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THIs week @ united

Dear Members and Friends of United,


With sadness, I write to share the news that our brother in Christ, Rolfe Gjellstad, died peacefully on the morning of June 24th, 2022 at Yale New Haven Hospital.


Please join us in supporting his widow Carol Gjellstad, his friends and family during this difficult time. Memorial Services are still being planned at this time.

As you may know, Rolfe was a Yale Librarian and a poet. He provided us with a Haiku once a week for our church eNewsletter. He wrote his last poem for us on Father Day:

Dad was a preacher

Who practiced tough love on me

A practicing sinner!

-Rolfe Gjellstad

Well done, Rolfe, thou good and faithful servant.

As Eternal Love welcomes you home,

May you find safe harbor, profound rest and peace.



God’s Peace,

Al Forino, Moderator

Haiku in Honor of Rolfe, written by Dale Richards:

Memories of Rolfe ...

Weekly Haiku he would do,

Joy for all of us.

Our Buildings Are Now Open for Certain Events

Please also sign up for our weekly E-News so that we can reach you with information on upcoming worship services and events. Here is this week's calendar:

Jul 31st:       10:00AM Worship at United Church Parish House – Hybrid

                      5:00PM Shalom UCC Worship – Online

Aug 3rd:       1:00PM Staff Meeting – Online

Aug 5th:       4:00PM Bible Study – Online

                       6:00PM YHHAP Soup Kitchen – Take Out Only

Aug 6th:       6:00PM YHHAP Soup Kitchen – Take Out Only

Summer musings

From our Moderator, Al Forino:

As I write this it certainly feels like summer has arrived. The thermometer reads over 90 degrees in the shade, Luna and Rocket  crazy dogs that they are, love sitting on the asphalt in the baking sun getting their quota of Vitamin D I guess.  My husband Eric picks today of all days to fire up his outdoor kiln to 2300 degrees F.   94 seems chilly in comparison.  Here at United Church on the Green in downtown New Haven, there is a buzz of activity.


We have been holding Summer Sunday worship services in our air conditioned Parish House at 323 Temple Street.  We continue to urgre everyone to keep up their vaccinations schedules and get fully boosted.  Most of us have returned to wearing masks in worship due to the high positivity rates now with us.  The setting for Rev Kev’s gospel of Love, is airy cheery and comfortably cool.  After last Sunday’s service, folks stayed beyond coffee hour to fill 50 back packs that our friends IRIS had requested by August 5, 2022. Thanks to some energetic and smart shopping by Jenni Hopper, we were able to pack the bags with lots of school supplies to will help ensure that 50 youngsters of immigrant/refugee families start their learning and educational experience on the right track.  Dale and June Richards are hosting fabulous coffee hours now held in the PH lounge and adjacent lobby and remotely via Zoom.  While Rev Kev enjoyed a well deserved vacation, we received a wonderful sermon of inclusive activism on July 10th, from one of our members in discernment, Bryan Bower. Anyone who missed it or any other of our Sunday services can go on line and watch them on You Tube;  we don't even have commercials, no need to scroll through!


While we are meeting Sundays in the Parish House, work is beginning on the pew removal and modification project at the Meeting House which  should make United a much more accessible experience for Everyone.  Once the pew revisions are complete, Julie Petermen and the faith formation group will be able to set up the “Pray Ground” area  in the “stage left” area of the Meeting House.  In addition, thanks to architect/sojourner in faith, Duo Dickenson, we have a small scale model showing what the new and improved Bradley Room space will look like when it reopens this October.  The model has been on display in the lounge at the Parish House. We are now making final design plans for the new kitchen space in the room.  Work has begun in earnest on restoring the Bradley Room space to better than pre flood condition and to date we remain on target.  Ongoing thanks are owed to John Sawyer , upon whom the burden of managing these projects has fallen.

The Pastoral Search Committee has completed the Church Profile and they have submitted their work to the Conference minister.  We should begin to  receive applications from ministers seeking their next call in the very near future.  Chair Roger Adams remains confidant that we should be in a position to complete the process of calling a minister by January 1, 2023.  Our thanks and prayers continue to go out for all those engaged in this most important task.

Thanks to the miracles of modern technology, we are able to continue to function remotely from wherever we may be.  I suspect that our upcoming Board Meeting will be attended by folks in at least three different states.  Swimming suits optional…. Speaking of technology, keep an eye out for an email from our digital administrator (and soprano as well!), Lizzy Stant. Lizzy is working on a project to enhance our digital presence on the Web.

I hope that everyone is enjoying a restful restorative and fun summer.  Make the most of your August and get ready to return to church at the Meeting House on Sunday, September 11, 2022, rejuvenated and ready to engage in the business of evangelism:  “Let our Service Begin! “


Al Forino, Moderator

July. 27, 2022