Man Who Shot Up Mosque Goes Back For Forgiveness

Man Who Shot Up Mosque Goes Back For Forgiveness, Finds Hugs Waiting

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When a man shot up their mosque, the Connecticut congregation welcomed him with open arms after he felt remorse and returned, armed with an apology instead.

Ted Hakey, Jr. had been drinking heavily after November’s Paris attacks, stewing over the terrorists who identify as Muslims. In haste, he took his gun and opened fire on the empty mosque next door to his house.

No one was in the Baitul Aman building at the time, but Hakey was arrested and faces serious charges.

For an update, click here.

The Big E – Evangelism

Do You Know What the Big E Is?

 Some people think the Big E is a kind of regional fair – you know, cotton candy, fried everything, animals, rides, entertainment. Happening once a year, and sponsored by the New England States, the Big E is known for eclairs and cream puffs, the Avenue of States, the midway, and 4-H exhibits.  But for some, the big E stands for evangelism. In the United Church of Christ we believe that  God is still speaking through and to the United Church of Christ.  Members and congregations are claiming and embracing God’s call to evangelism.  Evangelism is vital for the future of the United Church of Christ. God is saying to the United Church of Christ to be ready and set to grow in witness, outreach and welcome.  Evangelism Ministry proclaims the gospel in the world and the church, as well as, starts, nurtures, strengthens and renews congregations in partnership with Conferences.

Dealing With The 6 Words A Christian Should Never Want To Hear

Jason Foster writes, “Conviction can come at strange times and in strange places. I learned this the other day. A co-worker saw that I mentioned this blog on Twitter. We talked for a few minutes about faith matters, about God’s will, about making tough decisions as a Christian. Then my co-worker said six words I hope I never hear again: I didn’t know you’re a Christian. Talk about convicting. I thought it was obvious, but obviously not.”   Read here about this interesting revelation about evangelism.




Writing about black religious culture should not be the qualification for being a black Christian intellectual.   ---Joshua L Lazard

Lloyd writes, “To come across a Christian public intellectual—as Alan Jacobs notes in Harper’s this month—is a rare occurrence. To come across a Black Christian public intellectual is even less likely.” He goes on to say “the need for the Black Christian public intellectual is particularly acute today. Jacobs observes that Christian public intellectuals are uniquely situated to address the conflicts over public religion that appear regularly in the headlines. The Black Christian public intellectual is doubly important, serving as a translator of both Christian and Black concerns to a white, secular public that is attuned to racial injustice more now than any time in the past half century.”   Read more here.

Activities for Children – Swimming Lessons

Activities for Children


Black children ages 5 to 19 drown in swimming pools at a rate more than five times that of white children. That suggests a lot of blacks are not learning to swim, said Dr. Julie Gilchrist of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the USA Swimming Foundation, about 70 percent of African-American children, 60 percent of Latino children and 40 percent of white children are non-swimmers. Lack of access and financial constraints account only partly for these numbers. Fear, cultural factors and even cosmetic issues play a role as well.

“Before the Civil War, more blacks than whites could swim,” Lynn Sherr, the author of Swim: Why We Love the Water, said in an interview. “There are many stories of shipwrecks in which black slaves rescued their owners.”

But as Ms. Sherr learned from Bruce Wigo of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, segregation destroyed the aquatic culture of the black community. “Once whites discovered swimming, blacks were increasingly excluded from public pools and lifeguarded beaches,” Mr. Wigo told her.

As a result, many minority parents never learned how to swim. Adults who can’t swim often fear the water and, directly or indirectly, convey that fear to their children.  Read more here.

Dear Rev. Camp,

I am writing to inform you of opportunity to provide youth from Hartford, ages 5 to 9, with free swim lessons at the Downtown YMCA. The program is designed to mitigate youth drowning and promote physical activity.

Jeff Williams
241 Trumbull Street, Hartford, CT 06103
(P) 860 522 9622 ext 2302 (F) 860 522 1314
(E) (W)

The World Mourns the Loss of Gloria Naylor

The World Mourns Loss of Gloria Naylor

The celebrated author of “The Women of Brewster Place” died on September 28 at the age of 66.

Gloria Naylor in orange outfit and head wrap with brown blurry background

Colorlines Screenshot of Gloria Naylor, taken from Twitter on October 4, 2016.

Colorlines informs, “Naylor was perhaps best known for her debut 1982 novel, “The Women of Brewster Place.” The novel, which won a National Book Award, focuses on seven women living in a housing project and struggling with tragedy, including rape and the death of a child. “The Women of Brewster Place” was eventually adapted into a 1989 miniseries and 1990 TV show by Oprah Winfrey‘s (who stars in both) Harpo Productions. Her later works dealt with related themes of racism, homophobia, sexism and Black womanhood, principally emphasizing the lives of its Black female characters.”

Read more here [Colorlines], here [NY Times], here [Huffington Post] and here for a list of her works.

How Does Racial Bias Play Out in Policing?


How Does Racial Bias Play Out in Policing?

Recent events across the nation, and a report from the US Justice Department conncerning policing in Baltimore, have led many to feel vindicated in their assertions of biased policing. In particular, men of color have been victimized by police in terms of being stopped, searched, arrested, assaulted and sometimes killed. Women have not been exempt from this treatment. Traffic stops, excessive force, and unreasonable searches all contribute to the atmosphere of mistrust between police and communities of color.  For a police perspective, read an article in The Police Chief, an on-line magazine here.  For a discussion of implicit bias, read this article in Time Magasine here. To take the implicit bias test, gohere.   Read more here.


Do You Need Help With Living Expenses?

Image result for dollar sign on calendar free clip art

Do you sometimes have more month than money? Are your utility bills overdue? Is your rent behind? Do you live on a fixed income? Have you been ill and unable to meet your expenses? Are you unemployed and not collecting unemployment?  What’s a person to do? Look for assistance at the following websites:

Need Food?

FoodShare Distribution takes place every other Monday from 1:30 – 2:00pm at Grace Worship Center Church, 750 Wethersfield Avenue, Hartford.  No ID required! No paperwork! Bring your own bags/boxes.  For more information go to  Dates  for 2016 are:

October 31

November 14 and 28

December 12

Want to be a Firefighter?

Image result for hartford firefighters

The City of Hartford is currently recruiting firefighters and can use your help spreading the word.  Please forward attached application link below to interested candidates and others in the community.

Don’t want to be a firefighter but still need a job? Click here:  Neogov (Open)  and on  (Promotional)