(Posted July 2, 2019)
Creator of Us All, Holy One of Many Names, Eternal Love,
We wonder at the care and joy manifest in your design and creation.
You created the sliver of the waning crescent moon,
a slender thread of courageous light;
You created the tenacity of each blade of grass that
muscles aside concrete to reach for sky;
You created the birds that soar and creatures of the ocean depths
who somehow thrive where it is too dark and too cold for life.
You look at all you have created and call it good.
We are amazed that, in ways beyond our understanding,
you formed humanity with the same joy and care that birthed the rest of creation.
We rejoice that each one of us is fearfully and wonderfully made in your Divine image.
On this Open and Affirming Sunday, we proclaim who we are.
We are gay, we are straight, we are lesbian, we are bisexual,
we are transgender, we are cis-gender, we are gender-fluid.
We have many names and labels for what we are,
but we know that you call us by one name - beloved.
Let us say it over and over and over again until we believe it.
We are beloved. We are beloved. We are indeed beloved.
We acknowledge that for many of your beloved children, especially those who are LGBTQ,
church communities have been places of shame and suffering, rather than homes
of sanctuary and safety. Help us to pick up the mantle of those who have gone before us in
this liberation movement, that their hard work and their sacrifice might not be in vain.
We are, all of us, called by love, for the sake of love, to be love
in this faith community and in all the world.
Continue to create us to be your beloved people. Amen.
The Open and Affirming Coalition of the United Church of Christ advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the UCC, and equips UCC congregations to become effective witnesses to Christ’s extravagant welcome. ONA is now the largest and fastest-growing LGBT-welcoming movement in the Body of Christ. We welcomed ONA church #1 in 1986 and church #1,500 in 2018. To find out more, visit openandaffirming.org.
Mission Moments tells stories of how United Chruch of Christ congregations are connected to the wider church. It is published by the United Church of Christ.
(Posted July 13, 2019)
“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.
Church Services on Sunday
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!
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.
(Posted June 5, 2019)
Without Pentecost the Christ-event - the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus - remains imprisoned in history as something to remember, think about and reflect on. The Spirit of Jesus comes to dwell within us, so that we can become living Christs here and now. – Henri Nouwen, 20th century
From the time I was a very little kid, the concept of Pentecost Sunday has always intrigued me. Sitting in my home parish as a child, there was a big stained glass window next to where my family always sat. In that picture everyone looked so happy as a beautiful dove descended upon them… and then I noticed that it looked like their hair was on fire. Why was everyone so happy?
Church Services on Sunday
All are welcome to worship with us. Service begins at 10 a.m.
Truly there are few portions of the Bible that fit what we as Christians face today in a world that seems far more cruel than compassionate, than the Pentecost passage. When we meet these apostles, they are alone. Jesus “has left the building.” The last they saw of him was the bottom of his feet as he ascended into the heavens. They feel alone, orphans in a hostile world. So they prayed, and what they got was their heads and hearts set aflame with the kind of grace they needed to sustain their courage. That’s precisely what we need to receive today —- courage to “become living Christs here and now.”
This Sunday we also honor the people among us who most model the love of Christ: our Church School leadership, and our Choir and Musical leadership. Truly you are the people who let us know we are not orphans, but are loved with your unique gifts that bring us closer to God. Blessings to all of you. - 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.