The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

East Haddam Event - July 7, 2017

St. Stephen's Church, 31 Main Street in East Haddam, is offering a picnic supper and a panel discussion on Friday, July 7, open to the public, during the Connecticut River Pilgrimage on the evening the core pilgrims will be with them. This event is free, and due to high interest and limited seating, registration is requested for all who wish to attend the panel discussion.

Register Today


The evening panel, entitled, “Navigating our Faith in Politically Turbulent Waters,” will consider the connection between faith and politics. This theme was chosen because East Haddam boasts a rich political history where people of faith exercised key leadership including: a school house where the patriot Nathan Hale taught; a regular stopover point before crossing the Connecticut River for Bishop Samuel Seabury - our founding bishop and a political activist against American independence; as well as a site on the Underground Railroad. 

  • 5:30 p.m. Picnic supper: Enjoy a cookout dinner with burgers, hot dogs, vegetarian options, and all the sides you could want. We will eat up on the hill, overlooking the Connecticut River, if the weather permits. Otherwise, we will eat together in the parish hall.
  • 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. (approx). Panel discussion: "Navigating our Faith in Politically Turbulent Waters"
  • Registration: Space is limited for the Panel Discussion, so please reserve your spot today!


The Rev. Dr. David Grafton, currently the Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations on the faculty of the Duncan Black Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations Hartford Seminary. Dr. Grafton is a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and has served Lutheran congregations in New Jersey, England, and an international congregation in Cairo, Egypt.


The Rev. Bonita Grubbs has been Executive Director of Christian Community Action since December 1988. She is a board member of the Connecticut Voices for Children, Project Access New Haven, the CT Health Care Cabinet, chaired by the Lieutenant Governor,  and the Community Economic Development Fund and, currently is Deputy Chaplain of the State Senate of the CT General Assembly. The Rev. Grubbs holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology and in the Afro-American Studies from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She received two degrees from Yale University---a Master of Arts in Religion and a Master of Public Health and was conferred an honorary degree from Albertus Magnus College in 2001, and was ordained to the Christian Ministry within the American Baptist Church in 1987.


The Hon. Byron Rushing is the State Representative for the Ninth Suffolk District of the State of Massachusetts, representing the South End neighborhood of Boston since 1982. In his time is the state legislature, Mr. Rushing has made civil and human rights a priority of his work: he is an original sponsor of the gay rights bill in Massachusetts, has led the charge against sexual orientation discrimination in schools, and was one of the leaders of the constitutional convention in his state to legalize same-sex marriage. Mr. Rushing's work has extended overseas as well, helping to support anti-apartheid legislation in Massachusetts and forging a relationship with the Province of Eastern Cape in South Africa. As a man of faith, Mr. Rushing is deeply involved with the Episcopal Church, having helped to found a community information center at St. John's Episcopal Church in the late 1960's, working for the Massachusetts Council of Churches as a community organizer, and as a founding member of the Episcopal Urban Caucus. Currently, in addition to his vocation as a state legislator, Mr. Rushing serves as the Parliamentarian for the Diocese of Massachusetts, and is the Vice President of the House of Deputies for the General Convention of The Episcopal Church.


Gov. Lowell Weicker was born in Paris, France. He graduated from Yale University in 1953 and the University of Virginia Law School in 1958. He served in the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant from 1953 to 1955 and in the Army Reserves from 1958 to 1964. He was elected to the Connecticut General Assembly in 1962 and was reelected twice. In 1968 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives; elected to the U.S. Senate in 1970 and reelected in 1976 and 1982. In 1973 he was appointed to the Senate Watergate Committee and also served as chair and then ranking Republican member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee. In 1990 he became the first independent to be elected governor of Connecticut. In 1992 he received the John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Award for his actions in reforming Connecticut's tax structure.