Month: March 2016

March 28, 2016 No comments exist

Religion and the Identity in the Middle East: the Rise of the Islamic Radicalism


Presented by The Rev. Dr. David D. Grafton, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies an Christian-Musim Relations, Lutheran Seminar at Philadelphia (LTSP)

About the course:

The “Middle East,” as it is commonly known by Americans, has been a land of fascination, frustration, and fear. May Americans find the tapestry of its peoples, languages, cultures, and religions to be confusing, and yet the Middle East is so prominent in our news and media. These five sessions will look at the cultural perspectives of the people of the Middle East, the Arab Spring, and the rise of Islamic Radicalism as protest movements, including al-Qaeda and Daesh (ISIS). The purpose of this course is to help North American Christians move beyond fear to become creatively engaged as peacemakers and responsible citizens in our own communities.

Thursday, March 31: 7 – 9 p.m.

  1. What is the Middle East?: geography and its effect on identity 

    This session will review the geography and political arrangement of the modern Middle East and how that has impacted political identities.

Thursday, April 7: 7 – 9 p.m.

  1. Communal Identity: the religious communities of the Middle East 

    In this session we will provide an overview of the numerous indigenous religious communities of the region. We will also look at general cultural values and the importance of religion on traditional family and communal identity.

Thursday, April 14: 7 – 9 p.m.

  1. The Arab Spring: causes and aspirations

    This session will uncover the source of general discontent of the last twenty years, and the hopes of the “soft revolutions.”

Thursday, April 21: 7 – 9 p.m.

  1. Sources of Islamic Radicalism in the Middle East, part I 

    The final two sessions will look at the responses to Arab Nationalism, the 1967 was, and the “failed states” of the Middle East. Islamic Radicalism will be defined and placed with in the broader category of other Muslim pieties. 

Thursday, April 28: 7 – 9 p.m.

  1. Sources of Islamic Radicalism in the Middle East, part II

    Viewed from the historical and cultural framework of the last four sessions the final session will loo at the rise of al-Qaeda and DAESH (ISIS), and Muslim responses to these organizations.

All are welcome to view the webinar at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 7 Wescott Road, Simsbury, CT 




March 28, 2016 No comments exist

by Susan Gest

as Published in the February Edition of the Granby Drummer

They’ve gone from a capital “T” to a small “t” or more symbolically, a cross.  Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Simsbury, completed an addition in September after almost two years of planning. The new Gathering Space was dedicated on Nov. 8 and fittingly transforms the church into the shape of a cross and provides a transition from everyday life.


“It looks like it was always part of the church” commented George Forler, a longtime member. That’s because the design by local architect, Lorri DiBattisto, of DiBattisto & Associates of East Granby, has experience working with churches. SHELC Building - Oct 2015The project started over two years ago when church members identified the need to replace the 50 year-old skylights that spanned the sanctuary roofline.  As they found out from interviewing many local contractors, this would be no small task.  Rob Proulx from Proulx Building & Remodeling LLC of Stafford Springs, however, was up for the challenge and was selected for the job. “Why not replace the old windows and doors at the front of the church, too, and add a few feet of space?” asked Dennis Gruell Co-Chair of the Facilities Improvement Committee.

Of course, the purpose for adding the new space had to be connected in some way to our mission. “When we looked to the history of the architecture of the church, we saw it. An entry room, or narthex, is used to transition from everyday life to the sanctuary and to emphasize service to the community” explained Kat Smith, Council President.

Funding was the next step, once the congregation approved the overall concept. The (re)Building to Foster Community capital campaign netted nearly half the funds required for the construction phase.  A loan refinancing made up the other half, which made it possible to keep the current monthly mortgage payments unchanged.  Additionally, monies that had been bequeathed a few years earlier provided the resources for the Interior Design Committee to fill the new space.

“We focused on functionality, so we didn’t just end up with more building to maintain,” explained Jack Vanderbilt Co-Chair of the Facilities Improvement Committee. The new construction includes an ADA compliant automatic door and ramps so that everyone has easy access to worship.

Weekly Sunday Services are at 9 a.m. All are invited to see the new Gathering Space and join in worship.

March 19, 2016 No comments exist


Saturday May 14 at 9:00 a.m.

Click here to register for the 5k road race and 1.25 mile walk! 

Sign-up before May 7 to receive a free tri-blend t-shirt!

Healthtrax is our GOLD Sponsor 

Stretch your muscles before the race with a Personal Trainer logo_ccecb522-5722-42e1-adae-86a399eac173_largefrom Healthtrax on Saturday, May 14. Whether you plan to run the 5k or walk the 1.25 mile course, stretching is important to avoid injury. Healthtrax will be on-site the day of the event to lead us in warm-ups. Two lucky finishers will win a one month membership to Healthtrax in Avon. You don't have to finish first - you just have to finish! Winners will be drawn at random.








March 19, 2016 No comments exist

Celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in Germany


The date has been set for a July 3rd departure with a return on July 14th, 2017.

Land price per passenger based on a twin accommodation is $2,630.00 plus optional travel insurance cost. Basic insurance and airfare per person through Globus is $209 and $1,972 respectively.

Save 10% by booking before November 30, 2016

For more information contact Lisa Martin,

March 19, 2016 No comments exist

The Enfield Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen is seeking monetary donations from March 1 – April 30. This soup kitchen continues the fight against hunger in our community with the help from wonderful donors like you. We are extremely grateful for any and all support.

Please mail your gift to:

Soup Kitchen

P.O. BOx 544

Enfield, CT 06083-0544


Contribute on-line:

“When I was hungry, you fed me”

Donations are tax-deductible

March 19, 2016 No comments exist

Palm Sunday (March 20th)

9:00 a.m.

Gather in the Fellowship Hall and process into the Sanctuary where Hosannas are sung and Jesus begins his Passion Week.

Maundy Thursday (March 24th)

6:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.

Potluck Supper

7:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

Worship in the Fellowship Hall and hear Jesus’ mandate to love one another. Then move through the Gathering SPace where stations for optional hand and foot washing will be offered and into the Sanctuary. (more…)