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

E-Tidings Weekly Newsletter

Sunday, July 14, 2019

From Reverend Pat KrissSunrise

“Today we know that World War II began not in 1939 or 1941 but in the 1920's and 1930's when those who should have known better persuaded themselves that they were not their brother's keeper.”   --- Hubert H. Humphrey, 20th Century Statesman

There’s no doubt about it. We live in a high anxiety time. People who once could carry on a civil conversation with someone they might not agree with find themselves not only skeptical about the stranger, but fearful and disrespectful as well, for no other reason than that person is “not part of their tribe.” There are conversations about who are the monsters under our bed. In fact, WE are the Monsters, if indeed we pander to fear and suspicion of people we’ve never met.

This Sunday we encounter a passage in the Gospel so profoundly intended for our own times that we ought not look away, but listen, carefully. The Parable of the Good Samaritan is intended to break down those walls we create between ourselves and the people we meet. More than that, this story told by Jesus to an attorney trying to trip him up INSISTS that we are not only brother and sister, but we are responsible for that other person we meet when they are in distress. No exceptions.

You can’t work your way around this story. Its message lies at the heart of what it means to follow Jesus. And if you can’t embrace its message of compassion that trumps personal convenience, I’d suggest that you ought to be thinking twice before you call yourself a perfect Christian.

This Sunday we will hear some astounding real-life stories about how people who are completely different in culture, religion and philosophy have willingly, even eagerly helped the stranger in their midst. 

We may, after listening to these true tales, begin to realize that perhaps we’re less like the Good Samaritan than we are the victim beaten in the ditch. We are dependent on God coming to our rescue, to bind up our anxieties with compassion, and to lift us up in a new dedication to less judgment and more acceptance of the person we meet on this road to Jericho.

JOIN US AT OUR NEW SUMMER STARTING TIME OF 9:30 a.m. for a wonderful message and special music by extraordinary Oboe Soloist Sue Goff. See you there! –-- Pastor Pat Kriss
 


From Jim Moriarty, Music Director

Summer is heating up at first Church and so are the soloist.  A very close colleague of mine, Sue, will be the soloist this Sunday. She has graced us in the recent past playing solos on both the English Horn and Oboe. We have prepared works by Handel, Schumann, and Borodin (1833-1887). 

I am also very excited to welcome back Cyrus von Hochstetter. Cyrus was part of a two part concert three years ago and was received very well by those in attendance. He played both saxophone and piano, but will only be sharing original piano compositions this time.

I also want to thank Cheryl Hill for her lovely interpretations of ‘Precious Lord’, ‘Summertime’, and ‘In Christ Alone’ during last week’s service. And a big thank you to the Meeting House all men’s Quartet for their terrific harmonies during our Independence Day Service! 

“If there was no music - no harmony, no beat, no rhythm and blues, no folk music, jazz, opera, big band, R&B and popular....how expressionless would life be.” 
May the summer winds calm your spirits and bring you closer to God and those around you.

Jim Moriarty


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.  


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 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Saturdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  


Bible Study:  Monday, July 15 at 3 p.m.. In the Workroom. 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!  
 


“Faith and Foam” July 22 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.
 

E-Tidings Date: 
Saturday, July 13, 2019

June 30, 2019

4th of July Fireworks Independence Day

Friday, June 28 – “Boys in Hats” Concert – 7pm

Beginning of Summer Picnic at 6pm – Chef Tom Kiyak, Grill Master!

This Sunday:  Independence Sunday

 

July 7-Summer Sunday Morning Worship begins next Sunday - 9:30 am.


From Reverend Pat Kriss

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Nelson Mandela

This Sunday is one where we pre-celebrate the upcoming July 4th observance of Independence Day, with an air of patriotism, but above all, a recommitment to one thing. Freedom. The very first taste of freedom is what God granted all of us humans when we were given free choice. The ability to favor right versus wrong, prudence versus wretched excess, kindness versus cruelty.

It always amazes me when people, raised in the birthright privilege of American citizenship, manage to forget what that word means, and act in a way that attempts to silence or enslave the voice of someone who thinks or lives differently than they do. Unfortunately, I had a front row seat this past week to that kind of un-American amnesia, and right on the street where I live.

One of my neighbors who has lived here for at least 15 years and who moved to the US from South Africa, has a beautiful English garden he has lovingly planted and tended all these years. Every summer people make a point on their walks to come by just to take in the garden’s beauty. My friend proudly achieved his US citizenship a decade ago. His garden always contains a small American flag and alongside it a small gay pride flag.

Recently a new couple moved onto our street, their car sporting a few Christian Right stickers, and whenever possible, letting the rest of us know they view America as only a Christian nation. They first demanded that my friend dig up half his garden space so that they could plant a tree. And then -- surprise-- the gay pride flag was stolen from my friend’s remaining half of his garden. For the first time since he moved here from South Africa, he felt as if he was the target of discrimination for who he is. However, the outraged response from the rest of us is a classic testimony to freedom. Up and down our street gay pride flags have been popping up, placed by owners in prominent view in front of their own units, proving that sometimes bigotry is just the right fertilizer to increase the yield of respect and brotherhood in this country of ours. Freedom takes many forms.

This Sunday we’ll be looking at what it means to be “free.” There’s the paradox that, during centuries of oppression and enslavement, some of the people who were the most free were imprisoned by people who tried to take away their freedom of the human spirit. And we’ll look for stories in our own lives where freedom has been found following Jesus as he resisted the powers of bigotry. Join us for some soul-rousing music! --- Pastor Pat Kriss

PS: I’m hoping to see you all for a fun evening this Friday for a picnic, great music and humor from Boys In Hats! Dinner at 6 and Music at 7! Be there! (It’s a good event for kids, too.)



Boys in Hats Concert

Friday, June 28, 2019 – 7 p.m. Food Offered at 6 p.m.

Featuring Connecticut’s Own Guitar Duo --- Paul Bryant Smith and Eric Anderson. (More below.)

Boys in Hats Folk Music Danbury

 

Paul and Eric, both pastors of churches in Danbury and in Hilo, Hawaii, entertain and thrill their audience with song and instrumentation that recalls the days of Peter, Paul and Mary, and Pete Seeger.

From banjo to ukulele to twelve string, these guys bring the musical joy to their selection of tunes.

Come Support First Congregational Church’s Music Program And Be Delighted at our Beginning of Summer Picnic and Concert!

All donations will benefit the Music program at First Church Danbury,164 Deer Hill Avenue, Danbury, CT 203-744-6177


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. 


 

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 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Saturdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

Closed July 5 & 6.

 

Bible Study:  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!


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.

4th of July Fireworks Independence Day

E-Tidings Date: 
Thursday, June 27, 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    9:30 a.m.–11 a.m.

 

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