The March 2 Edition of the NH+ INDEPENDENT is now available for download from the link in our sidebar, or by clicking on the image below.
Posted on 03 March 2013.
The March 2 Edition of the NH+ INDEPENDENT is now available for download from the link in our sidebar, or by clicking on the image below.
Posted on 04 January 2013.
There’s long been a debate amongst beer drinkers, whether or not dark beer contains more calories than its lighter counterpart. There have been ad campaigns based on the subject, and breweries solely devoted to convincing you that their beer has the fewest calories on the market, but at what cost?
I’m here to let you know that a beer’s caloric footprint is not about the color of the brew, but more directly correlated to the amount of alcohol in the beer, its ABV (alcohol by volume). Perhaps, somewhere, some reader just dropped his Natural Light and gasped, but there’s no need for alarm. It is true that beers such as porters, IPAs and Scotch ales tend to contain more calories than lagers or pilsners, but there are exceptions. Let’s first take a look at four popular light beers on the market.
After ten minutes of exhaustive research, I collected this interesting data. Bear in mind that these figures are based on a 12 oz bottled beer. One of the lightest beers on the market is Michelob Ultra, containing 95 calories and an ABV of 4.1%. Not surprisingly, Miller Lite is a close second, with 96 calories and an ABV of 4.2%. When it comes to Budweiser and Bud Light there’s a fairly sizeable difference between the two: Bud Light contains 110 calories per bottle and is 4.2% ABV, whereas Budweiser contains 145 calories per bottle and is 5% ABV. With a difference of 35 calories per bottle, a few extra Buds will add up. Yet, you’d be hard pressed to find a full bodied ale comparable to those beers calorically. The only problem is you must sacrifice a beer’s strength, and in my drinking opinion, taste, to achieve that low of a calorie count.
Once I moved past the light beer and into the world of ale, the plot certainly thickened. Consider the Flying Dog Brewing Company, which produces a wheat beer they lovingly call In-Heat Wheat. This brew contains an ABV of 4.7% and only 138 calories. For a little less alcohol, In-Heat Wheat has 7 calories less than a Budweiser. If you’re not into wheaties, then perhaps New Belgium Fat Tire Ale will do the trick. Coming in at 160 calories and an ABV of 5.2%, this full figured pale ale is quite delicious and won’t knock you too far over a 2000 calorie diet. Fat Tire looks even better when you learn that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale contains 175 calories and isn’t much stronger.
Still, some beer-lovers need something even darker, which is where the ace up my sleeve comes into play, in the form of the old standby, Guinness Draught. This beloved Irish stout clocks in at 4.2% ABV and only 126 calories. Take that Buzz Lightbeer! If the pub session goes a bit longer than you thought, have a Guinness and don’t fret about what part of your body it’s going to add itself to later.
As I mentioned previously, a beer’s calorie count relies more on the ABV than on its hue, and some folks want a brew that packs a punch. So if you’re planning on having an Anchor Steam Porter (209 calories, 5.6% ABV) or a McEwan’s Scotch Ale (295 calories, 9.5% ABV), just keep in mind that you’ll be taking in a few more calories than your lower ABV friends.
In case you’re keeping score at home, I thought I’d also include the beer with one of the highest calorie counts on the market. Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine contains a meaty 330 calories per bottle and is over 11% ABV. A few bottles of this monster beer will definitely go to your hips, but I’m guessing if you’re out to drink barleywine, caloric intake is probably on the backburner of your mind. Slainte!
Chris Parrott has been brewing beer almost since he was legally able to. When he’s not writing about beer, Chris is serving it up at his family’s pub in the Ledgebrook Plaza just over the Barkhamsted line in Winsted. You may write to Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org and write “Brew” in the subject line.
This article first appeared in the December 29 edition of the NH+ INDEPENDENT, the weekly newspaper published by the NewHartfordPlus crew.
Posted on 24 December 2012.
While the NewHartfordPlus Crew is taking time to celebrate Christmas with our families, we want to share with you a 50-year-plus tradition at NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command): that of tracking Santa’s Christmas Eve flight. We hope you enjoy this wonderful reminder of the goodwill that makes Christmas such a special holiday for us all, Christians and non-Christians alike. “Merry Christmas!” and “Happy Holidays” to everyone who stops by NewHartfordPlus this Christmas, Maria and Bob Moore.
To follow Santa on his journey around the world, click the image below to visit the NORAD Santa Tracker site.
NORAD’s connection with Santa:
Why NORAD tracks Santa:
For more than 50 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s flight.
The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement for children to call Santa misprinted the telephone number. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations “hotline.” The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born. In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States created a bi-national air defense command for North America called the North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, which then took on the tradition of tracking Santa.
Since that time, NORAD men, women, family and friends have selflessly volunteered their time to personally respond to phone calls and emails from children all around the world. In addition, we now track Santa using the internet. Millions of people who want to know Santa’s whereabouts now visit the NORAD Tracks Santa website.
Finally, media from all over the world rely on NORAD as a trusted source to provide updates on Santa’s journey.
What Route Does Santa Take?
Santa usually starts at the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean and travels west. So, historically, Santa visits the South Pacific first, then New Zealand and Australia. After that, he shoots up to Japan, over to Asia, across to Africa, then onto Western Europe, Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central and South America. But keep in mind, Santa’s route can be affected by weather, so it’s really unpredictable. NORAD coordinates with Santa’s Elf launch staff to confirm his launch time, but from that point on, Santa calls the shots. NORAD just tracks him!
Does NORAD Have Statistics On Santa’s Sleigh?
NORAD can confirm that Santa’s sleigh is a versatile, all weather, multi-purpose, vertical short-take-off and landing vehicle. It is capable of traveling vast distances without refueling and is deployed, as far as we know, only on December 24th (and sometimes briefly for a test flight about a month before Christmas).
Posted on 22 December 2012.
Gary Pontelandolfo: NH+ INDEPENDENT
I had been feeling drawn to visit the town of Sandy Hook to pay my respects after last Friday’s events, but out of respect for the community and a desire not to be in the way or somehow add to the heavy burden people there are carrying, I had stayed away. But after talking with a friend who had made an unplanned stop there late Sunday evening as she drove past the town on her way back from New York, I was beginning to feel like it might be ok to visit myself. Arriving after the President had left town, one of the first people she met as she got out of her car was a woman offering her a brownie from a plate she was carrying. She felt welcomed by the people in town and was glad she had decided to stop.
So today I finally decided to drive down there myself and, after a late breakfast, I headed down Route 8 to Route 84 and on to Newtown. The village of Sandy Hook is about a half mile north of Route 84 and can be reached from either of two adjacent exits off the highway, the main roads from which meet in a T at the light in the middle of town. There was a bit of traffic when I arrived at about 1:30, but I didn’t have any trouble making my way to the center. I decided to pull into the driveway of St. John’s Church when traffic started to back up just as I got near the main intersection; I pulled around back and drove into the connected, nearly empty parking lot of a neighboring restaurant.
During the last half hour of my drive I had been listening to a radio interview with Newtown resident John Woodall, a psychiatrist who has had a great deal of experience working in communities around the world that have been affected by violent trauma. As radio host Colin McEnroe commented, it was as if he had spent his life training to help the people of his own town at this time.
One of the things Dr. Woodall talked about was the importance of reformulating grief into constructive pursuits that provide noble meaning, rather than stagnating in fear or anger. He has found that when presented with horrific circumstances, people time and again prove themselves to be wonderful, tender, loving, supportive, sacrificing, gracious and kind, and some of the most profound agents of change for better in the world are people who have suffered through unspeakable hardship. So with this conversation fresh in my mind, I made my way down the grassy hill from the parking lot to the heart of the village.
A State Police officer directed the slowly moving traffic at the light that was now set to blinking. The sound of the Pootatuck River could be heard in the background as it flowed over rounded rocks after passing under the bridge just west of the intersection. Hand-painted banners hung from buildings, and everywhere you looked, people had left teddy bears, candles, posters, photos, ornaments hanging from the branches of trees. The main sentiment expressed in these displays seemed to be one of compassion, support and solidarity in the midst of grief. Many local businesses had hung identical signs printed in green and white (the elementary school’s colors) that stated: “We Are Sandy Hook — We Choose Love.”
I walked up one side of Church Hill Road and, after passing the Methodist Church, turned around and started back down on the other side. People were continually arriving from all directions carrying stuffed animals, posters and other offerings for the growing memorials. As I stood on the sidewalk near the light, a car window rolled open and a woman asked if I would open her rear door and take the candle that was resting on the seat and add it to the shrine. She and her husband had driven up from Bridgeport and were obviously somewhat overcome by the scene they had come upon. We chatted for a few moments until traffic began to move, and as they left they thanked me for placing the candle for them. I felt honored, and approached a man on the other side of the street, asking if he had a light. As he handed me his lighter, he mentioned that his friends in Georgia were very interested in knowing how the people of Sandy Hook were doing. It turns out that he himself lives in Georgia; he is a trucker who was returning from a run to upstate New York. He said he had earlier collected fifteen or so stuffed animals from other drivers at a truck stop, and had dropped them off on his way north; he had parked his rig up the road now on his way back home.
At one point as I stood there in the center of the village, a school bus with the logo “Town of Newtown” approached and stopped right in front of me. I decided not to turn away and with respectful intention looked at the faces of what I would guess were middle school kids who were looking out. I can’t really describe the expression on their faces, but as the bus pulled away I wanted to cry. I imagine that there had been a conscious decision on the part of school administrators not to detour away from what I can only surmise was their normal daily route. My hope and belief is that though seeing the memorial must have made the loss the community had suffered even more poignant, witnessing the great outpouring of love and solidarity that was being expressed might be a comfort and provide some source of strength for them.
I spoke with a few local residents about how they were feeling about all the people who were streaming into their town (my guess is that the overwhelming majority of people who drove through and were walking around while I was there were visitors). A high school-age girl who had set up a card table on the sidewalk and was collecting donations for the families said that she really appreciated that so many people cared enough to come to their town, but that they weren’t used to this kind of activity in their normally quiet little village. The chief warden of St. John’s Church, who I met on my way back to my car and who lives just up the street, told me that it was very weird to see national news broadcasts from places like the footbridge over the river that he walks across every day. Last Friday, the first TV news he saw showed the reporter standing in front of Sandy Hook Firehouse, almost next door to his house. He said that although he sincerely appreciates the outpouring of support and understands people’s desire to come pay their respects, he is ready to have the crowds start to thin out so he can have his town back. It was now around 4:00 and traffic had backed up so far that he had parked his car up the road and walked to the church. He was there to gratefully gather packages that arrived daily with unsolicited donations of a variety of items that were being donated to his church and the wider community.
The church warden pointed out to me that there were even more memorials set up outside the firehouse just a short walk up Riverside Road. The road had been narrowed by orange plastic cones to create a walkway, and the road was closed to all but essential traffic. I walked up a small hill past Apex Glass on the right, which displayed a hand-written sign near the road that said: “We Love the Teachers and Children of Sandy Hook.” Across the street were the old, worn headstones in no-longer used Sandy Hook Cemetery (1813-1942). Then, as I came over the crest of the hill I saw and heard off to my right something that nearly took my breath away — there by the side of the building housing the Senior Center, Visiting Nurses Association and Children’s Adventure Center was a playground with yellow plastic slides and swings. The voices of young children at play rang out from the slight distance, while behind them, through a thin stand of trees, I could see the flashing red and blue lights of a police cruiser parked near Sandy Hook Elementary School. My guess is that these kids were perhaps five or six years old — and while I was happy to witness them exuberantly at play, I could only wonder how the parents of those who were so violently torn away last week would react when hearing such sounds.
When I got to the spot where the long driveway down to the school met Riverside Road, a group of official vehicles passed through. This was not by any means the first time I had witnessed such a procession while in town; in fact, I had seen police cruisers from all around the state. As I looked down the drive toward the school, I could see more than a few officers gathered in small groups. There was no temptation to venture down that way, and I am sure that anyone who did would be quietly yet firmly turned away. Appropriately, it seemed, the school building itself could not be seen from that vantage point, as it lies nestled behind a curve in the drive.
At the firehouse I spoke with Ken Carlson, a lifetime member of Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire and Rescue. When I offered that he must be tired and then began to apologize for such an understatement, he beat me to uttering the single word: “Exhausted.” He said he didn’t know where they were finding the energy to keep going, but of course they were. In reply to my question about how we in other towns could help, he suggested sending monetary donations directly to Sandy Hook Fire Department, 18 Riverside Road, Sandy Hook, CT 06482; you may include a note to indicate if you would like your donation to be passed on directly to affected families, or if you would like to support the volunteer fire company — whose members have been working so tirelessly and which has undoubtedly incurred extraordinary unanticipated expenses.
When I had made my way back to the center of the village, I decided to see if the restaurant I had parked behind might have coffee on. Although there were only a few more cars in the lot than when I had first arrived and no one could be seen through the windows of their dinig room, I spotted the flicker of a TV and found the take-out entrance unlocked. When I tried to pay the waitress for the coffee she had graciously poured me, the owner waved her off from behind her in the kitchen. A free cup of coffee — just another small kindness in an afternoon spent in the midst of kindness and compassion and, dare I say, profound Love.
Posted on 18 December 2012.
We received the following invitation from the Dae Yen Sa International Buddhist Temple to a special memorial ceremony on Wednesday, December 19 for those affected by the violence in Newtown:
Dae Yen Sa International Buddhist Temple and Meditation Center invites you and your loved ones to a special memorial ceremony to offer shared intentions of compassion and peace to all affected by the violence in Newtown. The ceremony will take place from 7-9 PM on Wednesday, December 19 at the temple, located at 19 Kinsey Road in New Hartford.
Please come to be present with your feelings and those of others. We will be creating space for universal wisdom and lovingkindness to touch and heal our hearts, and abide in the serenity of fellowship.
We look forward to sharing this special evening as family — sisters and brothers supporting and loving one another and all people and beings everywhere.
May you be peaceful, happy and well, free from harm and grief.
The Dae Yen Sa temple is located at 19 Kinsey Road in New Hartford. For more information please call the temple at 860-489-3254. Also check out the Dae Yen Sa Temple Facebook page.
Posted on 23 July 2012.
We received the following press release from Chabad Lubavitch in Litchfield:
As this year’s Israeli delegation prepares to head to London to compete in the 2012 Olympics, Chabad of Northwest CT will be remembering the courageous athletes from the ’72 Munich Games.
“The Olympics are a symbol of freedom and peace between nations” says Dan Alon, an Olympic Fencer from the ’72 Israeli delegation, who will be coming from Israel to address the Northwest CT community and sign his new book “Munich Memoirs” on August 12, 2012 at 10:00 am at Chabad Community Center, 7 Village Green Drive, Litchfield CT.
Alon, a survivor of the Munich Massacre, is featured in the documentary “The Eleventh Day: The Survivors of Munich ’72″.
Alon began fencing when he was only twelve years old and quickly made a name for himself, earning bragging rights as Israel’s Junior Champion, and following national service, Israel’s National Champion.
Born in Tel Aviv, Dan, like many other athletes today, had a singular dream – to participate in the Olympics.
Dan will speak about his own experiences at the Olympics, and recount the horrific events that occurred.
Weightlifters Moshe Weinstein and Joseph Romano, both whom Alon calls, “Tremendous human beings, and very dedicated athletes,” tried to fight off the terrorists, and as a result lost their lives.
In the world of sports, athletes relish the opportunity to represent their country at big sporting events such as the Olympics. But very few of them are faced with the life threatening situations that the Israeli delegation faced in Munich.
For the Israeli delegation, the Olympics wasn’t just a competition, it was a chance to show the world that the nation of Israel was thriving. They were the first Israeli team to compete since World War II and it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to show the world, that “We are here, and still alive!” Alon remembers how close he was to making it to the semifinals. He had defeated his opponent in the first four rounds of his fencing quarterfinal, and needed just one victory to advance.
“My opponent won a few points, and all of a sudden he had defeated me five games to four.”
Athletics competitions are decided by mere milliseconds of a difference. A few milliseconds was the difference that some of the Israeli Olympians had, to try and save their teammates.
Though the games continued after the terrible massacre, according to Alon, “some of the players from various countries decided that in light of what had happened, they would pack their bags and return home – for this I applaud them.”
For Alon, and other Israeli Olympians, one of the most important aspects of the Olympics is that they know the people of Israel will always be by their side. Some of the pain and suffering he felt returning to Israel after the massacre was alleviated when he stepped off the plane.
“When we landed at the airport, and I see these beautiful Israeli people, waiting for us – thousands of them, it was something I will never forget.”
Hear Dan Alon tell his story and sign his new book Munich Memoir. Following the lecture There will be a VIP lunch reception at a private Litchfield home (for Sponsors only).
The lecture and book signing will be held on Sunday August 12, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at Chabad, 7 Village Green Drive in Litchfield. The VIP Lunch will be held on Sunday August 12, 2012, at 12:00 p.m. in a private home in Litchfield. Reserve your seat at: www.chabadNW.org/munich or by calling 860-567-3609.
A GLANCE WITHIN highlights the news from our local spiritual communities whose good works and thoughtful events enrich the lives of everyone in our community: Good news indeed! Please send news of your spiritual community to email@example.com for inclusion in this section.
Posted on 01 July 2012.
By: Maria Moore
The good people of St. John’s looked out into the community and saw many in town volunteering their time to enrich all of our lives. They saw the countless hours donated by these community-minded residents whose efforts provide us with volunteer fire departments, a volunteer ambulance association, many sports activities and, of course, our town’s boards and commissions without whose efforts our form of government could not function. And so they decided to hold a ‘Community Thank You’ picnic to thank the town’s volunteers who give for the good of all.
Between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, June 10, the members of St. John’s cooked up hamburgers and hot dogs, served up delicious salads and desserts, and all the while, they visited with their guests and played games with the children. And in the background live musicians played for the pleasure of all.
All the volunteers who attended the picninc agreed: It was a very nice, neighborly time, one at which they were able to stop by, eat and visit, and then go on with their Sunday plans. While in the background, the good people of St. John’s, were working hard on that Sunday to make it all happen.
The NewHartfordPlus crew attended the ‘Community Thank You’ and they, too, enjoyed the food and camaraderie at the picnic. And for once, Maria left her camera in the car. Luckily for her, Rev. Salin Low was on duty on the photography front.
St. John’s Episcopal Church is located on the Green at Chapin Park in the Pine Meadow section of New Hartford. For more information about the church and the members’ various outreach programs please visit St. John’s website.
Many Thanks: To Rev. Salin Low for sharing her photos of the ‘Community Thank You’ with our readers.
Special Thanks: To Lucie and Lou Martocchio, members of St. John’s, for their hard work and hospitality which helped make the ‘Community Thank You’ picnic such a successful event.
A GLANCE WITHIN highlights the news from our local spiritual communities whose good works enrich the lives of everyone in our community: Good news indeed! Please send news of your spiritual community to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in this section.
Posted on 28 June 2012.
Temple Beth Israel in Winsted is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a Broadway music program. Following is a press release from the temple inviting everyone in the community to join in the celebration:
All are invited to Winsted’s Temple Beth Israel on Saturday, June 30, at 7 p.m. for a lively evening of Broadway music celebrating the temple’s century of service to the Jewish community of Winsted and neighboring towns. Featured will be Cantor Mark Perman of the Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation in Simsbury who will belt out familiar tunes and lead a musical adventure connecting both Jewish and theatrical music. Often accompanying himself on keyboard, Cantor Perman will also sing a cappella and invite audience participation. He first appeared on the Broadway stage at 8 years old, and this program has entertained audiences of all ages and persuasions.
The program is at Temple Beth Israel at 74 Park Place East in Winsted and will be followed by a dessert reception. There is a suggested donation of $5. Please join us for what promises to be a fun night of good music, conversation, and friendship.
For more information on the event contact Temple Beth Israel at 860-379-8923.
For more information on Cantor Perman go to www.mperman.com/bima-tobroadway.html. For a preview of the wonderful program scheduled at the temple tomorrow evening, listen to some of Cantor Perman’s recordings on the Music Samples section of his website. A personal favorite of the NewHartfordPlus crew is ‘We are loved by an unending love’ – just beautiful!
Temple Beth Israel was chartered on June 28, 1912, as the Winsted Hebrew Sick Benefit Society. The small group worshipped in a local meeting house and in town hall until 1925 when it purchased and renovated St. James Episcopal Church on Park Place, built in 1840. The 1955 flood destroyed the building. With only $165 in the treasury, dedicated congregants raised funds in small amounts and marshalled sweat equity so that in September 1957 the current building was erected on the original site.
A GLANCE WITHIN highlights news from our local spiritual communities whose good works enrich the lives of everyone in our community: Good news indeed! Please send news of your spiritual community to email@example.com for inclusion in this section.
Posted on 19 February 2012.
St. John’s Episcopal Church on the Pine Meadow Green is offering an innovative program, ‘Ashes To Go,’ to all passers-by this coming Wednesday, February 22. Following is information on that program.
On Wednesday, February 22, Ash Wednesday, St. John’s Episcopal Church will do something new – offer the imposition of ashes to those driving by the Pine Meadow Green on Route 44 in New Hartford. In order to make it easier for those who want to stop, the priest will be standing in front of the church during the morning (7:45 – 8:30 a.m.) and afternoon (4:30 -5:30 p.m.) commute times. She will say a short prayer and place ashes on the guest’s forehead in the shape of a cross, which will take only a few seconds. The recipient can then be on his or her way. This new effort will be in addition to the usual Ash Wednesday services at 7:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., which is for those with more time to worship.
The idea for Ashes to Go began in St. Louis in 2007 and spread to Chicago over the succeeding years. The impetus has been to take this meaningful practice into the world, reminding people that God meets us in the busy times and places of our lives. The ashes have most commonly been offered at train stations, the crossroads of our time.
The Rev. Salin Low, rector of St. John’s, saw an article about priests offering ashes at the train station in Stamford, Connecticut, and wondered how the service might be adapted to the New Hartford area. St. John’s is fortunate in being located on the Pine Meadow Green, which many cars pass going to and from work each day. The challenge is being visible without causing traffic problems. Ms. Low’s answer is to have a sign on the green with an arrow pointing to the church. She will stand in front of the church during the two time periods, ready to offer ashes to anyone who stops and requests them. Church membership is not a prerequsite. “We know that many people who have long commutes and busy lives cannot come to one of our two services on Ash Wednesday. We want them to know that we want to meet their spiritual needs on this and any day.”
For more information on St. John’s visit the church’s website.
To be included in A GLANCE WITHIN, send information about your community of faith’s activities to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on 27 November 2011.
By: Stephen Egbertson
He said to him the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.’
Gospel according to John 21:17
The North Congregational Church’s Community Garden was born out of discussions within the congregation about the use of our Parsonage. For many years the building had been used as a residence and as is the case with all homes, years of wear and tear had left their mark. Realizing that the cost of renovations, at this time, were beyond our resources, we began the process of discerning how to best use the property. An important factor in our decision-making was to be faithful to our mission of outreach in the community. The suggestion of planting and maintaining a community garden to provide fresh produce to the local food kitchens was born out of our desire to heed Jesus’ command to feed the hungry.
A committee was formed almost immediately and plans for the use of the land were underway. As soon as we were able to, soil samples were taken and sent to the lab for testing. Those involved in this mission project could be overheard at coffee hour on Sunday discussing the size of the garden and what vegetables should be planted. In late Spring an over-flowing pickup truck-load of horse manure, courtesy of Gary and Linda Navitsky‘s horse, Murray, was deposited on the 30 x 50 foot garden site. The land was tilled, what to plant had been decided, and we were all set to go.
Fortunately, the timing of our planting coincided with Northwestern Regional 7′s Vo-Ag annual plant sale. Our intention was to purchase some of the unsold plants at the end of their sale. When they learned that we were planting a community garden to serve the local food kitchens, they said we could have the whole lot at no charge. An unexpected blessing, this largesse amounted to over 70 tomato plants of varying types, as well as several cabbage, broccoli and pepper plants. With their help we were off to a great start. Donations of other plants came from Girl Scout Troop and church members. Finally we were ready to begin planting! Over the course of one afternoon in May, members of the church planted row after row of young plants. Several days later, seeds for carrots, lettuce, and spinach were sown. Within a few weeks other crops were planted, including leeks, squash, cucumbers, radishes, beans and several herbs.
With the coming of fall, the garden has now been ‘put to bed’ for the season. We picked a few green tomatoes before pulling the withering vines, in hopes they will ripen in the window. All of the dead plants and vines were turned over and covered with the fallen leaves, in preparation for next year’s tilling.
The Community Garden yielded over 150 pounds of fresh produce which was donated to the following local food agencies: The Open Door in Winsted, FISH of Torrington, and the Community Food Bank at Pleasant Valley Methodist Church.
Plans are already underway for next season’s garden, as we continue to heed the call to feed God’s sheep.
Photos show some of the garden produce from the Community Garden. Photos by Stephen Egbertson and Margret Hofmeister, Pastor of the Church.
Stephen Egbertson is a member of the North Congregational Church. The Church is located at 17 Church Street North, New Hartford. To learn more about the North Congregational Church, please visit the Church’s website or its Facebook page.
Posted on 13 November 2011.
Following is a press release we received regarding the generous donation made by the members of St. John’s Church in Pine Meadow to the newly-established “Neighbor to Neighbor” Fund:
Proceeds from a charity auction hosted by St. John’s Episcopal Church during September will provide $6,000 for emergency relief to New Hartford-area residents through the “Neighbor to Neighbor” initiative.
“Neighbor to Neighbor” is a community assistance fund developed to provide financial assistance for residents of New Hartford who may need some help. Several community agencies and local churches have come together to pool resources that can be used to provide temporary relief for those in need. Examples of assistance provided are payment of utility bills, payment for oil, or payment for medical expenses. Assistance is available once a year.
“These are challenging economic times for many people,” says The Rev. Salin Low, Rector of St. John’s. “We are pleased to be able to support this community initiative and are grateful to our members and friends whose generosity helped make it possible.”
Applications for financial assistance are taken by either Christine Hayward, Administrative Assistant to the First Selectman, or Jean Barnicoat, Senior Center Director, at New Hartford Town Hall. Donations may be made at New Hartford Town Hall, or at Northwest Community Bank.
Posted on 06 November 2011.
Rabbi Donna Berman, a resident of the Pine Meadow section of New Hartford, was recently named one of the ’12 Most Influential People’ by Hartford Magazine. Rabbi Berman is the Executive Director of the Charter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford. We are so pleased to share this recognition of the great work being done by one of our fellow residents.
“When I was asked to write about why Rabbi Donna Berman deserves to be named one of Hartford’s 12 most influential citizens, two words came quickly to mind – energy and clarity. Whether it be in the creation of the annual remembrance of Kristallnacht at Charter Oak Cultural Center (an event designed to help us keep sight of how fragile our individual freedoms and our sanity as a society are); or taking action to ensure that our homeless citizens have a channel for expressing themselves; or bringing life to Charter Oak’s incredible youth programming, Donna possesses a dogged and seemingly unending energy…”
Gregory Tate began his article on Rabbi Berman. Read the complete article on Hartford Magazine.com. Gregory Tate is co-founder, co-artistic director and production manager of the HartBeat Ensemble theater group, Hartford.
Charter Oak Cultural Center is Hartford’s only multi-cultural arts center, hosting cutting-edge, thought-provoking visual and performing arts, including dance, theater, film, concerts, readings, gallery exhibits and much more. The Center’s overall goal is to give access to the arts to all who hunger for them. To learn more about the Charter Oak Cultural Center and its community programs, please visit the Charter Oak Center website.
Posted on 23 October 2011.
The following press relese was sent to us by the North Congregational Church:
Local congregations of the United Church of Christ are joining together in a national program called “Mission: 1”. The program, focused on responding to increasing numbers of people struggling with food insecurity, plays on the number 1. For the United Church of Christ, which in this area includes many churches that are historically Congregational, “1” is the heart of the life of the church.
The United Church of Christ adopted the motto “That they may all be one” based on a prayer offered by Jesus (John 17:11). So, from Nov 1, 2011 (11/1/11) until November 11, 2011 (11/11/11) UCC churches around the country are working together to collect 1 million food items for local food banks, to raise $111,111 for a fund to address hunger and justice issues in the United States and another $111,111 to respond the famine in East Africa. They are also writing 11,111 letters to Congress in support of Bread for the World’s Offering of Letters campaign.
Youth from UCC churches in the area are coming together in a program called Giv2 to paint the Open Door Soup Kitchen in Winsted. Giv2 gathers youth every other month to take on a service project to help the community. The painting event will take place on November 6 hosted at the United Congregational Church in Torrington. Youth are expected from nine UCC churches in the area.
Many local churches have set their own goals to participate in the program:
With 50.2 million people currently food insecure in the United States and 925 million people suffering from chronic hunger worldwide, the need is great. UCC Churches around Connecticut and through the country are participating in a variety of ways to respond to the need.
For more information about the Mission 1 program please contact the Rev. Margret Hofmeister at the North Congregational Church in New Hartford by calling 860-379-2466.
Posted on 09 October 2011.
Some of the best food at this year’s New Hartford Day was that available at the Chabad Lubavitch stand. Making its appearance for the first time at our local community celebration, this stand drew the NHPlus’ crew attention not only for its fine ethnic food but also for the sound of the shofar which could be heard intermittently throughout the day. A conversation with Rabbi Joseph Eisenbach led to our inviting him to keep us informed of Chabad’s programs. The following are two press releases we have received to date.
Chabad of NW CT holds Northwest Connecticut’s only free prayer services and programs during the Jewish High Holidays in Litchfield, CT. “We welcome all, regardless of background or affiliation, to a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere,” said Rabbi Joseph I. Eisenbach.
This year the dates for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur were the following: Rosh Hashanah, Wednesday at sunset till Friday at sunset, Sept. 28-30, and Yom Kippur, Friday at sunset to Saturday at sunset, October 7. See a complete listing of Jewish holidays in 2011.
Chabad recognizes that not all understand and pray in Hebrew, so the prayer books (Siddurim) have both Hebrew and English. The prayers are led in Hebrew and English, with explanations, anecdotes, stories, humor and song to ensure an optimal spiritual experience.
There is a Chassidic proverb: “A small hole in the body is a big hole in the soul.” Chabad nourishes the body as well as the soul. Kiddush follows all Rosh Hashanah prayers, and a “Break-the-Fast” is served at the conclusion of Yom Kippur.
There is also a children’s program during all of the services, led by experienced young men and women, who ensure that children have an enjoyable and meaningful experience at the synagogue.
There are no membership fees or prior affiliation needed to attend prayer services. Hebrew-English prayer books are provided. Seats for the High Holidays celebrations may be reserved on the Chabad website or by calling 800-297-6864.
On Sunday September 25, 2011, Just in time for Rosh Hashanah, NW CT women & girls joined together for an afternoon of food, fun, and friendship. Participants were invited to bake a fresh Challah-bread for themselves, as well as an additional one for a friend who might need a “lift.” The women chose from a variety of recipes and made the dough from scratch. Then, they braided and shaped the Challah loaves. Finally, participants chose from a variety of toppings to garnish their bread.
Dubbed “Loves of Love,” the event was sponsored by The Chabad Woman’s circle and was held at the Chabad Lubavitch Community Center in Litchfield.
During the program, Chabad launched a new Challah Party Initiative. Quite simply, anyone who wishes to host a baking event just gathers their friends and Chabad will do the rest!
“Baking Challah is an age old tradition practiced by women all the way back to the Matriarch Sarah,” says Mina Eisenbach, director of The Woman’s Circle. “It is so beautiful to get together with women from the entire community to share this special tradition with others.”
“We are delighted to join in such a wonderful program that brings women together and allows us to give back to those in need,” says Sherri Biamonte from Litchfield CT.
The Woman’s Touch is a unique Jewish women’s league that hosts social and educational programs adding meaning and excitement to the many holidays and rituals.
Interested in hosting your own Challah baking party? You bring your friends and we do the rest! Or for more information about the next “Loaves of Love” please call Mina Eisenbach at 860-567-3609, or log on to www.ChabadNW.org/WOMEN
For more information about Chabad Lubavitch of NW Connecticut please visit www.chabadnw.org.
Posted on 26 September 2011.
Following are findings of a study released by Faith Communities of Today into the health of American congregations today:
Despite bursts of innovation, pockets of vitality and forays into greater civic participation, American congregations are less healthy today than 10 years ago.
Among the warning signs for congregations are drops in financial health, continuing high level of conflict, an aging membership, fewer people in the pews, and decreasing spiritual vitality.
Still, the decade saw increases in interfaith involvement, innovative worship, use of electronic technology and a greater variety of member-oriented and mission-oriented programs.
These are among the conclusions drawn from a major new Faith Communities Today 2010 survey of American congregations.
FACT has released a new report, titled “A Decade of Change in American Congregations, 2000 – 2010,” that explores the health of congregations and how their health has changed in the past 10 years; download a copy of the study.
The Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership (CCSP) conducted the FACT 2010 survey, and analyzed responses from 11,077 randomly sampled congregations of all faith traditions in the United States. The survey updates results from surveys taken in 2000, 2005, and 2008 and is the latest in CCSP’s series of trend-tracking national surveys of U.S. congregations. Overall, the FACT survey series includes responses from more than 28,000 congregations.
David A. Roozen, Director of the Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership and Professor of Religion and Society at Hartford Seminary, said that “This is a significant report that offers a quick, if not somewhat sobering, check-up for congregations and religious leaders who support congregations. It presents many of the most significant mechanisms that encourage vitality and growth, and also several of the most challenging circumstances that lead to decline.”
“Congregations are the organizational foundation of religion for their members and one of the strongest threads in the civic fabric of an American society that is, today, under stresses of historic proportions. Overall, this report says they continue to be key players in society, but they need to be more intentional in their worship and response to conflict, and open to technological innovation and the increasing diversity of American society,” Roozen said.
The report offers findings in these categories:
Innovative Worship: The surge in contemporary worship continued, to more than 40 percent of congregations that always or often use electric guitars or drums in their worship in 2010. Also, both innovative and contemporary worship are catalysts of spiritual vitality.
Religion Goes Electronic: A third of congregations reported that their use of modern technology grew more than 10 percent. The more a congregation uses technology, the more open it is to change.
Racial/Ethnic Congregations: There has been a dramatic increase in racial/ethnic congregations, many for immigrant groups. In 2010, three in ten congregations reported that more than 50 percent of their members were members of minority groups, up from two in ten in 2000. One clear impact of the increase in minority congregations is that they inject a strong dose of growth and vitality into American religious life.
“Congregation is More Than Worship”: Despite the overall erosion in congregational vitality and size from 2000 to 2010, there has been a slight increase in member-oriented and mission-oriented programming.
Financial Health: The number of congregations with excellent financial health declined from 31 percent in 2000 to 14 percent in 2010. Eighty percent of congregations reported that the recent recession negatively affected their finances.
Congregational Conflict: Almost two of every three congregations experienced conflict in 2010. In a third of the congregations, the conflict was serious enough that members left or withheld contributions, or a leader left. Conflict is corrosive – it leads to attendance decline and financial stress.
Demographic Details: The average percentage of participants over 65 has increased at the same time as the average percentage of 18-34 year olds has declined. Racial/ethnic congregations buck this trend, with significantly higher proportions of young adults among their participants than white congregations. Among historically white congregations, the membership of the typical Oldline Protestant congregation is much older than that of Evangelical Protestant congregations. For 75 percent of Oldline Protestant congregations, less than 10 percent are young adult. This aging of congregations is significant because as congregations age, their capacity for change erodes.
Interfaith Engagement: A little more than one in ten congregations surveyed in 2010 indicated they had shared worship across faith traditions in the past year, 13.9 percent in 2010 versus 6.8 percent in 2000. A special report on congregations’ interfaith engagement is available at www.faithcommunitiestoday.org.
The Electoral Process: There has been a reversal between Oldline and Evangelical Protestantism in political action, through voter registration or education programs, in the past decade. While the use of the political process declined from 2000 to 2010 among Oldline Protestant Congregations, to 11.9 percent, it surged among Evangelical Protestant congregations, to 25.8 percent. The Black church also continues to use the political process, with 55 percent saying they offer voter education or registration campaigns.
Church Attendance: The average weekend worship attendance at a typical congregation declined from 2000 to 2010. Median weekend worship attendance at the typical congregation dropped from 130 to 108 during the past decade. More than one in four American congregations had fewer than 50 in worship in 2010.
Spiritual Vitality: Fewer congregations report high spiritual vitality – from 42.8 percent in 2000 to 28.4 percent in 2010. This decline in spiritual vitality is true across the board – including denominational family, race and ethnicity, region and size. Among the trends that negatively impact spiritual vitality are decreasing financial health, shrinking worship attendance, aging membership and high levels of conflict. One unexpected finding is that spiritual vitality rises considerably higher at the liberal end of the theological continuum than the very conservative end.
In conclusion, Roozen said, “Despite bursts of innovation, pockets of vitality and interesting forays into greater civic participation, American congregations enter the second decade of the twenty-first century a bit less healthy than at the turn of the century.”
Links to view the report and related material are available on the Faith Communities Today website.
Faith Communities Today surveys and publications are products of the Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership, a collaborative, multifaith coalition of American faith communities affiliated with Hartford Seminary’s Hartford Institute for Religion Research.
FACT/CCSP offers research-based resources for congregational development that are useful across faith traditions, believing that all communities of faith encounter common issues and benefit from one another’s experiences. It also informs the public about the contributions of congregations to American society and about the changes affecting and emanating from one of America’s major sources of voluntary association – local congregations. For more information on CCSP, visit www.faithcommunitiestoday.org.
About Hartford Seminary and the Hartford Institute for Religion Research: Hartford Seminary focuses on interfaith relations, congregational studies and faith in practice. The Hartford Institute for Religion Research has a 30-year record of rigorous, policy-relevant research, anticipation of emerging issues and commitment to the creative dissemination of learning.
Many Thanks to Tracy Simmons of Creedible who brought this study to our attention in her article Congregations Shrinking.
Posted on 10 July 2011.
This past winter a gentleman in town emailed us to suggest that we include Sunday sermons delivered by local ministers on NewHartfordPlus. We’ve ruminated long and hard on his suggestion and ‘A GLANCE WITHIN’ is the result: a journey into the spiritual side of life, along the many paths laid out by the diverse religions practiced in our community; Sunday sermons will also be included.
Tracy Simmons of Creedible.com writes:
I got a catalog in the mail last week that in big, black letters across the top read, “Pastor Alert! 59% of Americans and 40% of Born Again Christians Believe that Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God!”
I first read that statistic in April when The Barna Group released its study on universalism and pluralism. I thought this was good news, but apparently the big dogs in the evangelical world don’t agree…
It’s this I’m right-you’re wrong theology that keeps God’s children divided. Pluralism is a beautiful thing that more people should embrace…
Read Tracy Simmons’ ct@Prayer article on Creedible.com.
Note: Tracy Simmons recently posted on her website Creedible.com that she has accepted a reporting position “with a real paycheck” in Washington State where she will be starting a website similar to Creedible.com. Tracy plans to keep the Connecticut site going. Our very best to a Tracy in her future endeavors!
Alyssa Shapiro of CTWatchdog.com takes a look at what Yoga is:
The word is out: yoga feels good. 15 million Americans are now posing, double the number of just 5 years ago. In the face of all the bad news we get, this is good news. People in record numbers are stretching, and focusing on their breathing. They leave class relaxed, with raised endorphins and a sense a well being. Asana has become a household word.
Yoga is no fad; the 5000 year old practice predates Hinduism. Although it is mistaken for Buddhism, it is not a religion. Yoga has found resurgence and mainstream popularity. All are welcome from infancy through senior years. Yoga classes are easily accessible at studios, gyms, YMCA, and on cruises…
Read Alyssa Shapiro’s WhatItIs article on CTWatchdog.com.
The Dae Yen Sa International Buddhist Templein New Hartford is announcing a new study course, ‘Finding Buddhism: From Scripture to No Doctrine’ beginning this Wednesday, July 13. Following is a description of the course:
Buddhism has so many schools and traditions it may be challenging for self-learners to feel totally comfortable identifying with any particular kind of Buddhism – so challenging that many undestandably hesitate to identify themselves as “Buddhists.” We might feel more comfortable viewing ourselves more openly as “spiritual beings” or “seekers of truth and wisdom.”
Labels aren’t for everyone of course, and even the Buddha didn’t call his followers anything that could be translated as “Buddhists.”…
Download the course description and the syllabus for this new offering by the Dae Yen Sa Temple: Finding One Buddhism: From Scripture To No Doctrine (69)
The above study course offered by Dae Yen Sa takes place on Wednesday evenings from 7 p.m. through 9 p.m. and includes meditation, shared reading, dharma talk, discussion, tea ceremony and a fruit party social. This course runs from July 13 through December 28, 2011. There are no attendance expectations; Please come whenever you can!
Dharma study is tuition-free! Sangha members are instead suggested to practice the paramita of [reciprocal] generosity,donating commensurate to the benefits of participating and their financial ability.
For more information on the Dae Yen Sa International Buddhist Temple, located at 19 Kinsey Road, New Hartford, please visit daeyensa.blogspot.com.
Add your voice to this column: Please let us know what you would like us to include in A GLANCE WITHIN, email us at email@example.com or call us at 860-309-7526. Pax vobiscum, the NewHartfordPlus crew.
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