The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

Celebration of the Spirit

The Holy Spirit is at work in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. We've witnessed its movement these past few years as we've embarked together on a journey to engage more faithfully with God's mission. We've felt the Spirit's tugging as we re-shaped our church to become more nimble, centering ourselves around the relationships between people and between churches that play out in our communities. And we've seen the Spirit's work in the excitement and vitality coming out of our new ministry networks, stitching together our worshiping communities across our state.

Now is the time to celebrate! It is time to celebrate what the Holy Spirit has already done in our midst. It is time to celebrate what the Holy Spirit is still working among us. It is time to celebrate where the Holy Spirit is leading us into the future.

And you are invited!

On Sunday, November 20, our annual convention will conclude with the Celebration of the Spirit at the Connecticut Convention Center. The events start at 10:30 a.m. and will conclude no later than 4 p.m. Attendance is free for anyone who wants to attend, and space is limited; all attendees are required to register in advance.

Worship

The Celebration of the Spirit begins with worship. At 10:30 a.m., we will gather together with two-thousand of our sisters and brothers from all over the church to pray together, sing together, and commune together as we worship our God. What's more, we are excited to announce that the Good News will be proclaimed by the Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. With breathtaking music, striking liturgical art, and the taste and feel of bread and wine, our worship together will engage all the senses. What's more, there are opportunities for you to be involved by:

  • Singing in our massed choir from all the corners of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. Contact Walden Moore to learn more about getting involved.
  • Creating our liturgical art. We have an exciting opportunity for people from every church to contribute to the creation of a piece of artwork that will be assembled specially for convention. More details coming very soon!
  • Serving as one of the many liturgical volunteers needed to pull off a service of this size. Please contact the Rev. Rachel Thomas to express your interest. Please note that due to the high level of interest, we may not be able to accommodate all volunteers.
  • Bringing your parish's banner, if you have one. We will place the banners all around the worship space as a representation of the many communities that are a part of our church. Please remember to bring a stand for your banner!

Following worship, everyone is invited to take part in a coffee hour in our vendor area. We will be providing hot coffee and light refreshments for everyone who attends. In addition, a selection of sandwiches and salads will be available for purchase from on-site concession stands.

Ministry Network Expo

Following worship, our Celebration of the Spirit will continue with the Ministry Network Expo, from 1-3:30 p.m. The Ministry Network Expo consists of two parts, taking place simultaneously.

Ministry Network Fair

Do you know how many Ministry Networks we already have in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut? This is your chance to get a taste of the full breadth and depth of the fascinating and engaging ministries our worshiping communities and our individual members are already doing. Each participating Ministry Network will have a booth and staffing to share the story of their ministry, to answer questions, and to offer avenues of participation for anyone and any community that wants to learn more. The participating Ministry Networks are listed below, check back often, the list is still growing:

Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross Episcopal Church Women Worship Community Nurses
Kateri Medical Services Heads Up! Hartford Union of Black Episcopalians
Carol's Closet African Education Mission Network Rhythms of Grace
Racial Justice Community Gardens/Care for Creation Table on the Green
Girls Friendly Society Pray First Camp Washington
Digital Ministry Network Disaster Response Network  

If you don't see your Ministry Network listed here, and you would like to be a part of the Ministry Network Fair, please contact Adam Yates today.

Ministry Network Workshops

In addition to the fair, you will have the opportunity to engage more deeply with six hands-on, participatory workshops offered by few of our Ministry Networks. All workshops will be offered at from 1-2 p.m. and again from 2:30-3:30 p.m., so you will have to opportunity to take part in two of the workshops. They all promise to be interesting and fun, so choose wisely!

Discipleship at Camp Washington: Our Place in Morris

This workshop will bring participants on the transformative journey that Our Place in Morris provides for children, youth and adults. On this journey, participants will hear testimony, sing, play, pray, and reflect on how all of us can become more faithful followers of Jesus by sharing the extraordinary experiences that are unfolding in this place.

Mini Heads Up! Hartford Experience

In this workshop, participants will learn about Heads Up! Hartford, a faith-based organization bringing together 80 urban and suburban teens for a week promoting diversity, developing leadership skills, and providing community service in the Hartford area. In addition to hearing testimonials from campers, spending time together in prayer and song, participants will also take park in a service project in small groups while taking part in facilitated discussions with with Heads Up! Hartford staffers.

Refugee Ministry Network

This workshop will expose participants to the work of refugee resettlement in our state. During our time together, we will hear from churches that have taken part in resettlement work as well as from a few recently resettled families about the transformative experience of this work. In small groups, we will share ideas about ways that your worshiping community can also become involved in this important work.

Rhythms of Grace: A Worship Experience for All Ages & Abilities

Rhythms of Grace was designed as a Eucharistic worship experience to meet the needs of families with children on the Autism Spectrum. In this workshop, you will learn more about the Rhythms of Grace program, experience its worship activities, and explore how you might be able to bring it into your own community.

Hispanic Ministry Network

During this workshop, we will screen the short film (in English), "Project Being ñ," which shares the first-person story of a young, second-generation Latina and her struggle to bridge the culture of her family with the culture of her surroundings in the United States. The struggle portrayed in this film captures the same struggle facing many young people in our Connecticut towns and parishes. Following the film, we will have a panel discussion with some of our Latinx/Hispanic brothers and sisters in parishes around our state as we connect what we have seen in the film with the experiences of our own neighbors.

Growing in Faith Together – Episcopal Church Women & Girls Friendly Society for the Next Generation

Episcopal Church Women (ECW)  and Girls Friendly Society (GFS)  are forging the next generation of faithful Episcopal women. Both organizations tap into the strong desire of girls and young women to support their local communities and their sisters around the world.

GFS takes the girls from just "going to church" to being life-long GFS leaders and ECW members. GFS  gives girls a sense of belonging, importance, and self-confidence. Activities provide fellowship that grounds girls in their knowledge of Christian beliefs and allows them to develop close relationships with each other. Meetings encourage a pattern of prayer, community service and study that make positive differences in girls’ lives and transforms girls’ hearts to seek justice and to respect the dignity of all. As members of the GFS network, girls join together from across the country and around the world, and find empathy and understanding despite differences in culture, race and traditions. This is the transformation our world sorely needs as technology and globalization draw us together.

ECW provides an opportunity to continue this fellowship into adulthood by working together and participating in the full life of the church through prayer, study, witness and action.  ECW members commit their time, energy, financial support and love to serving God’s people. ECW has become the voice for the abused, support women in their spiritual growth and ministries, reaching out and serving people in need, and offer opportunities for fellowship and hospitality.
Globally, GFS and ECW respond to the needs of women around the world, and allows members to witness the powerful spirit of women changing their communities.

Join us for a mock-meeting where you will participate as either a GFS girl working on one of the symbols of the GFS badge program, or as an ECW woman participating in a community service project. Witness the tools first hand that GFS  uses with the girls to sustain ministry and to increase the relevance and importance of church in their daily lives. Experience the personal fulfillment of working on an ECW Social Justice project to address local concerns and of taking action to bring about real change in our communities. Learn about the ways both organizations seek to  empower girls and women as Christian leaders in an increasingly complex world.