Welcome to Faith

From our Faith Church family, please be safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Wear your masks, sanitize and frequently wash your hands, and stand 6 feet away from others.

FAITH CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH 
SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND CONFERENCE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
2030 Main Street Hartford, CT 06120
Phone: 860-547-0820 ~ faithmatterstoday.org
Rev. Cleo Graham, Pastor

Phone: 860-547-0820 ~ Sunday Worship: 10:00 a.m.

https://faithmatterstoday.org & https://faithccucc.wixsite.com/website-3

Sunday Worship Service

Join Zoom Meeting 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88132476521     Meeting ID: 881 3247 6521

Joining By Phone 

+1 301 715 8592 (Washington DC)     +1 929 205 6099 (New York) 

Meeting ID: 881 3247 6521    Find your local number:  https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcBZAXBqHYGoogle celebrates Juneteenth with new Doodle

Advent Bulletin Week 3 Luke 2:10 Regular - Pack of | Cokesbury

  FAITH CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH STAFF
Pastor Rev. Cleo Graham    faithmatterspastor1@gmail.com  

Office Manager, Patricia A. Gray
Minister of Music,  Wayne Dixon
Treasurer,  Gail V. Martin
Deacon Chair, Charron Stoddart
Council, Earl W. Gardner, Moderator
Trustee, Alfreda Gaither, Esq.
Children & Youth, Shirley Zachery
Choir President, Earl W. Gardner
Zoom Hosts, Regina Waters & Bruce MacCullagh, Sound Technician
Zoom Hosts, Joelle Murchison, Deacon Gail Martin, and Andrea Barton Reeves – Reopening

Follow us on our website faithmatterstoday.org

MANY WAYS TO GIVE

Free Heart Royalty Free Stock Photography - 25274667

1. Instructions for giving by text: Here is the Faith Church give-by-text number:

Text: 73256  Type: faithchurch and follow the prompts

2. Give online at https://www.faithmatterstoday.org

3. Give by check mailed to Faith Congregational Church, Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ at 2030 Main St., Hartford, CT, 06120

Everything we have all belongs to God, honoring Him by giving back and watch how He will turn your situation around.  God sees and knows your heart and will bless your seed.  Make an investment in your growth and reach new heights in your purpose.

 

Thank You For Giving


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REALM CONNECT – Another Way to Give

Our church is moving to a new kind of church record keeping solution called Realm®. It primarily serves the administrative needs of our staff, but it also offers some exciting opportunities to support the way you are involved in our church. Not only will this improve work life for our ministry staff, it will make it easier for our church family to connect with each other, keep up with what’s going on, and grow as a connected community of believers.

There are three things you should know before we highlight what you can do:
1. We’re updating the administrative tools our staff uses to run the daily operations of our church.
2. We’re adding more ways to communicate and connect as a church, all while leaving current methods in place.
3. You determine how much you want to make this part of your experience with our church, but we encourage you to participate.

To get the app at iTunes, click below.

To get the app at Google Play, click HERE.

OR click on the QR graphic here….

To utilize REALM CONNECT you must first receive an Invite Code. If you have any questions, please contact Treasurer Gail Martin at faithmatters.treasurer@gmail.com.

     _____________________________

 

Jeremiah 33: 14-16 (NRSV) 

The Righteous Branch and the Covenant with David

14 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

@ Prayer

Free African American Man Praying With Hands Open On Top Of The Bible Royalty Free Stock Photography - 140307827

 

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 God 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, and sung to the tune “Nettleton/Come Thy Fount.”

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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.

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Cleo Graham has accepted a call to pastor at Faith Congregational Church United Church of Christ in Hartford

Pastor Cleo invites everyone to “Park and Pray” at 1:11 p.m. Also read her Prayer Ministry blog at www.parkandprayat111.com

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BCW-weekly-blog

What is Black Church Weekly?
The Black Church Weekly is a publication by the team at Values Partnerships, a social impact firm focused on communities of faith and communities of color. We’re delighted to bring you news and views related to the Black church and opportunities to engage on policy, entertainment, and culture each week! The Black Church Weekly is edited by Rev. Kip Banks, senior consultant with Values Partnerships, former General Secretary of the Progressive National Convention and pastor of East Washington Heights Baptist Church in Washington, DC. Its publisher is Joshua DuBois, former faith-based advisor to President Barack Obama.

We Are Values Partnerships

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@ Faith Church

MEN OF FAITH  Men’s Ministry Monday evenings @ 5:30 p.m.   Bible Study, Food and Fellowship! All men are welcome.  

 
 
 
 
 
 

Don’t forget, GIRL SCOUT TROOP 10003 meets on 2nd and 4th Sundays from 1 – 2:30 pm. We are really proud of our girls.

WNK_1209
 

There is a seat for you on Tuesday at Bible study. We start at 7 pm. Bill Hollis is leading. Great group, great conversation, and great learning! 

 
 
 

The CHOIR could use your voice! It’s a great way to serve at Faith Church. Wayne Dixon is waiting. Choir rehearsal on Wednesdays at 7 p.m.  

 

Sunday School

 

Sunday School for children is in the fall/winter term.  Join us during worship service. Volunteer for one Sunday per month. We look forward to seeing you and your children.

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@ Faith General Info

Faith Church cookbooks are available for purchase at $20 each. Please see Jennifer Robinson, or stop by the church during office hours to purchase a book or two or three.  They make a great gift.  Thank you

person holding black pen and writing on white notebook
Want a CD of the service? Give Bruce MacCullagh a written request or send him an email.  
Need a ride to church? See Deacon Pam Walters for details and to schedule a pickup.
Know someone in need? Leave a message with Patricia Gray (Administrative Assistant) or Deacon Pam Walters.
Need more information?  Call the church office  860-547-0820 Monday,  Wednesday or Friday mornings. Sunday service begins at 10 am.

 

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,  a historian,  and just maybe you can think of ways that you can help! See Patricia Hollis for details.

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

Image result for smithsonian african american museumSAME-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.  Passes go very quickly when released.

CHECK ADVANCE AVAILABILITY ON RELEASE DAY

Want to take a road trip?

Museums & Historical Sites

African American Museum in Philadelphia, PA

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnatti, OH

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, MO

National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN

International Civil Rights Center and Museum iin Greensboro, NC

Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Tuskegee, AL

Northwest African American Museum in Seattle, WA

National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, GA

The Legacy Museum  in Montgomery, AL

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, AL

DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, IL

National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, AL

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@   UCC News

Church leaders urge education, caution and common sense as U.S. coronavirus cases increase

Here are a number of precautionary measures the UCC Human Resources Department shared with staff in the national offices.

• Stay home if you are feeling sick.
• Wash your hands frequently.
• Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
• Disinfect surfaces used regularly.
• Use hand sanitizer.
• Avoid close contact with someone who is sick.
• Practice these precautionary measures at home and pass this information along to family and friends.

If you have traveled internationally during the last 14 days, feel sick with fever or cough, or have difficulty breathing the CDC has several recommendations:

• Seek medical advice. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
• Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
• Avoid contact with others.
• Do not travel while sick.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
• Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

Bookmark these resources for developing information:

  • CDC COVID-19 updates.
  • CDC New travel alerts.
  • World Health Organization updates.
  • WHO Preparedness resources.
  • Coronavirus resources from the UCC.
  •  Ohio Department of Health information.
  • FEMA, general disaster guidance for Houses of Worship.

https://www.ucc.org/news_church_leaders_urge_education_caution_and_common_sense_as_u_s_coronavirus_cases_increase-02282020

 

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History? Of Course…

Image result for amistad ship

REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

Amistad

The Amistad was and is many things:

  • It was a Cuban coasting schooner,
  • It was a famous court case,
  • It was an historic event that shaped the nation and the United Church of Christ,
  • It is a contemporary floating museum,
  • It is a special Sunday in the United Church of Christ,
  • It is an inspiration.

History

In 1839, a group of enslaved Africans broke free while being transported around the island of Cuba aboard the coasting schooner Amistad. They attempted to sail the small vessel back to Africa, but where captured by the US Revenue Brig Washington off the coast of Long Island, charged with mutiny, and threatened with return to slavery.

Connecticut Congregationalists formed the Amistad Committee, which organized a legal defene, eased the captives confinement during the lengthy court case, and eventually funded their return to Africa after winning a favorable decision from the US Supreme Court. [Faith Church’s ancestor congregation played an important role in the entire event, raising money to assist in the defense, and sent 2 missionaries to accompany the former captives back to Africa.]

The Amistad Committee became a seed for wider advocacy for the abolition of slavery in the United States. In 1846, Lewis Tappan, an Amistad Committee leader, founded the American Missionary Association, the first abolitionist organization with integrated leadership. After the Civil War, the AMA went on to found schools, churches, libraries and universities for the newly freed African Americans of the South.

Freedom Schooner Amistad

In 2000, a two-year building project sponsored in part by the UCC climaxed in the launch of the Freedom Schooner Amistad, a reconstruction similar to the schooner of 1839, as a floating museum about the Amistad Incident and the history of slavery. Homeported in New Haven, Connecticut, she sails the Atlantic coast on her mission of education and reconciliation. The non-profit organization Amistad America operates the schooner.

Amistad Sunday

The UCC commemorates the 1839 struggle for freedom, the Amistad Committee, and the American Missionary Association’s heritage on Amistad Sunday, typically held the second Sunday in March.

Amistad Videos

Go to an annotated bibliography of Amistad videos available through the Ruth Dudley Resource Center

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@ In Our Community

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https://depositphotos.com/30561155/stock-video-downtown-hartford-connecticut-skyline.html

 
 
Life of James Mars: A Slave Born and Sold in Connecticut (Dodo Press): Mars,  James: 9781409988090: Amazon.com: Books
Gov. Lamont deemed May 1st James Mars Day. Mars, a former slave and Deacon published his memoir in a book about his life as a slave in Ct. and owned by a pastor.  Mars was instrumental in helping to find Talcott Church.
 
 
Video: James Mars Day, May 1st
 
 
 Click for a larger image of Don’t Drop the MIC: The Power of Your Words Can Change the World In Don’t Drop the Mic, renowned pastor, orator, and #1 New York Times bestselling author Bishop T. D. Jakes puts a new spin on the notion of the boastful dropping of the mic—a show of triumph over a well delivered speech or performance. As he notes in his introduction, “The Voice of Hope,”

Thinking of my overall concept for this book, I was taken by the duality and paradox of what it means to “drop the mic.” On the one hand, having a mic-drop moment conveys the powerful, resonant impact virtually every communicator desires to have with his or her audience. While you may not literally drop the mic after you speak at the city council meeting, school fundraiser, board of director’s retreat, or church event, you definitely want to make the most of those opportunities when you’re required to impart a message. You want to leave listeners impressed and inspired, informed and intrigued by what you have shared. On the other hand, dropping the mic can also mean fumbling those same opportunities, either out of fear, a lack of experience, unfamiliarity with your audience, a lack of preparation, or other barriers…

And so, after many requests “for advice, counsel, and wisdom on how to communicate effectively,” and at the urging of his friend Dr. Frank Thomas, a seminary professor and pastor, Bishop Jakes—a passionate, soul-stirring, highly sought-after ace communicator who regularly addresses a variety of audiences—shares his expertise to guide readers in developing and honing their own skills:

My desire is to help you make the most of your mic, whatever it may be, and connect with those receiving your message. Along the way I hope you will realize the unparalleled power of successful communication even as you practice it more productively, passionately, and potently.

Expounding on the power of words, as evidenced during the ongoing global pandemic and the frenzy of social and political upheavals that have caused us to quake at our core, Bishop Jakes asserts, “Communication is as vital to human existence as air, water, food, and shelter…As long as we can speak, we have hope.” Whatever our mode of communication, we are asked not to muffle the message we have been chosen to deliver. Rather, Bishop Jakes entreats us to hold onto the mic when given the opportunity to speak out—and to keep speaking until our message is heard: “Accept the mic on the platform you’ve been given,” he urges. “Your voice is needed. Don’t drop the mic!”

In keeping with an effective guide and teaching tool, the structure of the book is clear and precise. Each of its five captioned parts includes an introduction that leads into the section’s three chapters. And each chapter has an opening quote from the likes of Alice Walker, Aristotle, Maya Angelou, Mark Twain, Bruce Springsteen, and Stephen Covey. Throughout parts 1-4, Bishop Jakes shares the influences and the experiences (good and bad) that have made him the prolific speaker he is today.

Click for a larger image of Paradise on Fire

From award-winning and bestselling author Jewell Parker Rhodes comes a powerful coming-of-age survival tale exploring issues of race, class, and climate change.

Addy is haunted by the tragic fire that killed her parents, leaving her to be raised by her grandmother. Now, years later, Addy’s grandmother has enrolled her in a summer wilderness program. There, Addy joins five other Black city kids—each with their own troubles—to spend a summer out west.

Deep in the forest the kids learn new (and to them) strange skills: camping, hiking, rock climbing, and how to start and safely put out campfires. Most important, they learn to depend upon each other for companionship and survival.

But then comes a devastating forest fire…

Addy is face-to-face with her destiny and haunting past. Developing her courage and resiliency against the raging fire, it’s up to Addy to lead her friends to safety. Not all are saved. But remembering her origins and grandmother’s teachings, she’s able to use street smarts, wilderness skills, and her spiritual intuition to survive.

@ Jobs/Education

 
YouthBuild Job Training Program Accepting New Applications Now

 

CRT is accepting applications for our YouthBuild job training program. We are seeking young adults 18 – 24 from Hartford and East Hartford who want to earn while you learn! Weekly stipend paid! No HS diploma needed – we’ll help you get your GED! Opportunities available in Construction, CNA or Medical Assistant, and Security Guards.

 
 

A Hartford Healthcare program will provide hands-on learning for Hartford Public High School students interested in health careers

HARTFORD — A new program at Hartford Public High School will provide students with hands-on experience as they learn about health care careers.

The initiative, sponsored by Hartford HealthCare, will provide students with a career-focused education experience, combining classroom instruction with work-based learning — such as worksite tours, internships, job shadowing opportunities — according to Hartford Public Schools Superintendent Leslie Torres-Rodriguez.

The Hartford schools announced the new Allied Health Pathway at Hartford Public High School at a press conference Wednesday morning.

“This program will help train, develop, and prepare more people to work in the front lines of health care and as we saw in the pandemic, it’s essential,” Hartford HealthCare President and CEO Jeff Flaks said. “So, we’re going to help build the workforce of the future.”

Click Here for The Complete Hartford Courant Article

 City of Hartford Job Opportunities

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

              • Development Services – Assistant Director of Economic Development
              • Human Resources – Assistant Director
              • Development Services – Building Plans Examiner
              • Family, Children, Youth & Recreation – Case work Supervisor
              • Finance – Chief Assessment Technician
              • Public Works – Superintendent
              • Family, Children, Youth & Recreation – Early Learning Center Coordinator
              • Family, Children, Youth & Recreation – Early Learning Center Teacher
              • Family, Children, Youth & Recreation – Early Learning Teacher Assistant
              • Emergency Services (911) – Dispatcher Trainee
              • Health & Human Services – Environmental Health Sanitarian
              • Health & Human Services – Epidemiologist
              • Family, Children, Youth & Recreation – Grants Specialist
              • Public Works – Heavy Equipment Mechanic
              • COO – Inspector General
              • Development Services – Inspector
              • Public Works – Management Services Officer
              • Police – Officer
              • Development Services – Principal Planner
              • Family, Children, Youth & Recreation – Project Leader
              • Emergency Services (911) – Communications Supervisor
              • Family, Children, Youth & Recreation – Recreation Assistant
              • Health & Human Services – Rodent Control Inspector
              • Family, Children, Youth & Recreation – Senior Day Care Teacher
              • Development Services – Senior Planner
              • MHIS – Senior Systems Analyst
              • Public Works – Traffic Engineering Services Manager

              Click here to learn more and apply

SNAP SCHOLARSHIPS

@ Hartford

 

Capital City Youth Build

Earn As You Learn

Hartford Residents 17- 24 years old

ENROLL NOW!

Construction Skills Training with OSHA Certification

Complete Your GED or Start on a College Education

Apprenticeship Opportunities

Earn Industry-Recognized Certificates

– Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

– Machine/Manufacturing

– Security Guard/Protective Services

– Phlebotomy and Lab Services

– Medical Assisting

Call (860) 560-5308

Or Email: youthbuild@crtct.org

1443 – 1445 Main Street, Hartford

 
 

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City Council Meeting

WHO: Hartford Court of Common Council
WHAT: Public Comment and City Council Meeting
WHEN: Monday, December 13th, 6:00pm – Public Comment, :00pm – City Council Meeting
WHERE: 550 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103, www.hpatv.org, HPA TV Facebook Page, Comcast/Xfinity Channel 96, or Frontier Channel 6032 GOV.

Residents can sign up to speak for public comment at City Hall or by reaching out to David Grant (860) 757-9738, david.grant@hartford.gov. The deadline to register for virtual public comment is 5:15 pm, Monday, December 13th. Once registered, participants will be sent the Zoom link and further instructions. Any questions on this process should be sent via e-mail to the Office of Council President maly.rosado@hartford.gov.

Public comment will begin at 6:00pm with the City Council meeting taking place shortly after. Language interpreter(s) for the hearing impaired can be made available if requested in advance. The agenda for this Council meeting was compiled by the Town Clerk’s office and can be accessed by clicking here.

Click Here for More Information on City Council, Committees and Commission Meetings

 

@ Music/Arts

Like Jazz? Want to Keep Up With What’s Happening?

You can add the Hartford Jazz Society’s events to your calendar automatically HERE.

Hartford Stage

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.

Hartford Public Library Launching Racial and Social Justice Themed Book Clubs

HARTFORD – Hartford Public Library is launching two book clubs wrestling with the topics of anti-racism and social justice.

The first, called The Awakening Book Club, will start on August 13 at 6 pm. The club is targeted for young adults ages 13 to 25. Click here to sign up: bit.ly/TheAwakeningBookClub

The club hopes to create a safe and open space for young adults to connect around a good book. The biweekly discussion series will center on a book of the month that prompts much needed conversation about past and present racial injustices. Not an avid reader? Come and hear what others have to say about this important dialogue.

“Connecting around a good book is one of the most meaningful ways to learn more about ourselves, each other and the world we live in. We want to inspire, engage and empower our young people to be thought leaders and decision makers. The future of our society is in their hands – and sharing ideas from great works of literature and non-fiction paves the way for them to form their own ideas about the world and form relationships with others that will last a lifetime,” said Bridget Quinn-Carey, HPL’s president and CEO.

Liz Castle, programming manager for the library, said that the book club was a result of a meeting with young local organizers in early June. “We basically asked them how we can support them as a library. They told us the most useful thing we could do is to help them connect with other young people, reading books, discussing books and how literature can help inform how they move forward with their social justice work,” Castle said.

For a complete listing of events and meetings in Hartford visit the City of Hartford Office of Community Engagement site at:

311connect@hartford.gov

@ General Info

Image result for word of the day

Want to improve your vocabulary painlessly? Subscribe to Word of the Day  or Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day. Or get the Word of the Day app at the Google Play Store or the Apple app store.

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Free Stuff

Free college classes at Coursera. 

Go to Bargain Books for free or inexpensive ebooks.

Go to GreaterGood.org to help others for free.

Not free but cheap!!!  CheapOAir!

Footwear with Care

Do you know about this? Footwear with Care provides new shoes and socks to homeless folks. Read all about their work and look for the next date if you know someone who might need shoes.

 

 

@ On The Web

Red Table TalkJada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris

@ Health is Justice

 

8 Things to Know Before Your Second COVID-19 Vaccine

Understand the do’s and don’ts of the two-dose coronavirus vaccination regimen

a medical provider prepares a dose of vaccine

ETHAN MILLER/GETTY IMAGES

En español | If you’ve already received your first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, congratulations — you’re well on your way to being protected from the coronavirus. But to be fully immunized, it’s critical to get that second shot.

Across the country, some people are running into snafus as they try to get their second dose. Winter storms have shut down clinics in some areas, while others have closed because they temporarily ran out of vaccine. There are also scattered reports of scheduling glitches.

If you’ve had an appointment canceled, don’t wait for someone to call you — be proactive about rescheduling your second shot, advises William Schaffner, M.D., an infectious diseases specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

“We have told everyone these vaccines are 95 percent effective,” he says of the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines currently in use in the U.S. “But they’re only 95 percent effective if you indeed get that second dose.”

Here are a few more things to know about the second dose:

1. Your side effects will likely be stronger

Many people who had little to no reaction to the first vaccine dose are reporting that the second one packs a punch — surprising even those who study vaccines for a living.

Greg Poland, M.D., an infectious disease expert at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and director of Mayo’s vaccine research group, had only mild symptoms after his first dose. But the second one left him shaking — literally — with chills and a temperature of 101.

“I took one Tylenol and went to bed and woke up the next morning 90 percent improved, and by midday I was back to normal,” Poland says. “This is not an indication of something going wrong; it is an indication of a vigorous immune response.”

There is no live virus in the vaccine, so you can’t get COVID-19 from being vaccinated.

Participants in clinical trials of both vaccines had experiences similar to Poland’s. In Pfizer’s clinical trial, for instance, 31 percent of participants ages 18 to 55 reported a fever after the second dose, compared to only 8 percent after the first one. Fatigue, chills, headache and muscle/joint pain were also more common after the second injection for both vaccines.

The good news is, older adults were less likely to experience vaccine reactions, the data shows. Among those age 55 and up in the Pfizer trial, 22 percent experienced fever after the second dose, and 3 percent had a temperature after the first dose.

Schaffner recommends not making any big plans for the day after your scheduled vaccine appointment.

2. You should avoid taking pain relievers before your shot

If you’ve been hearing stories about second-dose side effects, you may be tempted to take a pain reliever before your appointment.

That’s not a good idea, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unless you’ve been advised to do so by your doctor. Pain relievers taken preemptively ahead of a shot could dampen the effectiveness of the vaccine, Poland and Schaffner say.

However, it’s OK to take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug like Advil or Motrin after your vaccine to treat side effects such as pain, fever, chills or headache.

3. The timing between doses doesn’t need to be exact

The second dose of the Pfizer shot is supposed to be given 21 days after the first; for Moderna, the recommended interval between doses is 28 days.

However, if you can’t get an appointment on the exact day — or if you have to miss your scheduled appointment for some reason — the CDC does allow some wiggle room. Although the agency recommends trying to stick to the suggested interval, it says the second dose can be given up to six weeks after the first.

If your appointment is scheduled earlier than the recommended date, ask for a later appointment, Schaffner advises. “Your immune response will work perfectly well if you take more time,” he says. “But if you do it too early, the second dose may not invoke an optimal response.”

4. Your second dose should be from the same manufacturer as your first

Doctors are already hearing from patients asking if they can get their second dose from a different manufacturer, often because they realize the other type of vaccine is offered at a location that’s more convenient. But the CDC recommends against it: The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines “are not interchangeable with each other or with other COVID-19 vaccine products,” the CDC says. “The safety and efficacy of a mixed-product series have not been evaluated.”

The CDC does allow the mixing of Pfizer and Moderna shots in “exceptional situations,” such as when the vaccine used for someone’s first dose is no longer available due to a supply shortage, or if it’s unclear which vaccine they got for their first dose.

5. A rash at the injection site isn’t a reason to skip your second dose

If you experienced a rash at the injection site three to 10 days after getting your first shot, that doesn’t preclude you from getting your second shot, the CDC says, although it recommends getting it in the other arm.

A small number of people have developed such rashes, sometimes called “COVID arm,” after vaccination. Doctors say it’s likely a mild allergic reaction that can be treated with an over-the-counter antihistamine such as Benadryl.

In guidance released Feb. 10, the CDC says the reaction is not believed to represent a risk for a more severe allergic reaction when you get your second dose.

6. You should temporarily avoid all other vaccines

It might be time for your shingles or Tdap vaccine, but you should hold off if you are between COVID-19 vaccine doses. Because there’s no data on the safety and efficacy of COVID vaccines administered at the same time as other vaccines, the CDC recommends avoiding other immunizations in the two weeks before and after both doses. Holding off also helps prevent confusion about the cause of a reaction if you experience one.

The CDC does allow exceptions in circumstances where avoiding the vaccine would put you at risk, such as a tetanus shot after a wound or a hepatitis shot during an outbreak.

7. Full immunity is not immediate

It takes two weeks after your second dose for your body to build full protection to the virus. After that, you should have almost zero chance of developing severe disease if you are exposed to someone with COVID-19, Schaffner says. The CDC also says you no longer have to quarantine if you’re exposed to someone with COVID-19 — as long as you meet these criteria: you don’t have symptoms and it hasn’t been more than three months since your second vaccine dose.

One possible exception is immunocompromised people, Schaffner says. They will get some level of immunity, he says, “but they may not reach the 95 percent because their immune system is already somewhat compromised, no matter how strong these vaccines are.”

8. You still need to wear a mask

Experts are divided about whether it’s OK to hug your grandchild or gather socially with other vaccinated people after you’re fully immunized.

But they agree you should continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing in public. For one thing, there’s a small chance you could get sick even after you’ve been vaccinated.

In addition, it’s possible that you could still carry the virus and silently transmit it to others who haven’t been vaccinated, even if you don’t develop symptoms.

And there’s one more reason. Until the country reaches herd immunity — the point when a significant portion of the population becomes immune to a disease — it’s important for everyone to wear a mask to stop the spread of the virus, Schaffner says. “If we have some people walking around maskless and others not, people left and right are just going to discard their masks,” he says. “We are not ready yet for that for society. Let’s all stick to masks a little longer until we get the all clear.”

Michelle Crouch is a contributing writer who has covered health and personal finance for some of the nation’s top consumer publications. Her work has appeared in Reader’s Digest, Real Simple, Prevention, The Washington Post and The New York Times.

https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2021/what-to-know-before-second-vaccine-dose.html

What Are the Side Effects of COVID-19 Vaccines?

Temporary discomfort a trade-off for coronavirus protection. Plus: Monitoring Bell’s palsy, allergic reactions

medical provider preparing vaccine with patient in background

FG TRADE/GETTY IMAGES

En español | The news about the coronavirus vaccine has been positive lately. Many health care workers around the country received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine after it acquired emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Dec. 11. A second vaccine, from biotech firm Moderna, is on the cusp of clearing the same regulatory hurdle, and if all goes as expected, as many as 20 million Americans could be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the end of the year.

While it may take a while for production to ramp up to the point where a vaccine is readily available to the general public, health experts say there is one thing that’s critical for people to understand before they roll up their sleeves for the shots: The vaccines may cause side effects. According to the FDA, the most common side effects among participants in both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna phase 3 clinical trials were:

  • Injection site pain
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Joint pain
  • Fever
However, these reactions are “temporary,” and they “self-resolve” within a
 
few days, says Wilbur Chen, M.D., a professor of medicine and chief of adult
 
clinical studies at the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health at the
 
University of Maryland. Even so, it’s “ultracritical” that health experts are
 
transparent with the public about what to expect.
 

“Where a mistake could be made is in people being surprised or not being prepared for side effects,” adds William Moss, M.D., executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Transparency builds trust

One reason: public trust. Polls show that as many as 42 percent of Americans say they are unwilling to get a coronavirus vaccine when one becomes available, for reasons spanning the unprecedented speed of the vaccines’ development to a general mistrust of vaccines. People are also concerned about potential side effects from the shots, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey, making it “critically important” for health experts to be upfront about all the possibilities, Moss argues.

Another reason people need to know about any potential side effects: Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require two doses, given a few weeks apart. And unanticipated side effects from the first shot could deter people from going back for the second, which is needed to “get the most protection the vaccine has to offer,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points out.

“We don’t know what happens after a single dose,” Moss says. “Certainly we can’t expect [that one dose will confer] the high degree of protection” that both doses demonstrated in phase 3 clinical trials. (Pfizer’s vaccine, for example, was found to be about 52 percent effective after the first dose; effectiveness jumped to 95 percent after the second.)

“So it’s really important that people get two doses and not be thrown off or discouraged,” Moss adds.

Finally, knowing that a sore arm or a fever is a possible side effect helps ease public alarm, says Hana El Sahly, M.D., associate professor of molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine. If someone experiences an unpleasant, but expected, response, “they can take some symptomatic treatment and have reassurance and minimize their anxiety around the vaccine,” she explains.

Side effects are not unique to COVID-19 vaccine

Side effects from vaccines are not uncommon. The seasonal flu shot, for example, can cause fever and fatigue, among other reactions. And the vaccine to prevent shingles can induce shivering, muscle pain and an upset stomach, to name a few.

In some ways, these mild to moderate reactions are “a good thing,” Moss says, because “it’s a sign that the immune system is responding to the vaccine.” Nevertheless, they shouldn’t be downplayed. For some people, a sore arm “is a big deal,” Chen points out. Reactions from the coronavirus vaccine may even cause recipients to miss a day or two of work.

The key, experts say, is to weigh the temporary discomfort against the long-term benefits: a potentially high level of protection from a disease that has uprooted everyday life for many of us and has killed more than 1.6 million people globally.

“We are willing to tolerate discomfort in other aspects of our life — many people exercise and have muscle aches afterward, and don’t say, ‘I’m never going to exercise again,’ ” Moss points out. “There are just many aspects of our lives where we need to be willing to make the trade-off for some degree of discomfort for a longer-term gain.”

It’s also important to keep in mind that the majority of reactions occur shortly after vaccination, so “there is a degree of reassurance” that the side effects reported in the clinical trials are likely the extent of any unpleasant short-term reactions, El Sahly says.

Older adults could experience fewer side effects

An interesting finding from the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna clinical trials is that while the vaccines seem to be just as effective in older adult participants, people 65 and older experienced fewer side effects than younger volunteers.

Researchers are still studying why this is the case, but it could have something to do with the declining immune response that comes with age. Because the coronavirus vaccine can provoke “a little bit of an inflammatory response,” Chen says, it may be that older adults react less to the medicine if they have “a blunted immune response already.”

Reports of a few adverse events

Federal analyses of both vaccine trials show that few adverse events — which the CDC defines as any health problem that happens after a shot — separate from the less serious side effects were reported. Swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy) occurred in a small portion of the participant population. And four people who received Pfizer’s vaccine and three who received Moderna’s developed Bell’s palsy, which, in most cases, causes temporary weakness or paralysis in the face.

FDA scientists have said that the documented cases of Bell’s palsy are “consistent with the expected background rate in the general population” and that “currently available information is insufficient to determine a causal relationship [between Bell’s palsy and] the vaccine.” However, the situation is worth monitoring, health experts say.

What’s more, since the start of Pfizer’s vaccine rollout, two people in Great Britain and one person in Alaska have experienced severe allergic reactions after being vaccinated. The FDA is warning health care providers not to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to individuals with a known history of a severe allergic reaction to any component of the product.

It’s important to keep in mind that these reactions, though serious, are relatively rare, seeing how tens of thousands of people have been inoculated with one of the two vaccines. “It’s a warning for a very small number of people,” says Barry Bloom, professor of public health in the department of immunology and infectious diseases at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

If you’re concerned that your allergies could trigger a severe reaction to a coronavirus vaccine, talk to your doctor. And consider getting your vaccine in a medical setting, in case you do react.

“Most people can get the vaccine at pharmacies or a variety of different places. For people who’ve had allergic reactions, it’s a reason why they should talk to their doctor first — they [may] want to go to a place that’s more equipped for serious allergic reaction,” Karyl Rattay, director of the Delaware Division of Public Health, said in a recent news conference.

Safety monitoring doesn’t stop when vaccines become available

Just because the vaccines have expanded from trial participants to the public doesn’t mean monitoring for them will stop. Individuals who receive the vaccines will continue to be watched for long-term side effects and adverse events or disease. This follow-up will also give researchers more information on how long immunity to COVID-19 lasts after vaccination.

Something else that won’t stop when the vaccines are rolled out: the recommendation that people continue the prevention efforts that can help slow the spread of the disease, including mask wearing, social distancing and frequent handwashing. That’s because it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity to a disease after vaccination, according to the CDC, meaning it’s possible you can get sick with COVID-19 even after you’ve been vaccinated. Plus, experts still aren’t sure whether the vaccines, which are highly effective at preventing COVID-19, block transmission of the virus.

Finally, it takes time to build up what Chen calls “community immunity,” or herd immunity, where enough of the population is protected from the virus that transmission slows significantly. Experts are not sure what the magic number is to obtain herd immunity for COVID-19, but they estimate it’s somewhere around 70 percent of the population, which could take months to achieve through vaccination.

“And before that, I don’t think anyone can let their guard down,” El Sahly says.

Editor’s note: This story, originally published Dec. 2, has been updated to reflect new information.

https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2020/coronavirus-vaccine-side-effects.html?intcmp=AE-HP-BB-LL2

 

Pfizer vs. Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines: How Do They Compare?

Differences, similarities between first two coronavirus vaccinations authorized in U.S.

Moderna and Pfizer vaccines

FRANK HOERMANN/SVEN SIMON; MEDIAPUNCH/AP

 

En Español | The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Dec. 18 gave the emergency go-ahead for a second COVID-19 vaccine — developed by Moderna — to be provided to Americans across the country. Tens of thousands of health care workers and some nursing home staff and residents have so far been vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech product that received emergency use authorization (EUA) on Dec. 11, and federal officials expect millions of doses of the Moderna vaccine to be shipped on the heels of its EUA to help expand vaccination efforts.

Both vaccines use the same basic technology, known as mRNA. These vaccines essentially teach our cells how to make a protein that prompts an immune response without using the live virus that causes COVID-19. Once the immune response is triggered, the body then makes antibodies that would help fight the infection if the real virus does enter our body in the future.

But while the two vaccines are very similar when it comes to how safe and effective they are, there are some differences, particularly when it comes to the temperatures at which they are stored, how they are administered and the timetables for when patients need to get their shots.

For the latest coronavirus news and advice go to AARP.org/coronavirus.
 
 

Vaccines have different temperature requirements

Pfizer-BioNTech

  • Vaccine is being shipped in special containers filled with dry ice that can maintain a temperature of less than -94 degrees Fahrenheit and must be stored at that temperature.
  • Vials may be placed in a regular refrigerator for up to five days. The vaccine must be used between 30 minutes and two hours once it’s thawed to room temperature.

Moderna

  • Vaccine can be shipped and maintained at standard freezer temperatures of -4 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Vials may be stored in a standard freezer for up to six months.
  • Vaccine can stay in a standard refrigerator for up to 30 days. The vaccine must be used within 12 hours once it’s at room temperature.

Significance: Because the Moderna vaccine doesn’t need to be transported and stored in as cold a temperature as the Pfizer-BioNTech product, it may be easier to distribute, especially in small communities and rural areas that may not have access to the required refrigeration, says William Moss, a physician and executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Preparation varies slightly

Pfizer-BioNTech

  • Once the vial is thawed, the vaccine must be diluted with saline, which is basically salt water, before it can be injected.

Moderna

  • This vaccine comes ready to be administered. No dilution required.

Significance: Not much. Having to dilute a vaccine is not uncommon. For example, when health care providers give the measles vaccine, they dilute it.

Who can take vaccine?

Pfizer-BioNTech

  • People 16 years old and older

Moderna

  • People 18 years old and older

Significance: Not clear. Those under 18 likely won’t be eligible to get the vaccine until the spring of 2021 anyway since health care workers, nursing home residents and staff, essential workers, people 65 and older and those with certain health risks are slated to be the first groups to get vaccinated. And, there may be other vaccines available to younger age groups by then.

Side effects

Pfizer-BioNTech

  • The most common side effects were pain at the injection site, followed by tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever, according to the FDA.
  • In the United Kingdom, two health care workers reported severe allergic reactions after being vaccinated; two health care workers in Alaska reported a serious allergic reaction after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
  • In the U.S. trial, four people who received the vaccine developed Bell’s palsy, which causes usually temporary paralysis in facial muscles

Moderna

  • The most common side effects were pain at the injection site, followed by tiredness, headache, muscle pain, joint pain and chills, an FDA analysis found.
  • Three trial participants who received the vaccine developed Bell’s palsy.

Significance: The side effects are basically the same for each vaccine. Moss points out that the number of Bell’s palsy cases in both trials is “very small and likely just represents chance,” but says “going forward we’ll just need to monitor more carefully and just make sure we’re looking for Bell’s palsy and make sure that it’s not related to the vaccine.”

When it comes to the anaphylactic reactions exhibited in Great Britain, one of the participants had a history of allergic reactions. U.S. federal officials have warned health care providers not to give the vaccine to anyone with a known history of a severe allergic reaction to any part of the vaccine, a standard caution for all vaccines. As with the Bell’s palsy cases, officials are expected to watch for such reactions.

How many shots?

Pfizer-BioNTech

  • Two shots of the vaccine — 21 days apart — are required for it to be fully effective.

Moderna

  • Two shots are required, 28 days apart.

Significance: None, according to experts. Each company worked on its own version and decided how many days would be best between shots.

https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2020/covid-vaccines-compared.html?intcmp=AE-HP-BB-LL1

 
Hartford’s Farmers Markets – 2020 COVID-19 Precautions

The safety of customers & vendors is top priority! ALL Markets are following USDA, state, and local guidelines:

• Everyone must wear a mask while attending the market
• Please keep 6’ social distancing from others
• Please don’t touch food, ask vendors for assistance
• Extra hand washing stations or hand sanitizers are available
• Stay home if you feel sick – send someone in your place
• WIC and Senior coupons do NOT have to be signed and someone else can use them for you
• No picnicking or unnecessary gatherings

Billings Forge Farmers Market

539 Broad Street, Hartford     Next to Firebox Restaurant

Phone: 860-548-9877

We accept Cash, Credit, Debit and SNAP / EBT (We match SNAP up to $20)

The Farmers Market is a place where corporate employees venture into the Frog Hollow neighborhood, where seniors and SNAP recipients stretch their food dollars, and where communities co-mingle. The Market is situated on the green, adjacent to Firebox Restaurant on Broad Street. It is open June through October, on Thursdays from 11AM until 2PM.
 
 
 

 

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