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


From Reverend Pat Kriss: Our Life Journeys

Believing Christ’s promise to be by our side in all things

(Posted May 4, 2018)

On this Sunday, our Anniversary Sunday, we direct our attention to the ways that this wonderful congregation has not only survived since 1696, but thrived despite challenges that might have discouraged less- committed Christians. Throughout our long history, we have risen above crises such as the burning to the ground of our fourth meetinghouse. How did we do this? By rising from the ashes in 1907, and believing Christ’s promise to be by our side in all things, not only as our savior, but as our friend.

This Sunday the Gospel reflects this partnership with God. In John 15 Jesus tells us:

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another." 

We are chosen. And we choose.

The most important sacred objects in this church do include the Emerson Pulpit, and the Comfort Starr Baptismal bowl. But most important are all the long term members who have chosen to walk their life journey with this church and with us all. It is an inspiration to all others more recently drawn to First Church who sense in all of our members a sacred community that does bear fruit, and shares that harvest with the greater Danbury community. Blessings to all! –Pastor Pat Kriss

Our Music Traditions: Anniversary Sunday

(Posted May 4, 2018)

This Sunday is our 323rd Anniversary Sunday! There certainly are not any churches in our area that have been here as long, and have as many traditions. Today, Danbury has several churches of different cultures, each with their own type of music – very different in many ways. Although traditions are becoming rarer these days, music is one way to identify these differences. 

So what are the traditions when it comes to music here at First Church? There is the Prelude – opening organ solo to set the tone, and the Postlude a closing organ selection of celebration. We still sing three hymns – a 4th is added on Communion Sunday. The Gloria Patri and Doxology are sung every Sunday as responses. There is also an anthem during the offertory.

In terms of church music, the anthems, hymns and responses are usually a blend of the old with the new. Preludes are often from composers of the Baroque Period and played on the organ, or sometimes a contemporary selection played on the piano. The Postludes are selections of different genres and played on the organ, often variations of well-known hymns. The hymn melodies can often date back to the 16th century although the words have in many instances been updated or revised using inclusive language – non gender. We continue to sing two response: Gloria Patri and the Doxology - the later with “inclusive” words.

With that said, I wish a Happy Anniversary to the First Congregational Church of Danbury! - Jim Moriarty

“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

From Reverend Pat Kriss: The Ascension and the Challenges of 'The In-Between'

More than ever we need to listen to that voice of Wisdom.

(Posted May 12, 2018)

Today is celebrated in many Christian denominations as Ascension Day – the Thursday when, tradition tells the early Christians, that Jesus left this earth, heaven-bound to God the Creator. It’s no small wonder that this Sunday’s gospel focuses on those last words Christ spoke before he initiated “lift-off.”

Imagine, if you will, being one of the disciples on the mountaintop watching Jesus soaring up, only his feet in sight, until they couldn’t see him at all. And their first question must have been, “NOW WHAT?”

Worship with Us on Mother's Day
Services begin at 10 a.m. All are welcome.

Now what? We’ve had all the instruction we could possibly want. We’ve been told that, in a while, Jesus will send us someone to guide us. But…. seriously. Now what? What do we do in the in-between time?What’s amazing to us is that things still are in the in-between time. This Sunday we read as Jesus prays to God for us, telling God how he has prepared us for lives of love and peace seeking. But he acknowledges that living these kinds of lives have made the disciples hated by those who get no percentage out of things being peaceful. It’s the same today. As Christians we know how we’re supposed to act, but even if we’re living up to God’s expectations, it doesn’t seem as if what we’re doing changes this confused and violent world. We’ve had a resurrection, and STILL there is hatred. We’ve walked with God himself, and STILL people seek to destroy one another. How are we to trust that things will turn out all right? How are we to trust that we are doing this thing called “life” right?

The truth is, we are surrounded at all times, especially the significant times, with the challenges of “the in-between.” It’s ironic that this Sunday is also Mother’s Day, because there is no state in life more fraught with dealing with “the in-Between” than motherhood. Moms endure 9 months of uncertainty and concern for that little one they haven’t even met. All they can do is “do the right thing.” And after the birth? There is that LONG period of uncertainty that mothers know as “raising a child.” Now what? Am I doing it right? There’s no instruction manual with this kid! Of course, there actually IS an instruction “manual,” and its name is Faith, and the words are written in invisible ink, until each of us views our faith through the lens of Trust. That long-awaited guide for the in-between period, the Holy Spirit, is present to us in all times of uncertainty as the whispered voice of Wisdom, saying as Jesus did, “Peace Be With You.” As we head into this season of Pentecost, more than ever we need to listen to that voice of Wisdom. Join us this Sunday as we sail on those wings of change. --- Pastor Pat Kriss


First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Est. 1696

Phone: (203) 744-6177

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    10 a.m.–11 a.m.