“Summer afternoon — summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” --- Henry James
“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” --- Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’ve just come in from watering and feeding my Possibility Garden. I’m calling it that because, planted in its soil are beans, corn, green and yellow zucchini cucumbers and tomatoes. They were planted May 15, the last day for frost. And now with careful tending they have the possibility of yielding vegetables before a first frost in October! It won’t be the first time I’ve had the first tomato in October.
These days, when so little is a clear certainty, we also “plant in the church” for possibilities. I spent part of this past week back in my Study at Church, and our staff -- especially Mary Ann Holley and Tim Koch -- have spent many hours over the last weeks preparing for the possibility of opening the church for services in September. That’s a possibility, not a certainty, and will become closer to a reality if the Covid-19 numbers in Connecticut continue to go down. Meanwhile, Pat Moriarty, Terry Hansen and all of the volunteers for the Thrift Shop have been absolutely transforming the space downstairs into a workable, safe place for our customers to want to return to. They are the unsung heroes of this Church, doing physical labor quietly, so unobtrusively we often fail to say THANK YOU.
Meanwhile we are obtaining the things we need to start our return service; rope to mark off the pews for safe and comfortable seating; plans for deep cleaning before and after services; hand sanitizer and masks, temperature scanners and signs for everyone entering. On top of all of this, when we return to the Sanctuary, First Church will continue to broadcast its Sunday Service live for anyone whose health or uncertainty make them remain at home for the time being. That has required a lot of reconfiguration to set up a camera and broadcast its signal. All of this activity has come from the planning work done by staff, volunteers and Church Council. It’s at this time that we are so grateful to have even more of our congregation sending in their donations via mail or electronically, because none of this “possibility planning” is inexpensive. We thank you so much, and hope you will continue to be our “possibility partners.”
From Reverend Pat Kriss
“We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled
from the point where they started." - Henry Ward Beecher, 19th century
Everybody’s “garden” has a weed or two. Every family has that someone who grows the other way in the family garden. Sometimes, we may realize, that we may even be the weed in another person’s “garden.” Henry Ward Beecher, that great Congregational thinker of the 19th century, even alluded to each person’s journey from seed to flower in the quote above.
This Sunday’s Gospel has Jesus telling a parable about an owner’s field and some ne’er-do-wells who, under the cover of night, plant weeds among the wheat. The question is whether to pluck or leave the crop alongside one another. And Jesus gives the disciples the answer to this query. But when I read this parable, I also realized that Jesus seemed to have a fondness for the “weeds” he encountered in his long journey to Calvary -- even to the extent that he seemed to gather the weeds to himself in his ministry. Tax collectors. Prostitutes. Rough-and-tumble fishermen. Madmen in cemeteries. The unsighted. People who no one in polite society would even talk to. All of these people, of course, started life in the weeds yet became quite different following Jesus. This was the bouquet of souls that Jesus offered up to his Father as the fruit of his efforts.
So it begs the question of us. What are we to do with our weeds? First of all, how can we tell what is a weed, and what is a flower? Is the assignment that a particular plant should be called a weed just because its appearance doesn’t conform with our standards? Or are some plants simply destructive and need to be uprooted? This weekend, we will explore what it means to live alongside the “weeds” in our lives, when to pull and when to help transform them into something greater than they are. --- Pastor Pat Kriss
First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone: (203) 744-6177
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 9:30 a.m.–11 a.m.