UCC Symbol South Congregational Church, UCC
1301 Forbes Street, East Hartford, CT 06118
860-568-5150
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What’s it Like to Worship at South Church?



It’s pretty hard to get into the building on a Sunday morning without being greeted by a welcoming face and warm handclasp. And taking a seat in the sanctuary may seem a little like “old home week;” for the friendly conversation definitely sets a tone for the informal family style of service to follow. Volunteers serve as liturgists, young people as acolytes, and a nursery is available for all who need it.

Right away you’ll notice the stained glass windows up front, designed and created by our own members. In many ways, they tell the story of South Church through their composition and history. On most Sundays, the brilliant morning sun cascades through the glorious rainbow of color and on through the huge, open-faced cross, itself built by two young church members in 1977, our 100th anniversary year.

Music has become an integral part of South Church life. Honed by the over 30 years of musical leadership of the late Don Hallquist, it continues with the fine craftsmanship of current director Carol Hoyt. On any given Sunday, an ever growing Senior Choir may be joined by one of two youth choirs or, occasionally, by the family-oriented “Joyringers” (whose makeup often includes three generations!) performing with musical chimes. Individual instrumental soloists, an occasional dancer, or a newly formed little ones’ bell-choir may enhance our service from time to time.

A children’s moment led imaginatively by Christian Ed Director Debbi Grote bespeaks the healthy future of our church. Bunches of little kids gather eagerly with Debbi on the steps and listen (frequently vying for the mike) to her lesson. Church school classes follow for children from 3 years old through 8th grade.

Pastor Al Turner, in his ninth year of leadership at the helm of South Church, continues the warm, caring ministry which has been one of our hallmarks. His own 30-year background in both Engineering and Human Resources activity at UTC's Pratt & Whitney and Hamilton Standard prior to entering the ministry gives him a unique perspective on the challenges faced by his Congregation in their everyday lives. In his preaching, Pastor Al usually follows the Revised Common Lectionary which is used by a number of Protestant denominations, including the UCC, and is able to bring his message to life by a thoughtful intermixture of gospel and real life experience.

A fellowship time follows the service. Hosted by a different church family each week, members find it a helpful and fun time to share news of the week’s happenings.

Oh yes, we’re handicapped accessible and offer large print bulletins as well as hearing enhanced devices!