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.
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 860-547-0820
From the Pastor’s Study
Dear Friends and Members:
A few events:
—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
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.
- Our Daily Bread
- The Strength and Power of Prayer
- Bible Verses About Prayer
- Guideposts: The Power of Prayer
- James 5:16b
- The Power of Prayer: Enhance Your Life
- What Happens to Your Brain When You Pray?
- Prayers About Gun Violence
- Put the Power in Prayer
- Strength and Power in Prayer
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: May 14, 2018.
Don’t forget, Girl Scout Troop 10003 meets on 2nd and 4th Sundays from 1 – 2:30 pm.
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 15, 2018.
Women of Faith Women’s Ministry meets quarterly immediately after service. Bring a dish to share. Get your tickets to the Women’s Weekend luncheon. Speaker: Jeanne Murchison. Come to church Sunday May 20. Speaker: First Lady Patricia Camp.
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 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
41st DanceAfrica Festival in Brooklyn, NY
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.
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 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 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 isJune 6. Passes go very quickly when released. CHECK ADVANCE AVAILABILITY ON RELEASE DAY
Want to go to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice?
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice is the nation’s first memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence. Located in Montgomery Alabama and set on a six-acre site, the memorial uses sculpture, art, and design to contextualize racial terror. The site includes a memorial square with 800 six-foot monuments to symbolize thousands of racial terror lynching victims in the United States and the counties and states where this terrorism took place. For tickets or to plan a visit, click here.
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 adultor teen card up to 60 days in advance. Go HERE to reserve a pass.
May 15 Deadline
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.
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 27. wesleyan.edu/cfa.
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.
Like Free Books?
Freebooksy.com sends a daily email with free ebooks for the day. If you read books on a Kindle, Nook, tablet, phone, or laptop, you may fund this useful and cost-effective.
Every Month is Women’s History Month Because Women’s History IS Everyone’s History
Texas congresswoman Barbara Jordan (1936-1996) rose to the national stage from Houston’s largely African-American Fifth Ward, becoming a public defender of the U.S. Constitution and a leading presence in Democratic Party politics for two decades. She was the first black woman elected to the Texas state senate and the first black Texan in Congress. As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, she gave the influential opening speech of Richard Nixon’s 1974 impeachment hearings. She retired after three terms in Congress to become a professor and policy advocate. Read more here and here.
Every Month is Black History Month Because Black History IS American History
The Real History Behind the Black Panther
National Dental Care Awareness Month *
Celiac Disease Awareness Month
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Awareness Month
National Asparagus Month
National Stroke Awareness Month
National Military Appreciation Month
National Motorcycle Awareness Month
Sturge-Weber Syndrome Awareness
National Mental Health Awareness Month
National Brain Cancer and Brain Tumor Awareness Month
Foster Care Month
Older Americans Month
National Bike Month
National Blood Pressure Month
National Chamber Music Month
National Cystic Fibrosis Month
National Get Caught Reading Month
National Lyme Disease Awareness Month
National Mediterranean Diet Month – link
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
National Water Safety Month
Melanoma Awareness Month
More to Think About: Politics in an Election Year
Matthew Corey, GOP pick for U.S. Senate, embraces Trump
Mashantucket — Republican delegates voted Friday to endorse Matthew Corey, a U.S. Navy veteran and three-time congressional candidate who says he welcomes the opportunity to make his race a referendum on President Donald Trump, as their choice to oppose U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat seeking a second term. “I have a message, President Trump,” Corey said. “Help me help you move this country forward.” Read more here.
Bills approved mandating ‘essential benefits,’ helping uninsured pregnant women
| A bill headed to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s desk would give uninsured women the ability to sign up for health insurance after they learn they are pregnant.
The bill would make pregnancy a “qualifying life event,” like the birth of a child or a job loss, so expectant mothers could enroll in individual health insurance plans outside of the yearly open enrollment period. Read the entire article here.
photo courtesy of www.fda.gov
Senate adopts bills to safeguard domestic violence victims, incarcerated women
The domestic violence measure would implement a broad strategy to reverse a longstanding philosophy of “dual arrests” effectively imposed on police departments by existing law, said Sen. Paul Doyle of Wethersfield, Senate Democratic chair of the Judiciary Committee.
In effect, police officers currently are encouraged in many instances to arrest both parties in a domestic violence incident. The bill, which was developed with bipartisan support, would direct officers to try to establish if there was a “dominant aggressor” in an incident, and if so, arrest only that person.
The measure regarding incarcerated women requires that the state employ at least one health care provider with specialized training related to pregnancy and childbirth at the York Correctional Institution in East Lyme, the state prison for women.
In addition it mandates a wide array of policy changes regarding the treatment of pregnant inmates. The bill would require that:
- A health care provider assess each inmate for pregnancy upon admission to the prison.
- Pregnant inmates receive counseling, medical care, a specialized diet, appropriate clothing and sanitary materials, and access to treatment for postpartum depression.
- Inmates with high-risk pregnancies be transferred to a medical infirmary or hospital.
- Counseling be provided to pregnant inmates before their release.
- The use of restraints be limited regarding pregnant inmates, including during transportation, labor and delivery, and during the postpartum period. It also requires written documentation when certain restraints are used.
Other changes are mandated under the measure regarding the treatment of all incarcerated women. The bill would require:
- Visitation policies for all inmates with children under age 18.
- That all women receive feminine hygiene products free of cost, upon request.
- That the Department of Correction develop and implement a policy regarding the safety of transgender inmates by Oct. 1, 2018.
- That the department, the Board or Pardons and Paroles, and the Judicial Branch’s Court Support Services Division use a gender-responsive approach in their risk assessment analyses of inmates.
Credit Freeze Protects Against Identity Theft
Consumers 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
What 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
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.
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 map.
On bipartisan vote, Connecticut bans bump stocks
The state Senate voted 26 to 10 Tuesday night for final passage of a bill that bans the sale and ownership of bump stocks in Connecticut, joining a growing number of states that have prohibited the rapid-fire rifle accessory used by the Las Vegas shooter who killed 58 people and injured hundreds last October.
Legislators sent the measure to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who plans to sign it, after debating whether banning the devices without compensating owners was constitutional and if doing so would prevent gun violence. Bump stocks are not common and had not been part of the gun debate before Las Vegas. 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
The Connecticut experiment
Leona Godfrey was sitting down to dinner at a TGI Fridays in Orange in December 2013 when she glanced at a television and saw her little brother’s name on the local news. Davon Eldemire had tried to rob a small grocery store, shooting and injuring the owner. “I was devastated,” Godfrey recalled. “What was he thinking? I couldn’t eat.”
At first Godfrey didn’t visit, less out of anger than inertia. But early last year, their mother, Linda Godfrey, started begging Leona to come see something neither would have expected: the prison seemed sincere about helping Davon turn his life around. Linda had attended a presentation by John Pittman, an older prisoner who was going to be Davon’s mentor, pushing him away from gangs and towards planning for his life after release. Linda was deeply moved. “He touched my heart,” she said of Pittman.
Davon had been selected for a pilot program called TRUE at Cheshire Correctional Institution. The effort represents the edge of experimentation for prison officials trying to help a population — young adults, roughly 18-25 — long known as the most likely to end up in prison and to commit more crimes after their release. Public officials have recently started to listen to neuroscientists who say the developing brains of young adults are still prone to impulse. They’re not juveniles under the law, but like younger teens, their minds are plastic and receptive to change. Vermont is raising the age of who is considered a “youthful offender” to 21, Washington is allowing certain crimes committed by those up to 25 to stay in juvenile courts, legislators in Texas are studying how “gaps in services” contribute to crime among 17- to 25-year-olds, and Chicago and San Francisco have set up special courts for young adults.
Uniquely, Connecticut is focusing attention on young men who are already in prison.
Read the remainder of this story in its entirety as originally published May 8, 2018, by the Marshall Project. This story was produced in partnership with Mother Jones.
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
What’s Happening in and around Hartford?
For more information on more events, click here.
For fun courtesy of AARP
For music festivals
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.
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
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.