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

News

How to Transform This Moment

God offers grace, if we are willing.

(Posted January 7, 2021)

It’s been an upsetting and confusing couple of days for most of us Americans. If there’s one thing we have learned from what took place Wednesday afternoon in Washington DC, it is that there is a virus more insidious than COVID-19, and it is the virus of hatred.

Hatred is contagious. It can infect the person that it targets, and turn them into people who are as bad as the ones who hated them first. The human brain at its worst is that “monkey brain” that operates without a thought to consequences, as a knee jerk reaction to fear. Far too much time has been spent pitting "The Left" against "The Right" -- a waste of our time.

Church Services on Sunday

Sunday services are presented online via Zoom on Sundays at 10 a.m. To join, open this link.

You may also view our services on our Facebook Channel. The livestream will begin at 10 a.m. Replays will be available immediately following the service. Go to www.FaceBook.com/DanburyChurch/Videos.

But there is a grace, too, that God offers us if we are willing to accept it, and that is the grace of transforming this moment into a better one. As an antidote to the virus, I offer you the following, and ask you: Which will you choose?

In the Hands of Man

He who creates a poison, also has the cure.
He who creates a virus, also has the antidote.
He who creates chaos, also has the ability to create peace.
He who sparks hate, also has the ability to transform it to love.
He who creates misery, also has the ability to destroy it with kindness.
He who creates sadness, also has the ability to convert it to happiness.
He who creates darkness, can also be awakened to produce illumination.
He who spreads fear, can also be shaken to spread comfort.
Any problems created by the left hand of man,
Can also be solved with the right,
For he who manifests anything,
Also has the ability to Destroy it.”

-- Suzy Kassem, writer and poet

May your Epiphany days ahead be filled with transformation, and peace.

It IS About Identity

This Sunday we’ll see how change is not a thing to  battle, but an opportunity.

(Posted January 21, 2021)Rev. Pat Kriss

It really is all about IDENTITY.

I sincerely hope that all of us were watching Wednesday during the Inauguration to hear the Junior Poet Amanda Gorman, as she took us on a journey to determine who we are. She keenly understands that what has happened in recent years is an attempt by some to factionalize, to sever from their American heritage the rainbow rest of the people, and to crown the dividers as the sole “patriots” of America.

Church Services on Sunday

Sunday services are presented online via Zoom on Sundays at 10 a.m. To join, open this link.

You may also view our services on our Facebook Channel. The livestream will begin at 10 a.m. Replays will be available immediately following the service. Go to www.FaceBook.com/DanburyChurch/Videos.

Identity is a precious, important thing. That’s true for nations and for congregations. It is the keel that helps us pilot our ship toward where the dawn breaks for us tomorrow. Amanda references history, that it has its eyes on us. And here, in this historic First Church congregation, we have history, and history has us. This Sunday we look again at who we are and what we’ve meant to this town. As we chart our path through confusing, anxious times, we’ll see how change is not a thing to  battle, but an opportunity. I’ve excerpted particular portions of We Climb This Hill for us.

“When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?...

“For while we have our eyes on the future
history has its eyes on us
This is the era of just redemption
We feared at its inception
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
to author a new chapter
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves…

"So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
ur people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it…"

Amanda Gorman

The Profound Generosity of John the Baptist and St. Nicholas

Two very different men who shared strikingly similar traits.

(Posted December 3, 2020)Rev. Pat Kriss

“The giver of every good and perfect gift has called upon us to mimic His giving, by grace, through faith, and this is not of ourselves.” ― St. Nicholas of Myra

(This Sunday we’re starting up Bible Magic with Mr. Gary, and it’s not too soon for his magic lesson to feature Santa Claus, as you will see by reading on. Also, the Bible Magic will happen this Sunday just before the rest of the service begins, so if you have the shorter version of young Christians around, they can watch at the beginning.)

John the Bapist and St. Nicholas

It’s really not such an odd coincidence that this Second Sunday of Advent with its story of the “wild man” John the Baptist falls on the very feast day of St. Nicholas – the patron saint of small children and of generosity. Both men took risks. Both men dressed a little, let us say, uniquely. No one could miss John with his camel skins and wild beard, eating locusts in the wilderness. And no one these days could possibly mistake the modern day version of St Nicholas, AKA Sinter Klaus in Dutch, AKA Santa Claus.

Church Services on Sunday

Sunday services are presented online via Zoom on Sundays at 10 a.m. To join, open this link.

You may also view our services on our Facebook Channel. The livestream will begin at 10 a.m. Replays will be available immediately following the service. Go to www.FaceBook.com/DanburyChurch/Videos.

Yes, Nicholas is a Catholic saint who lived in the 4th century, but even after the Protestant Reformation against the Catholic Church, Nicholas is one blessed figure that we Protestants continue to enjoy and honor –- especially in Holland. Unlike John’s scruffy beard, no one could mistake his snowy beard for anyone else. Unlike John, over the years St. Nicholas has turned into a rotund, well-fed fellow who’s consumed a Christmas cookie or two.

Paying the Ransom

But the biggest thing that both of them share in common is their profound generosity. Nicholas, although a bishop, sold all that he had and traveled the land, literally ransoming poor people from their fates. He came upon two young women who were to be sold into sexual slavery because they could not find husbands, and paid to set them free. Then Nicholas came upon two men who were to be executed because they could not pay the bribe to get out of jail, but Nicholas paid it. And all along his journey he gave little gifts to children. Along the same vein, John the Baptist was there, standing in the Jordan, and offering to ransom men and women from their sins through the free-flowing waters of Baptism. This one sacrament is the gift we first give infants and children in their entry into the Body of Christ.

So come join us online at 10 a.m. to hear the rest of the Gospel stories, and the fascinating way that Nicholas became the “saint of New York City.” Remember to have your own Communion elements ready, even if they may be Christmas cookies and egg nog!

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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