Minimum Wage Action

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 Set the Minimum Wage at $15 per hour

At the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ (CT-UCC), a resolution was adopted which called for a minimum wage of $15 per hour beginning in 2019. The resolution was sponsored by Faith Congregational Church UCC, Asylum Hill Congregational Church UCC, Center Church, UCC and Immanuel Congregational Church UCC, all of Hartford. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, and the CT minimum wage will be $10.10 per hour starting January 11, 2017. While CT has been a leader in setting its minimum wage above the federal standard, more needs to be done. CT United Way has participated in ALICE [Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed], a study of how much it costs to live in Connecticut, what those expenses are, how much people earn, and poverty levels. The study can be found here. What it tells us is that in 2014, the hourly wage for a Household Survival Budget for a single person was $11.33 and for a family of 4 with 2 small children $35.39. Given a 2% inflation rate those figures are about $11.56 and $36.10.


The cost of living here, however, is far more expensive than the ALICE individuals and families can afford. We CAN do something about this.   At it says in Proverbs 14:31,” You insult your Maker when you exploit the powerless; when you’re kind to the poor, you honor God.”

10 Affirming Books for Black Children

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 10 Affirming Books for Black Children

courtesy of

  • Africa Dream by Eloise Greenfield, Illustrated by Carole Byard
  • The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
  • Beautiful Blackbird by Ashley Bryan
  • Brothers of the Knight by Debbie Allen, Pictures by Kadir Nelson
  • Ellington Was Not a Street by Ntozake Shange, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
  • My Man Blue by Nikki Grimes, Illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue
  • The Dancing Twelve Princesses by Rachel Isadora
  • I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont, Illustrated by David Catrow
  • Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee, Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
  • Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children by Sandra L. Pinkney, Photographs by Myles C. Pinkney

Dry Itchy Skin? Here’s Help!

Itchy skin
When Your Skin Is Dry

It can be uncomfortable — rough, itchy, and gray or ashy in color. It may feel tight, especially after you shower, bathe, or swim. You may have unusual redness and lines and cracks in the skin, sometimes deep enough that they bleed. Many things can cause it, and what you can do it about it depends on what brought it on.

See more here.

Heart Attack and Stroke Information

12 Clues You Might Have Heart Disease

  • Poor grip strength
  • Dark spots under nails
  • Bleeding gums
  • Dark, velvety skin patches

Read more here


  • Stop smoking
  • Eat healthy
  • Reduce stress
  • Limit alcohol
  • Exercise a little each day

Read more here and here.

Helping Someone Who is Grieving

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10 things not to say to someone who is grieving and things that helped

1. At least she lived a long life, many people die young
2. He is in a better place
3. She brought this on herself
4. There is a reason for everything
5. Aren’t you over him yet, he has been dead for awhile now
6. You can have another child still
7. She was such a good person God wanted her to be with him
8. I know how you feel
9. She did what she came here to do and it was her time to go
10. Be strong


1. I am so sorry for your loss.
2. I wish I had the right words, just know I care.
3. I don’t know how you feel, but I am here to help in anyway I can.
4. You and your loved one will be in my thoughts and prayers.
5. My favorite memory of your loved one is…
6. I am always just a phone call away
7. Give a hug instead of saying something
8. We all need help at times like this, I am here for you
9. I am usually up early or late, if you need anything
10. Saying nothing, just be with the person

Read more here and here.

Depressed? Suicidal? Call a hotline…

Depressed? Suicidal? Call someone…

Take note of these hotlines:

  • Suicide hotline 800-273-8255
  • Trans Lifeline  877-565-8860
  • Adolescent suicide hotline  800-621-4000
  • Suicide hotline for Queer & Questioning Youth  866-488-7386
  • Adolescent Suicide Hotline 800-621-4000
  • Adolescent Crisis Intervention & Counseling Nineline  1-800-999-9999
  • AIDS National Hotline  1-800-342-2437
  • CHADD-Children & Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder 1-800-233-4050
  • Child Abuse Hotline 800-4-A-CHILD
  • Cocaine Help Line 1-800-262-2463
  • Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-7233
  • Domestic Violence Hotline/Child Abuse  1-800 422 4453
  • Drug & Alcohol Treatment Hotline 800-662-HELP
  • Ecstasy Addiction 1-800-468-6933
  • Eating Disorders Center 1-888-236-1188
  • Family Violence Prevention Center  1-800-313-1310
  • Gay & Lesbian National Hotline 1-888-843-4564
  • Gay & Lesbian Trevor HelpLine Suicide Prevention 1-800-850-8078
  • Healing Woman Foundation (Abuse) 1-800-477-4111
  • Help Finding a Therapist 1-800-843-7274
  • Incest Awareness Foundation 1-888 -547-3222
  • National Center for Learning Disabilities –  1-888-575-7373
  • Missing & Exploited Children Hotline 1-800-843-5678
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
  • Panic Disorder Information Hotline 800- 64-PANIC
  • Post Abortion Trauma 1-800-593-2273
  • Project Inform HIV/AIDS Treatment Hotline  800-822-7422
  • Rape (People Against Rape) 1-800-877-7252
  • Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network  1-800-656-4673
  • Runaway Hotline 800-621-4000
  • Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673
  • Sexual Abuse – Stop It Now! 1-888-PREVENT
  • STD Hotline 1-800-227-8922
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK
  • Suicide & Crisis Hotline 1-800-999-9999
  • Suicide Prevention – The Trevor HelpLine (Specializing in gay and lesbian youth suicide prevention) 1-800-850-8078
  • IMAlive-online crisis chat Teen Helpline  1-800-400-0900
  • Victim Center 1-800-FYI-CALL (1-800-394-2255)
  • Youth Crisis Hotline  800-HIT-HOME

(Thanks, Marianne!)

8 Billionaires Own the Same Amount of Wealth as the Poorest 3.6 Billion People

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8 Billionaires Own the Same Amount of Wealth as the Poorest 3.6 Billion People

That statistic comes from the charity Oxfam, which will present its report on widening inequality at the World Economic Forum annual summit, which kicks off on January 17 in Davos, Switzerland. While the event is attended by the world’s top business executives, policy makers and academics, the forum often focuses on issues touching on economic justice, such as income inequality. This year’s forum theme, for instance, is “responsive and responsible leadership.”

Oxfam said it didn’t name the richest 8 billionaires in its report because its goal is to call attention to the political and economic mechanics that are creating widening inequality. Still, the 8 billionaires are those at the top of the Forbes’ billionaire list, many of whom have pledged to spend large portions of their fortunes on charity.

  • Microsoft founder Bill Gates, $75 billion
  • Spanish retail magnate Amancio Ortega, $67 billion
  • American investor Warren Buffett, $60.8 billion
  • Mexican investor Carlos Slim Helu, $50 billion
  • founder Jeff Bezos, $45.2 billion
  • Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, $44.6 billion
  • Oracle founder Larry Ellison, $43.6 billion
  • Media mogul Michael Bloomberg, $40 billion

Read the entire article here.

White Jews Have A Duty To Stand With Muslims And People Of Color

White Jews Have A Duty To Stand With Muslims And People Of Color

Our current fears — which are new to some of us — are what many other people have been facing for generations.

Sarah Ruiz-Grossman    Associate Editor, The Huffington Post

There’s been a lot of (justified) outrage about anti-Semitism lately.

Over the past year, anti-Semitic tweeters have increasingly trolled journalists. Last week, Adam Yauch Park in New York City, named for a late Jewish member of the Beastie Boys, was defaced with swastikas. And on Monday, CNN hosted a TV news segment with a debate topic scrawled across the screen reading: “Alt-right founder questions if Jews are people.” Not to mention the countless other swastikas that have shown up across the country since the election.

All of this is appalling. But I take issue with our outrage ― or rather, not the outrage itself, but the selectivity of it…But what we must not do is act as though this hate is a sudden revelation, rather than simply a confirmation ― or an expansion, perhaps ― of the hate people of color, immigrants and Muslims have been at the receiving end of for generations. Read more here.



Evangelical Pastor Shunned For Welcoming LGBT People

Evangelical Pastor Has A New, Thriving Congregation

Adam Phillips went from rising evangelical star to outcast to leader of a new, inclusive church.

Antonia Blumberg    Associate Religion Editor, The Huffington Post

Evangelical pastor Adam Phillips moved to Oregon to start Christ Church: Portland in the spring of 2014. Nine months later, the evangelical denomination Phillips worked for kicked him out and pulled two years of funding from the church.

Phillips’s transgression? Advocating for the full inclusion of LGBT Christians in the church.

A new short documentary by The Atlantic traces Phillips’s journey from rising evangelical star to outcast to leader of a new, inclusive congregation. It’s been less than two years since the Evangelical Covenant Church dealt Phillips that blow, and in that time the pastor has built up a thriving church community that doesn’t compromise on its convictions. Watch the video here.