Grace UCC at Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) Conference in Washington DC

On April 5-8, Bill Taylor, Stein & Chris Syltevik, Peggy Taylor and Pamela Heggs attended the EAD conference in Washington DC.  The theme this year was, "Troubling the Waters".  The conference kicked off on Friday evening with a welcoming general session featuring Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock from Ebenezer Baptist Church.  Invoking imagery from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Dr. Warnock helped us get excited for the weekend to come!  Workshops throughout the weekend included topics such as:  

  •   Faith Communities and Activism:  "Navigating Troubled Congregational Waters

  •   Faith Routed Direct Activism and Community Organizing

  •   Multi-faith Coalition-Building for Social Change

  •   Increasing Civic Engagement:  Ballot Initiatives

  •   Advocating for Peace in a Violent World:  the Global Fragility Act

  •   The Criminalization of Poverty

  •   Let Us Vote:  Ending voter Suppression and Restoring Voters' Rights

And many, many more!

Of course the weekend included prayer, music and fellowship with cross-denominational attendees from all around the country.  The mood was electrifying and God was certainly present!

The weekend culminated with a "Lobby Day" on Monday where attendees were invited to meet with their congressional representatives and senators.  Luckily for the GRACE UCC attendees, we were able to meet with Representative Tom Malinowski in person along with senior staffers for Senators Booker and Menendez.  Our talking points centered around voting rights and the establishment of a human rights commission within the Senate.  What an adventurous day it was!

Next year's conference will be held April 17-20, again in Washington DC.  Join us, won't you?

Visit the EAD website for video highlights from the conference, and more.


Ways to Grow (Build) a Stronger Spiritual Life

  1. Be a river, not a swamp

  2. Identify blessings

  3. Be like Moses - Speak words of blessing

  4. Nurture a shared prayer life

  5. Take a step of faith

  6. Restore someone’s faith

  7. Be a grateful person

  8. Share the journey

  9. Serve

  10. Cultivate a little solitude

  11. Fast and pray

  12. Turn worries over to God

  13. Spread love wherever you go

  14. Keep your priorities straight

  15. Strive for excellence

  16. Use it or lose it

  17. Meditate on Scripture

  18. Be reliable

  19. Ask God to make you a blessing today

  20. Spend time in nature

  21. Exercise your power of choice

Ash Wednesday

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This past Wednesday, during our Ash Wednesday worship, attendees were invited to the table to share what they were going to be working on and/or giving up for Lent. Following their sharing, they each lit a candle and placed it in the sand bowl (it looks like a birthday cake for Lent, doesn’t it?). Here are some of the things shared:

  • Working on living “in the now.”

  • Giving up alcohol.

  • Limiting/eliminating facebook/internet usage.

  • Being more humble, relying more on others.

  • Becoming more patient.

  • Painting more; reading and writing more.

  • Listening to others more intently.

  • Caring more for others.

  • Self-care/healing self.

Visit the Grace UCC facebook page to share what you’ll be working on this Lent.

Get to Know the Wednesday Morning Study Group

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By Elaine Dreskin

Our study group meets on Wednesday mornings at 9:30 at Grateful Bites on Rt. 42 State Route 12, Flemington, NJ.  We aren’t strictly speaking a “Bible study” group, as we generally read books with theological themes without including the Bible directly.  Some of our recent authors include Marcus Borg, Robin Meyers, John Dominic Crossan and John Shelby Spong.

Presently, we’re reading “Hope and Other Superpowers,” by the pastor and blogger John Pavlovitz.  Written after the 2016 election, it’s a heartening and inspiring book in our current sometimes discouraging times. Pavlovitz challenges readers to be the heroes our days call for, rather than waiting for Superman and Wonder Woman (and other superheroes) to rise to the circumstances and come to save us. 

All are welcome to attend - we’re not a women’s group. 

We’ve met kind of sporadically in the last few months, because of group members’ travel, childcare responsibilities, weather, etc., so if anyone is interested in attending, please check with me to be sure we are meeting that day.  My email address: edreskin@comcast.net 

Kids Participate at Grace UCC

Children are welcome and encouraged to feel comfortable participating fully in the life of the church here at Grace UCC.

Participation by the kids is built into our regular Sunday service through the Pastor’s “Children’s Chat,” and Story Circle, plus kids can help with collecting the weekly offering, or serving communion. Kids are also welcome to participate in group prayer, or sharing where they saw God during the service.

In addition, kids also help direct where part of the weekly offering is donated, and are welcome at most volunteer or service activities outside of church.

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