Category: Group Activites

March 19, 2017

When is the last time the two of you did something to enrich and revitalize your marriage? Make 2017 the year you spend a weekend making your marriage a more intimate, loving, Christian union.

Lutheran Marriage Encounter Weekends

Running from Friday 8 p.m. to Sunday until 3 p.m., these weekends have been enriching marriages for over 40 years! To nights lodging, 5 meals and all supplies are included for a $100 registration fee.

2017 Northeast Weekends

March 24-26 at Toftrees Golf Resort Conference Center – a peaceful resort nestled in 1500 wooded acres in State College, PA. FULL – waiting list available.

April 28-30 in Lancaster, PA at the all newly-renovated Heritage Hotel Lancaster –  home of the unique tree-house-inspired restaurant, “Loxley’.” FULL – waiting list available.

September 15-17 at Spruce Lake Retreat Center, Canadensis, PA – a new hotel-style facility on Spruce Lake in the heart of the Pocono Mountains – an hour north of Allentown, PA.

October 6-8 at the Black Swan Inn in Lee, MA. – a hidden gem overlooking Laurel Lake and nestled in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains – an hour north of Hartford, CT.

Check it out at or contact Fred & Julie Schamber at 724-325-3166 or by e-mail


March 19, 2017

To continue on the journey of Strategic Planning and getting a read on the Overall Health and Vitality of our congregation, we have scheduled the following events:

History Event – Sunday, April 2 – 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

This is a fun event where the congregation explores the life and faith journey of their worshipping community. Discussion will include, “highs” and “lows” and how challenges were overcome. The event is not a chronicle, it is an opportunity to hear the personal stories and perspectives of current members and to connect the congregation’s ministry and mission with world and community events. Themes and patterns revealed during this event will be carried forward into later discussions.

Unpacking Your Purpose – Sunday, April 30 – 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

We will gather to “unpack” what our current Purpose Statement means to our ministries today; what it may mean in the future, and we’ll discuss how our Guiding Principles are utilized in decision making. Data collected using the Church Assessment Tool is introduced to help the congregation discern why or not the current mission/purpose statement is or is not working well.

Healthy Communication and Conflict Management Workshop – Wednesday, May 17 – 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

This workshop will help members identify unhealthy communication practices and become active listeners and learn strategies to transform conflict into safe and meaningful interactions.

Asset – Mapping and Connecting the Dots – Wednesday, June 7 – 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Volunteers will be gathering community listening data through surveys and interviews while engaged in the visioning process. That information will be collected and quantified over the course of the next few months. Once that listening phase is complete, the congregation gather to connect assets, resources and the priorities of the congregation with the issues, challenges, assets, resources, and needs of the community. The data from the CAT Vital Signs report is used to narrow down specific areas of focus. This is the final phase of the visioning process where he congregation will create 3-5 short and long-term goals based on the purpose statement and guiding principles and what they have heard during the community listening phase.

Articulating Strategic Directions for Mission – Summer/Fall 2017

Sub-teams will form around each of the goals to formulate specific action plans and time-lines using the SMART Goals Workbook. A final draft of the congregation’s vision and strategic directions for mission will be presented to the congregation and council for final discussion and implementation sometime in late summer/early fall.

January 23, 2017

Every Voice Matters

Starting January 30, everyone will have a chance to participate in an online survey that will help determine strengths, vitality and trends in our church. This anonymous survey will be invaluable in providing information to assist us in making decisions regarding the future of our congregation. Holy Cow! Consulting created the Church Assessment Tool (CAT) and will be working with a member of the New England Synod to help us administer the survey and process and interpret the results.

How is it administered?

Starting January 30 expect to receive an e-mail from with a link to the survey. Simply click on the link to launch the survey. This is your chance to have your voice heard. All answers are strictly anonymous, so feel free to candidly share your perceptions, opinions and experiences.

I don’t use e-mail

If you don’t use e-mail, we will have laptops available after church service to help you launch the survey, so you can share your beliefs. Members of the survey team will be available in the Gathering Space to answer any questions.

September 11, 2016 No comments exist

"Gods work. Our hands."

Saturday, October 1, 2016 and October 15, 2016

Friday & Saturday October  21 & 22, 2016

During the month of October, the Greater Hartford Conference of the New England Synod ELCA has various opportunities to celebrate who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) - one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor.

Together we Go to Love and Serve where God leads Us

A Mosaic locations in West Hartford is in need of some fresh paint and some yard work. Mosaic's mission is "Embracing God's call to serve in the world, Mosaic advocates for people with intellectual disabilities and provides opportunities for them to enjoy a full life."mosaic-logo The project will take place on Saturday, October 15, 2016  from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Sign-up for the day or choose the morning or afternoon.

On October 21 & 22, Thrivent Financial of South Windsor is sponsoring two Habitat for Humanities "Brush of Kindness" projects. Selected residences in Bloomfield will receive an outdoor facelift including yard work and small repairs or paint jobs.habitat-for-humanity

Duration for each day may vary depending on the tasks. Work will start at 9:30 am and go into the early afternoon. Sign-up for one day or be a real
hero and sign-up for both days! Lunched will be provided. For more information, contact Susan at

macc-charities"Mobilizing our community to break cycles of poverty."
Sign-up from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to help in the soup kitchen or work in the thrift shop sorting clothing and assisting customers from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Both venues are located at 466 Main Street in Manchester.


The CLCC Farmstead Village is an innovative response to the needs of adults with developmental disabilities.

creative-living-community-of-ctHelp is needed to organize the greenhouse for winter (cleaning & painting), to winterize the outside (place snow stakes & fill-in holes), and to build a new compost station.

The Tolland County Agricultural Center is located at 24 Hyde Ave, Vernon, CT.

Volunteer on Saturday, October 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A great opportunity for high school students!

Sign-up on (You do not have to create an account.)













August 29, 2016 No comments exist

For the seventh year, Camp Calumet has put together a team of runners who will participate in the annual Reach the Beach relay, set to take place September 15-17, 2016 in New Hampshire. The 200-mile relay begins in the White Mountains and finishes at Hampton Beach State Park. It will take 48 runners, 8 drivers, 4 New Hampshire congregations, legions of volunteers, a couple of handfuls of support staff, countless followers on Facebook, and one thousand donors.


They’re all running/working/sCalumet Reach the Beachupporting for one goal: To raise money for Calumet’s Annual Fund, which keeps the costs low for children who go to Calumet’s Resident Camp. Calumet expects to award some $70,000 this year in campership grants to families who need them, and that money also comes out of the Annual Fund.

You can help too! SHELC will be sponsoring Pastor Jeff Stalley, who will run in the race, and a free-will offering will be collected at our Rally Day Coffee Hour September 11, for Jeff’s efforts. Sam Chang, our Thrivent Representative, has offered matching funds, so please consider supporting the children of Calumet in this way.

Checks can be made out to SHELC with Calumet Reach the Beach in the memo line.

July 30, 2016 No comments exist

It’s time to make reservations for the Men’s and Women’s Weekends at Camp Calumet

This fall, Bishop Jim will be a guest speaker at the Men’s Weekend, Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 9.55.52 PMwhile former bishop, Margaret Payne, will be the chaplain for the Women’s Weekend. Both special guests will draw many people to these events, so consider making reservations as soon as possible. If you’ve never been to one of these weekends, ask Pastor Chris, Dave, or anyone who has attended for details (and pictures).

Men’s Weekend – OCTOBER 21 – 23, 2016 — “Wired Differently”

From Bishop Hazelwood: “Why do most spiritual disciplines not work for most men?  Because we are wired differently.  We tend to be task-oriented, purpose-driven, and seek measurable outcomes.  This weekend seeks to look at three areas where men can practice a male spirituality, centered around food, sex and sports.  Yes, you read it right.  We’ll discuss a male spirituality of the body, and you’ll depart with some new insights.”

Women’s Weekend – NOVEMBER 18 – 20, 2016 – “Cup of Life”

Awesome singing and music; inspirational devotions; a Bible study offered by the chaplain; exciting Sunday morning worship; free time in the afternoon for shopping, hiking, craft tours, Zumba, massage, relaxing; great food; fellowship; and nighttime entertainment with Judith Black, one of the nation’s foremost storytellers.

Contact Alice for reservation (603) 539-3223 ext. 220 or ALICE@CALUMET.ORG.

July 21, 2016 No comments exist

Uganda Fundraising Event

Saturday, July 23

Simsbury Methodist Church
799 Hopmeadow St, Simsbury

Stop in Anytime
6:30—8:30 pm

Make Your Own Ice Cream Sundaes!

Suggested donation: $6/person; $20 family max

To benefit the Volunteers in Mission Sep/ Oct 2016 Medical Trip to Uganda

Live Music

SUMC CAYA Worship Team

There will be an opportunity during this event to learn more
about our partner and host for the mission trip,
Guiding Light Orphans (GLO) in Avon, CT.


July 1, 2016 No comments exist

Get a Jumpstart on Christmas Shopping!

The Social Ministry Team is getting a head start on collecting items for Enfield Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen. These will be wrapped in December and be taken for the guests’ special Christmas celebration. Below is a list of suggested gifts.


Barber shops & hair salons                Drug stores

Grocery stores                                   Department/discount stores

Fast food restaurants                         Hardware/building supply stores

Shoe stores                                        Westfield Mall

Automotive/gas station                      Utilities


Stamps and stationary                      Fishing equipment

School supplies                                Perfumes/colognes

Educational toys or games               Men’s razors, shaving cream

Jewelry                                             Passes to local points of interest

Towel sets                                         Family participation games

Men’s socks                                     Watches/alarm clocks

Thermal underwear for men,women, children

Winter hats, scarves, mittens that you are knitting especially with yarn paid for by Thrivent!


More information on Enfield Loaves and Fishes may be found at or at the Gathering Space box.

May 26, 2016 No comments exist

Bicycle into health with friends from church on Rails To Trails for month of June. Friends will meet on Monday mornings 9:30 am and Wednesday evenings at 6:00 pm.  The ride will initially last for an hour and will increase as we build endurance.

Bike Ride_Shari & Susan







Meeting locations and times are listed below:

Monday            Wednesday               Location

June 6                June 8                        Church

June 13              June 15                      Church

June 20              June 22                      Rt 189 lot East Granby

June 27              June 29                      Rt 315/Hopmeadow St lot Simsbury

If you have questions contact Shari or Russ Rourke or post a message in the Contact Us page.