A Note from your Area Conference Minister

May 30, 2021

Dear Colleagues in Ministry,

The Season of Pentecost has begun and will last through the end of November.  The color for the Pentecost Season is green—the color of hope.  It matches the color of the trees, plants, and grass all around us.  May this season be filled with hope for you and your church.

Michael Ciba

The Rev. Dr. Michael Ciba  [he/him/his]
Area Conference Minister and Team Leader

Conference Events and Resources


Pentecost Worship Service

The Spirit is always moving among us! On Pentecost, we celebrate that and attune ourselves to its presence. The conference is providing a complete Virtual Pentecost Service that you can use in part or whole. All segments are NOW AVAILABLE for download here.


Coronavirus Resource Update:


What is the Bottom Line for Coronavirus Safety (5/26/21)

Return to Congregational Singing,  Panel Discussion Tuesday, June 1 3:30-4:30 pm -  ideas to help your congregation return to singing in a way that is safe and practical for you, from Practical Resources for Churches - register here.

Covid & Congregational Song (5/20/21) from SING! The Center for Congregational Song

Silver Lake Worship Videos Available

The Silver Lake Conference Center has made a complete virtual worship service available for churches that they may use - in whole or in parts - to celebrate their church's participation in outdoor ministry. Click here for more information.

Rev. James D. Ross II, Minister for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Would you like for Rev. James D. Ross II to join your congregation for a Sunday service? Rev. Ross would be thrilled to join you as a guest preacher or participant in other ways.  To arrange, please contact Karen Methot at or Rev. James Ross at

Together We Thrive Affinity Groups beginning June 2021

New Affinity Groups are forming. 

  • Touched by Jesus:  Playing with Prayer
  • Clergy Women Connections: Learning to balance, juggle and breathe
  • The Rainbow Path: Small Group Experience for LGBTQIA+ Clergy
  • Tending the Holy Fires in One Another: Group Spiritual Direction

Visit the Tobether We Thrive (TWT) web page for more information.

ECM Announces Conference Offices to Remain Shut Through Labor Day

The Rev. Darrell Goodwin, Executive Conference Minister, has announced that the Conference offices in Framingham, MA and Hartford, CT, will remain closed at least through Labor Day.  Click HERE to read more or view a video message about this announcement.

Looking Ahead


Registration is open for in-person camp at Silver Lake Conference Center this summer!  Scholarships are still available. More information can be found here.

Regional Clergy Conversations with Rev. Dr. Michael Ciba

Southwest Regional Clergy will receive email announcements with zoom links, but please consider adding these clergy conversations to your calendar:

  • June 1 at 3pm
  • June 16 at 11am
  • June 29 at 3pm
  • July 8 at 3pm
  • August 18 at 11am
  • August 31 at 3pm

UCC General Synod 33 - Rooted in Love

Please consider registering and attending this virtual UCC General Synod, July 11 - 18, 2021.  You don't need to be a delegate - you can register as a guest.  This is a great way to experience the richness of the United Church of Christ from your living room.  Registration is now open.  Visit the UCC General Synod web site to learn more about the rich programs and worship that is planned.

Discipleship Opportunities

Fuel for Hybrid Faith Formation Ministry

Thursday, June 10 at 7 PM on Zoom -
For decades the church and faith formation have relied on in-person, fixed-time gatherings, events, and programming offered in physical spaces. The pandemic disrupted this “default” model, and pushed us to experiment with new models.  Read more here…

Youth at Synod - a Stepping Stone to Leadership

A great leadership opportunity for youth in your congregation!  Read more here…  Scholarships are available for SNEUCC youth.  Contact Debby Kirk for more information.

Chapel of the Heart: An Online Devotional Space for Leaders

Chapel of the Heart returns this month.  Join us for a new series of online devotionals!  Here's what some have said about Chapel of the Heart:

"Thank you so very much for this opportunity to connect and get to know you and others through this beautiful, virtual chapel."  "Thank you for your creative facilitation today...It was wonderful to see everyone and have a chance to connect and share. What you did really grounded me."  "...weekly gift is inspiring and offers a wonderful example for how to be and offer a devotional."

Our Wednesday Chapel is ongoing through the Spring of 2021 and will meet twice each month in April, May, and June. The Chapel will be "open" and ready to welcome any leader looking for a circle of peers sharing cares and joys, a place where colleague connections are compassionate and loving, a place where folks are unburdened in preparation for what lies ahead, and a space for folks to be inspired to guide others into vital spiritual spaces. In this series, you will have 2 opportunities each month on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at 9:00 AM through June of 2021. 

Each Chapel is about approximately 45 minutes long and is led by members of the Faith Formation Ministry Team. You are welcome to do one or both monthly as your schedule allows. Please click here to register.
If you have any questions, reach out to Karen Ziel.

Visit the Southern New England Conference Faith Formation web page for a host of resources and events for your church setting.

Regional News

Holy Joe's Coffee in Antarctica


Holy Joe's Cafe: 15 Years and Growing

While supply chain disruptions have impacted many during the pandemic, coffee is still flowing for military chaplains thanks to Holy Joe's Café, begun as a mission at the First Church of Wallingford (CT) in 2006, the brain child of Holy Joe's founder and director, Tom Jastermsky, a member of the church.

Holy Joe's is celebrating 15 years of bringing "a little bit of home to those who serve our country."  Click here to read more about this long-standing mission.  

Do you have events that you'd like to have highlighted here?  Please send your notices to Jill Ford, Program Support Associate, so that the good news of your ministry can be shared with your regional colleagues.

The Southwest Region of the Southern New England Conference is comprised of:

  • Fairfield East Association
  • Fairfield West Association
  • Litchfield South Association
  • Naugatuck Valley Association
  • New Haven Association
  • New Haven East Consociation

Find out more about Conference and Association activity:  

Please send your events to Jill Ford, Program Support Associate for the Southwest Region so we can highlight your activities with others in this region.

Southwest Regional Newsletter Subscription

You are receiving this newsletter because we've identified you as a local church or you have standing in one of the associations in the Southwest Region of the Southern New England Conference. This newsletter will be sent around the 15th and 30th of each month. If you would like to unsubscribe or change your email preferences, please visit and enter your email address.


Southwest Region of
The Southern New England Conference, United Church of Christ

125 Sherman St.
Hartford, CT 06105