(Posted April 7, 2018)
"Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother." -- Khalil Gibran, 20th century
In all of the New Testament probably the one who has gotten a “bum rap” is the man we will spend time with on Sunday: Thomas the Apostle. REProbably by now, you’ve already added in your mind his additional name: Doubting Thomas. And yet few other people were as honest about how they felt with his peers than Thomas. Classically, Thomas was “out of the room” when Jesus first burst into the Upper Room where the apostles were hiding in fear. A week later they told him the tale of a dead Messiah raised again, who walked through the walls and greeted them, not with the kind of anger one might expect toward a group of people who had abandoned him, but with love. I can imagine his skeptical eye roll now…. “Right…… sure he did.” Thomas made it quite clear what it would take to get him to believe that Jesus walked among them. Thomas was grieving.
If we’re as honest as Thomas, we’ll admit that there are times when we weren’t there to see something, that we, too, are full doubts and anxieties. The thing is when Jesus appeared again a week later specifically to see Thomas, he didn’t greet Thomas as judgmentally as we do, but with words of peace and softly: "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe."
Worship at the First Congregational Church
Services begin at 10 a.m. All are welcome.
In the end, Thomas recognized Jesus by his scars, his wounds. How true this is when we think about our friends, the ones with whom we’ve walked along life’s paths, we in fact remember their scars and ours, and how these things not only helped form who we are, but where our strengths come from. This Sunday we will explore the deep connection between doubt and faith, and what it takes to hold in our heart things that seem to be impossible. - Pastor Pat Kriss
(Posted April 12, 2018)
“Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either.” ― Elizabeth Zimmermann
“It is pure potential. Every ball or skein of yarn holds something inside it,
and the great mystery of what that might be can be almost spiritual” ― Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
There are many things that churches do for the community that are very obvious: Serving as a place for a homeless shelter; source of inspiring music and song; a place that dispenses charitable support or gathers together food for the hungry. But there also are the quiet acts of love that almost no one ever sees. That is precisely what our Prayer Shawl Ministry is all about. The sound of Christian love is as quiet as the click of knitting needles tapping away in the lap of someone sitting home on a family evening.
The Prayer Shawl Ministry in which First Church participates is one that had its origins at Hartford Seminary. This year – 2018 – is the 20th Anniversary of the founding of the Prayer Shawl Ministry. Janet Severi Bristow, one of the two founders of the Ministry, in 1998 wrote this explanation:
"Shawls ... made for centuries universal and embracing,
symbolic of an inclusive, unconditionally loving, God.
They wrap, enfold, comfort, cover, give solace,
mother, hug, shelter and beautify.
Those who have received these shawls have been
uplifted and affirmed, as if given wings to
fly above their troubles..."
Worship with Us
Service begins at 10 a.m. All are welcome.
I can think of few things that represent God’s embrace more fittingly than to be wrapped in the love of a shawl at critical moments in life. As the Shawl Ministry site says: “Shawls can be used for: undergoing medical procedures; as a comfort after a loss or in times of stress; during bereavement; prayer or meditation; commitment or marriage ceremonies; birthing, nursing a baby; bridal shower or wedding gift; leading ritual … rites of passage; during an illness and recovery; ministering to others; graduation, birthday, anniversary, ordination, or just at life’s critical moments.”
On this upcoming Jazz Sunday, we pause to thank all those who are our knitters/crocheters of the prayer shawls we dispense during the year. We pause this Sunday to bless each of the shawls, their makers and their recipients. And we pause to encourage others to consider supporting this quiet blessing with a little time of their own spent with needle in hand. On this Sunday, if you have someone hurting in your life who could benefit from the caress of a prayer shawl, we will be dispensing some of them.
Come join us this Sunday as we knit together cool music and beautiful “acts of yarn” that our children will bring forth for blessing. See you then. – Pastor Pat Kriss
(Posted April 12, 2018)
It was a treat to have Heidi and Jean sing a Handel duet composition, and also lead us musically at Sunday’s service. Thank you.
This Sunday is our monthly Jazz Sunday.
For another treat, the Madrigal group consisting of 12 auditioned singers from the Danbury Music Centre will be presenting a free concert Saturday evening at the DMC. This ensemble, led by Joyce Flannigan a former Ridgefield High School music teacher and known for her direction of the yearly musicals, sings a variety of acapella music. A Parking garage is available behind the DMC building which is the old Library on Main St.
I have recently been listing quotes related to music by musicians and other well-known people. Let me know what you think of this week’s quote - one that makes me smile.
“Music with dinner is an insult both to the cook and the violinist.” -- G.K. Chesterton (May 29, 1874 – June, 1936) “...was an English writer, poet, philosopher, dramatist, lay theologian, biographer and literary and art critic” Wikipedia
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 10 a.m.–11 a.m.