IRIS after School Program – Minute for Mission February 2017

I started volunteering at IRIS (IRIS is the Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services headquartered on Nicoll St.)  7 years ago.  I’ve worked in different capacities.  I helped out with the CT Foodbank pick-ups, stocking the food pantry at IRIS (which is where I met the wonderful Betty Whitney).  I have helped prepare apartments for new arrivals and transported volunteers.  But My Latest, and perhaps favorite so far is what I am specifically talking about today and that is the IRIS Afterschool Program that is held at the Fair Haven Middle school.

Many school-aged refugee children have never entered a classroom before coming to the US.… Continue

Ecumenical Advocacy Days 29 Jan 2017 Ralph Jones

Last Sunday Pastor Susan asked how many of us participated in the Women’s Marches. An impressive number of hands went up. Did we achieve justice for all, yet?

This morning, Good Morning America interviewed at Yale PhD. Student researching in Afghanistan and unable to come home. It occurs to me to ask how many of us have students or colleagues affected by the Executive Order? I see three or four.

We have more to do!

I can’t tell that the Publican in chief has even acknowledged the concerns of the people. (Think about it. The head of the Republican Party owns hotels and bars and is now chief tax collector.)

So, what can we do now?… Continue

Educate a Child – Minute for Mission October 23, 2016

First, a prayer concern: I’m here this morning because Mike McBride called just after 8 this morning. He is with Flo at the ER. They’re there first seeking a diagnosis. May God’s healing be with them now as always!

Here’s my edit of Mike’s draft.

Back in 2014, our General Assembly adopted the “Educate a Child, Transform the World” initiative with the goals to

  • recommit to education as the core focus of mission
  • launch a church-wide initiative to inspire, equip and connect us to improve the quality of education for one million children
  • with a particular emphasis on children in poverty or otherwise at risk.

Peacemaking – Minute for Mission September 25, 2016

Next Sunday we will have the annual special collection for Peacemaking and Global Witness, a collection that is taken up, so suitably, on World Communion Sunday, as we think of our bonds in faith and our responsibilities across the worldwide community.

The collection is for Peacemaking and Global Witness. And peace is an integral part of our worship every week. Every Sunday we share the peace, turning to each other and speaking of peace to our neighbors, to members and visitors alike, wishing that they may experience peace, that they will live in peace. And at the end of the worship we may leave the sanctuary with the words of the benediction and charge in our ears, ‘Go in Peace!’ Peace becomes the message of what we will have heard and done that morning.… Continue

Columbus House – Minute for Mission September 11, 2016

So what’s on the menu? How about…Meatball & Eggplant Grinders

No, this is not today’s menu for the Rally Day picnic shortly. In fact, I believe we are getting a whiff [or we will be shortly] of the charcoal grills warming up to serve hamburgers, veggie burgers and hot dogs.

Here’s another menu…BBQ Chicken and Ice Cream Sandwiches

Now that sounds like a delicious meal. And this is an actual menu for a dinner served by volunteers from this congregation to serve 80 … at Columbus House. Personally, I love the ice cream sandwiches – that’s inspired.

How about another…Hot dogs

Now that’s a simpler menu.… Continue