CT District February Newsletter

CT District February Newsletter

CT District


Volume 2 February 2019


January 2019 Connecticut District Newsletter

The Connecticut District hopes not only to inform you but also to empower you to be thriving, kingdom-advancing, impact-making disciples of Jesus Christ. Although we are at different locations, this newsletter intends to help you stay connected to your neighboring pastors, laity, and churches. Let us know via email or phone how the newsletter can be more helpful and resourceful to you and your ministries. 

Naming Contest for the CT Newsletter

Also, we need your help! We are looking for a name for our newsletter. You will have 10 days to submit your suggestions. The winner will get a gift card for two at the Chowder Pot Restaurant.

Click here to submit your suggestions





From the Heart of the D.S.

"Funny Things Are Everywhere!" 

Connecticut in Mission

Best Practices in Ministry

Gnosis 2019

A Pastor Speaks

Words of Wisdom and Respecting Our Elders

Connecticut Youth in Action 



Mark Your Calendar


From the Heart of the D.S

by Rev. Dr. Alpher Sylvester


      Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

      May the fragrance of life and endless possibilities that comes with a new year advances itself to reach, touch and refresh your spirit.  This missive celebrates you and also celebrates the first issue of our new district newsletter.  Hereafter, this section known as “From the Heart of The D.S” is my blog where I will speak to you. In this issue, I have been restricted to a few lines that I am moved to devote in celebration of three things: you, our district and the ministry possibilities that beckon to us as a district.

Click here to view the full article


"Funny Things Are Everywhere!" 

As the saying goes, "Laughter is the best medicine." We are dedicating this section in our hopes to put a smile on your face and brighten your day. And some jokes can be painful because there is a grain of truth in every joke. Let us be the people who can use our sense of humor to find some joy in our ministries and gain secret insights into our lives.


1. Don't miss the boat
2. Remember that we are all in the same boat.
3. Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.
4. Stay fit. When you get old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
5. Don't listen to the critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
6. Build your future on high ground.
7. For safety sake, travel in pairs.
8. Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
9. Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
11. No matter the storm, there's always a rainbow waiting.


Do You Know Any Jokes? 

If you know some jokes and humors that you want to share with others, please click here to submit your jokes. And let us be aware that we want our humors to be Christian sensitive and not offensive

Click here to submit your jokes



Connecticut in Mission

Welcome to the Missions section of this newsletter. Our District has supported and continues to support many missionaries around the world. You will hear stories of missionaries and their ministries and see ways to be connected and support them. 



Rev. Dr. Tom Vencuss shares what is at the heart of our mission and how the Connecticut District has a deeply involved history of mission engagement. For example, "Mountains of Hope for Haiti" began out of several churches in Connecticut. Furthermore, he shares how we can practically be equipped and fulfill our call to channel God's grace and love onto others. 

Click here to view the full article





Jill Wilson, the Conference Secretary for Global Ministries, shares with us about our CT District Mission Project for 2019-the REBUILDING OF PUERTO RICO from the hurricane in 2017. She goes into details on how we can help rebuild the nation as well as how we are gathering a team from our district for a late June trip. Her article contains information on Missionary John Nday's visit to our district. 

Click here to view the full article


Best Practices in Ministry

Our District Newsletter will be featuring a section that shares best practices in pastoral ministry. Each pastor has a passion for something they do that is unique, cutting edge, and successful in bringing people to Christ. This is the section of the newsletter where we share resources, experiences, stories, practices and ways of addressing recurring issues and problems. There is always something new to learn and bring into our pastoral ministry that is effective, life-changing and draws in new disciples.

Celebrating Funerals

by Rev. James Midgley


Funerals are more than commemorating the deceased. We, pastors, are called to do greater and can use this opportunity to reach out to the unchurched and invite them to Christ. Read Rev. James Midgley in his funerary experiences and his insights on the changing culture of funerals and how he finds ways to extend God's love from the church by engaging the current culture with Christ. 

Click here to view the full article


How often do we touch each others hands when we pray?

Life Touches Life…

1 John 4:7-21 ESV

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another....


Gnosis 2019

The Greek word, gnosis, refers to not any knowledge but a higher form of knowledge; knowledge from experience of divinity or that which is beyond the five senses. It is conscious, experiential knowledge, not merely intellectual or conceptual knowledge, belief, or theory. In this section of the newsletter, we want to provide you a great educational tool to a wide array of topics related to our lives and ministries. Topics may include revitalizing churches, self-care, the Way Forward, etc.


The CT District intends to provide you a great educational tool of different positions and emotions attached to the issue of the Way Forward and Three Plans. Here is the first one on a comparative analysis of the Three Plans / summary of major plans before the 2019 Special General Conference. 

Click here to view the analysis


Here are the views of many delegates to the Special Called Session of the General Conference. They are integrally involved in leading perspectives on "Seeing a Way Forward." Please click their names to explore their views. Rev. Bob Phillips,  Bishop Ciriaco Francisco, Andrew Williams, and Rev. Dr. Traci West.


A Pastor Speaks

Pastors need to be pastored. Pastors need to be inspired by other pastor's sermons. The spiritual health of a pastor really ought to be a priority for his or her congregation. We want to share inspiring and insightful sermons from pastors within our district with the aims to minister and empower one another. It is our prayer that we keep each other accountable as we are building God's kingdom together in the Connecticut District. 





Isaiah 43:1b-3a 

by Rev. Dr. Hugh Hamilton at the Bishop's Convocation

Rev. Hugh Hamilton delivered an inspiring, powerful sermon at the Bishop's Convocation. There are many difficulties that hinder or often destroy our lives and our ministries. He calls these obstacles fire, and shares that all of us have to face and walk through the fire that threatens us. How can we walk through the fire, not be burnt to ashes, and come forth as gold?  

Click here to view the full article


Words of Wisdom and Respecting Our Elders

The Voice of Our Retirees

 Each generation has memories, stories, and values it wants to pass along to the next generation-especially the spiritual values of our faith. We want to learn from those who have come before us, who have laid the foundation, and who have preserved it. It is our desire that in this section of the newsletter, we honor and continue the legacy of our forerunners before us, learn from them their wisdom and insights on life and ministry, for the generations that are to come. 


Crystal Cathedral to Become a Catholic Cathedral 

by Rev. Ralph Lord Roy

Did you know that the Crystal Cathedral in California was touted as the largest glass building in the world when it was completed in 1981? It is designed by Philip Johnson, a worldly renown postmodern architect. But what is the story behind this soaring steel-and-glass church? Did you know that they had to file for bankruptcy? Find out more through Rev. Ralph Roy's article. 

Click here to view the full article



Connecticut Youth in Action 

Ministry to youth is an essential part of the missional focus of the church, and teaching young people in the church to grow in their relationship with God prepares them to serve Christ in all they do in their adulthood. We invite you to send us articles and pictures on great things that youths are doing at your church. Let's celebrate the future of our church!


This time, we want to celebrate youth from the United Methodist Church of Monroe in CT where Rev. Mark T. Allen is serving. Below are parts of their February Newsletter. What about your church and your youth? What great stories do you have to share and inspire? 

Click here to view the article



" The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go UNANSWERED because they go UNASKED."  M.B.


We pray because we believe in the power of prayer. Prayer keeps us connected with God and with one another. You can submit prayer requests to the link below, and the district will keep you in thoughts and prayers.

Click here to submit prayer requests



Mark Your Calendar



Thank You ALL for submitting your Annual Statistical Reports! 


2019 Scholarships Available

Scholarship opportunities are available on the website. 

February 23-26:  "Praying Our Way Forward" Initiative

The Council of Bishops has called a Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church to be held February 23-26, 2019. Bishop Bickerton calls us to set apart our time, 2:23-2:26 PM each day, for a commitment of daily prayer. Let us keep all the bishops in our thoughts and prayers. 

March 16: Special Called Session of the NYAC 

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton is calling for a Special Called Session of the New York Annual Conference on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at a place to be determined, for the purpose of reviewing and discussing the results of the Special Called Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church.  This meeting will last from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. All clergy and lay delegates to Annual Conference are expected to be present. Visitors are welcome.

Be sure to get your Charge Conference Leadership Report up to date so that we have the names of your Lay Members to Annual Conference! ASAP!

February is Black History Month
We celebrate the life and contributions of those who have
helped to build this great Nation in which we live.

Click here for more information at umc.org


Editorial Credits:
Rev. James Midgley
Pastor, FUMC of Ansonia & Derby UMC 
Rev. Jacob Eun
Pastor, FUMC of Wallingford
Mariyam Muhammad
District Administrative Assistant 
Rev. Dr. Alpher Sylvester
Connecticut District Superintendent

In Connecticut, After God, We Put People First