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

E-Tidings Weekly Newsletter

Sunday, August 25, 2019

This Sunday

Reminder: No Morning Worship

4 p.m. Picnic and Vespers Hotdogs, hamburgers, drinks provided.

If your last name begins A-M, please bring a dessert; N-Z, please bring a salad/side dish.

Address: 10 Terre Haute Rd, Danbury -- Parking: On street


From Reverend Pat Kriss

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time. -- John Lubbock, British Stateman, 19th Century

When I’ve been talking to people this past week I already sense that we’ve begun the “back to school and work” state of “got-tos.”

We’ve got to go finish the back to school list and get the clothes/notepads/books we need. We’ve got to go close up the beach house before things get crazier. We’ve got to assemble all the stuff the kids need for after-school sports. We’ve got to clean up all the debris and stuff from summer, and pull out the fall stuff. We’ve GOT TO.

The problem with “got-to” thinking (not that the stuff doesn’t have to get done) is that it obliterates the sweetness of the present moment, in these golden last days of August. Even Jesus in this Sunday’s selected gospel, recorded at an early point in his ministry, realizes that his apostles are burned out, and need to rest away from the usual crowds. “And he said to them, 'Come away by yourselves to a quiet place and rest a while.' For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” Mark 6:31

But of course, the people who were so hungry for the words Jesus would tell them followed them to that quiet place. So Jesus and his apostles (the only place in the Bible where he calls them this) look out across a vast sea of 5,000 men, all waiting, and also all hungry in the physical sense. They are like a sheep without a shepherd, and so he bids them to lie down in the sweet grass, an early picnic, and then tells the apostles that they need to feed them. With What?? Surely the disciples don’t have the money. He’s already told them not to travel with a purse or anything else. So the food is going to have to grow miraculously, from what people have brought with them. The loaves and fishes that someone furnishes in the blessed hands of Jesus, become far more than enough to feed the empty stomach and empty soul. The important lesson in this impromptu picnic is that everyone who followed Jesus to that quiet place NEEDED to rest, to lie down on the grass and share the bounty that can come about when people come together in a community. The greatest gift is to be together.

And THAT is precisely what our summer’s end picnic and Vespers Service is all about, held poolside through the generosity of Janet and Gary Falkenthal’s home. There is no service in Church on the morning of Sunday August 25 – just our gathering at 4 PM, our picnic and then our brief poolside Vespers service. We need to rest. We need to see one another in a context outside the church building, fed and rested. Most of all, we need some time to simply watch the clouds go by, and to listen to the water’s splash. We need to light a candle, too, for those who need our prayers, or even for ourselves, as the twilight follows the day.

Bring your contribution to the “loaves and fishes,” and your swimsuit. We’ll be waiting for you.

Pastor Pat Kriss

In addition, we are going to need willing volunteers to help set up chairs etc. for the picnic, while our Sexton Tim Koch continues to heal. If you have a generous heart, please contact Gary Falkenthal.


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 203-798-0476 or 203-826-6827 for more info.


Submit Article Ideas

Contact Greg Pings if you have an idea for an article or photo for our website or Facebook page. Send your idea in an email to: Greg_pings@hotmail.com


 Deer Hill Thrift Shop

Great merchandise, low prices, very friendly staff.

Please consider volunteering – contact Pat Moriarty or Terry Hansen.

We will be closed starting August 22 and reopen September 6.


Bible Study

Next Session tba. 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”

Next session tba. 

Held 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: 
Thursday, August 22, 2019

Sunday, August 18, 2019

This Sunday: Ice Cream Sunday

From Reverend Pat Kriss

“August is the Sunday of Summer.” -- Anonymous

August is that time when people most notice the change that’s starting to occur around us. And they don’t necessarily want to be reminded of it.

I notice it myself, as the evening ends in darkness earlier, meaning that the option of sitting out on the deck and reading ends earlier with each passing dusk. This week someone decided that they would post on social media how the sunset that night was the last one to occur at 8 PM this year, and there wouldn’t be another one as late as 8PM until May 20, 2020. Well, the online outpouring of anger toward that person simply telling the truth was astounding. You’d think that he had uttered some great blasphemy, instead of telling it like it is: The seasonal time of change is upon us.

As the katydids begin to sing each night signaling an approaching Autumn, I hear that noise and remind myself to savor the best things of the “now.” Backyard gatherings with fireflies. The taste of watermelon. The first corn of the season. And, of course, ice cream. There is simply nothing as good as ice cream when the summer warmth clings to us like a damp towel. Ice cream in winter is fine, but it cannot come close to ice cream dripping down your hand from an August cone.

So in the spirit of that truth, this Sunday will be Ice Cream Sunday. We’ll finish the service with do-it- yourself ice cream sundaes, weather permitting out under the trees. We’ll have a moment for being together, of catching up with one another. Gary will be available to do magic with the children during our service as well. And we will savor a little bit of change.

The interesting thing is that Jesus actually spent a good deal of his ministry preparing us for change, especially the kind of we don’t want. This Sunday’s gospel scripture is that perplexing one where Jesus announces that he has come, not to bring peace, but division, even within families. He lets us know that those of us who follow him will encounter intense, even dangerous opposition, when we stand up against those in our culture who want to take the easy way out with dealing with our neighbors. So that leads us to the question of “good guys and bad guys.” Is there really such a thing? And why do we differ so much when it comes to what we perceive as right and wrong? We’ll touch on all of this on Sunday, before the ice cream. - Pastor Pat Kriss

An additional note about a way you can help children in El Paso: Two teachers from two schools in El Paso have requested that people all over the country drop post cards of encouragement to help the kids deal with such a terrible firsthand encounter with hatred. We’ve included the information below, and I will see if I can find some postcards and stamps we can use on Sunday to make it easier for us.

From a couple of El Paso teachers: “Hello. We are teachers in El Paso. We would like to know if anyone is interested in sending us postcards to help our students know there is plenty of good in our world. As teachers, we may only be able to say so much. We think concrete messages of support would help us calm some fears. Any thoughts? You can send them here: E. Flores Hillside Elementary 4500 Clifton Ave. El Paso, TX 79903 Teresa Garrett Tom Lea Elementary 4851 Marcus Uribe Dr. El Paso, TX. 79934 #ElPasoStrong”.


MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Our year-end Picnic and Vespers service will be held at the home of Gary and Janet Falkenthal on Sunday, August 25 starting at 4 p.m. Thank you, Falkenthals!! As usual, this event takes the place of our morning service - we will meet instead in the afternoon.

Hotdogs, hamburgers, drinks provided. If your last name begins A-M, please bring a dessert; N-Z, please bring a salad/side dish.

Address: 10 Terre Haute Rd, Danbury -- Parking: On street

In addition, we are going to need willing volunteers to help set up chairs etc. for the picnic, while our Sexton Tim Koch continues to heal. If you have a generous heart, please contact Gary Falkenthal.


Do Something!

All Invited: Community Vigil for Mass Shootings. 6pm on Thursday, August 15 at United Jewish Center, 141 Deer Hill Ave, Danbury. Guest speakers: Wilson Hernandez and State Rep. Julie Kushner. All Welcome. Organized by Association for Religious Communities. 


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 203-798-0476 or 203-826-6827 for more info.


Submit Article Ideas

Contact Greg Pings if you have an idea for an article or photo for our website or Facebook page. Send your idea in an email to: 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.

Summer $1.00 Sale ends this week!!

We will be closed starting August 22 and reopen Sept. 6).


Bible Study

Next Session tba. 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”

Next session tba. 

Held 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: 
Thursday, August 15, 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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