First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone:(203) 744-6177

E-Tidings Weekly Newsletter

This Sunday -- May 27, 2018 -- Trinity Sunday

Please Note:  Church School and Choir Sunday will be June 10th,

due to a change in scheduling. 

 

From Reverend Pat Kriss

It’s probably happened to most of us at one time or another: that moment when, without warning, we have the sense of God “breaking into” our everyday routine. It’s the moment when a Truth with a capitol “T” enters our lives, when there is a palpable sense of the enormity of God’s message. On this weekend as we observe Memorial Day, I think about a particular experience in 2012, when I had arranged for 6,500 flags that were part of the Field of Flags exhibit, to be delivered to the church I served in North Adams, Massachusetts. Each of those flags represented a soldier or peacekeeper who had lost their lives in Afghanistan or Iraq. The flags had to be placed in the ground in neat rows, across our church lawn.

Like many other things that happen in churches, we tend to embrace projects but then neglect to sign up to make them happen. I had for weeks talked about the project, and while everyone was enthusiastic, only a few people registered on the sign-up sheet. But nowhere the number needed to install 6,500 flags. I prayed about it, but I also worried. Then came the morning the flags were delivered, at 7 AM sharp. Within a short time, some volunteers showed up. And then more…. and then a group of school children. Pretty soon there were people pulling over in their cars to our little corner on Main Street, and getting out to help. As noontime rolled around, the people who came daily to receive a free, sit-down lunch at the Berkshire Food Project in our church kitchen saw all of us, and joined in. Gulf War vets in motorized scooters for whom any movement was painful, were bending over to plant flags in the ground. The volunteer base now included more than church members. It also embraced total strangers and those whose handicaps and addictions did not slow them down in making sure we completed The Field of Flags. The whole thing was installed, complete, by 1 PM.

Although my earlier prayers had been answered, I then began to worry. How will we protect this precious tribute to those who had been lost, from any vandalism? I prayed to God. “I need an angel. Right now, on Main Street!” The next morning as I came up the sidewalk into the church, a slightly nervous man limped up to me. “Hey, Pastor. I just wanted to let you know that my girlfriend and me live in that apartment right across the street. We can see all the flags from our place, and we’re going to keep watch over it from now on.” I recognized him as one of our lunch diners, who explained that he was an Iraq vet, wounded in body by an IUD, and in spirit by his PTSD. His role as guardian angel gave him new purpose.

God shows up when we least expect it, sometimes grabbing us by the lapels, saying, “I’ve got this. Trust and be amazed.” On this Memorial Day, I’d like to remind us all of that, and add that, in the month that those 6,500 flags were on the church lawn, not one flag was lost. Trust, and know that I am God.” – Pastor Pat Kriss

 

An update from Pastor Pat on the Shared Ministry vote last Sunday: I want to thank all of you who attended our Annual Meeting, shared your thoughts and ideas, and voted in favor of authorizing our Church Council to proceed on details of pursuing a shared ministry with Ridgebury Congregational Church. As I mentioned in the session, Ridgebury was meeting at the same time, and had expressed some concerns about how it would work out. I received a call from their moderator later that afternoon, telling me that that theirs had been a very long meeting, but in the end, out of concern about having supply ministers and also about “preserving the integrity of our church.” They voted not to proceed. While it was a nearly two year effort to bring about a new way of working together, I am grateful to our church members for their willingness to cooperate and think outside the box. This will serve First Church well as we now explore other paths to a stronger future. As I said in our E Tidings, “Trust and know that I am God.”

 

From Jim Moriarty, Director of Music

Congratulations to the Community Children’s Chorus, directed by Patricia Moriarty, for their fine performance last Sunday afternoon. The various soloists in the beginning and throughout the concert intrigued the audience throughout the concert. The chorus composed of 23 children sang to an appreciative audience of over 60 people! 

“Blended” is the word I heard on TV Saturday morning by one of the commentators who was covering the Royal Wedding. It was used to describe the participants and music of the service. The Kingdom Gospel Choir led by Karen Gibson sang an early 1960’s pop song titled “Stand by Me” made famous by Ben E. King, while a string ensemble, the church choir made up of men and boys, and along with the majestic pipe organ maintained tradition.

I posted in a recent E-Tidings explaining that at First Church, I have put a lot of thought into creating a “blend” of music each Sunday while continuing to focus on the theme of the Sermon.  Incorporated in that planning is of course our Jazz Sundays.

Peace and Joy with a blend of music.

Jim Moriarty

 

New!   First Church Knitters Group.  We plan on meeting June 18 to knit and crochet at 5:30 pm in the Parlor.  Everyone is welcome. Seasoned knitters and crocheters as well as people who want to learn to knit or crochet. Fellowship and friends meet to relax...call Heidi at 204 798 0476 or 203 826 6827 to RSVP. Thanks for your interest!

 

Youth Group:  Our newly formed Youth Group has decided to meet every other Tuesday at   6 pm on the 3rd floor.   See Pastor Pat or Jay Duhamel for more info.

 

Deer Hill Thrift Shop

Great merchandise, low prices, very friendly staff.

Volunteers urgently needed, especially on Saturdays.  Please call the church office if you can help. Hours:  Friday and Saturday, 9:30 am – 2 pm.

 

Bible Study - Our next session will be on Monday, June 4 at 5:30 PM in the parlor off Annie Hall with food available, too. Even if you did not come before, please come and join us (call the church office before the next session so you can be sent the bible passage for that week).  Open to all!

 

Join the Choir!  Singers are always welcome to join the choir - see Jim Moriarty after worship

 

To submit article ideas for the website or Facebook, contact Greg Pings: greg_pings@hotmail.com.

 

Help is needed for Coffee Hour - Everything is provided, however, if you would like to bring your own treats, we’re happy to reimburse you for what you spend.  Please contact the church office if you can help.  Thank you.  (203-744-6177)

 

The Scholarship Committee invites all members of First Church entering into college, technical school or community college after high school to apply for a Scholarship grant.  These funds are made available through the generous contributions of former and present members of our church.  All who are interested in receiving a scholarship grant must fill out an application form obtained from the church office (or can be emailed to you).  Students are eligible for a grant for a 2-year period.  Grants are awarded on an as needed basis.  The deadline is May 31st.    A high school transcript may be presented with the application.  Completed applications may be faxed to the church at 203-744-4683.

 

Our June Fellowship Luncheon is Tuesday, June 12th at 12:30 pm in Annie Hall.  Please bring a dish to share!  All Welcome!

E-Tidings Date: 
Thursday, May 24, 2018

This Sunday -- May 20, 2018

Giant Bag Sale - May 18 & 19 in the Gym  – 9:30 am - 2 pm  – $5/Bag

 

This Sunday:  Jazz Sunday – Annual Meeting

3pm Children’s Community Chorus Concert

 

Our prayers go out to all the people and communities affected by this week’s violent storm and to Valley Presbyterian Church in Brookfield that sustained significant damage and will close for the immediate future.

 

From Reverend Pat Kriss

This Sunday is not only Pentecost Sunday. It is special in many ways. Our Annual Meeting that will take place after Services on Sunday will afford our congregation the opportunity to be updated on our effort to pursue a shared ministry with Ridgebury Congregational Church, and to ask questions and offer thoughts on this important topic. Also on Sunday we will be welcoming into the Church family little Gabriel Lavoie, infant son of Hana Bowman and Shawn Lavoie, Gabriel will be five months old on Monday.

But Sunday is Pentecost Sunday – what is considered the Birthday of the Christian Church, and a time that we ask God to renew the gift of Wisdom conferred as it was on the first believers, again onto us.  We ask that we might be filled with new energy for the tasks at hand or, as the late theologian Howard Thurman reminded us,  "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

See you all Sunday, --- Pastor Pat Kriss

 

“Clearly” a Special Chance on Pentecost Sunday: Jan Hamlin has received the donation of a beautiful Waterford Crystal vase. Online a similar one is valued at around $250. So the Thrift Shop will make the Waterford vase available to us to bid on in a silent auction on Sunday, before our Annual Meeting begins. Can’t you see this beautiful vase at your house, full of May Flowers?

 

From Jim Moriarty, Director of Music

This Sunday we welcome Doug Hartline’s group for Jazz Sunday. Their music is the light side of Jazz and a mild side of country. If you have never heard them, plan on coming by for this unique upbeat service.

If you love the sound of children’s voices, like most do, then plan on attending the Community Children’s Chorus concert this Sunday in our sanctuary beginning at 3pm. The musical selections are variety of Broadway tunes! What better songs are there?

A big thank you goes out to our Soprano soloist, Cheryl Hill, for her wonderful Mother’s Day solo tribute of the well-known song, “You Raise Me Up”, made popular by Josh Groban.

Our Memorial Day weekend service will again feature a soloist.

Peace and Joy through music,

Jim

 

New!   First Church Knitters Group forming.  We plan on meeting May 21st to knit and crochet at 5:30 pm.  Everyone is welcome. Seasoned knitters and crocheters as well as people who want to learn to knit or crochet. First meeting May 21st at 5:30 pm at church in the parlour. Fellowship and friends meet to relax...call Heidi at 204 798 0476 or 203 826 6827 to RSVP. Thanks for your interest!

Youth Group:  Our newly formed Youth Group has decided to meet every other Tuesday at   6 pm on the 3rd floor.   See Pastor Pat or Jay Duhamel for more info.

 

Deer Hill Thrift Shop

Great merchandise, low prices, very friendly staff.

Volunteers urgently needed, especially on Saturdays.  Please call the church office if you can help. Hours:  Friday and Saturday, 9:30 am – 2 pm.

Giant Bag Sale - May 18 & 19 in the Gym  – 9:30 am - 2 pm  – $5/Bag

 

Bible Study - Our next session will be on Monday, June 4 at 5:30 PM in the parlor off Annie Hall with food available, too. Even if you did not come before, please come and join us (call the church office before the next session so you can be sent the bible passage for that week).  Open to all!

Join the Choir!  Singers are always welcome to join the choir - see Jim Moriarty after worship

To submit article ideas for the website or Facebook, contact Greg Pings: greg_pings@hotmail.com.

Help is needed for Coffee Hour - Everything is provided, however, if you would like to bring your own treats, we’re happy to reimburse you for what you spend.  Please contact the church office if you can help.  Thank you.  (203-744-6177)

The Scholarship Committee invites all members of First Church entering into college, technical school or community college after high school to apply for a Scholarship grant.  These funds are made available through the generous contributions of former and present members of our church.  All who are interested in receiving a scholarship grant must fill out an application form obtained from the church office (or can be emailed to you).  Students are eligible for a grant for a 2-year period.  Grants are awarded on an as needed basis.  The deadline is May 31st.    A high school transcript may be presented with the application.  Completed applications may be faxed to the church at 203-744-4683.

 

Children’s Community Chorus ♪

Spring Concert

Sunday, May 20, 2018

3 pm

in the Sanctuary

Reception Follows

Plan to attend this great event and

support Pat Moriarty and these talented young people!

E-Tidings Date: 
Thursday, May 17, 2018

Information

First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Est. 1696

Phone: (203) 744-6177
Email: fcdanbury@att.net

Office Hours:
Monday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tuesday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Thrift Shop Hours:
Friday 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Saturday 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Sunday Worship:
Sunday    10 a.m.–11 a.m.

 

Tweets!