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

E-Tidings Weekly Newsletter

Sunday -- March 24, 2019

This Sunday:  Third Sunday in Lent

Art in March 2: The Fig Tree and other symbols in religious art you wondered about.

 
From Reverend Pat Kriss

One thing we humans are good at is finding a reason to hope. Just as I sat down yesterday to write this message, I looked out the window and saw a flash of yellow in the sun, at the back of the Manse. Sure enough, crocuses had not only pushed their way through the dead grass of winter, but were in full bloom. As I headed outside to get a picture, a white-throated sparrow (we think of them as song sparrows) was singing her hymn to the first day of Spring.

The wonderful thing about signs and symbols is that they stand in for ideas and hopes that are far bigger than what we might have at the moment. One crocus does not a garden make. One songbird doesn’t bring on warm sunny days. But when we have a sign, a symbol, we have a promise of what is to come.  Even in a downpour on a gloomy early Spring day, we remember the first garden blooms and we hope; that’s why signs and symbols fill our Christian prayers and hymns. This Sunday the Psalmist of the Hebrew Bible speaks of yearning for God the way a thirsty person longs for a deep drink of water in a drought. The author George Elliot said, "It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are still alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger for them." That is the purpose of signs and symbols – to remind of us of the good, even when the rain falls.

This Sunday we explore that hunger for hope in our service, but we also continue the topic in a Second Hour Powerpoint show on some of the mystifying symbols of Christianity and what they actually mean, as found primarily in the great works of art. Symbols were essential tools for early Christians to locate in the Catacombs as a sign that a particular place was a safe worship space where the name and deeds of Jesus could be uttered and praised. We will also spend a few moments understanding the meaning of symbols from other religious traditions. So join us not only for the service but for the coffee and community that follows after.

A Special addition to our upcoming Easter Sunday: We’ve been invited by King Street Congregational Church to join them for a real Easter Sunrise Service at 6 am Easter Sunday, at an estate on West King Street. King Street UCC in turn is joining us in our Sanctuary on Good Friday for our Quiet Service of Contemplation from 12 to 3 PM. More details will follow about the Sunrise Service. --- Pastor Pat Kriss

 

From Jim Moriarty, Music Director

“The true beauty of music is that it connects people. It carries a message, and we, the musicians, are messengers.” – Roy Ayers (jazz musician who plays the vibraphone)

 Coming soon here in the First Congregational sanctuary, on the evening of Saturday, March 30, beginning at 7pm will be a fantastic concert featuring two artists. The first is piano virtuoso, Ferdy Talan who will be performing works of Chopin, Ligeti, and Liszt. Ferdy has shared his talents throughout the world and also here at First Church a couple of years ago to a very appreciative audience. I look forward to his return!

Performing in the second half of this fabulous evening of music is the world renowned men’s a cappella group from Yale called the “Spizzwinks”. They, too have performed here at First Church. Their wit, humor and excellent blend of voices will leave you smiling and humming a tune by the end of the concert. And the Best part of this evening is the charge of only $10 at the door!!!

Already there have been inquiries for tickets to the March 30th concert, but tickets will only be sold at the door. You may want to arrive early.

I am still “Calling all Angels” – contributions are needed for organ and piano tunings/repairs! We have three pianos and one big beautiful organ that need to be tuned at least twice a year.

Joy and Peace through music, Jim Moriarty

 

“Faith and Foam”- Monday, April 1, 2019 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 on alternate Thursdays.  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 dates: March 28; April 11,25; May 9,23; June 13,27.

 

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 Study:  Our next session will be on Monday, March 25 at 6 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!

 

Children’s Community Chorus meets every Tuesday at 4:30 pm. Open to All Children – Elementary & Middle School Age – no charge, non-religious, limited enrollment. To sign up or for more info: pamort@hotmail.com or call the church office.

 

Silver Lake 13th Annual Golf Tournament to benefit Silver Lake Conference Center – Monday, May 6, 2019 at The Country Club of Waterbury.  See bulletin board in Annie Hall for more info.

 

Save the Date:  April 13th - Hillside Food Outreach will be collecting food outside Stop and Shop in New Fairfield and needs volunteers to hand out flyers to shoppers and then ask them to purchase food to donate.  There will be three shifts – 8:30am-noon; noon-3pm; 3pm-6pm.  See Pat Mitchell for more info.

 

AMOS HOUSE - Annual Spring Breakfast - Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - 7:30 am at Amber Room Colonnade.  Our church was one of the original founding churches of this organization that provides help to women and children so that they have the opportunity to achieve the competency and productivity required for permanent, self-sufficient, independent living. Our church is again hosting a table of 10.  The recipient of the Annie Orr Award this year is Rev. P.J. Leopold.   A Sign-up sheet is in Annie Hall or call MaryAnn in the church office if you would like to attend.

 

Interfaith Collection for Spring - April 7 & 14.  Items needed: *canned coffee, peanut butter, tuna, cereal, soups, tissues, toilet paper, small toys & wrapped candy for Easter. (*most requested item).

 

POTLUCK SUPPER on Maundy Thursday, April 18th in Annie Hall. We will be hosting a Potluck Supper (please bring a dish to share) at 6PM in Annie Hall. It’s going to be simple and social, followed by our very moving Tenebrae Service in the Sanctuary at 7 PM.  A sign-up sheet is in Annie Hall.

E-Tidings Date: 
Thursday, March 21, 2019

Sunday -- March 17, 2019

This Sunday:  Jazz Sunday & “Art in March” Angels & Demons in Religious Art

 

From Reverend Pat Kriss

Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!  -- Jesus in this Sunday’s Gospel 

Last night as I was getting in the mood for St. Patrick’s Day this Sunday, I watched all two hours of a PBS special on the Wild Coast of West Ireland. Not only was it nostalgic for us of the trip we took there for our 35th anniversary, but one of the scenes in this beautifully photographed video reminded me about what we will be learning this Sunday, in our service AND in the special Second Hour I’ll be presenting about great art and religion.

In the Irish special program, there was a moment when a family of little seaside birds, plovers, were being menaced by a hungry gull who loomed over the area where the parents had hidden the little chicks in a hole. Within seconds the mother plover ran from the nest site into the field. And there she began to limp and flounder, with one wing out, crying as if in pain. Her intent was to lure the gull away from her babies, and to make him think that her wing was broken and she was “easy pickings” and more desirable than her babies. It worked. The gull moved toward her and away from the hidden chicks, and she also made a clean getaway. This is precisely the message that Jesus delivers in the Gospel this week. He knows the people of Jerusalem are both bedeviled and also easily led astray, and he would do anything to distract the demons away from them, even with his own body. In the end, he does sacrifice himself for them.  In this Sunday, Jesus is acting as an exorcist, casting out demons and healing people.

 High on the summit of the Mount of Olives, there stands a contemporary chapel, Dominus Flevit. It overlooks Jerusalem near the spot where Jesus wept over the city because of its failure to hear his voice of love. This chapel is teardrop-shaped, its name translating into The Cry of the Lord. Inside on the floor there is a beautiful mosaic of Christ as the hen, protecting her chicks, drawn directly from this gospel.

This Sunday, we will take a look at some of the great works of art that portray two kinds of messengers: angels and devils. Throughout the history of Judea and Christianity, we see these images in art and in churches, and might not understand their significance in our own belief system. I’ll be presenting a tour of these ideas during Coffee Hour, and will surprise you with some of the ways they have arrived in our lives today. So come and explore beautiful masterworks--- and, I promise, a few Irish images you may never have seen before! ---- Pastor Pat Kriss

 

From Jim Moriarty, Music Director

“If you want to make beautiful music, you must play the black and the white keys together.” – Richard M. Nixon

Here is an invite you must mark on your March calendar. Here in the First Congregational sanctuary, on the evening of Saturday, March 30, beginning at 7pm there will be a fantastic concert featuring two artists. The first is piano virtuoso, Ferdy Talan who will be performing works of Chopin, Ligeti, and Liszt. Ferdy has shared his talents throughout the world and also here at First Church a couple of years ago to a very appreciative audience. I look forward to his return!

Performing in the second half of this fabulous evening of music is the world renowned men’s a cappella group from Yale called the “Spizzwinks”. They, too have performed here at First Church. Their wit, humor and excellent blend of voices will leave you smiling and humming a tune by the end of the concert. And the Best part of this evening is the charge of only $10 at the door!!!   Already there have been inquiries for tickets to the March 30th concert, but tickets will only be sold at the door.

“Calling all Angels” – contributions are needed for organ and piano tunings/repairs! We have three pianos and one big beautiful organ that need to be tuned at least twice a year.

Joy and Peace through music,

Jim Moriarty

 

“Faith and Foam”- Tuesday, March 19, 2019 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 on alternate Thursdays.  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/next date.

Prayer Shawl Ministry:  Thus far we have many Prayer Shawls, 10 baptismal prayer shawls, 310 Pocket Prayer Shawls! They are at our Thrift Shop, in the Pastor's office and in the Church Office. They have been very well received when, in certain events all we can do is pray!  One can take as many as they think they'll need of the Pocket Prayer Shawls-after all they fit perfectly in an envelope for mailing! 

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 Study:  Our next session will be on Monday, March 25 at 6 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!

 

Winter Closing Notifications – Listed on TV Channel 3, WFSB Hartford; call the church phone number: 203-744-6177 and there will be a message; check church Facebook page (First Church Danbury).

 

Children’s Community Chorus meets every Tuesday at 4:30 pm. Open to All Children – Elementary & Middle School Age – no charge, non-religious, limited enrollment. To sign up or for more info: pamort@hotmail.com or call the church office.

 

Silver Lake 13th Annual Golf Tournament to benefit Silver Lake Conference Center – Monday, May 6, 2019 at The Country Club of Waterbury.  See bulletin board in Annie Hall for more info.

 

Save the Date:  April 13th - Hillside Food Outreach will be collecting food outside Stop and Shop in New Fairfield and needs volunteers to hand out flyers to shoppers and then ask them to purchase food to donate.  There will be three shifts – 8:30am-noon; noon-3pm; 3pm-6pm.  See Pat Mitchell for more info.

E-Tidings Date: 
Thursday, March 14, 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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