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

E-Tidings Weekly Newsletter

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Jazz Sunday

No Church School this Sunday

From Reverend Pat Kriss

…. And More Than Self Their Country loved and Mercy More Than Life

From “America the Beautiful”

We’re fast approaching Memorial Day, one of a handful of Federal holidays in America. What I find fascinating is what pops up when I simply Google “Memorial Day.” When I do, I learn about all the cool places to go on the weekend; I learn that this is the best time of the year to buy a mattress, along with every possible thing on sale, from Subarus to swordfish. I learn about parades and barbeques, but not as much as I’d like to see about the true meaning of Memorial Day – the honoring of those who have laid down their lives for their country.

Memorial Day

Of course we can make a very compelling case that the men and women who have died in the line of duty did so, just so we can have our parades and cookouts and retail therapy. They really did. But I hope that, amidst the celebrations we can reflect on what has been given up for this freedom, on the mercies that others have gifted us with, the family picnics they can no longer join in on because they left their lives on the field of sacrifice.

This Sunday’s gospel takes us to a place called the Bethesda Well in Jerusalem, It was a subterranean place of healing where, the people believed the invisible Angel of God would come and stir the waters, and the very next person to touch the waters would be healed. Jesus comes to this place and finds a paralyzed man who, he tells Jesus, for 38 years has tried to touch the stirred waters, but there has been no one to lower him on his bed to the pool, and the person ahead of him always took the healing. Jesus, in full violation of the Law prohibiting healing on the Sabbath, touches the man and makes him well. This is an act of mercy that supecedes any human law. We are called on to do likewise.

So on this weekend when, hopefully, we remember the mercies that our fallen men and women have given in our name, we not only remember them, but all others who may have returned from service, damaged from combat in body or in mind. Perhaps we can find a way to brighten their weekend.

 I keep in my heart this truth: "Ceremonies are important. But our gratitude has to be more than visits to the troops, and once-a-year Memorial Day ceremonies. We honor the dead best by treating the living well."

Join us this Sunday at 10 a.m. for jazz and songs that celebrate mercy in all its forms. --- Pastor Pat Kriss


From Jim Moriarty, Director of Music

“...that awkward moment when your cell phone going off full volume at a funeral. Even more awkward if your ringtone is ‘I will survive.’ – Unknown

Hope this quote puts a little smile on your face. And I am sure you have all been somewhere when a cell phone ringtone interrupted a quiet moment. It can be a very embarrassing moment. I have also had a couple of those moments during a service when I have accidently touched a key on the organ. Let me explain. At the end of a musical interlude I cancel all settings just to keep this from happening, but I also reset the organ stops within a minute or two of playing the next song. That is when it can happen – an incidental touch of the foot pedal or accidental touch of a key.

You will not need to worry about this happening this Sunday as it is Jazz Sunday and Doug Hartline and his ensemble will be leading the service in song.

Peace and Joy through music,  Jim Moriarty


“Faith and Foam” at Three Brothers Diner in Danbury, starting at 6 p.m. (242 White Street). If you haven’t heard of these kinds of meet-ups, they have become very popular for churches to run in communities all over the country. The intention behind the meet-ups is this: For many people because of work or other commitments, going to a house of worship on the weekend just doesn’t fit with the way their lives unfold. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a spiritual life, or, for that matter, that they don’t have questions or opinions they’d like to share about faith and religion. It’s the informal kind of discussion that lends itself to a brew or a drink among friends after work.


First Church Knitters Group We plan on meeting to knit and crochet at 5:30 p.m. 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 for more info.  Upcoming date- June 13.


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


Deer Hill Thrift Shop -- Closed Saturday, May 25.

Great merchandise, low prices, very friendly staff. Please consider volunteering – contact Pat Moriarty or Terry Hansen

Normally open on Fridays,  9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Saturdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.


Bible StudyIn 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!


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 on Tuesday, June 11 at 12:30 pm in the Parlor.  Please bring a dish to share and welcome in Summer!!

Flower Bouquet

E-Tidings Date: 
Friday, May 24, 2019

Sunday, May 16, 2019

This Sunday:  Annual Meeting

From Reverend Pat Kriss

"If you are a Christian, you are not a citizen of this world trying to get to heaven;
you are a citizen of heaven making your way through this world."  -- Vance Havner, 20th Century Evangelist

In this divided world, we too often hear the purveyors of “Fear Religion” as they try to scare people into believing the way they think and vote. They scold America: “If you don’t reject (insert name of group that they despise here -- e.g. gays, blacks, women in leadership, Muslims, Jews) you’re all going to hell. If you don’t deny them membership in Christianity, God is going to destroy America, and only WE will make it to heaven.”   Lines of scripture are just as capable of being twisted as a leather belt when it’s being fashioned into a way to bind people’s reason. Revelation, which actually is a writing not of destruction and fear, but of hope, is one of most frequently twisted for the purpose of scaring people into line.

Hopefully none of us will ever fall for this kind of “theology” based on FEAR. Our scripture readings this Sunday, including from Revelation, teach us otherwise -- that God’s relationship with us is steeped in LOVE, love for the incredible world God has created and which we “sing” about in Psalm 148. We, too are a part of that Divine creation, meant to spread God’s righteous love to all people and creatures as we move through this world. We are, indeed, citizens of a heaven we haven’t seen but can only dream of, as we work our way back to God. Unfortunately too many people associate religion with exclusion and hatred, instead of the way God’s love is manifested in the world. But that’s not how we think at First Church.

If you think religion is about fear, we are that DIFFERENT kind of Christian community that says our focus has us embracing everyone for exactly who they are at this moment in their journey. Our work is all about taking that welcoming message and spreading that vision of heaven on earth, to this often sad and depressed world, to show people that Jesus Christ indeed lives in all who practice what he preaches. Join us this Sunday when our new beginnings include a double Baptism of two lovely little girls, Elyanna and Sophia Pinto. I’ll be sharing that message of joyful love with you this Sunday -- Pastor Pat Kriss

 


 “Faith and Foam” at Three Brothers Diner in Danbury, starting at 6pm (242 White Street). If you haven’t heard of these kinds of meet-ups, they have become very popular for churches to run in communities all over the country. The intention behind the meet-ups is this: For many people because of work or other commitments, going to a house of worship on the weekend just doesn’t fit with the way their lives unfold. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a spiritual life, or, for that matter, that they don’t have questions or opinions they’d like to share about faith and religion. It’s the informal kind of discussion that lends itself to a brew or a drink among friends after work.


First Church Knitters Group We plan on meeting 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 for more info.  Upcoming date- June 13.


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


Deer Hill Thrift Shop 

Great merchandise, low prices, very friendly staff.

Please consider volunteering – contact Pat Moriarty or Terry Hansen

Fridays:  9:30 am – 2 pm; Saturdays 10 am – 2 pm.

 


Bible StudyIn 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!


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.

E-Tidings Date: 
Friday, May 17, 2019

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.

 

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