Conference sends teams to Orlando to offer support, witness…

The Connecticut Conference sent two teams of first responders to Orlando, Florida, to offer care, support and public witness following the mass shooting that left 50 people dead and 53 wounded, most of them part of the gay Latino/a community. The C.A.R.E. (Church Awareness Response Effort) Team is made up of members of three New England Conferences, CTUCC, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

The first team of responders, The Rev. Emily Heath of Exeter, NH, and Chris Breen, a seminarian from Cambridge, MA, arrived in Orlando on the morning of June 14th in time to join a gathering with national UCC staff, Florida Conference staff and Florida pastors.

A second team of first responders composed of Connecticut clergy went to Orlando on June 15.  They are: The Rev. Thea Racelis, pastor of the South Congregational Church of Middletown, The Rev. Jack Davidson, Associate Minister of the First Church of Christ Congregational in Redding, and The Rev. Mia Douglas, Director of Discipleship at Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford.

Read more here  http://www.ctucc.org/news/20160614_orlando_teams.html

Mia DouglasEmily HeathJack DavidsonChris BreenThea Racelis

A Christian Minister on Restrooms, Gender and Fear

photo credit: emilycheath.com

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

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

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

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