Welcome to Faith

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 out 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 are very welcome at Faith. 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        860-547-0820

Original painting of the Christ

Our God who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy matchless name
Let Your Kingdom reign in heaven. Dwell on earth in us, the same
Give us, Lord, this day for worship; Give us manna from on high
Give us bread to serve your kingdom, Lord our name we glorify.

Lord, forgive us, free us, love us, Grant us wisdom to forgive
Lead us not into temptation; grant us grace so we can live
Evil cannot stand against us, Your deliverance we need
Bind us, Lord, in one another, We, Your church, Your love receive.

Thine the kingdom, Thine the power, Thine the glory evermore
Thine all majesty and honor tGod to you we praise, adore
You are God, You reign forever, “Sovereign Holy Lord!” we sing
Our God who art in heaven Lord, eternal King of Kings.

 (Written by Tony McNeil and dedicated to Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta)

Luke 1:76-79

And you, my child, “Prophet of the Highest,”
    will go ahead of the Master to prepare his ways,
Present the offer of salvation to his people,
    the forgiveness of their sins.
Through the heartfelt mercies of our God,
    God’s Sunrise will break in upon us,
Shining on those in the darkness,
    those sitting in the shadow of death,
Then showing us the way, one foot at a time, down the path of peace.

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

 

Lucas 1:76-79

76 Y tú, niño, serás llamado profeta del Altísimo;
Porque irás delante del Señor para preparar Sus caminos;
77 Para dar a Su pueblo el conocimiento de la salvación
Por[a] el perdón de sus pecados,
78 Por la entrañable misericordia de nuestro Dios,
Con que la Aurora nos visitará desde lo alto,
79 para dar luz a los que habitan en tinieblas y en sombra de muerte,
Para guiar nuestros pies en el camino de paz.”

Nueva Biblia Latinoamericana de Hoy (NBLH)  © 2005 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California


From the Pastor’s Study

Dear Friends and Members:

A few other events:

—Jazz Concert April 21 from 7:00 pm – 10:00 p.m.

— Youth Revival here with CT Conference  April 22 @ 3 p.m.

—Women’s Weekend May 19-20; Saturday luncheon and Sunday service

—Men’s Day June 24, Rev. Bennie Liggins from Montgomery, AL preaching

We are looking forward to seeing everyone with their  friends and family for these special events.

We are thinking about a trip this summer to Birmingham and Selma to see historical sites. Members of the Jewish community would be joining us as well. Are you interested? If so, let me know.

Be blessed, Pastor Steve

 

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Need a ride to church? See Deacon Pam Walters for details and to schedule a pickup.
Want a CD of the service? See Bruce MacCullugh.
Need stewardship envelopes? See Alice Lumpkin or Barbara Wiggins -or contribute online using the “Donate” button.
Want to learn more about the Bible? Bible study on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. or Sunday morning at 9 a.m.
Want to sing praises? Just come to choir rehearsal on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m.
Need more information?  Call the church office  860-547-0820 Monday through Wednesday mornings.

 

 

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Prayer Resources:

 

 

There’s More to Faith Church than Sunday Mornings…

 

Men of Faith Men’s Ministry Monday evenings @ 5:30 p.m.   Bible Study, Food and Fellowship! All men are welcome. Call Deacon Al Strother or church office for more information. Next meeting: April 23, 2018.

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

 

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There is a seat for you on Tuesday at Bible study. We start at 7 pm. Great group, great conversation, and great learning! Next session May 1, 2018.

 

Women of Faith Women’s Ministry meets quarterly immediately after service. Bring a dish to share. Next business meeting May 6, 2018.

 

 

The choir could use your voice! It’s a great way to serve at Faith Church. Wayne Dixon is (impatiently) waiting. Choir rehearsal on Wednesday evenings 7 pm.     

 

 

Sunday School

Sunday School for children is happening now. Join us. Volunteer. We look forward to seeing you and your children.

 

PER CAPITA CONTRIBUTION of $10.00 per member of all CT UCC churches is collected each year to support projects of UCC churches in CT.  If you have not remitted your contribution yet, please consider doing so as soon as possible.  Thanks to all who have already given.   The Stewardship Committee

 

 

 

 

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41st DanceAfrica Festival in Brooklyn, NY

Danceafrica 2018

Bus trip to BAM/DanceAfrica 2018, Brooklyn, NY,  Saturday, May 26, 2018 – 8AM-8PM

Please join the Missions Ministry on our bus trip to the 41st DanceAfrica Festival in Brooklyn, NY.  DanceAfrica is an annual celebration of the countries of the African Diaspora.  The 2018 festival’s feature country is South Africa. Join us and witness the arts and culture of South Africa!!   Witness the hundreds of food, clothing and art vendors and out-door entertainment of BAM, and the sight & sounds of Brooklyn!!   This trip is sold out.  

 

 

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Campaign 2018: the Race for Connecticut Governor

Interested in Politics? In the Governor’s Race?

THE HARTFORD VOTES-HARTFORD VOTA COALITION will host a gubernatorial forum on Wednesday, April 18 at 6 p.m. with light refreshments at 5:30 p.m. at the Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street, Hartford.

 

 Do You Need Dental Care But Don’t Have Insurance?

CT MISSION OF MERCY will provide free dental care to underserved and uninsured Connecticut residents. This year CTMOM will be held at Torrington High School on April 20 and 21.Torrington High School is located at 50 Major Besse Drive, Torrington, CT 06790. Clinic doors will open at 8 a.m. on both days.

 

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.

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. Advance timed entry passes for individuals are released on the first Wednesday of each month.  The next day for passes to be released isMay 2.  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 online museum pass reservation system. Use it to reserve a pass with an HPL adult or teen card up to 60 days in advance.   Go HERE to reserve a pass.                                                                                                                                           

Jurassic Giants at Mystic

Brad Horrigan | Hartford Courant

Jurassic Giants at Mystic: Through 2018

Mystic Aquarium’s newest exhibit, open through 2018, features 12 mostly life-sized animatronic dinosaurs and other dino-focused interactive attractions for dino-lovers to enjoy. Full story here.

 

Crowns: April 18 to May 13Crowns    T. Charles Erickson

“Crowns,” written and directed by Regina Taylor, tells the story of a Brooklyn teenage girl who finds common ground and a sense of history when sent to live with her grandmother in a community of ‘hat queens.’  A “hat queen” is an African-American woman who owns more than 100 hats and wears them proudly to church. In “Crowns,” these queens are presented as divine spirits that represent different aspects of life and nature.  The play runs April 18 through May 13 at Long Wharf Theatre. Full story here.

Hartford Board of Education Meetings

Regular Meetings 
May 15 – MD Fox: Public Hearing – 2018-19 Budget
June 19 – Annie Fisher School – Budget Adoption


Workshops/Special Meetings 
May 1 – Annie Fisher School – Budget Workshop

All workshops are held on the first Tuesday of each month at5: 30 pm., and regular meetings held on the third Tuesday of each month at 5:30 pm. Workshops will not be held in July and August.  *Meeting dates/locations subject to change.

Click Here for a Complete List of Meetings Dates & Agendas

City of Hartford Job Opportunities
The City of Hartford is currently hiring for the following positions:

  • Internal Audit – Auditor
  • Registrar of Voters – Data Input Clerk
  • Public Works – Supervisor
  • Families, Children, Youth & Rec – Life Guard
  • Procurement -Principal Administrative Analyst

Entrepreneurship

The Women’s Business Development Council provides loans up to $10,000 to help start or grow a business. It can be used for such things as working capital, new hires, furniture, inventory, supplies, equipment and/or machinery. The Women’s Business Development Capital micro-loan fund offers flexible guidelines to help businesses build better credit and improve their attractiveness to traditional lenders.  For more information and to learn more, call 203-751-9550 or visit http://www.ctwbdc.org/.

Homeowners’  Elderly/Disabled Tax Relief Program  Applications Now Available 

City and State law provide a property tax credit programs for Connecticut owners in residence of real property, who are elderly (65 and over) or totally disabled, and whose annual incomes do not exceed certain limits. The credit amount is calculated by the local assessor and applied by the tax collector to the applicant’s real property tax bill. Credit amounts are based on a graduated income scale. An application may be made to the Assessor’s Office between March 1 and May 15th.

 Activities

Davison Art Center at Wesleyan University in Middletown presents “Reclaiming the Gaze: African American Prints and Photographs, 1930 to Now” from Feb. 7 to May 27wesleyan.edu/cfa.

 

Hartford Fashion Week

A launch party in Chango Rosa, 1 Union  Place in downtown Hartford, kicks off the third annual Hartford Fashion Week, which runs the weekend of April 19 to 23 with runway shows, vendor markets, clothing viewing, and parties.  The Chango Rosa party, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., includes a salute to Eiko Blow, who launched the Hartford fashion line Japanalia in the 1980s and ran a shop until 2014.

The first runway event — April 20 from 7 to 10 p.m. — will feature work by Styled by Jazz, RoundTableClothing, Troy Anthony and FASCHINN, with an off-runway presentation by Rachael Karrington. The second show, April 21 from 7 to 10 p.m. — will feature work by LàMoo, Brian Hernandez, Animated People and Toshaz, with an off-runway presentation by Taj Mirage. Admission is $35. VIP tables are available. Vendors will sell their wares on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., also at Colt.

The final event is a panel discussion titled “Culture & Community through Attire” Monday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at UConn Hartford, 10 Prospect St. Co-presented by the UConn School of Fine Arts, it features Christina Lorraine Bullard, an assistant professor of costume design at UConn, and Brandy S. Culp, curator of American decorative arts at the Wadsworth Atheneum of Art in Hartford. The moderator is Anne D’Alleva, the dean of the UConn School of Fine Arts. Admission is $10, which includes hors d’oeuvres and an open bar.

For details on Fashion Week, visit hartford.fashion. To register for the panel discussion, click here.

Walk To End Lupus Now CT-Hartford

June 10 2018
02:00 pm
Rentschler Field 
615 Silver Ln.
East Hartford

 

 

Encounters: Intrafaith Conflict

Saturday, April 21, 10am-12pm with lunch to follow
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
600 Main Street, Hartford

2018 marks the 400th anniversary of the Thirty Years War, a wide-ranging war in Europe deeply connected to the splits in Christianity occasioned by Martin Luther’s break with Rome in 1517.  On the occasion of that anniversary, we invite you to join us for a conversation on the ongoing question of intrafaith conflict and its broader effects. We will open by thinking about religious conflict feeding armed conflict, then localize our conversation by looking at Hartford’s founding within the context of a religious struggle, and close by using that deep historical perspective to dialogue over the ongoing question of how the contests within one faith can have significant effects upon wider communities.

Limited space. Lunch will be provided after the 10am-12pm discussion. Please review readings prior to the event. They can be found HERE. To register, email: faculty@wadsworthatheneum.org

The Encounters series is a partnership between the Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library, UConn Humanities Institute, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, and The Amistad Center for Art & Culture.

 

 

 

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Live in Hartford? Get Your Free Tickets Today!

Hartford residents who are Hartford Public Library cardholders can now reserve up to 2 free tickets to plays at Hartford Stage as part of our new partnership.

Each of the seven branches of Hartford Public Library will have a two-ticket pass per eligible show. Patrons can check online to see where passes are available, but they must ask for them in person at any of the seven Library locations.

Once you have reserved the tickets at a Library branch, you must confirm the seats by calling the box office at Hartford Stage, 860-527-5151.

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THE CITY OF HARTFORD WILL BE COLLECTING PAPER LEAF BAGS FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY

1. CURBSIDE COLLECTION OF BROWN LEAF BAGS:
Curbside collection of LEAF BAGS will occur on normal trash days during the weeks of:
• April 16
• April 23
• April 30
THERE WILL BE NO CURBSIDE COLLECTION OF LOOSE LEAVES.
ADDITIONAL OPTION:
LEAF BAG DROPOFF: Year-round (GREEN PERMIT REQUIRED)
• Obtain Green permit: Visit 50 Jennings Road, Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
• Bring paper leaf bags to Waste & Recycling Center –
180 Leibert Road: Tuesday – Saturday, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
2. BRANCHES & OTHER DEBRIS:
Tree limbs, branches and other brush debris, tied in 6 ft. sections, will be collected on:
• April 21
• April 28
3. STREET SWEEPING:
Street sweeping will occur everyday for three weeks starting April 9th. Thereafter, regular
street sweeping will resume following the collection of waste and recycling.

For more information call 311 or  (860) 757-9311 from a cellular phone. Staff Available Monday – Friday:

8:00am – 5:00pm.

 

4 Lessons the Church Can Learn from Black Panther

Ryan Duncan   Feb 23, 2018

Image result for black pantherI know what you’re thinking, “What could possibly be said about Black Panther which hasn’t already been said?” Marvel’s latest foray into the Cinematic Universe was easily one of the most anticipated movies of 2018, and since its debut, Black Panther has absolutely mauled the box office competition. The film has been praised by critics and fans of all backgrounds, inspired countless articles about the dangers of inequality, and reminded viewers how great stories can help build bridges. There’s so much to take in, and plenty which has already been discussed. For my part though, I’d like to focus on a specific audience which could benefit from the lessons found in Black Panther: the Church.

While there are many valuable takeaways to be found in this Marvel hero, here are just four all Christians should consider:

1. Representation is Important

Even before its release, Black Panther had garnered a huge following thanks to its representation of Africans, woman, and people of color. T’Challa isn’t just a superhero, he’s also a king and an ambassador for his people. His sister Shuri is brave, intelligent, and funny, while the Dora Milaje are warriors who epitomize power and dedication. Each character is proud of their heritage and of who they are. They’re the type of heroes who inspire audiences down to their bones.

Read the entire article here.

 

 

 

Pope Francis: Helping Poor And Migrants Is ‘Equally Sacred’ As Fighting Abortion

Pope Francis issued a scathing rebuke of Catholics who prioritize some church laws and doctrines ― including those condemning abortion ― over fighting for the poor and the oppressed.

In an apostolic exhortation released Monday, Francis lamented that some Catholics think of protecting many marginalized groups as a secondary or superficial issue. The pontiff said that while efforts to restrict abortion are crucial, it’s just as important for members of his flock to fight for the rights of the “already born.”

Francis wrote in his exhortation, “Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection.”

Read the entire article here.

 

2 Ministers Are Trying To Revive The Campaign To End Poverty That MLK Started

“The time is now — more than ever — for us to have a Poor People’s Campaign.”

 

He couldn’t stop thinking about them, their wide eyes and the silent hunger that lay behind them.  Staring up at the ceiling from his motel bed, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told his closest confidant, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, that the impoverished children they visited earlier that day were cemented in his mind.

It was June 1966 and the pair had stopped by an early Head Start facility in Marks, Mississippi, which is the seat of Quitman County, a devastatingly poor area in the alluvial plains of the Mississippi Delta that was thought to be the most impoverished in the country at the time.  Quitman had everything King fought against: A lack of job and home security, particularly for the black sharecropping families who often lived in shacks on the plantations where they worked unpredictable harvests. Abysmal schools, where black students were taught in poorly ventilated classrooms with out-of-date textbooks and school lunches they couldn’t afford.

But it was what King saw in that Head Start facility, a program developed to prepare young children for school, that would push him to launch the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, an effort to demand economic security and an improvement in the quality of life for impoverished Americans. After watching a teacher cut an apple into quarters in order to feed four children, he broke down in tears — an unusual display of public emotion from King. Ultimately, he made the small town of Marks the launching pad for his campaign’s march on Washington, planned for the spring of 1968.

Read the entire article here.

 

Texas Newspaper Omits Same-Sex Spouse’s Name in Obituary

The newspaper publisher removed the husband’s name because he believed it was ‘contrary to God’s word.’

By Alexa Lardieri, Staff Writer March 16, 2018, at 3:26 p.m.

A SAME-SEX COUPLE IN Dallas is accusing a newspaper of discrimination after the paper omitted one of their names in a family member’s obituary. After Barry Giles’ mother, Brenda Light, died in February, the local newspaper in Olton, Texas, removed his husband’s name from her obituary, citing “religious and ethical reasons,” Fox 4 News reported.  In the original obituary sent to The Olton Enterprise, Giles wrote, “Those left to cherish her memory include her son, Barry Giles and his husband, John Gambill of Dallas.” Giles and Gambill have been together for 31 years.  However, when it was published, there was no mention of Gambill.  Read the entire article here.

What’s Auschwitz? 2/3 of Millennials Don’t Know it Was a Nazi Death Camp, Survey Reports

Image result for auschwitzMost American millennials don’t know what Auschwitz was, a survey finds.

Despite the slaughter of nearly a million Jews — as well as hundreds of thousands of Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners of war and others — at the World War II Nazi death camp, a survey commissioned by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany found that 66 percent of Americans ages 18 to 34 “cannot identify what Auschwitz was.” The figure for all adults was 41 percent.

The survey also found that 31 percent of all Americans and more than 4-in-10 millennials believe that 2 million Jews or fewer were killed during the Holocaust, substantially less than the historically accepted figure, which is closer to 6 million.

“I was astounded by those figures. This just goes to show the world forgets easily, and we pay a dear price for not remembering,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which works to promote awareness of European genocide. Read the entire article here.

 

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

The Complicated Pasts of 6 Trailblazing Women

MARCH 27, 2018 

Mother Teresa advocated reusing hypodermic needles for the poor in her care. Margaret Sanger promoted birth control as a way to keep ‘undesirable’ minorities from procreating. To understand history’s lionized women, we need more nuanced portraits. Read More

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

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Tennessee lawmakers punish Memphis for removing statue of Confederate and KKK leader

A few years before Nathan Bedford Forrest became the leader of the Ku Klux Klan, and decades before a statue of him was dedicated in Memphis, the Confederate general overlooked Fort Pillow and planned how he would destroy the beacon for escaped slaves.

Numerous assaults eroded the garrison in April 1864. When the commander declared that he would not surrender, Forrest sent waves of rebels to finish off the dwindling Union troops — many of them black. “The sight of negro soldiers,” a Confederate witness said afterward, “stirred the bosoms of our soldiers with courageous madness.” The Mississippi River was blood red for 200 yards, Forrest later said.

In 1905, a statue of Forrest on horseback was dedicated in a Memphis park, 40 miles south of the site of the battle and later massacre.

On Tuesday, nearly 154 years to the day that his troops obliterated the fort, Forrest’s ghost — and his statue — haunted the Tennessee legislature.

The Republican-dominated House voted to remove $250,000 earmarked for the Memphis bicentennial next year after the city engineered a way to remove that statue in December, along with a statue of Confederate president Jefferson Davis. The amendment was adopted in a $37.5 million spending bill still working its way through state chambers for approval.

“This is one of the most vile, racist acts I’ve seen happen in the legislature,” state Rep. Antonio Parkinson (D), who represents Memphis, told The Washington Post on Wednesday. Parkinson is part of the majority-black population of Memphis.

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) blasted the amendment.

“From Scopes Monkey Trial, to 10 Commandments resolution of ’96, & now to punishment of Memphis for removing statues that honor leaders of the Confederacy, the TN House of Representatives sadly continues to embarrass Tennessee across the nation,” Cohen wrote Wednesday on Twitter.

Parkinson was joined by House Democrats and several Republicans in opposition to what they called a punitive measure after the December statue removals. The city skirted laws meant to block removals of memorials on public grounds by selling two parks containing the statues to a new nonprofit called Memphis Greenspace for $1,000 each.

 “They act like Nathan Bedford Forrest is their God,” Parkinson said, referring to proponents of the amendment in the House. “What I see is a vicious, violent individual who made his fortunes out of the human slave trade.”  Read the entire article here.

Jesse Jackson on M.L.K.: One Bullet Couldn’t Kill the Movement

MARCH 30, 2018 

Rev. Jackson, who was part of King’s inner circle in 1968—and witnessed his assassination—weighs in on that shocking moment, its turbulent aftermath and carrying forth the dream. Read More

April is…..

Tax Month!
Tax day – April 17
Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day – April 26
National Volunteer Week – April 15-22
Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Child Abuse Awareness Month
Autism Awareness Month
Jazz Appreciation Month
Parkinson’s Awareness Month
Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Daffodil Day – April 22

Daffodil Day: April 22

Wadsworth Mansion opens their doors and gardens for a day of live music, food vendors, docent tours and more on Sunday, April 22, from 1 to 4 p.m. Free. 860-347-1064 and wadsworthmansion.com.

CT Arts Day – April 25
CT Arts Day 2018: April 25
Hartford celebrates  Connecticut Arts Day 2018 — with a theme of resiliency — on April 25 with live music, poetry readings, hip-hop dance performances, workshops and panel discussions at venues such as Hartford Stage, Upward Hartford and the Hartford Hilton. Ticket sales end on April 20. Admission

 

More to Think About: Black Infant Mortality

Read the entire article here.   By Linda Villarosa

Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from “The Hidden Toll,” the cover story in the NY Times Sunday magazine.
Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants — 11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data — a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were considered chattel. In one year, that racial gap adds up to more than 4,000 lost black babies. Education and income offer little protection. In fact, a black woman with an advanced degree is more likely to lose her baby than a white woman with less than an eighth-grade education.
This tragedy of black infant mortality is intimately intertwined with another tragedy: a crisis of death and near death in black mothers themselves. The United States is one of only 13 countries in the world where the rate of maternal mortality — the death of a woman related to pregnancy or childbirth up to a year after the end of pregnancy — is now worse than it was 25 years ago. Each year, an estimated 700 to 900 maternal deaths occur in the United States.
In addition, the C.D.C. reports more than 50,000 potentially preventable near-deaths, like Landrum’s, per year — a number that rose nearly 200 percent from 1993 to 2014, the last year for which statistics are available. Black women are three to four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than their white counterparts, according to the C.D.C. — a disproportionate rate that is higher than that of Mexico, where nearly half the population lives in poverty — and as with infants, the high numbers for black women drive the national numbers.

The crisis of maternal death and near-death also persists for black women across class lines. This year, the tennis star Serena Williams shared in Vogue the story of the birth of her first child and in further detail in a Facebook post. The day after delivering her daughter, Alexis Olympia, via C-section in September, Williams experienced a pulmonary embolism, the sudden blockage of an artery in the lung by a blood clot.

 

 

 More to Think About: Economic Justice

 What Is Economic Justice

Read what major theologians and Bible scholars say about economic justice

Unemployment, poverty wages, unsafe jobs, globalization, the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, taxes (who pays and how much), inadequate public schools, lack of health care, the right to form a union (and why someone might want to), imports from China and closed factories in the U.S. – these are issues of economic justice. And they are very complicated issues.

But things are a little simpler for people of faith. We measure the economy against one fundamental truth: the earth and all that is in it belong to God (Ps. 24:1). God has blessed us with abundance and God’s vision for every one of God’s people, all 7 billion of us, is to live in the fullness of life. God intends for us to fully share God’s gifts (Exodus 16: 16-18). There is enough for all our needs if we share God’s resources. Each of us can live an abundant life.

But we know that this radical equality is not reflected in the economic realities of our world. Some of us have very little while others have very much. The question: “who has how much of what?” is a fundamental economic question.

Examining a question like this can make us uncomfortable because it delves into topics like money, wealth, poverty, privilege, and disadvantage. But the church must address these matters because economic questions are also moral questions. Do some people have too little money and resources? Do others have too much? Does everyone deserve health insurance, affordable housing, and a good public education? If so, who should pay for it? These are all economic questions that also involve moral judgments.

As people of faith, before we begin working to change the economic system we must first discern, as best we can, a vision of what God wills for our society and our economy. For many people, this would be a world where no one is poor, homeless, living in substandard housing, or lacking the nutritious food and health care needed for a healthy life. Everyone who wanted a job would have one.

Once we have a vision, we can we begin working to put it in place – by lobbying our elected representatives for the needed legislation, standing with striking workers, resisting unfair international trade and investment agreements, sharing our abundance, ensuring the social safety net is sufficient, and taking other actions to make certain that all God’s children receive a fair share of the resources that God provides for us all.

Staff members of the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries educate and advocate around a number of economic issues: poverty, wealth, and growing inequality; workplace justice especially for low-wage workers; ensuring all wages are living wages; supporting the right of workers to form unions; strengthening workplace rights for native-born and immigrant workers; opposing biased trade and investment treaties; working to reform harmful or ineffective practices of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and World Trade Organization; ending the economic crisis and building a new economy that works for everyone; and reshaping the federal budget to better meet our needs. These are big issues. But we know God walks with us as we work for justice.

Click here for more information.

 

Lead crisis: Flint braces as Michigan shuts down free bottled water sites

“My water stinks. It still burns to take a shower. There’s no way they can say it’s safe.”

by Erik Ortiz /  / Updated 

Shawn Jones, 42, right, and Tony Price, 54, distribute bottled water at a point of distribution in Flint, Michigan on Aug. 11, 2017.Terray Sylvester /The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP file

 

After Michigan’s governor announced the state will stop providing free bottled water to residents of Flint — afflicted four years ago by lead-tainted drinking water — churches and charities said Monday they’re bracing for a surge in people seeking help.

 “Normally we give out whatever a family wants,” said Bill Quarles, a deacon of the First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church. “But now we may have to limit that until more supplies come in.”

Credit Freeze Protects Against Identity Theft

Image result for equifaxConsumers considering security freezes at the big three — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — also should consider requesting one with Innovis. The freeze is free and can be done online at www.innovis.com/personal/securityFreeze. Freezing credit reports prevents credit bureaus from releasing people’s files without their permission. Because most businesses won’t extend credit without checking a consumer’s credit history, ID thieves are blocked from opening fraudulent accounts.

 

 

More to Think About: Health

Ok. You Gained Weight. These 5 Tips Will Get You Back on Track

Kirby Bumpus, MPH

BY KIRBY BUMPUS, MPH

 

Whether you are starting your weight loss journey, finding yourself in the middle of the struggle or working on maintenance, here are tips to keep you on track:

1. START NOW AND START SMALL   2. LOSE THE GUILT   3. CONSIDER HELP FROM THE PROS

Read the entire article here.

 

7 Tips for Mastering the Mental Side of Getting Fit

Paul L. Underwood   BY PAUL L. UNDERWOOD      myfitnesspal.com
All of us struggle with the mental side of being active, whether we’re neophytes looking to get in shape or seasoned trainers struggling with our latest challenge. It helps to remember that being fit isn’t some magical, permanent state of being. It’s an act of constant becoming, and it requires a certain discipline to make it a habit.
1. GOALS ARE OVERRATED
2. DON’T EXERCISE — TRAIN
3. GET SOCIAL
Read the entire article HERE.
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 You think you know About Type 2 Diabetes? Take a quick quiz here.

Image result for free images diabetes drinksWhat You Can Drink, Besides Water, When You Have Diabetes

No doubt: Water is the perfect drink. It doesn’t have calories, sugar, or carbs, and it’s as close as a tap. If you’re after something tastier, though, you’ve got options.  Click HERE for more information. My favorite – low fat chocolate milk!

 

 

 

 

 More to think About: Gun Violence

Revolver

There were 29 homicides in Hartford in 2017, up from 14 in 2016. Twenty-three involved firearms. To see a map showing the locations of Hartford homicides, click here.

Mass shootings in the US: there have been 1,624 in 1,870 days (as of 2/15/18)

No other developed nation comes close to the rate of US gun violence. Americans own an estimated 265m guns, more than one gun for every adult.

Data from the Gun Violence Archive reveals there is a mass shooting – defined as four or more people shot in one incident, not including the shooter – nine out of every 10 days on average. Click HERE for an interactive article about gun violence.

Gun violence affecting my students deserves national attention, too

Chris Fisk is a teacher at Miami Northwestern Senior High School. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own.

(CNN)“Raise your hand if you or someone you know has been the victim of gun violence.”

As a high school teacher, this is not how I want to start my classes. After Sunday’s deadly shooting in the Miami neighborhood of Liberty City, I’ve watched as every single hand, in every one of my classes, has been raised. That’s more than 100 ninth-graders — 14- and 15-year-olds. Gun violence is a reality that my students at Miami Northwestern Senior High School know too well.  A few of the ZIP codes in this community account for close to a third of the shootings that injured or killed children between 2012 and 2015 in Miami-Dade County. Two years ago, Liberty City, along with two other neighborhoods within an area of roughly 4 square miles, recorded and reported 8,280 individual gunshots— an average of 22 bullets a day. And just last week, the same senselessness claimed a 4-year-old girl in the community.
Read the entire article here.

Look at the Root Causes of Gun Violence

“…[O]nly 1 percent of murder victims in America are killed in mass murders (defined as those in which four or more people die), according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. More than 90 percent are killed in single-victim homicides. So if we wish to reduce the toll of violent deaths in America, we need to give more attention to the overall murder rate, in which most of the deaths occur one at a time,” write  James Gilligan and Bandy Lee on February 21, 2018 in www.usnews.com. Read the entire article here.

 

 

 

More To Think About: Criminal Justice

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Criminal Justice Bills in the Legislature

  • HB05040    AN ACT CONCERNING ADJUDICATION OF CERTAIN YOUNG ADULTS IN JUVENILE COURT.
  • HB05042    AN ACT CONCERNING PROSECUTION OF LOW-RISK YOUNG OFFENDERS IN ADULT COURT.
  • HB05246    AN ACT ELIMINATING THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS IN THE CASE OF SEXUAL ASSAULT.
  • HB05249    AN ACT CONCERNING GPS MONITORING OF CONVICTED PERSONS AWAITING SENTENCING FOR AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT.
  • HB05250    AN ACT CONCERNING RELEASED FELONS’ VOTING RIGHTS.
  • HB05259    AN ACT CONCERNING CRIMINAL OFFENSES THAT DISQUALIFY AN INDIVIDUAL FROM OBTAINING EMPLOYMENT OR VOLUNTEERING AT A LONG-TERM CARE FACILITY.
  • HB05409   AN ACT CONCERNING THE REGISTRATION OF SEXUAL OFFENDERS AND SEX TRAFFICKERS.
  • HB05411     AN ACT CONCERNING VERIFICATION OF A SEXUAL OFFENDER’S RESIDENCE ADDRESS.
  • HB05471    AN ACT CONCERNING VICTIM’S RIGHTS.
  • SB00013     AN ACT CONCERNING FAIR TREATMENT OF INCARCERATED WOMEN.
  • SB00014     AN ACT CONCERNING SPECIAL PAROLE FOR HIGH-RISK, VIOLENT AND SEXUAL OFFENDERS.
  • SB00126 – SB00139     AN ACT COMBATTING SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND SEXUAL ASSAULT (multiple bills with the same title)
  • SB00174     AN ACT CONCERNING THE EXPANSION OF A PROGRAM FOR OPIOID TREATMENT TO ALL OF THE STATE’S CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES.
  • SB00238    AN ACT CONCERNING THE EXTENSION OF THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR THE PROSECUTION OF SEXUAL ASSAULT.

If any of these topics are of interest to you, click HERE for more information.

 

The Legislature is in Session!

The Connecticut legislature is in session and there are a number of bills up for consideration.  If you are interested in what our elected officials are doing, click HERE to access a quick bill search.  If there is something you like or don’t like, the time to deal with it is early in the process. Don’t wait until is passes – or doesn’t – to try to change things.  Don’t know who represents you? Click HERE for state senators and representatives.  Democracy is NOT a spectator sport!

Words Have Power

Jesus said, “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36–37)

Watch Oprah’s Golden Globes speech

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.

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What’s Happening in and around Hartford?

For more information on more events, click here.

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 spring,  a historian,  liturgists and just maybe you can think of ways that you too can help! See Pastor Steve or Patricia Hollis for details.

 

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

Sick and Shut In

Deacon Mamie Barnum  @ home                       

Gladys Aldes  @ home

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

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Beginning with General Synod 2017 in Baltimore in 2017, the United Church of Christ began 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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