Silver Lake Conference Center
Silver Lake Camp and Conference Center is the Outdoor Ministry of the Connecticut Conference of the UCC. Silver Lake hosts the outdoor ministry and educational programs of the United Church of Christ as well as other church, civic and educational non-profit groups. Silver Lake is a year-round camp and conference center in Sharon, Connecticut. This beautiful site includes 65 wooded acres in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains, and offers cabins, winterized retreat buildings, and outdoor recreation areas for guest use.
Silver Lake is a multi-use facility offering a variety of settings for programs and activities. The site includes play and sports fields, waterfront access to Mudge Pond with canoeing and kayaking, and a floating dock for swimming. There are hiking trails, outdoor chapel/meditation spaces, multiple campfire areas, basketball and volleyball courts and many trails and secluded quiet places where you can enjoy this beautiful piece of God’s Creation. The site boasts an educational diversified organic garden and many examples of resource-efficiency in action, from diversion of food waste from landfills to our on-site compost system, to our careful attention to water and electricity use in buildings, and our efforts to reduce our use of fossil fuels (e.g., woodstoves), among others. Silver Lake was the first in the CTUCC to receive a Level 3 Green Church Award from the CTUCC Environmental Ministries Team.
Silver Lake has a long history of fostering environmental awareness and cultivating stewards of God’s Creation, as part of our charge for all to “love God, love your neighbor, and love yourself.” The Environmental Justice Center at Silver Lake is funded through a covenanted agreement between the Connecticut Conference of the UCC, UCC Justice and Witness Ministries, the Massachusetts Conference of the UCC and Silver Lake Conference Center. The Environmental Justice Center at SLCC is a multi-faceted program aimed at creating, supporting and promoting sustainable and resilient lifestyles. The mission of the Environmental Justice Center is to provide transformative, justice-centered approaches to climate change and environmental equity in a way that empowers individuals and communities to be bold witnesses and leaders. The EJ Center programs focus on education and advocacy at local, regional and national levels, as well as modeling of environmental stewardship here at Silver Lake.
Some of the program initiatives of the Environmental Justice Center at Silver Lake include the annual Environmental Justice for All! Retreat for Youth of Color (which is based on the UCC Environmental Justice “Train the Trainer” workshop), Creation Care workshops to campers and retreat participants (including Confirmation Retreats), and advocacy work in collaboration with individuals and groups already established and partnered within the UCC.