Current News

Step Up Step Out has recently had to say goodbye to two of our founding Planning Team members, Andrea Livingstone and Ann Colloton. Sadly, Andrea died on June 21 and Ann will be moving out of state. We will miss their dedication and energy, and will always remember their commitment to ending violence in Hartford and our nation.

SUSO’s Faith and Justice Summer Film Series concluded on July 12 with Spilled Milk, a documentary made to raise awareness about Sickle Cell blood disease, which affects predominantly African Americans. The movie was hosted by Beverly Matthews, a friend of the filmmaker. Marie Spivey’s daughter, Leslie Bell, who works with sickle cell patients, facilitated the discussion afterwards.

Each of this summer’s films was appreciated by all who attended, as we explored some difficult justice issues. We gained insight and knowledge, compassion and inspiration. Contact Nancy Kirchmyer at if you were unable to attend but would like to access this year’s films (Unlearning, Under the Gun, 13th, and Spilled Milk) at home.

Giving back: Mothers United Against Violence (MUAV) Events:
SUSO members supported MUAV’s Day of Healing on June 24 at the St. Francis Medical Center on Blue Hills Avenue. Families who have lost loved ones were invited for a time of prayer, conversation, healing circles and community building activities.

Karen Dibala, a Sandy Hook Promise leader, conducted a training, “Start With Hello,” for our youngest members, ages 5-11. The children were engaged in learning activities that can help reduce the social isolation which might lead to violence, bullying and depression. 

On June 25, SUSO helped at MUAV’s Annual Day of Remembrance ceremony and neighborhood BBQ in Sigourney Park, providing cake and helping to serve food. Police attended to show their support for the work of this vital grass roots organization. SUSO remains strongly committed to supporting MUAV’s work as well, by attending vigils and marches, and by partnering with them to make and sell necklaces to support their work in the community. 

Looking Ahead to the Fall
September: Join us for a time of conversation about our hopes and dreams for SUSO’s future in the life of AHCC. Please come to share your feelings and ideas about the activities and the direction you would like to see us pursue. (Date: TBD)

October: As a follow up to the discussions with Wally Lamb and Rev. Gordon Bates, we will sponsor a speaker from Community Partners in Action who can help our congregation find specific ways to help former prisoners reintegrate into society after their release from prison. (Date: TBD)

Book Discussion: Copies of Gundamentalism, and Where It is Taking America by James Atwood, who spoke at AHCC last fall, are available in the church office. The book addresses the faith community’s fight for two constitutional rights: to keep and bear arms, and to live in domestic tranquility, free from gun violence. A book discussion will take place in the fall.