During the first weekend of April, many SUSO members attended the new England UCC Women’s Conference in Portland, Maine and were energized and moved to action by the many outstanding speakers, workshops, and new and creative ideas that can impact our work. Rev. Renee Rouse, one of the keynote speakers, gave a riveting session entitled, “Dismantling Racism Is Not A Spectator Sport.” Continuing to educate ourselves and others leads us to action that can foster a more peaceful and equitable world.
The 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s death was commemorated at the West Hartford Town Hall on April 3 with a full house of adults and children from all walks of life. There was an opportunity to design a block that was included in a representation of the beloved community. Three AHCC members were part of the approximately 20 readers of King’s last speech, “I’ve Been to The Mountaintop.” It was a moving and enlightening experience.
One of four Sandy Hook Violence Prevention Programs, “Start With Hello,” has been presented to students in grades 2 - 4 at Trinity Academy in Hartford as well as to first-graders at Willington’s Center School, and will be presented to the younger members of the AHCC Sunday School in May. Teaching young children to be caring and inclusive of all people can prevent an isolated or dejected student from hurting himself/herself or hurting others. To find out more about these programs and how you can become a Sandy Hook Promise leader go tosandyhookpromise.org/promise_leaders.
On April 14, SUSO members joined over 100 people from all over the Hartford region at the “Guns To Garden Tools” event at St. Patrick/St. Anthony Church and had an opportunity to help reshape a gun into a garden tool and present it to a representative of the local Knox Community Gardens. There were many moving presentations including an ER Nurse from Yale New Haven who has witnessed first-hand the devastation caused by guns. We sang songs, prayed, and celebrated the good works of those trying to end the culture of gun violence. A piece of music created by St. Patrick/St. Anthony Church called “If We Just Talk of Thoughts and Prayers”closed the event:
“If we just sing of doing good, and don’t walk through our neighborhood, to learn its hope, to ease its pain, our talk of good is simply vain.”