worship news

Haiku from Rolfe Gjellstad

Happy Halloween!

The little ghosts scream and shriek.

The Holy Ghost calls.

Last Week in Worship

Last week, we were blessed to hear a sermon from Shawna Hart, UCG member and candidate for ordination. Join us for a comforting and inspiring word. 

You may join any of these gatherings by clicking THIS LINK. To join from a landline: dial 646-876-9923, then enter 203-787-4195 for the Meeting ID and 06511 for the password. Zoom updates:

  • As Zoom has become such an important tool to keep us connected, we recommend that you check your version of Zoom periodically to make sure it's up to date. 
  • Beginning in November, Zoom will require you to update if your version is more than 9 months out of date. You can learn more and get the latest version at the Zoom website

All Saints Sunday / Service of Remembrance: Call for Photos

As we prepare for our Annual Service of Remembrance on November 7th, we are aware that this is a season of tremendous loss for so many of us, and that our rituals of remembrance and grief have been disrupted by the pandemic, which makes it all the more difficult to bear. This service will be a tender time to name our losses, to be nourished by grace, and to turn toward hope -- not a shallow, superficial hope, but the hope that has deep roots in God's abiding love. In preparation for the service, you are invited to share a photo of your loved one(s) who have died. During the service, we will have a chance to see the faces of our cloud of witnesses and remember them together in prayer. If you would like your loved one(s) to be included, please email a digital version of the photo, along with the person's name and their relation to you (if you wish to include it), to jocelyn@unitednewhaven.org .

Call for Digital Deacon Volunteers

We are looking for a few more digital deacons to join our team of intrepid Zoom co-hosts. If you are moderately comfortable with Zoom and willing to learn a new thing or two, you can do this! We will provide training and clear instructions, as well opportunities to practice with a more experienced digital deacon. Please email Pastor Jocelyn if you're willing to join the team.

Call to Fall Congregational Meeting

The Fall Congregational Meeting of the members of United Church on the Green will be held on Saturday, October 23rd, at 2:00 pm, both in-person in the Meeting House and remotely via Zoom. For those attending in person, masks are required, and we will maintain appropriate physical distance between household units. If you are not yet vaccinated, we urge you to participate remotely (and if you need help accessing the vaccine, please be in touch so we can help you make that happen). The meeting will include updates and conversation about both our regathering plans and our pastoral transition process.

Emergency Housing Help Needed for Afghan Refugees

Thousands of Afghan families who helped the U.S. government are now fleeing Afghanistan.

At IRIS, we're ready to welcome these families being evacuated and brought to the U.S. — in some cases, with only a 24 hour notice. Help us find housing for Afghan families! Click this link, and fill out the form, if you have any Housing Leads. For more information, or to make a monetary donation, go to: Join the Welcomers.

We Welcome You!

If you are new to United, or feeling new, we’d love to keep in touch with you. If you wish, please share your contact info and prayer requests at http://unitednewhaven.org/connect

Sharing our Gifts for a New Beginning

We have received many pledges from many in our congregation. Thanks to those who are supporting our Church. We celebrate especially the two households who have pledged for the first time this year and the thirteen households who have increased their pledges over last year. We are so grateful to everyone who has pledged so far. We are still hoping for 100% participation. Whether you can give a little or a lot, your gift matters tremendously, because it is an expression of solidarity and support for our congregation and for the ministries we undertake together. If you haven't yet had a chance to make your commitment to support United's year of new beginning, please do so at www.unitednewhaven.org/pledge. Thank you!

this week @ united

Our Buildings are Closed - Our Church is Open!
United has suspended all in person meetings and gatherings in our buildings until further notice. We are worshiping and gathering online via Zoom, Our Pastor and the staff are reachable by their email and by phone messages left at 203-787-4195. Please reach out to us with any concerns. Please sign up for our weekly E-News so that we can reach you with information on upcoming online worship services and events. Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings held at the church have also been suspended. To find an online meeting, go to: www.onlinegroupaa.org. Please continue to maintain social distance, use face covering, and cleanse your hands. We will continue to lift each other in prayer.

Oct 26th:

  • 7:00PM Faith Formation Ministry Team – Online

Oct 29th:

  • 4:00PM Bible Study – Online
  • 6:00PM YHHAP Soup Kitchen – Take Out Only

Oct 30th:

  • 6:00PM YHHAP Soup Kitchen – Take Out Only

    our giving program

    Stewardship at UCG

    With all the changes and stress of this pandemic/high winds summer, did your annual pledge to United Church on the Green slip your mind? We would be delighted to hear from you. Please fill out the form attached here if you would like to join the many folks who have already pledged. Thank you so much for your support of our mission. 

    *If you have already pledged, thank you for your generosity.

    • Set up your own on-line giving account  to make donations whenever and however you feel able. 
    • Once you have set up your "Giving Account" you can make individual gifts whenever you like.
    • Your can also "Set It and Forget It” with automatic recurring debit payments from your credit card or checking account.
    • And of course you can always send us your check to: United Church on the Green, 323 Temple St., New Haven CT 06510. 

    Thanks for supporting our Church!

    UCG Programs

    Lectio Divina: Holy Reading
    Lectio Divina is Latin meaning "divine reading," "spiritual reading," or "holy reading," and represents a method of prayer and connection with God. The principles of lectio divina have been used since about the year 220 and later practiced by monastic monks. As part of an initiative of the Congregational Care & Connection Ministry Team to encourage church members to gather for times of sharing around common interests, Shawna Hart is going to provide a time together for anyone who would like to join in the practice of lectio divina with a poem. She will hold two sessions: Monday, October 25th, from 7:00-8:30 pm, and Wednesday, November 10th, from 10:00-11:30 am. Sign up online for one or both sessions, and you will receive an email ahead of time with the poem and the Zoom link for our gathering.

    Crafting Group Meeting Online
    Dear Crafters: The UCG crafts group will meet again on: November 4th and 18th, December 2nd and 16th Save the dates! If you need a chat-fix, just phone or email me or any other crafter. As you know, there is always tea for coffee to be sipped and stories to share. Please email Jean Blue jeanandjon71@gmail.com for a link to join our Zoom conversation.

    Annual Winter Clothing Drive
    It is time to begin collecting for our Winter Clothing Drive! This year the recipients of our collection will be Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS). IRIS is welcoming upwards of 100 evacuated Afghans to Connecticut in the coming weeks, many will be women with children under 18 years old. Here is how we can help. Please purchase new hats, gloves, mittens, scarves in children's or adult sizes; IRIS is also looking for new and gently used winter coats and waterproof boots. If going out to shop is outside of your comfort zone consider ordering online (Kohls, Walmart, Old Navy, GAP etc.), if you are crafty, knit away. Donations can be dropped off at the Parish House between the hours of 1PM - 5PM on Saturday. If you are not comfortable traveling to New Haven, feel free to contact Jeff Hopper (hopper.jeffery@gmail.com, mobile: (203) 415-3337) to arrange for collection.

    Update from the Congregational Care & Connection Ministry Team
    If you would like to host a gathering for the church community in your town or neighborhood for the Congregational Care & Connection Ministry Team, please contact Miranda Bailey-Russomano at mbailey.russomano@gmail.com or 203-606-9723 to coordinate possible locations and dates. We will circulate the options for attendees to sign up once we have a confirmed list.

    Regathering Update
    The UCG Regathering has been meeting monthly. They are monitoring safety concerns and recommendations for public gatherings. For the month of October our worship services will remain remote-only, Their meeting in October will determine our plans for November. Read more here.

    Connecticut Needs a Recovery for All
    Our colleagues at the Southern New England Conference, UCC, invite us to join with a state-wide coalition of labor, community, and faith organizations called Recovery for All, to advocate for a state budget that would bring equity to low and middle class families, address income inequality, and begin to shift institutional racism in CT. To learn more and contact your legislators, please click here.

    Service and Justice Ministry Team
    The Congregational Care & Connection Ministry Team as part of UCG’s new governance structure approved in October 2020. We have created our own Service and Justice Ministry Team. This team will work to:
    • Attend to our existing partnerships with Columbus House, IRIS, Chapel on the Green, NH Pride Center, DESK, BLM and other mission oriented organizations.
    • Develop new relationships with other community partners, including possible use of UCNS space
    • Offer opportunities for the congregation to live their faith by engaging in Advocacy, Justice and Service work, in alignment with our mission and values.
    • While everyone at United Church on the Green is welcomed and encouraged to participate in the mission of the church, if you would like to be part of this ministry team and add your voice and talents to the planning and development of these activities, please contact Pastor Jocelyn or Cher Balkcom.
    Faith Formation Ministry Team
    Faith formation is the ministry of UCG that aims to deepen our understanding of the Christian faith and its implications for our lives and to pass the faith on to the next generation – a challenge, to be sure, but, undaunted, the Faith Formation Ministry Team, at its first meeting dug into the work of achieving these goals even during “such a time as this.” The multi-church youth groups, along with confirmation class and activities at Silver Lake, continue to engage our members who are in high school and junior high, but younger children, who already have an over-abundance of screen time in their days, are harder to reach. The Ministry Team seeks to assist parents in their efforts to create faith-nurturing homes, and we would welcome ideas about ways to be supportive. For adults, online meetings, such as the Wednesday prayer group and the Friday Bible study, have been fruitful, and the Ministry Team plans to add programs, on topics ranging from the church’s liturgical calendar to anti-racism, from faith-and science to the afterlife. Let us know what you would like. At present the Faith Formation Ministry Team consists of Jon Blue, Chris Maursky, Rashana Miller, Julie Peterman, Pastor Jocelyn Gardner Spencer, and Roger Adams. We’d love to have more people participating, whether as team members or in other ways. If you might be interested, or if you have ideas for us, please send an email to: roger_adams@comcast.net or to anyone else on the Team. (Contact info is in the church directory.)

    Community news

    Family Trivia Nights on Zoom

    Sponsored by the New Haven Youth & Recreation Department, the Youth & Recreation Department proudly presents: Family Trivia Nights! Each Trivia Night will be hosted on Zoom by Recreation staff using Kahoot! asking each team exciting trivia theme based questions (ranging from Sports to Disney). Family Trivia Nights will be hosted every Wednesday through December 1st at 6:30pm. At end of each week, we will be accumulating each teams points and at the end of the 8 weeks the top 2 teams will win gift cards! You can sign up as a solo player or you can sign up as a team up to 8 players.Click here to Register. Please come and join us to show off your knowledge. See you on Wednesday! If you have any questions, please feel free to email pmiller@newhavenct.gov or rwicks@newhavenct.gov.

    FISH of Greater New Haven Needs You!

    Charlie Urban-Mead, who is a program manager and volunteer coordinator at Food in Service to the Homebound (FISH) of Greater New Haven is reaching out to faith groups in and around New Haven because they are experiencing a need for volunteer drivers. FISH of Greater New Haven has served the area for over 50 years, and recently gotten involved with COVID response work through our Pantry to Pantry program. We deliver healthy groceries to low-income residents of New Haven, Hamden, West Haven, and East Haven who can’t leave their homes to access standard “walk-up” food pantries. They need volunteers who can come between 10am and 4pm on weekdays to pick up grocery bags at our pantry warehouse at 269 Peck St, New Haven, and drive a 1-2 hour delivery route to drop off food at 4-6 homes. Those who are interested should complete this sign-up form, or visit our website or contact curbanmead@fishgnh.org

    Connecticut Hospice

    Volunteers are Needed! The Connecticut Hospice in Branford is accepting applications for new volunteers!! Our patients and families are in need of your care and support. If you have an interest in Reception or Patient Companionship, please call Joan Cullen, Director of Volunteers at 203-315-7510

    COVID19 Vaccine Information for all Connecticut Residents

    Please check state website for further information on eligibility: Get Vaccinated.

    • To schedule an appointment, go to: ct.gov/covidvaccine or call:877-918-2224
    • For more information on the state appointment system, please click here: VAMS

    Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services

    IRIS is recruiting female volunteers to work with refugee & immigrant women in New Haven, for our Cultural Companions Program! We're currently looking to pair volunteers with our refugee & immigrant female clients to meet weekly for 3-6 months, outdoors, or in a large public space where there is room for social distancing. The purpose of the weekly meetings is to practice English, share culture, and explore the community. Please see below for a more detailed description. If you are interested, please fill out the general Iris Volunteer Application at: https://irisct.org/volunteer/ Also do the specialized Cultural Companions Application HERE. For questions please contact: amakar@irisct.org.

    Vaccinations for the Homebound in New Haven

    The Health Department, in partnership with American Medical Response, has begun a program to deliver vaccinations to homebound New Haven residents. This vaccine service, like all vaccinations for COVID-19 is free, and no insurance or documentation is necessary. If you are physically or medically unable to leave your home to go to a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, you are eligible for this vaccine service. Please call 1-877-918-2224 or visit the webpage ct.gov/homeboundThese appointments will be available on Wednesdays from 9 am to 3:30 pm for homebound New Haven residents ages 16 and older. A nurse, accompanied by an EMT, will come by your place of residence once you are registered to administer the vaccine. 

    Emergency Broadband Benefit

    The FCC has a program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded by the American Rescue Plan, this new benefit will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, virtual classrooms, and so much more. The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price. The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household. Click the link for more information, or to determine eligibility: FCC Broadband Benefit

    Black Lives Matter New Haven Spring Drive

    Our friends at Black Lives Matter New Haven are conducting their 5th annual spring drive. Please visit the Amazon wishlist to contribute items and have them shipped directly to the organizers. You may also make a financial donation at the BLMNH website.

    Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen Grand Opening

    DESK's opened a new Drop-In Center in April. This new location includes their administrative offices, food pantry, soup kitchen, wifi and health screenings. It is located at 266 State Street (near Crown St), New Haven, CT 06510. For more information and to donate to this effort: Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen.

    Breakthrough Church in Hamden

    Breakthrough Church is sponsoring a food pantry on the 2nd and 3rd Saturday of every month from 12Noon - 2:00PM. This is Walk-Up or Drive Through Food Pantry. No ID is required and it is open to all. If you are walking up, please bring a shopping cart and/or groceries bags to carry your food. The Breakthrough Church in located at 481 Shelton Avenue, Hamden CT 06517. Food is distributed at the Butler St. Entrance (parking lot). For more information go to:  www.breakthroughct.com or call 203-691-9296.

    Young Evangelicals for Climate Action

    Are you concerned about the urgency of the climate crisis? Would you like to explore some faith-based resources for taking action? You’re invited to join Jenna Van Donselaar, from Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, and Doug Clark, retired UCC pastor and environmental theologian, for a six-week podcast series around the theme of a “Fossil Fuel Free Lent.” We’ll be connecting the traditional Lenten practices of fasting and prayer with fasting from our use of fossil fuels and engaging in prayerful study of the creation narratives in the biblical book of Genesis. To listen to the podcast, search “Creation Care

    Conversations” wherever you get your podcasts, or go to: Creation Care Conversations.

    Food Resources Available

    The City of New Haven recently launched a comprehensive list of food resources for residents to access during the COVID-19 pandemic. CLICK HERE for more information.

    United Way Reaching Out

    The United Way of Greater New Haven has created an online hub where they are posting volunteer opportunities and community needs. Visit their website and scroll down to the yellow buttons to learn more.  

    Help With Prescription Delivery

    Organized by Leslie Asanga, Pharmacist and Student at Yale School of Public Health. As a pharmacist in a community pharmacy, I still see a lot of people crowding the pharmacy to pick up life-saving medications despite recommendations for social distancing from the CDC and WHO. What breaks my heart is seeing the elderly and vulnerable people who are most likely to suffer the devastating effects of Covid-19 waiting in these long lines. Many of the elderly patients I have spoken to have no choice because they need their medications and have no one to help them. To that effect, we are using our platform www.pills2me.com where the elderly and vulnerable can request to have a volunteer pick up their medications and deliver them to their doorsteps same day. Our volunteers so far are Yale students and faculty and we are looking to recruit more volunteers. Could you please help spread the word within your community to help us reach the people who can benefit from our services

    Internet Fraud - Protect Yourself

    During the COVID-19 Pandemic, we have seen a rise in the incidents of internet fraud and scams. Double check the "from" address. Don't share financial or banking information online. Verify suspicious emails by phone. Click the link below for more information on how to protect yourself and your family from internet crime. FCC Internet Safety

    Christ Church Community Soup Kitchen Is Open

    The Community Soup Kitchen at Christ Church in New Haven will continue to serve food as prepackaged take out. The take-out soup kitchen is going on at the Community Soup Kitchen located at Christ Church dining room at 84 Broadway, New Haven CT 06511. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday they will serve take away lunch from their dining room back door at 11AM - 1:30PM in prepackaged units. Saturdays they will serve breakfast in the same fashion 8AM - 9:45AM. The soup kitchen is open to anyone, including people who are affected by school closings. When the health department gives the "All Clear" they will resume indoor weekday lunch (11:30-1) and Saturday breakfast (8:30-9:30) food service. For more information, go to: www.csknewhaven.org

    Community Resources

    Community Healthcare Van

    This mobile bus which maintains a schedule of different locations around downtown New Haven provides free and confidential adult services on a first-come, first-served basis including needle exchange programs. For more information or to get the schedule texted to you call: 

    • Angel (203) 996-0162
    • Rolo (203) 996-0161
    • Rolo,Jr. (203) 823-0743

    The CitiSeed Farmers Markets

    They're Back!: Four neighborhood markets including one year-round market have returned in Wooster Square, Edgewood Park, The New Haven Green and Quinnipiac River Park. City Seed Farmers Markets take all forms of payment including cash, credit/ debit, WIC, SNAP and Senior Market Coupons. They also participate in the Double your SNAP dollars program. Click the link for more information, and the full schedule: www.cityseed.org

    E-Recycling is Back

    Take 2 Inc provides free and convenient residential Electronic recycling near you! Bring out your TVs. Bring out your Computers. Bring out your Printers. Get rid of those old Monitors and get back that space in your garages and basements. They have made it easy for all Connecticut residents to find e-waste recycling options throughout the state. You can also like Take 2 Inc. on Facebook to get notifications of upcoming events throughout the State. Take 2 Inc. manages events of all sizes. If you're a recycling coordinator or community organizer who wants to schedule an event in your community, call their Legislative Program Director at 203.286.5757 x106 to start planning a collection solution near you. Click the link to find out about existing drop off dates and times, and to see a list of accepted electronics: Take2.

    Elder Caregiving

    Are you providing care to an elder loved-one and need support? Caregiver Media Group is a leading provider of information, support and guidance for family and professional caregivers. Founded in 1995, we produce Today's Caregiver magazine, the first national magazine dedicated to caregivers, caregiving books, Custom publications, the Fearless Caregiver Conferences, and our website. Caregiver Media Group and all of our products and services are developed for caregivers, about caregivers and by caregivers. Today's Caregiver magazine is the first national magazine dedicated to family and professional caregivers. Content topics include nutrition, pharmaceutical, financial, home safety, new technology options, insurance, homecare, medication breakthroughs and incontinence management. Each issue also features a cover interview with a well-known celebrity caregiver. For more information, to subscribe to the magazine and/or attend a free Caregiver Conference, go to: www.caregiver.com

    English and Spanish Language Volunteers Needed

    Patient Experience Volunteer Programs at Yale New Haven Hospital is seeking volunteers to serve community members and families in their time of need. To volunteer, please sign up at: www.ynhh.org

    Donate Your Old Cell Phones

    Secure the Call is a National coalition of over 425 organizations including Police Departments, Battered Women's Shelters, Crossing Guards and Senior's Centers. Donating your old phones will help provide these orgs with 911 cell phones for the community. Secure the the Call collects the phones, scrubs them and give them to people who need 911 cell phones. Go to the website for a free mailing label, or drop your phones off at a local dropbox. For more information, go to www.securethecall.org or call 1-800-209-9322. There is a local Donation Box at Whole Foods Market, 1686 Boston Post Road (Rt 1, next to Costco's), Milford CT 06460


    Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen

    D.E.S.K. is always in need of volunteers and packaged food donations for their daily Soup Kitchens and weekly food pantries. For more information visit their website: www.downtowneveningsoupkitchen.com.

    Safe and Free Disposal of Household Chemicals

    Come drop off your hazardous household waste at the New Haven Water authority on Saturday Mornings 9:00AM to 12Noon at the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority, 90 Sargent Drive in New Haven. For more information, including a list of accepted items and non-toxic household alternatives, please go to: HazWasteCentral.

    Consumer Law  Project for Elders

    The Consumer Law Project for Elders is a project of Connecticut Legal Services, Inc.  Funding is provided by the State of Connecticut Department of Aging Senior Medicare Patrol Program and by Connecticut Legal Services, Inc. For more information CLICK HERE.

    New Haven Reads

    New Haven Reads has four locations which serve the New Haven community. The newest is located at 85 Willow Street. Their mission is to help children and adults improve their reading skills and to provide books for them to read. NHR is seeking volunteers to help tutor individuals in one hour per week sessions. Tutors must be 15 years and older. For more information call 203-752-1923 or visit their website: www.newhavenreads.org.

    Street Sheet Reference Guide

    The Town Green Special Services District of New Haven has produced a useful reference guide for those seeking shelter, clothing, food banks, meals and other public support services. Here is a PDF copy:

    Twelve Step Recovery Programs

    Those interested in learning about available "Twelve Step" help in the New Haven Area can visit this website

    which lists locations, dates and times for substance abuse support group meetings in our region.

    New Haven Area Soup Kitchens and Pantries

    Those interested in learning about area

    Should visit the above websites which list places and times for donated food distribution to those in need.