Faith Congregational Church of Hartford

Faith Congregational Church of Hartford

Photo Journey Through 2020 with Faith Congregational Church of Hartford

Interview with Joelle Murchison of Faith Congregational Church of Hartford

Over the last 18 months or so, our nation has faced two pandemics—the health pandemic of COVID 19 and the pandemic of continuous Racial Injustice.   As you think about these two pandemics,  

How did they impact your mission and ministry activities? 

I attend Faith Congregational in Hartford.  I have four children and my mother is also a member.  We had an active life at the church; served in the choir, Girl Scout troop, and were past moderators. Our past Settled Pastor retired a month before COVID-19.  In Nov. of 2020, Cleo Graham was called.  We worshipped with Emmanuel Church for the first 8 months, where we shared a joint Youth Group.  Most notably, confirmation class during COVID was different. We also had walk-through Communion a few times.  There were a lot of transitions in the personal family, and it was hard not having church. 

How did your church continue to be engaged in innovative, creative and unfamiliar ways during the COVID-19 shutdown?

I was involved in United Black Christians movement as a teenager.  I’ve always known the church to be active in systemic racism.  Social Justice action has always been a part of the movement as well.  When George Flloyd was murdered, the church was not yet outside.  We were online but started to offer Drive-by Communion services and had a few walk-throughs in the Sanctuary.  We also hosted joint services around Amistad.  We received the Faith in our Future Together grant, which is helping to get the building up and running with A/V.   

What were the low points, failures, or frustrations?

The building is older and in need of repair.  Much work needs to be done in order to get the church up and leverage the building for the wider community and expand some of the ministries we have in the community. There is a yearning to be in community for everyone, and especially the elderly. We had a Zoom-bomber on one Sunday. We lost a member of the church during COVID.  He sang in the choir.  That was a very sad and very hard death to embrace because we couldn’t pastor to him in his final days. 

What were the high points and successes?

When we were able to establish our own Zoom service.  After service, folks stayed on for half an hour or more for fellowship.   

What lessons, learnings or changes will your congregation carry into the future?

I'm looking forward to us becoming more technology savvy and getting better video cameras.  The option of online worship will always be available and we want to make sure we are present on social media as well.  We also need to educate members regarding technology and the convenience of it.  We will continue finding ways of being the church together in different affinity groups and subsets on Zoom throughout the week. 

Video Interview with Joelle Murchison of Faith Congregational Church of Hartford

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1 Badger Road
Framingham, MA 01702

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Hartford, CT 06105

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