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

E-Tidings Weekly Newsletter

First Sunday of Advent | The Hanging of the Greens | November 29, 2020

From Reverend Pat Kriss

“Remember God’s bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in light! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude!” -- – Henry Ward Beecher, 19TH Century Congregational Pastor

Time for a break from all the seriousness of this year. I have my own unproven theory about life. And it goes like this: You can tell about a woman’s philosophy of life from the way she makes turkey dressing.

Every Holiday season that involves roasting a turkey is also the occasion for my friend Barbara to call me that morning while I am preparing the bird. Barbara and I are close friends, but have vastly different approaches to life.

Case in point: One holiday morning Barbara called me just as I was putting together the dressing (or, more descriptively, the stuffing, as that’s what you do with it when you stuff yourself). “So how do you make your stuffing,” she asked. “Well,” I said, “I’ve been drying out sourdough bread like Martha does. I’m shredding it up now. Next I sauté onions, celery and fresh sage, with a touch of tarragon, in unsalted butter. And then I’ll add turkey broth to the mixture, while adding in dried sour cherries, golden apples and pecans. I will mix these together with a touch of sherry. You know, like Martha does.”  Then I asked, “What are you doing for your stuffing?” There was a pause. “Well… Stove Top and seasoned salt.”

We all have our own approaches to what makes life savory and appealing. For some it’s combining a medley of many tastes and experiences into one, and making the preparation an artistic expression. For others the essence of life is simplicity -- And less time in the kitchen.

Now, I have a suggestion for you as you wait for your Thanksgiving dinner to cook. Consider the things in your life that have made life more bearable this year, like special stuffing. Who has been the main ingredient, the “bread” in your recipe? And who are the ones who have put the spice into your life, especially when things haven’t been going so well? Who is your “sage?” who puts “zest” into it? Who has made this year a little bit more bearable with their “buttery presence” in between all the challenges? 

I would venture the suggestion that, even during this year when there were so many things seemingly not to be thankful for, We need to pause and think. The real, hidden guests at your Thanksgiving table are those people who filled you up during the year with their savory presence in your life. Even if you’re missing some of your usual guests, take a moment to raise a toast to them all, because you, too, are part of their recipe for living. I am thankful for you and for all of God’s blessings. --- Pastor Pat Kriss


Sunday's Service

As a result of COVID-19 community spread in Danbury, in-sanctuary services have been suspended at the First Congregational Church.

We will livestream our worship services on Zoom at 10 a.m. on Sundays.  To join, open this link

You may also listen to the service on your telephone. After you dial one of the numbers below, you will be prompted for a meeting ID and password. Your meeting ID is 516-738-953#, and your password, enter 248097#.

Telephone Numbers for Zoom

312-626-6799

929-205-6099

253-215-8782

301-715-8592

346-248-7799

669-900-6833

 


$5 Coupon from the Deer Hill Thrift Store

Receive a coupon worth $5 from the Deer Hill Thrift Store when you join their email list. Email from the Thrift Store will alert you to special events or sale prices on certain items in their inventory. You'll be surprised at what you can buy for $5! Sign up for the email list here.


Connect With Each Other

  • Wednesday, 12 p.m. (Online)
    Mid-Week Devotional and Chat: 
    Pastor Pat shares an inspirational reading and a brief reflection on our Zoom channel. Afterwards, we'll open the mics and invite everyone to catch up with each other and socialize. Click here to join us at noon on Zoom.
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How to Donate to Our Community

Your congregation relies on you for financial support. Click here to donate with your credit card, debit card, or Pay Pal account. You may also mail a check to: 
First Congregational Church of Danbury
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810

E-Tidings Date: 
Thursday, November 26, 2020

Twenty-Fifth Sunday After Pentecost | Thanksgiving Sunday | Reign of Christ | November 22, 2020

From Reverend Pat Kriss

“... for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me...” Jesus at the Last Judgment, Matthew 25, this Sunday’s gospel

This is a Sunday to bring more than just yourselves to Church whether in person or online. Not only is it our annual Thanksgiving Sunday celebration. It’s also the day that our Outreach Committee awards support to some of our most helpful community nonprofits. It’s the day that you can bring nonperishable food, canned goods – especially canned coffee for Interfaith Aids – and also cat food and kitty litter for the charity that saves four legged creatures in need. (You can also drop these items off at church before Sunday).

Pilgrim's 400th Anniversary

We also observe the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the people from which we as a church can trace our spiritual roots –- those religious separatists known today as the Pilgrims. Four Hundred years ago in September, 105 men, women and children departed from Leyden, thence to London, and then across the Atlantic -- not to Plymouth, but first to Provincetown Harbor in a November 11th storm.

After the harsh voyage only half of them were alive to see that day. Their stay in the harbor would be short, as the local Nauset Native Americans had already had unpleasant dealings with earlier English explorers. So after a few days the Mayflower sailed across Cape Cod Bay to land in Plymouth on December 16. 1620. They were a mixed group: The Pilgrims who left to escape religious persecution and to find a place where they could practice their Bible-centered worship, and a band of entrepreneurs who had come to seek land and fortune, not any spirituality.

The Mayflower survivors were mostly men – so many of the women died en-route. Were it not for the friendly Wampanoag natives who took care of them that first winter, there probably wouldn’t have been a First Thanksgiving. At the same time no one knew that the Westerners brought with them pandemic after pandemic of illnesses to which the native population had no resistance. In the three decades that followed, close to 90 percent of Native Americans perished across the continent.

As it was in 1620, there was already an unspoken but widening gap between the culture of the natives and the westernized European arrivals. For Native Americans there was never any thought that any human being could actually own the land, as Westerners did. The land belonged to the Great Spirit, and humans shared it, which was how they viewed the arrival of the Mayflower remnant. And in contrast as well, in Wampanoag culture every day started out in prayers of gratitude for all that nature provided them. They didn’t need to designate a day as the new arrivals did to thank God for their blessings.

But this Sunday we will proclaim our thanks for the blessings we have, and may have rediscovered in these pandemic times, and lift up the people and organizations who answered the call: “For I was hungry and you gave me food…”

Please join us. We turn toward Advent next week. --- Pastor Pat Kriss


Sunday's Service

We welcome everyone, regardless of faith background, sexual orientation, economic status or any other category. Here's how to join us on Sunday:


$5 Coupon from the Deer Hill Thrift Store

Receive a coupon worth $5 from the Deer Hill Thrift Store when you join their email list. Email from the Thrift Store will alert you to special events or sale prices on certain items in their inventory. You'll be surprised at what you can buy for $5! Sign up for the email list here.

The Deer Hill Thrift Store is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. We offer great merchandise, low prices, and a very friendly staff. Please consider volunteering: Contact Pat Moriarty or Terry Hansen.


Connect With Each Other

  • Wednesday, 12 p.m. (Online)
    Mid-Week Devotional and Chat: 
    Pastor Pat shares an inspirational reading and a brief reflection on our Zoom channel. Afterwards, we'll open the mics and invite everyone to catch up with each other and socialize. Click here to join us at noon on Zoom.
  • Sunday, 5 p.m. (Online)
    Coffee and Cocktails at 5:
     BYOB (or C) and chat with each other like we did in the pre-pandemic days. The only difference is we'll gather on Zoom. We'll keep the channel open while you gab. Click here to join Coffee and Cocktails at 5 p.m. on Zoom.

Church School Is Open

Art projects, cards for members who are sick, and plenty of good Bible Stories await! Miss Cindy and Miss Marcia are taking every precaution to make church school a safe and fun experience for your children. Your children will be asked to follow these guidelines, which are designed to protect everybody's health and safety:

Masks are required. We will provide a mask if you don’t have one or if you forget it .

Use hand sanitizer before class begins. We provide that too.

Class meets in Annie Orr Hall, which assures your children will have plenty of room to maintain social distance.

Do not share art supplies. Each student will receive their own bag of brand new art supplies. The scissors, which will be sanitized after class, will be reused.

No outside food, please.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Cindy on Sunday.


How to Donate to Our Community

Your congregation relies on you for financial support. Click here to donate with your credit card, debit card, or Pay Pal account. You may also mail a check to: 
First Congregational Church of Danbury
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810

E-Tidings Date: 
Friday, November 20, 2020

Information

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

Phone: (203) 744-6177
Email: office@danburychurch.org​

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:
Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Sunday Worship:
Sunday   10:00 a.m.–11 a.m.

 

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