Hartford Region Congregations Launch GHIAA

Imagine what life in our Greater Hartford region could be like if our religious institutions actually possessed the moral force to make it a more just and equitable place? The Christian Activities Council in North Hartford embarked upon this imaginative task in September 2016 when it convened the inaugural Greater Hartford Sponsoring Committee meeting. Less than three years later, nearly 300 diverse people of faith attended the Greater Hartford Sponsoring Committee’s Winter Organizing Assembly. At 7:00pm on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, Jews, Muslims, Unitarian Universalists, Friends, and a vastly ecumenical group of Christians all filed into Congregation Beth Israel on Farmington Avenue in West Hartford for the Winter Organizing Assembly. In attendance were clergy, lay leaders, trained core team leaders, and those who were simply curious. 

In her address to the multi-faith group seeking to work together to address issues that impact the quality of life in Greater Hartford, Rabbi Andi Fliegel, of the hosting congregation, passionately declared “the differences between us that too often keep us apart, spread thin and powerless will no longer divide us!” To identify issues that “keep us up at night,” core team members coordinated and held over 30 small-group “house meetings.” 

At the end of the evening, those gathered boisterously and enthusiastically voted to name the organization the Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance (GHIAA).

Since the meeting, institutional-based core teams have begun launching house meeting campaigns in their congregations. This coming summer, the body will gather again to affirm a slate of concrete, winnable issues to present at GHIAA’s official launch on Monday, October 28, 2019.

UUS:E’s GHIAA House Meeting Campaign

As part of our UUS:E’s participation in the Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance, we will will be running our own house meeting campaign during May and early June. All UUS:E members and friends are invited to participate in a house meeting organized by our GHIAA core team. Sign-ups will be after services in late April and early May. Please plan to participate in a house meeting. Meet other UUS:E members and friends. Share a meal (or tea and cookies). Tell your story: what concerns you the most about the future of our region? Our stories will be collected and shared with the GHIAA leadership team, who will use them to determine the issues that most unite us across lines of faith, race, class and geography. Then we will develop campaigns to address those issues.

UUS:E House Meetings

Monday May 20, 1:00 to 3:00 PM, at the home of Nancy and Ted Pappas, 338 Spring St., Manchester

Tuesday, May 21at 6:30 PM at the home of Al Benford, 25F Cliffside Dr., Manchester

Wednesday 5/22 at 6:30 PM in the chapel at UUS:E (led by Nicole Bornhorst)

Thursday, 5/23, 4:00 to 5:30, in the UUS:E chapel (led by Rev. Josh Pawelek)

Saturday, May 25th, 2:00 to 3:30, at the home of Marcia Leonard, 366 Ash St., unit 17, Willimantic

Thursday, May 30, 6:30-8:30 PM, at the home of Jim Adams and Sylvia Ounpuu, 48 Stonehedge Lane, Bolton

Sunday, June 2nd, 6:00 PM, at the home of Lisa Sementilli, 7 Greenhurst Rd., West Hartford

Friday, June 14th, 6:00 PM, at the home of Rhona Cohen, 25 South St., New Britain.

If you know you want to participate in one of the House Meetings, listed below, feel free to contact the host and let them know you are planning to attend.

Don’t see a date that works for you, but want to participate? You are more than welcome to host your own house meeting! UUS:E’s core team will provide a facilitator. Contact Rev. Josh for more information at (860) 652-8961 or revpawelek@gmail.com.