Welcome

Faith Congregational Church, a vibrant, inclusive Christian community working for social justice through service to God, each other and our neighbors.

Welcome to the Faith Congregational Church website. You will find exciting videos, articles and information designed to lift your spirit and feed your desire for helpful information. Faith Church is a diverse worship community, an inclusive, justice minded and unapologetic about our faith and our witness. We celebrate diversity, we celebrate community and we celebrate Jesus Christ. It’s that simple, but be clear that there is so much more.

We invite you to explore the many ways we seek to be a faithful church in these challenging days. Ask us your questions, we like questions. Our church may be old, in fact it is the oldest predominately black church in the city of Hartford, but our thinking is not old at all. We are affiliated with the United Church of Christ, the first mainline church in America to speak our against slavery, the first mainline church to ordain a woman and the first church to ordain a gay person into ministry in our nation. We stand on the side of justice because we want to always seek to be on the right side of history and besides that to do what we believe Jesus our elder brother and head of the church commands.

If you are in the Greater Hartford area, come worship with us. Whoever you are, you would be very welcome at Faith. But now explore the website fully, come back to it often and know that we seek your prayers as we go forward in faith.

Pastor Steve

Who We Are – Where We Are Going – What We Believe!

We Celebrate Diversity

We are a church that welcomes all (and we do mean all)! No matter who you are and where you may be on life’s journey, you are welcome at Faith Congregational Church. We work toward celebrating all people, young and old, Black, Brown and White, gay and straight, rich and poor; whomever God sends we will seek to embrace.

We Celebrate Community

We are a church faith community that embraces the wider community and seeks to serve in ways we can. Faith Church is a place where the community can come to talk, to work, to grow. We will be part of the solution seeking to address community concerns. We will work for justice, not just us.

We Celebrate Jesus

We will celebrate the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives. We will never apologize for our love of Jesus Christ, but will celebrate the faith of others and even those with no faith. For us Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. We will invite others to know Jesus and will share the love of Christ whenever and wherever we can.

 

 

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Monday – Wednesday 9:00 – noon

Psalm 103:8-18   

6-18 God makes everything come out right;
    he puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how he went about his work,
    opened up his plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
    not easily angered, he’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
    nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
    nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
    so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
    he has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
    God feels for those who fear him.
He knows us inside and out,
    keeps in mind that we’re made of mud.
Men and women don’t live very long;
    like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,
But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,
    leaving nothing to show they were here.
God’s love, though, is ever and always,
    eternally present to all who fear him,
Making everything right for them and their children
    as they follow his Covenant ways
    and remember to do whatever he said.

The Message (MSG)Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Salmos 103:8-13  

Compasivo y clemente es el Señor,
lento para la ira y grande en misericordia.
No contenderá con nosotros para siempre,
ni para siempre guardará su enojo.
10 No nos ha tratado según nuestros pecados,
ni nos ha pagado conforme a nuestras iniquidades.
11 Porque como están de altos los cielos sobre la tierra,
así es de grande su misericordia para los que le temen.
12 Como está de lejos el oriente del occidente,
así alejó de nosotros nuestras transgresiones.
13 Como un padre se compadece de sus hijos,
así se compadece el Señor de los que le temen.

La Biblia de las Américas (LBLA)   Copyright © 1986, 1995, 1997 by The Lockman Foundation

From the Pastor’s Study

Thanks to all who were able to join us yesterday at Immanuel Church. What a spirit filled time we had. We will invite them for a visit  Faith soon. That emerging relationship seems to get better and better each time we do it.
Bible Study begins this Tuesday at 7pm here at the church. Teen ministry will go forward in partnership with Immanuel Church. Please see the pastor if you want to connect with this joint ministry opportunity for your teenaged youth.
There will be two more Jazz Concerts for your enjoyment. Please invite as many people as you can to each event. The next one is October 21st 2-4pm.
 We will receive new members next Sunday. Greet the new folks among us with love and care. And please don’t forget we are rising money for the flood victims, given the hurricanes. We will be raising funds for disaster relief to be distributed through our own United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries.    Give generously to those who have lost every material thing – shelter, clothing, food and water, priceless mementos –  and some who have lost family members as well. We will emphasize the Caribbean areas that often get overlooked.
Please join me next Sunday as well, as we celebrate the ministry of music that Ruth Bass Green has provided here at Faith Church for several year. As most of you are aware, Ruth made a decision to accept another position at a church that is closer to her home. We honor her decision and wish her all the best. We are grateful for her service to us. We will celebrate her ministry this coming Sunday at 10am and in a fellowship dinner (ALL ARE ENCOURAGED TO STAY FOR the Pastor’s Spaghetti Dinner)  that will follow. Services that day will be a bit shorter and concise, so don’t tarry getting here.
Also know that we have hired Wayne Dixon to be the next Minister of Music here at Faith Church. It happens he was available and said yes to our call of him for service. The interim period will be thankfully brief. We are grateful that God’s hand is at work among us.
Please remember your church each week by your attendance, your stewardship and your prayers.
Pastor Steve

 

 

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Need a ride to church? See Deacon Pam Walters for details and to schedule a pickup or call the church office  860-547-0820 Monday through Wednesday mornings.

Faith worshiped at Immanuel Congregational Church on the 3rd Sunday in September.  Thanks to all Faith members who attended. Next time, Immanuel will visit Faith. Look for an announcement of the date.

 

Mark Your Calendar

 

Banned Books Week 2016 | St. Charles Public Library

Banned Books Week, the annual celebration of the freedom to read, will be held the week of September 24th in 2017. For this year’s celebration, the coalition of organizations that sponsors Banned Books Week will emphasize the importance of the First Amendment, which guarantees our inherent right to read. The American Library Association publishes a list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books.

 

 

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Kelly Shepherd

 Saturday Afternoon Jazz @ Faith

2-4 pm @ 2030 Main Street, Hartford  3rd Saturdays

Next: October 21

Saturday, OCTOBER 21, 2017

Kelly Shepherd – saxaphone

Damien Curtis – piano

James Daggs – bass

Mike Scott, Jr. – drums

Free will offering. Join us!

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See Irene Pittman for tickets to the NAACP 100th Year celebration on Friday, September 22, 2017 at the Hartford Hilton.

 

 

EVENT DETAILS  VOTER EDUCATION

Voter Education
Tuesday, September 26, 6-7:45 pm
Hartford History Center @ Hartford Public Library downtown, 500 Main Street
Program on the popular vote and its impact presented in partnership with the Secretary of State’s Office.

 

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AARP-CT Seminar on avoiding fraud and scams on Wednesday September 27  from 5:30 -8:30, cosponsored by Central CT State University. Event will take place at Welte Hall, 105 Ella Grasso Blvd. New Britain. Click HERE for more information and to register.

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Hartford Larrabee Fund Association annual meeting November 2, 2017 at 9 am.  Mark your calendars now. Training in completing new application forms required for agencies that want to apply for assistance.

 

 

FCC Missions Ministry in collaboration with Community Partners in Action, would like to support their program for the third year. This program provides much needed assistance to women who were formerly incarcerated immediately after they are released from prison. These women leave prison with little or nothing and very limited resources. What these women say they want most, when they first get out, is a safe place to live (men want a job)!  For more information call Carol Knight-Mosby or Patricia Hollis or the church office.

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https://d1n0c1ufntxbvh.cloudfront.net/photo/c91deb14/25887/740x/ found at https://www.themarshallproject.org/2017/09/13/from-prison-to-ph-d-the-redemption-and-rejection-of-michelle-jones

From Prison to PhD.: The Redemption and Rejection of Michelle Jones

By ELI HAGER SEPT. 13, 2017

Michelle Jones was released last month after serving more than two decades in an
Indiana prison for the murder of her 4-year-old son. The very next day, she arrived
at New York University, a promising Ph.D. student in American studies.
In a breathtaking feat of rehabilitation, Ms. Jones, now 45, became a published
scholar of American history while behind bars, and presented her work by
videoconference to historians’ conclaves and the Indiana General Assembly. With no
internet access and a prison library that hewed toward romance novels, she led a
team of inmates that pored through reams of photocopied documents from the
Indiana State Archives to produce the Indiana Historical Society’s best research
project last year. As prisoner No. 970554, Ms. Jones also wrote several dance
compositions and historical plays, one of which is slated to open at an Indianapolis
theater in December.

N.Y.U. was one of several top schools that recruited her for their doctoral
programs. She was also among 18 selected from more than 300 applicants to
Harvard University’s history program. But in a rare override of a department’s
authority to choose its graduate students, Harvard’s top brass overturned Ms.
Jones’s admission after some professors raised concerns that she played down her
crime in the application process.

Elizabeth Hinton, one of the Harvard historians who backed Ms. Jones, called
her “one of the strongest candidates in the country last year, period.” The case
“throws into relief,” she added, the question of “how much do we really believe in the
possibility of human redemption?

Read the entire article here.

A Prison Sentence Ends. But the Stigma Doesn’t.

OP-Ed By JAMES FORMAN Jr. SEPT. 15, 2017

Michelle Jones served 20 years in prison for a heinous crime: murdering her 4-yearold
son. During her two decades behind bars, Ms. Jones compiled a record of
accomplishment that would be remarkable even for someone who had never been
locked up. She published a scholarly article on the first prisons for women in the
United States. She wrote a play that will open in December in an Indianapolis
theater. She led a team of incarcerated women whose efforts won the Indiana
Historical Society’s prize for best research project for 2016. Not best research project
by prisoners. Best project. Period.

All of this helped Ms. Jones gain admission to N.Y.U.’s doctoral program in
American studies, where she started last week. But Ms. Jones’s stunning record
wasn’t good enough for top administrators at Harvard University, as this paper
reported on Thursday. In a rare move, they overturned the history department’s
admission recommendation and rejected Ms. Jones.

Read the entire op-ed here.

There’s More to Faith Church than Sunday Mornings…

Men of Faith Men’s Ministry Monday evenings @ 5:30pm   Bible Study, Food and Fellowship! All men are welcome. Call Deacon Al Strother or church office for more information. Next meeting: September 25, 2017.

Don’t forget, Girl Scout Troop 10003 meets on 2nd and 4th Sundays from 1 – 2:30 pm. Our girls sold cookies to help support our local troop’s activities. We praise and support their efforts to become young women of strength, intelligence, and kindness. Our troop has 30 girls and they sold an average of 138 boxes each. In 2016 they sold $14,441 in cookies; in 2017 they raised the amount to $18,252. You go, girls!

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There is a seat for you on Tuesday at Bible study. We start at 7 pm and are studying the book of Ephesians.

Women of Faith Women’s Ministry meets 3rd Sunday after service. Bring a dish to share.

 

Sunday School

Watch this space for news of our fall program.

 

The Youth Anti-Violence Initiative is over for the 2016-17 program year. Youth Initiative trip to Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma Alabama was amazing. See our page for pictures and more.

 

Faith-Based Community Events have been moved to the News & Events Tab. Check out what’s happening in and around Hartford’s religious community.

Want to go to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture ?

Our own Pennington Bible is on loan to the museum and on exhibit.

Free timed entry passes for the Museum may only be obtained through Etix (see options below). Each timed entry pass provided through Etix has a unique code and can only be used once. All timed entry passes are free, and should not be bought or sold.

Same-Day Online

Same-day timed entry passes are available online beginning at 6:30 a.m. ET daily until they run out. Same-day passes are not available via phone.

CHECK SAME-DAY AVAILABILITY

Advance Online

Advance timed entry passes for individuals are released monthly. Our next release for January 2018 passes is on Wednesday, October 4th at 9 a.m. ET. Passes go very quickly when released.

CHECK ADVANCE AVAILABILITY ON RELEASE DAY

 

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Did You Know That You Can Borrow a Museum Pass at the Hartford Public Library?

With your library card you can borrow a pass to visit museums and attractions just as you would a book or video!

We have a NEW on-line museum pass reservation system. Use it to reserve a pass with an HPL adult or teen card up to 60 days in advance. Most of our passes are printable, meaning you can make a reservation and then print a confirmation page from home or the library to bring with you to the museum. No need to return anything to us! Out-of-town patrons may borrow a pass for same-day use only and must come into a branch to check it out.

Go HERE to reserve a pass.

 

 

Restoring the Social Justice Identity of the Black Church

By Robert S. Harvey 

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

In the days of past, the clarion call and mission of the black church was two-fold: it served as a beacon of hope for the lost-soul seeking grace and mercy, but it also functioned as an oasis for all issues affecting the community. The black church served as a voice in the wilderness, crying out that equality and justice belonged to all persons, despite race, social status, or lived experience. The church operated as a twenty-four hour, full-service institution, affecting change spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, and socially.

Therefore, the question becomes, what can the black church do to restore its identity as a city of refuge and a beacon of hope? Above all else, the black church must return to its first love, the social, compassionate, and liberating gospel of Jesus the Christ. The black church must stand on the teachings of Jesus despite the pressure and magnetism of contemporary societal fads to mitigate the work of the cross for the influx of capital expansion.

The black church must focus on living the commission of compassion, while also continuing to preach a message of freedom, justice, equality, and hope for all persons from all walks of life. It cannot become so entangled with a message of riches that it overlooks the crucial issues of daily life— deteriorating , unaffordable housing, rising unemployment, marginal healthcare, and several others.

Read the entire editorial HERE.

 

Governor Malloy signs criminal justice reform bills at Faith Congregational Church

Flanked by community leaders, politicians and organizations across the political spectrum, Governor Dannel Malloy signed legislation to reform Connecticut’s criminal justice system on Wednesday at Faith Congregational Church in Hartford.

The governor signed a total of nine bills, which included reforms to the pre-trial bail system, requiring a criminal conviction in order for the state to forfeit an individual’s assets, and allowing barbers and hairdressers to obtain a state license despite having a prior conviction.

The governor was joined by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers, Hartford mayor Luke Bronin, community leaders and organizations such as the ACLU and the Yankee Institute for Public Policy.

“Connecticut has gone from being a laggard in criminal justice reform to really being at the very forefront of criminal justice reform nationally,” Malloy said in his opening remarks.

Malloy said he chose the Faith Congregational Church because he initially announced his push for criminal justice reform at the church in 2015. Malloy said that these reforms, particularly bail reform, were the result of “years of work.”

The bail reform bill will eliminate cash bail for non-violent offenders who are arrested for misdemeanor crimes and who would not face prison time even if convicted. Previously, those who could not afford a cash bail had to wait in jail until their trial, which could sometimes take months.

Malloy cited the state’s declining crime rate and prison population as proof that Connecticut is making progress on crime, but said too many people are stuck in jail simply because they are too poor to make bail. He also pointed out that the issue adversely affects the Hispanic and African-American community.

“The idea of our fellow citizens sitting in jail as a result of their inability to pay a bond was terribly unfair,” Malloy said.

The governor cited one instance in which an individual could not afford a $1 cash bail.

2016 study found that 3,400 people were held in Connecticut jails pending trial in 2015. Of those being held, 690 had a bond below $20,000, the lowest surety bond level allowable in the state. Offenses ranged from sixth-degree larceny to marijuana possession, although some were held for more serious offenses.

The Office of Fiscal Analysis estimated the legislation would affect 388 people being held in pre-trial detention. The cost to taxpayers is $120.10 per day for each person, meaning the new law could potentially save Connecticut millions per year.

 

Among those speaking at the ceremonial signing was Yankee Institute director of public policy, Suzanne Bates, who had testified in support of a number of the criminal justice bills, including bail reform.

“To achieve success, people need both freedom and security,” Bates said. “The great news about these bills is they do both. They enhance individual liberty and they do it without compromising public safety.”

Bates added the reforms will also help Connecticut’s fiscal problems. “Over-spending on courts and prisons is unjustifiable from an economic perspective, and at times even counterproductive.”

The bail reform legislation drew the ire of bail bondsmen from across the state whose industry is affected by the change. The Bail Association of Connecticut testified against the bill claiming it was unnecessary and would potentially let those with multiple offenses back on the street.

The bail reform bill received support from both political parties and garnered the large majority of votes in both the House and Senate.

Malloy concluded by saying “we are a better, safer, fairer Connecticut today than we have been in a long, long time and perhaps at any time in our history.”

 

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http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/ex-cons-unfairly-barred-jobs-ban-box-proponents-say-yes/

Connecticut Becomes the Third Jurisdiction in 2016 to “Ban the Box”

 

Launched in June 2012, the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs is an innovative partnership between the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network and the CT AFL-CIO that seeks to strengthen collaboration among Connecticut’s labor, environmental, and religious groups in advocating for public policies that address urgent concerns about climate change while creating good-paying jobs right here in our state.

Offshore Wind: CT Jobs & Clean Energy

Comments Regarding 2017 Draft Comprehensive Energy Strategy September 2017

We are participants in the statewide CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs, which includes labor
unions, community organizations, religious groups, businesses and environmental groups. We are
deeply concerned about the need to build a sustainable economy with good-paying jobs here in
Connecticut while reducing the threat of climate disruption here and around the world. We believe
that state policies like the Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) present an important opportunity to
address both the economic crisis and the climate crisis.

Read the entire statement HERE.

 

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No More Slumlords! CAC Organizes Low-income Tenants in Housing Campaign

Imagine that your daughter is afraid to go to sleep at night.  Afraid not because of a boogieman under her bed or shadow monsters dancing on the wall, but afraid because mice constantly run across her bed and bite her.  This may be a nightmarish movie plot for many of us, but it was a horrific reality for residents of the Clay Arsenal Renaissance Apartments (CARA) in Hartford’s North End.

This past April, Rev AJ Johnson, community organizer for the Christian Activities Council (CAC), was informed by an administrator at Thirman Milner School – where CAC recently helped organized parents win a school safety campaign – that 1-year-old, Isabella Garces, come to school with mice bites.  By the time AJ reached out to her mother, little Isabella was in the hospital.  She had ingested the rat poisoning that her mother used to remedy the mice infestation.

The mice infestation in Isabella’s family’s apartment was so severe, that her uncle caught over 31 in two days.  However, Isabella’s family was not alone.  More residents came forward attesting to a severe infestation throughout CARA, owned by Emmanuel Ku out of New York.  Residents complained that management-supplied glue traps filled with dead mice littered their apartments. They also raised concerns about severe mold in bathrooms, incorrectly installed windows, underqualified and understaffed maintenance, and overall neglect of the property.  Despite Ku getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax abatements and $1.6 million in federal subsidies from Housing and Urban Development (HUD), CARA residents were stuck trying to raise families in hazardous housing.

With CAC’s help, CARA residents got organized!  After weeks of research, gathering testimonies of other tenants, and building solidarity amongst themselves, CARA residents – under the leadership of Milagros Ortiz, Joshua Serrano, and Teri Morrison – held a public meeting on July 11, 2017, at the Shiloh Baptist Church on Albany Avenue to call out Ku and demand better.  The meeting, heavily attended by the media, HUD officials, North End residents, and local clergy put unavoidable pressure on Ku.

Since this meeting, Ku’s management team has been working with HUD to address the various issues. They hired a rodentologist to address the infestation, have improved maintenance processes, and done necessary fixes to some apartment.  There is still more that Ku has yet to do. However, we must also ask how our city allows a nation-wide slumlord to secure HUD properties that, because of his negligence, causes harm and distress to low income families and neighborhoods.

*Featured photo courtesy of the Hartford Courant.

Media coverage of this housing campaign:

Hartford Courant

7 Trends That Offer A Snapshot Of American Religion Today

By Antonia Blumberg 

  • White Christians are now a minority
  • 42% of US Muslims are under 30
  • 46% of LGBTQ Americans are religiously unaffiliated
  • White Christians continue to dominate the GOP, while the Democratic Party is increasingly diverse
  • There are major generational divides in religious affiliation

Read the entire article here.

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage, playing a musical instrument and standingWhy I serve…

Michael L. Scott, Jr

North Hartford Promise Zone Community Engagement & Collective Impact VISTA

Today, I take the opportunity to write about the North Hartford Promise Zone (NHPZ) designation, the current VISTA Team and why I chose to serve my community in this capacity at this present time. Before sharing my personal story, I want to provide a brief factual backstory of the NHPZ designation, specifically what that designation is and what it is not.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama approved twenty two (22) federally designated Promise Zones. During remarks regarding the Promise Zone delivered in the East Room of the White House (date?), President Obama rolled out the meaning (definition) of Promise Zone Communities. Obama stated that Promise Zones are “neighborhoods where we will help local efforts to meet one national goal– that a child’s course in life should be determined not by the zip code she’s born in, but by the strength of her work ethic and the scope of her dreams.”

To be sure, the Promise Zone is a federal designation which comes with preferential points or access to federally funded grant opportunities. However, aside from the federal funding, the ownership of community change and revitalization is bottom up, not top down. As a community, we must determine the promises that we work to provide for our youth, our children as a living legacy. Along with the preference points on federal funding, each designated Promise Zone community has a team of five (5) Americorps VISTAs (Volunteers In Service To America).  The NHPZ VISTA Team consists of a Team Leader, Communication, Data and two Community Engagement/Collective Impact VISTAs. We serve as a backbone organization to support residents, community based organizations, faith based organizations, and stakeholders with the goal of working to create opportunities for collaboration and partnerships with the goal of building capacity and sustainable programs that will continue to flourish beyond the 2025 end date of the Promise Zone designation.

I serve as a Community Engagement & Collective Impact VISTA in the  North Hartford community in which I was born and raised received. North Hartford, a 3.11 square mile area of The City, received its Promise Zone designation on April 28, 2015.  Albany Avenue (Route 44) and Main Streets are the two main roads which allow commuters to travel to and from Downtown Hartford (DoNo). North Hartford has three neighborhoods: Clay Arsenal, Northeast and Upper Albany.

I grew up in the Northeast neighborhood living in Barbour Arms on Barbour Street for a minute as an infant, Ashford Street as a youth and then the corner of Garden and Charlotte Street as young man before leaving the Heartbeat to attend a southern university. There is in African Proverb that reminds us that it “takes a village to raise a child”. The community that I had the privilege of calling my home was that village. That village included the Artist Collective which was located at 35 Clark Street, now located on the corner of Albany Avenue and Woodland Street. I studied dance, martial arts and music at the Collective which culminated in my African Rite of Passage during Yaboo.

The North Hartford Promise Zone is an opportunity to intentionally break down and dismantle the silos that have not resulted in a healthier, stronger or safer North Hartford community. This is an opportunity to re-create a sense of unity needed to achieve that one national goal that our 44th President and Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama identified. Many North Hartford residents have voiced their needs and concerns in the five (5) goal areas of education, public safety, health, job creation/increased economic activity, and affordable housing.

As one who grew up in the “don’t talk about it, be about it generation”, it is time for us to “community-up”, one individual, one family, one block, one Neighborhood Revitalization Zone (NRZ) at a time to re-create the village that our children and youth both need and deserve in order achieve the “scope” of their dreams and to thrive.

I chose to commit to one year of service as a VISTA in the community that was that village for me. Not satisfied with talking about the problems that weaken our community, I wanted to act and to work to be part of the solution. Each of us is part of the solution. Each of us is part of the promise. I witness this each day.

Like the Team of VISTAs, each resident, each family, community based organization, faith based organization, and stakeholder is part of the solution and part of the promise to re-create unity and a stronger, healthier Heartbeat.

 

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Most Americans Oppose White Supremacists, But Many Share Their Views: Poll

A new poll asked Americans about racism after the violence in Charlottesville.

 

 

Faith in Action! Developing a Faith Based Power Organization

Imagine what life in our greater Hartford region could be like if our religious institutions actually possessed the moral force to make it a more just and equitable place? For one year, CAC’s staff visited scores of clergy across fifteen towns to seek out such imagination.

The fruit of that exploratory work led to the formation of the Greater Hartford Sponsoring Committee. From their initial meeting in September 2016, this group of over 50 imams, rabbis, priests and ministers has been meeting regularly to build relationships of trust, discuss issues of common concern, and explore the architecture of building a faith-based organization in the region.

“When I moved here, I was very excited to learn about CAC,” stated Rev. Kari Nicewander of Immanuel Congregational Church, “this process has helped me learn, grow, and be a better pastor.” Rev. Amanda Nelson, pastor of Faith Lutheran Church, stated, “I can now see how change IS possible. The relationships I have gained will sustain me in ministry for a long time.”

If these clergy succeed in inviting their congregations into leadership together, the force for change that they unleash could change Hartford in major ways and introduce a new power to be reckoned with.

Every Month is Women’s History Month Because Women’s History IS Everyone’s History

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Every Month is Black History Month Because Black History IS American History

 

 September is….

Classical Music Month

National Piano Month

Library Card Sign-Up Month

National Preparedness Month

ADHD Month

National Fruit and Veggies Month

Astronomy Nights at Stamford Museum & Nature Center, 151 Scofieldtown Road Stamford, CT  Aug 31, 2017 – Sep 30, 2017

Labor Day  9/4

The MOuTH at the Mark Twain House & Museum, 351 Farmington, Hartford, CT   9/8

National Grandparents Day   9/10

Constitution Week  –  September 17-23

National Apple Dumpling Day   9/17

National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day   9/18

Talk Like a Pirate Day   9/19

Strut Your Mutt Dog Show @ Bellamy-Ferriday House and Garden, 9 Main Street North Bethlehem, CT 9/23

National Lobster Day – 9/25

Banned Books Week – September 25 – October 1 (last week)

Russian Grand Ballet Presents Swan Lake @ Maxwell M. & Ruth R. Belding Theater, Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, 166 Capitol Avenue Hartford, CT  9/29

 

Gas prices are coming down, but it’s gonna take a while

Gas prices shot up quickly after Hurricane Harvey, but don’t expect them to come down nearly as fast.

Instead, they’re edging lower.

The average price of a gallon of regular fell about a penny to $2.65 a gallon according to AAA’s Thursday reading, down two cents from a week ago when prices were at their 2017 high.

“Prices go up like a rocket and come down like a feather,” said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service. “We need a lot of feathers to catch up with the rocket ship.”

Read more here.

High Gas Prices? Check Out These Apps!

  • Gas Buddy
  • Gas Guru
  • Waze
  • Dash
  • Fuel Finder (iPhone only)

 4 Habits Costing You at the Pump

  1. Going to the same gas station without looking for better prices
  2. Waiting to fill up until your tank is almost empty
  3.  Read the rest of the habits HERE
 

Have a Minute? Click and Donate for FREE!

Here are some ways you can make donations to worthy causes for just a few minutes of your time.

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  • http://www.thenonprofits.com/ allows you to choose from 70 sites which include national and international sites
  • http://www.nicethingstodo.net/freeclicksites.html provides links to many sites in the USA and abroad
  • http://freerice.com/#/english-vocabulary/1490 is a vocabulary game, and for each answer to get correct, 10 grains of rice are donated. That isn’t much, you say? According to Freerice, it takes about 19,000 grains to provide sufficient caloric energy to an adult for one day. As of 2012, Freericers raised enough to almost feed 5 million people!

 

More to Think About: Health

Penalties Loom for ACA Enrollees Who Don’t Switch to Medicare

Sept. 30 is deadline to avoid added costs

Turning 65 brings changes in health plans for Americans enrolled in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces.

If you are over 65 and have your health insurance coverage through an Affordable Care Act (ACA)marketplace, you are in danger of having to pay higher premiums for the rest of your life once you switch to Medicare. The federal government has given people who are over 65 and still enrolled in a marketplace plan until Sept. 30 to move to Medicare Part B to avoid incurring a lifetime late-enrollment penalty.

The vast majority of Americans over 65 already are signed up for Medicare — either because they are collecting Social Security benefits and were enrolled automatically or because they signed up right before or right after their 65th birthday. The federal government says individuals should enroll up to three months before or until three months after turning 65 to avoid penalties for late enrollment, unless they receive insurance through a large employer.

Read more HERE.

Study Says Carbs, Not Fats, Are Bad for You

But don’t give up on fruits, vegetables and legumes — they’re still good for you
By Dennis Thompson  HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Aug. 29, 2017 (HealthDay News) — A large, 18-country study may turn current
nutritional thinking on its head. The new research suggests that it’s not the fat in your diet that’s raising your risk of premature death, it’s too many carbohydrates — especially the refined, processed kinds of carbs — that may be the real killer.

The research also found that eating fruits, vegetables and legumes can lower your risk of
dying prematurely. But three or four servings a day seemed to be plenty. Any additional
servings didn’t appear to provide more benefit.

What does all this mean to you? Well, a cheeseburger may be OK to eat, and adding
lettuce and tomato to the burger is still good for you, but an excess of white flour
burger buns may boost your risk of dying early.

Dehghan suggested that “the best diets will include a balance of carbohydrates and fats, approximately 50 to 55 percent carbohydrates and around 35 percent total fat, including both saturated and unsaturated fats.”

All foods contain three major macronutrients essential for life — fat, carbohydrate and protein. The optimum amounts a person should eat has been the focus of debate for decades, with the pendulum swinging from low-fat to low-carb diets over time.

Read the entire article HERE.

Improving the health of African Americans in the USA: an overdue opportunity for social justice

  • Allan S. Noonan
  • Hector Eduardo Velasco-Mondragon and
  • Fernando A. Wagner
Public Health Reviews201637:12   https://doi.org/10.1186/s40985-016-0025-4

Published: 3 October 2016

In 1928, Louis Israel Dublin wrote “An improvement in Negro health, to the point where it would compare favorably with that of the white race, would at one stroke wipe out many disabilities from which the race suffers, improve its economic status and stimulate its native abilities as would no other single improvement. These are the social implications of the facts of Negro Health” [1]. This compelling assertion remains valid to date. The fact that the African American population is the least healthy ethnic group in the USA is not due to chance. The first African Americans were brought to the USA in chains as slaves. The transport itself from Africa to the New World remains one of the best examples of the ability of one sector of humanity to destroy the health of another. Estimates of the death rate of slaves during the infamous “middle passage” are wide ranging, from approximately 9 to 35 %. Slavery associated deaths were likely much higher [23]

Thirty years after the (1985) Heckler Report was released, African Americans still endure unacceptable health disparities and lack the power over policy and actions that could make the changes to eliminate such disparities.

Read the entire article HERE.

For more information on African American health issues click on these sites:

7 Deadly Diseases for African Americans

  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Lung cancer
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Sarcodosis
  • Cancer

Read more here and here.

 

Vaccines: Are Yours Up to Date?

Adults needs vaccines, too! Sometimes we forget that we need booster shots, or special vaccines if we are traveling to certain places. check with your doctor or clinic to see if you need any of these protections.

  • MMR = measles, mumps, rubella
  • hepatitis
  • HPV for those under 26
  • chickenpox
  • shingles for those over 60
  • flu
  • DPT for children and DT booster for adults

Image result for african american diabetic foot

credit: https://www.worlddiabetesfoundation.org/projects/india-wdf15-941

Diabetic Foot Care

If your toes are tingly, cracked or sore, if your feet are numb, cold or prone to infection, you could have diabetes-related foot problems. One study found that as many as 50 percent of people with diabetes have nerve damage to their feet.

  • Inspect your feet
  • Protect them from extreme temperatures
  • Wear comfortable, well fitting shoes
  • Prevent blood sugar spikes

Watch the slideshow here.

 Low Carb Snacks

  • hard boiled eggs
  • celery and peanut butter
  • nuts
  • hummus and vegetable dippers
  • edamame
  • fruit and cheese
  • fruit and cottage cheese

 

What is the best diet to follow?

Some general rules to follow for good health include eating less sodium and sugars, add more whole grains and fiber, eat colorful fruits and vegetables, don’t smoke, and exercise. According to US News, here are the best diets of 20017:

  • the DASH diet for heart health
  • the Mediterranean diet
  • the MIND diet
  • the Flexitarian diet
  • the MAYO Clinic diet
  • the TLC diet
  • Weight Watchers

Read the entire list here.

 

North End Farmers Market


Farmers markets were Hartford Food System’s first project. In 1979, Hartford Food System took over the management of a farmers market that had started the previous year at Hartford’s historic Old State House, later adding four new markets in Hartford’s lower-income neighborhoods.

In 2008, Hartford Food System and the City of Hartford launched the North End Farmers Market. Opening day festivities included programs for children, musical entertainment, and live cooking demonstrations. Every summer the market provides fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables from area farms. Each year, more than 5000 visitors come to the market and buy produce provided by local farms.

The North End Farmers Market is a grassroots victory for North End residents who long desired a farmers market in their own community. Hartford Food System supported this effort through a feasibility study published in 2008, and partnered with neighborhood leaders to hire the market coordinator and provide outreach to community residents. A planning team comprised of community residents, the City of Hartford’s Department of Health and Human Services, United Connecticut Action for Neighborhoods, Rambuh Family Center, and Hartford Food System worked for several months to establish this market.

The market accepts SNAP and WIC, which help low-income families with young children purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. Market hours are 10 AM until 1 PM every Wednesday from late June until the end of October. The North End Farmers Market is located in front of the North End Senior Center at 80 Coventry Street, near the Tower Avenue/Coventry Street intersection.

 

 Map Hartford’s Homicides

To see a map showing the locations of Hartford homicides, click here.

Words Have Power

Walt Whitman

“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”
― Walt Whitman 

 

Watch Rev. Traci Blackmon’s comments on Charlottsville VA  white supremacist rally

Watch Mayor Mitch Landreau’s Address on Removal of Four Confederate Statues

Watch President Obama’s farewell speech.

Watch President Trump’s inaugural speech

 Image result for never confuse motion with action

What’s Happening in and around Hartford?

For more information on more events, click here.

For Front Row CT: Comics and Pop Stars

For fun courtesy of AARP

For music

For music festivals

For concert information

For arts/theatre

UCONN concert series

New England Concerts etc.

 

Nursery Staffed for Sunday Services

A reminder: the nursery is available when your child is restless or unhappy during service. You may not mind your child’s crying, but others would like to hear the service.

 

 

volunteers

Would you like to volunteer? We need Sunday School teachers for the fall, an usher, a historian,  liturgists and just maybe you can think of ways that you too can help! See Pastor Steve or Jeanne Murchison for details.

 

Remember our Sick and Shut-ins. Don’t forget to send a prayer, card or note.

In Need of Prayers

Arthur and Betty Rooks

Barbara Wiggins

Joe and Rachel Taylor

Anita Thompson

JoAnn and Jennifer Robinson

Gail and Lee Martin

Sick and Shut In

Deacon Mamie Barnum  @ home                       

Gladys Aldes  @ home

   

New UCC logo reflects, complements denomination’s Purpose, Vision, Mission Statements

UCC-Logo.png

Beginning with General Synod 2017 in Baltimore this summer, the United Church of Christ will begin the transition to a new logo for the denomination. The logo, last re-designed in 2004, has been updated to reflect both tradition and innovation within the church as it faces the challenges and opportunities of Christian witness in the coming decades.

The new logo’s design and colors are intended to complement the graphic representation of “A Just World for All,” developed to illustrate new Purpose, Vision, and Mission Statements adopted by the national setting of the church last fall.

The new logo’s colors were chosen to work with both ‘A Just World for All’ and the ‘3 Great Loves campaign — Love of Children, Love of Neighbor, Love of Creation.’ Blue has replaced red, with black retained as the second color, in the new design, to visually and symbolically represent Creation elements of water and earth.

Read more here.

 

   

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