the homeless of Boston and of cities around Connecticut. We're also seeking youth interested in a Sacred Journey to South Korea this coming summer.