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.
Easter takes Tom Clough by surprise - this year and every year - with its joy emerging beyond expectation. "What if we were to live with the expectation of love and more love?" he asks. "Is that what it means to be an Easter people?" Conference Minister Kent Siladi reflects on the stories of Holy Week that unite us in a special Vantage Point, interim ministers discuss the changes in their specialized ministry, and we imagine what it might have been like in Jerusalem on a Thursday two thousand years ago. Finally, we close with a special additional medication for Easter from the Rev. Matthew Crebbin, pastor in Newtown, who knows what it is to experience Easter early.
Jesus rode into Jerusalem in a manner that recalled the prophecy of Zechariah: "humble and riding on a donkey." The crowd shouted, "Hosanna!" or "Save us!" We need to be saved, observes Kent Siladi this week, from believing that we are smart enough to figure it all out, from our judgments of others, from our hardness of heart. Hosanna! After Easter, Rev. Siladi and eleven other people from around the Conference will travel to South Korea for the meeting of our ecumenical partners, the Kyung-Ki Presbytery. The partnership celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year.
"We know all that can bind us," says Barbara Libby this week, as she looks with open eyes upon Jesus resurrection of Lazarus after four days in his tomb, "our addictions and fears, our feelings of incompentence and anxiety? Death can happen on both sides of the grave if we let it." In opposition, she summons the words of Jesus: "Be unbound and live!" Connecticut Conference Minister Kent Siladi thanked those churches who have made a pledge for the 2014 financial support to the UCC this year. April launched our New England Mission 4/1 Earth effort, and we have yet more invitations to enjoy the warmth of Silver Lake Conference Center this summer.
When Cain asks God, "Am I my brother's keeper?" God's answer is vague - but Scripture, as a whole, is clear, says Michael Ciba. We are the caretakers and keepers for all our brothers and sisters around the world, and this Sunday's One Great Hour of Sharing offering gives us a chance to live that. Michele Mudrick's work as Legislative Advocate has had her very busy this session, following bills of interest and building relationships with lawmakers. One of Silver Lake's conferences this summer will help its participants talk safely about relationships, identity, and sexuality, and co-deans Missy Sturtevant and Gabrielle Joffe join us to talk about "My So-Called Life."
Karen Ziel brings her poet's heart to the story of the Samaritan woman who met Jesus at Jacob's well. "Who is this man who speaks of living water?" she asks, and finds, "Suddenly, I am not alone." Giv2 youth helped people hungry for food in the physical and spiritual senses on the 9th of March: preparing a meal for a Winsted soup kitchen, and baking lasagna in Woodstock for families confronting crises. Silver Lake's summer deans are getting ready for their conferences - and have issued some very special invitations to prospective conferees.