COngregational task forces


The Back Pack Ministry is Back!
As many of you know, for the last several years August has been the time for our Backpack Ministry to support the children from IRIS. We are hoping to continue that effort this year but we need your help. The Service and Justice Ministry Team is looking for a project leader to help coordinate and supervise this important mission. Tasks include logging donations from UCG members and friends, shopping for needed items (to be reimbursed from S&J budget) and leading backpack assembly on August 21st after church. Jeff Hopper has been our fearless leader in years past and is compiling notes and a materials list that will be invaluable to the lucky volunteer. 

Please reach out to Cher Balkcom if you would be willing to head up this important project.

Volunteer this Summer with Immigrant and Refugee Youth!

Help our students better their English skills and dive into art, music, and science-based activities.

If you enjoy working with K-12 students in a joyful environment, apply to volunteer at our Summer Learning Program.

The program is in-person in New Haven and Hartford. 

Must be committed to anti-racism and assisting students in recognizing and valuing diverse identities. Click the link to sign-up. Volunteer

Select "Education-Children's Summer Learning Volunteer" on application.  

CONECT Leadership Update

Our small but dedicated group has been quite busy working hard to learn the “ins and outs” of our new partnership with CONECT (Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut ). We have attended a variety of “House Meetings” and have hosted these small group, story telling meetings with our own members. This process of gathering rich information about the social justice issues that mean the most in our own families, in our congregation, and across our region, will culminate in a CONECT General Assembly on May 24th. This event will be an energizing and inspiring gathering where we will discuss and ratify the launch of new Issues teams based on information gathered in the house meeting discussions. The General Assembly will be held both in person and online- AND YOU ARE ALL INVITED! Please register using the link.

Please do not let this long time spent conducting house meetings lead you to think we are “waiting” to start. CONECT has many active issues groups and has continued to work hard on key social justice issues. Here is a summary of recent accomplishments:

Criminal Justice Reform Group

Solitary confinement bill PASSED- limits circumstances and length of confinement [bill 1059]   

Work on a prison liens bill has been temporarily tabled [bill 5390] 

Mental Health/Health Care [Senate Bills 1&2]

3 major bills aimed at improving access are in the works- one passed May 10,2022! 

Mental health will likely be a major focus of CONECT’s work moving forward

Health care for the elderly will be a likely focus as well

Other Issue teams include working groups focused on Gun Violence and a Black Caucus team. Each Issue team meets monthly via zoom. Please reach out to Cher cherbear_b@yahoo.comor Jeff if you are interested in working on any of these teams. Or you can email Matt McDermott directly at to get on the email list for regular updates.  

In other news, UCG members contributed just under $1,000 to the UCC’s Ukraine Relief Fund. With matching funds from the Outreach budget, a check for $2,000 went out to the UCC this week. Thanks to your church pledges and offerings which support our UCG budget, we continue to support this initiative and our other community partners including Columbus House, New Haven Pride, Silver Lake Conference Center, and Youth Continuum who recently opened a shelter for homeless youth. More information on recent donations in our next update.  

The Service and Justice Ministry Team meets via Zoom on the first Tuesday of each month. Our next meeting is June 7th at 7pm. Please email Cher if you want to join us on a regular basis!

-From the Service and Justice Ministry Team 

(formerly known as the Outreach Committee)

Service and justice (cont.)

Serve, Pray, Heal

Interfaith Service Day Sunday, August 7th 2022 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Join visiting Jewish, Muslim, and Christian youth from Israel for an engaging interfaith day of service.

New Haven Green

Learn more at www.IWagePeace.Org

Worship and Music

The Worship and Music Team Needs You!

We have a faithful but small team of volunteers who act as Digital Deacon and Zoom Coffee Hour Host on Sundays. The Digital Deacon monitors the live stream during the service. The Zoom Host starts the Zoom coffee hour, connecting folks on line with those at the church after worship. Both tasks are easy. All you need to be is willing to help out on an occasional Sunday either during or after the service.

If you’re interested or even just curious, talk to whoever is holding the laptop on Sunday. Or send an email to