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Claiming Common Ground Against Gun Violence

Greetings to you, advocate of social justice here in Connecticut!!

We are writing to you as a clergy leader or a subscriber to the Social Justice and Advocacy eNews, which the Social Justice & Advocacy Committee of the Diocese of Connecticut used to publish. Times change! The Committee is now the Social Justice & Advocacy Ministry Network, one of many ministry networks emerging in The Episcopal Church in Connecticut (ECCT).

Our Purpose. The purpose of the Social Justice & Advocacy Network is to promote social justice here in Connecticut and around the world. To this end we:

    Keep Episcopalians around the state connected with the work of our state government. In particular, the network works to communicate with parishioners about issues in Hartford that might be of particular interest, such as refugee resettlement, the minimum wage or the expansion of gambling. The network also helps parishioners who want to connect with a legislator or even testify on a pending matter. Work with The Episcopal Public Policy Network, a grassroots network of Episcopalians across the country engaged in advocating for public policy positions of the Church. The network supports Episcopalians in engaging with elected and government officials, and connecting the ministry of public policy advocacy to the Gospel and to the Baptismal Covenant call to "strive for justice and peace." Administer the Mission Development Fund, which provides seed money to parishes and other church-based organizations in Connecticut launching or expanding projects related to social justice and God's mission.

January 28 Gathering! We invite you to join us on Saturday afternoon, January 28 at St. Peter's in Cheshire to learn about some hot topics that will soon come before the Connecticut legislature: the "Fight for $15" movement, cuts to child care subsidies, opposition to more gambling. It will also be an opportunity to meet fellow Episcopalians with an interest in social justice. Details of the program will be forthcoming shortly in a separate email. But mark your calendar now-it's only a few weeks off! We are planning to relaunch the eNews and include stories of social justice work taking place around Connecticut as well as reporting legislative activity in Hartford.

Yours in Christ,
The Social Justice & Advocacy Ministry Network

The Rev. Peter Bushnell, the Rt. Rev. Ian Douglas, the Rev. Canon Robert J. Brooks, John Armstrong, Linda Harrison, Mary Lou Johnston, Kathy Queen, Gloria Roger

Posted: 1/10/17

Message from our Priest for Pastoral Care & Congregational Life

Dear People of God,
The recent tragic events involving African Americans and law enforcement have prompted strong reactions in society as well as in our Cathedral Congregations. The open forum that took place earlier in July revealed powerful thoughts and feelings about the events that have occurred and how they impact each of us emotionally and spiritually. Lay and clergy leadership have met to put together a program focused on racial reconciliation and love of neighbor. Tom Smith, the Coordinator of Christian Formation, has met with Lina and me to develop a program that involves Uyeki forums and Bible study as a faithful way to further our formation as Christians as we seek to understand ourselves in terms of race and how we are neighbors to one another.

Beginning on Sunday, August 21st, we will hold our Uyeki Forum focusing on racial reconciliation and inclusion with Pat Wrice facilitating discussion. In preparation for that forum we are asking people to read the following publication from the New York Times, "Why 'All Lives Matter' Is Such a Perilous Phrase" http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/16/us/all-lives-matter-black-lives-matter.html?_r=2&utm_source=Week+of+7.18.16&utm_campaign=Week+of+7.18.16&utm_medium=email as well as a publication from the Huffington Post, "When you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-boeskool/when-youre-accustomed-to-privilege_b_9460662.html?utm_source=Week+of+7.18.16&utm_campaign=Week+of+7.18.16&utm_medium=email.  Following forums will involve guest speakers, a panel discussion, and workshop.

On Sunday, September 11th, we will hold our first of a series of Bible studies entitled, Love Thy Neighbor: Social Justice and Reconciliation. The thematic arc of the series will be geared toward short readings and Bible stories that speak to inclusion and reconciliation. These readings and discussion of them will help us as a congregation move toward a healing and productive discourse that intersects with race and culture. This will all seek to amplify our conversation of "loving thy neighbor."

The Bible study will meet on the 2nd Sunday and the Uyeki forums will meet on the 3rd Sunday of each month in the fall.

I am looking forward to your participation in this dynamic and engaging program which seeks to deepen our understanding of each other and our faith.

Peace be with you,
The Rev. Jay Cooke
Priest for Pastoral Care and Congregational Life

Posted: 7/27/16

A Message from our Dean

Greetings Saints!

Dear Cathedral Family,
May the peace of God which passes all understanding be with you, your loved ones and this nation today and always. In the light of the recent tragedies in Baton Rouge, Minnesota and Dallas, I invite you to join me on Sunday, July 10, following our 10 am service for a time of prayer, conversation and reflection about the current state of affairs in our nation.

Those of you who have participated in the Uyeki Forum in the past years are invited to take leadership and facilitate our time together. Our Cathedral has a long-standing history of speaking out against systemic oppression. The conversations of the forum have changed lives and have brought many, from opposite points of view, together in one message of love and unity. Let us continue Uyeki's legacy while growing in understanding and creating spaces to grieve, mourn, pray and organize community action.

This morning, during an interview for the Hartford Courrant, I shared that religious and civic leaders and each member of this society must unite against violence, leaving behind any preconceived ideas and prejudices that separate us.

Let us work and pray for unity, not uniformity. I invite your prayers for the families of the victims . I invite your prayers for this nation and the world.

In God's unending love,
The Very Rev. Miguelina Howell, Dean

Posted: 7/9/16

A Message from St. Monica's, Hartford's

Greetings Saints!

I am happy to announce that our summer program, Your Place Hartford is well underway and we have 40 children registered and anticipate hitting our goal of 50 children for this summer. The community's response has been overwhelming which says to me that we are indeed filling a need for so many families.

I am writing asking if you or anyone you know might consider as you are able, to volunteer minimally an hour of your time per week to this very important ministry. The following are blocks of time are our greatest need:

  • 7:30-9:30 am for those families who need early drop-off
  • 10:30-12:30pm snack and lunch
  • 3:30-5:30pm Snack and pick up

The program hours are 7:30 am (early drop-off)-5:30 pm, Monday-Friday from June 20th-July 28th (off July 4th).

Any time outside of the times that are specified above that you are able to volunteer, please do!

Please respond to smchartford1904@gmail.com. Thank you advance for your willingness to assist!

Rev'd Tracy Johnson Russell
St. Monica's Episcopal Church

Posted: 7/2/16