Welcome

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

Let me welcome you to 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

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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.

 

Monday – Wednesday 9:00 – noon

 Romans 5:1-5       

  Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b]boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 5:1 Many manuscripts let us
  2. Romans 5:2 Or let us
  3. Romans 5:3 Or let us

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Faith-Based Community Events have been moved to the News & Events Tab. Check out what’s happening in and around Hartford’s religious community. For CT Conference events, click HERE.

 

Hartford’s Paul Brown, Jazz Legend, Dies

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HARTFORD — Jazz bassist Paul Brown, founder of Hartford’s Monday Night Jazz series recognized by the Library of Congress as the oldest continuously run jazz festival in the country and a member of Faith Congregational Church, died Friday. Brown’s death was confirmed by the Hartford Jazz Society, which took over production of the jazz series after Brown ran it for 40 years. Read more from The Courant here. Read what the Hartford Jazz Society has to say here.

Paul Brown Memorial Services-
Friday, May 27th- 

            Wake- 5:00 p.m - 6:30 p.m.

            Memorial Jam Session- 6:30 p.m. - until

Saturday, May 28th

            Funeral- 10:00 a.m.


 

"If white Christians acted more Christian than white, black parents would have less fear for their children.” ~ Jim Wallis

 

Why Churches Don’t Grow

Why isn’t your church growing? Do you look aroud and see that the church down the street is growing like gangbusters and yours is stagnant? Why is that? What can you do? Look at some of the reasons why your church might not be growing.

  1. The church is in conflict.
  2. Members are focused on the past, not the future.
  3. Some people are just difficult to be around.
  4. New and potential members are chased away.
  5. You talk more than you take action.
  6. The building is more important than the church.
  7. Leadership isn’t leading, it is controlling.
  8. Personal agendas become more important than God’s mission.
  9. Gossip and negativity has infected the congregation.
  10. Location and parking.

 

Want to save money on your car insurance?

When you complete the award-winning AARP Smart Driver™ online course, you can receive a car insurance discount that lasts for multiple years! Discounts are available for AARP members. Click HERE for more information.

May is….

Arthritis Awareness Month

Foster Care Month

Blood Pressure Month

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

National Salad Month

National Hamburger Month

Older Americans Month

Mystery Month

What do you have to celebrate in May?

  Let’s beat diabetes.

The first step? Education. That’s where we come in. Get health tips, news, and updates sent straight to your inbox with our WebMD Diabetes newsletter. Click HERE for more information.

 

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🌟Mother’s Day Community Service Project🌟

Hartford Girl Scout Troop 10003 has partnered with My Sister’s Place in Hartford to recognize the 26 women in the program on Mother’s Day. This was a very worthwhile and humbling project, where we  continued to teach our Girl Scouts about the importance of community involvement, giving back, practicing selfless acts of kindness, gratitude and helping those in need.

We wanted the mothers at My Sister’s Place to know that they matter and they are appreciated on this special day (Mother’s Day).

Thanks for your support!

Lisa Butler, Troop Leader

 

 

When Christians Won’t Say #BlackLivesMatter

Kevin Wright    Kevin Wright currently serves as the Minister of Education at The Riverside Church in the City of New York

…[M]any Christians hesitate or refuse to say #BlackLivesMatter when one would think that their affinity for a marginalized Jewish man who preached a message of good news for the oppressed would usher them to support such a call for justice.

The theologian Howard Thurman identified this tension in his book, Jesus and the Disinherited. Thurman describes how the Sadducees (an upper class in Jesus’ day laden with privilege and economic security) were astute enough to see that their own position could be perpetuated if they stood firmly against all “revolutionaries and radicals.” In other words, when given the choice between retaining their privilege or standing with the oppressed, they chose the former.

Read more here.

photo credit: emilycheath.com

A Christian Minister on Restrooms, Gender and Fear

Rev. Emily C. Heath    Clergy, United Church of Christ

My wife and I have a joke. We tell it when we are out in public, at an airport or a restaurant or concert, and I need to use the bathroom. When I stand up to find a restroom I say to her, “Okay, honey, if I’m not out in five minutes, come look for me.”

We always laugh but, actually, it’s not that funny. The “joke” plays on the fact that I’m a gender non-conforming person, and bathrooms are not safe spaces for me. This has always been true, but in the current political climate, when states are passing laws regulating the use of bathrooms by trans and gender non-confirming people, we’ve been telling this joke more.

Sometimes gallows humor is all you have.  Read more here.

 

 

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 We Have Bears in CT!

Bears are coming out of hibernation and will begin to move around. If you live in an area where bears were seen last spring, be aware that they will probably be back.

To avoid attracting bears the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says:

  • Remove bird feeders from late March through November. If a bear visits a bird feeder in winter, remove the feeder.
  • Wait until the morning of collection before bringing out trash. Add a few capfuls of ammonia to trash bags and garbage cans to mask food odors. Keep trash bags in a container with a tight lid and store in a garage or shed.
  • Do not leave pet food outside overnight. Store livestock food in airtight containers.
  • Do not put meats or sweet-smelling fruit rinds in compost piles. Lime can be sprinkled on the compost pile to reduce the smell and discourage bears.
  • Thoroughly clean grills after use or store in a garage or shed.
  • Never intentionally feed bears. Bears that associate food with people may become aggressive and dangerous. This may lead to personal injury, property damage, and the need to destroy problem animals.
  • Encourage your neighbors to take similar precautions.

If you see a bear on your property you can either leave the bear alone and wait for it to leave or make loud noises from a safe distance to attempt to scare the bear away. After the bear leaves the property, remove anything that may have attracted it to the area.

Read more HERE.

 

CT’s Budget Situation

Are you keeping up with what is going on in Hartford? Do you know what the budget issues are? Have you read about the budget cuts on both the state and local level. For more information, read here:

City of Hartford

40 city of Hartford employees, including 7 from police department, receive layoff notices

 

http://www.freegreatpicture.net/fruits-and-vegetables/vegetables-and-fruits-picture-27424

How Important is Organic?

According to some people, everything needs to be organic. Others, who may have budget challenges, should choose which foods are most important to buy organic. For examples, bananas may not matter as much as apples. Why? Because you eat the apple skin and that is where the pesticides are found. Banana peels are thrown away.  Here are a few fruits and vegetables which should be bought organic if possible:

  • celery
  • bell peppers
  • stone fruits (peaches, nectarines)
  • berries
  • salad greens

Here are some that are less susceptible to pesticides:

  • cantaloupe
  • carrots
  • avocado
  • cabbage
  • eggplant
  • bananas

 

For more information read HERE  (organic) and HERE (non-organic).

 

 

Stay tuned for information updates on our Yard Goats fundraiser!

 

 

Earl Gardner

Men’s Ministry Monday evenings @ 5:30pm     Calling All Men!!!

Bible Study, Food and Fellowship! All men are welcome.

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Did You Know….

States may also elect to opt out of some of the federally mandated collateral consequences for some convictions. For instance, people convicted of drug offenses are, according to federal law, not permitted to receive some “welfare benefits,” or to live in federally subsidized housing. This is a special problem for the families of the felons, because they are then faced with the “choice” of receiving these benefits and turning away from the stigmatized family member, or losing their subsidized housing. This is hard on families and removes from ex-offenders important support systems that enable them to successfully come back into the community and remain out of prison. States are permitted by Congress to opt out of these penalties, but their legislatures need to formally affirmatively enact laws to not have those sanctions applied in their state.  http://issues.org/32-1/the-effects-of-mass-incarceration-on-communities-of-color/

 

Labels like “Felon” Are an Unfair Life Sentence

Lately, the Obama Administration and others on the local level have come to recognize that the words used to describe those who have offended against society, the vocabulary of incarceration, matter. The way we discuss people can interfere with their ability to reintegrate into society. The demands we place on them and the identity they are assigned often prevents them from acquiring employment and housing, two strong factors in preventing recidivism. Read more here.

 

Losing weight isn’t easy—and doing it in a healthy, sustainable way can make the task feel even harder.

My Fitness Pal offers 67 weight loss strategies. For strategies to help manage those extra pounds, click here.   After losing weight, people from The Biggest Loser have difficulty keeping the weight off. Read more here.

  

Dear Rev. Camp,

I hope all is well and that you had a wonderful holiday season. I am writing to inform you of opportunity to provide youth from Hartford, ages 5 to 9, with free swim lessons at the Downtown YMCA. The program is designed to mitigate youth drowning and promote physical activity. For your reference, I have attached a flyer for the upcoming session (lessons will actually begin on Monday, January 11th); subsequent sessions will be offered later this winter and throughout the spring. Our goal is to serve 500 youth from Hartford by the end of this summer.

We are hopeful that you are able to share this opportunity with your parishioners. I have copied Deirdre Brickhouse, aquatics director for the Downtown YMCA, on this email. If you believe this may be of interest to members of your church, Deirdre can provide you with registration forms and additional information.

Jeff Williams
241 Trumbull Street, Hartford, CT 06103
(P) 860 522 9622 ext 2302 (F) 860 522 1314
(E) jeff.williams@ghymca.org (W) ghYMCA.org

 How Healthy Are You?

Are you getting enough whole grains and veggies? How much seafood should you eat? What are the best oils for cooking? We have answers for you. Take the quiz here.

 

Chief Diversity Officer Named

Joelle A. Murchison has been named associate vice president and chief diversity officer at the University of Connecticut. Murchison, currently vice president of enterprise diversity and inclusion for The Travelers Companies, Inc., will serve as the University’s main strategist responsible for guiding efforts to define, assess, and promote diversity, inclusion, and educational and employment opportunity. She will develop programs and coordinate activities to recruit and retain faculty, students, and staff from diverse backgrounds. She will begin her new role on July 5.

 

 

 

 Environmental Racism

Humankind has so much become one family that we cannot ensure our own security unless we ensure the security of all others.” - Bertrand Russell, from Simple Prosperity

Why Is Environmental Racism an Issue of Faith?

People of faith are called to care for all of our neighbors, regardless of their race, their income level, or their life circumstances. Jesus taught us this behavior in the parable of the Good Samaritan. He was also a student of the Hebrew Scriptures where he learned to “let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream.” Jesus did not discriminate or separate people into artificial groups, but rather declared that the Kingdom of God is available to all of God’s children.

Read more HERE.

 

Don’t Stop Here…. More Important Information!

 

Did You Know….

A new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that a majority of Americans (55%) have received government benefits from at least one of the six best-known federal entitlement programs.  Read more HERE.

What Religions Are The 2016 Presidential Candidates? Republican And Democratic Faiths Explained

Tune in to a 2016 presidential-campaign rally, and it’s likely the  candidate will be weaving religious beliefs into his or her speech. Among some of the candidates, faith appears to be a fundamental element not only of their lives but also of their campaigns.

Some of the candidates’ paths to faith are more complicated than others, as they either deepened or found their faith at different points in their lives. Here we take a look at how each candidate identifies religiously, as well as at the religions of their children, spouses and parents.  Read here.

Map Hartford’s Homicides

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

According to the Hartford Courant,the department is expanding the coverage area of its ShotSpotter gunshot detection system from 3 to 11.25 square miles, an area that police Chief James Rovella says will cover “every residence and school in the city.”  The new equipment was operative on March 30.  Read more here.

 

 

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Farmer’s Markets are Still Open For Business

They accept cash, WIC, SNAP and EBT. For more information: http://www.hartfordfarmersmarkets.org/.

 

Billings Forge Farmers Market

Thursday 11:00 am2:00 pm
Billings Forge, 563 Broad Street, HartfordCT    06106
The Billings Forge Farmers Market is Hartford’s only year-round Farmers Market. The market is open every Thursday, and depending on the day, you could buy fresh picked produce, meats, jams and jellies, honey, fresh baked breads or cheese. Plus, they’ve got “The Tasting Table” by the Kitchen at Billings Forge.  Find out more

 

We Are Not Cured’: Obama Discusses Racism In America With Marc Maron

EPISODE 613   

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

Marc welcomes the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, to the garage for conversation about college, fitting in, race relations, gun violence, changing the status quo, disappointing your fans, comedians, fatherhood and overcoming fear. And yes, this really happened. This episode is presented without commercial interruption courtesy of Squarespace. Go to  MarcMeetsObama.com to see behind-the-scenes photos and captions.

 

Read one of King’s most important speeches , “The Other America,” here.

 

irene naacp

What’s Happening in and around Hartford?

For more information on more events, click here.

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.

 

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Don’t forget, Girl Scout Troop 10003 meets on 2nd and 4th Sundays from 1 – 2:30pm.

 

volunteers

Would you like to volunteer? We need Sunday School teachers, a leader for our teen ministry, 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 card or note.

Esther (Jackson) Kyttle                                 Wintonbury Care Center in Bloomfield

Deacon Margaret Robinson                          Hebrew Home in West Hartford

Bobby Ryles                                                       Home

Deacon Mamie Barnham                                 Home

Agnes Hicks                                                      Home