Sunday -- April 14, 2019
All are warmly invited to
The First Congregational Church of Danbury
Holy Week & Easter
April 14 - Palm Sunday
9:45 am Blessing of the Palms at City Hall*
10 am Palm Sunday Worship
April 18 - Maundy Thursday
6:00 pm Potluck Supper – Annie Hall
7:00 pm Service of Tenebrae - Sanctuary
April 19 - Good Friday
12:00 - 3:00 pm Sanctuary Open to Public
Scripture Readings & Meditation with Rev. Kriss
April 21 - Easter
6:00 am Easter Sunrise Worship with King Street UCC
At the home of Carolyn & Richard Ruffles, 127 King St., Danbury
10 am First Church Easter Sunday Worship
Children’s Easter Egg Hunt
From Reverend Pat Kriss
"The measure of a man is what he does with power."-- Plato, 4th century B.C.E.
I always love the scent of Palm Sunday – entering the Sanctuary to all those fresh greens makes the whole place smell like Spring. It is a deceptively happy celebration, all of us welcoming Jesus in our own way (while the kids manage to turn their palms into swords). We invite the sounds of Hosanna that we have not heard since Lent began on March 6, nearly 40 days ago.
“Hosanna!” We shout, thinking that it’s the same thing as “Hooray.” But in reality it means, “Save us!” Save us from the evil Powers that be. Save us from poverty, injustice, from being mere ciphers in the vast Roman Empire’s domination over everything that lived and breathed. But if we really understand Palm Sunday, we will really be crying out “save us from US.”
The fascinating thing is that Jesus completely planned out his entry into Jerusalem, in a way that those people along the roadside would instantaneously understand. Everyone in that day understood the passage from the prophet Zechariah, who hundreds of years before had told them that their new king would enter Jerusalem humbly, on the back of a young donkey. But when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the people were cheering, not because they expected the arrival of the man who would teach them how to love and forgive and share with one another. They cheered because they expected a powerful ruler, one who would crush the Roman Empire with violence. This is what Jesus saw in the faces of those adoring bystanders. After three whole years of preaching around Judea, after countless miracles and lessons, Jesus realized they still didn’t get it. And, sometimes, we don’t seem to get it either, after 2,000 years.
So, just after this scene of entry is complete, there is another moment where Jesus reaches the top of the hill on that little donkey – a place where he can look over all of Jerusalem. It is here that Jesus bursts into tears, weeps for a Jerusalem that still can’t or won’t understand, a Jerusalem whose Temple will be destroyed in a few short years, whose spirit will be crushed. He steps down from the little donkey. The rest of the journey will be on foot. And at the end of this week to come, his feet will leave the ground as he is hoisted up on the cross, once again on a hill with a view, where he can see the City that did not understand the King that God had delivered to them.
This Sunday we enter the Sanctuary to the smell of Spring and the shouts of hope, and we leave in silence, as all of us journeying with Jesus make that turn toward Calvary, toward Holy Week, but also toward Easter Morning. Join us this Sunday. -- Pastor Pat Kriss
*A note about our Palm Sunday Gathering: For years we’ve been coming together with the congregation and clergy from the churches around Deer Hill in front of City Hall, bringing our palms for blessing, and praying together. This coming Sunday we will gather again – as long as it is not pouring rain. In the event of rain, we will all gather in the Narthex of First Church, and process into the Sanctuary. Please pray for good weather, but you know where you can find us if it’s stormy!
From Jim Moriarty, Music Director
“Sometimes music is the only thing that gets your mine off everything else.”
This Sunday please have the church school children in attendance. Pat Moriarty will be practicing with them for an Easter Sunday bell anthem.
Joy and Peace through music,
“Faith and Foam” at Three Brothers Diner in Danbury, starting at 6pm (242 White Street). If you haven’t heard of these kinds of meet-ups, they have become very popular for churches to run in communities all over the country. The intention behind the meet-ups is this: For many people because of work or other commitments, going to a house of worship on the weekend just doesn’t fit with the way their lives unfold. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a spiritual life, or, for that matter, that they don’t have questions or opinions they’d like to share about faith and religion. It’s the informal kind of discussion that lends itself to a brew or a drink among friends after work.
First Church Knitters Group. We plan on meeting to knit and crochet at 5:30 pm in the Parlor on alternate Thursdays. Everyone is welcome. Seasoned knitters and crocheters as well as people who want to learn to knit or crochet. Fellowship and friends meet to relax...call Heidi at 204 798 0476 or 203 826 6827 for more info. Upcoming dates: April 11,25; May 9,23; June 13,27.
To submit article ideas for the website or Facebook, contact Greg Pings: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deer Hill Thrift Shop
Great merchandise, low prices, very friendly staff.
Please consider volunteering – contact Pat Moriarty or Terry Hansen. Closed Good Friday & Saturday.
Fridays: 9:30 am – 2 pm; Saturdays 10 am – 2 pm.
Bible Study: Our next session will be on Monday, April 15 at 3 pm in the parlor off Annie Hall with food available, too. Even if you did not come before, please come and join us (call the church office before the next session so you can be sent the bible passage for that week). Open to all!
Children’s Community Chorus meets every Tuesday at 4:30 pm. Open to All Children – Elementary & Middle School Age – no charge, non-religious, limited enrollment. To sign up or for more info: email@example.com or call the church office.
Concert: – 1 pm on Sunday, May 5 in the Sanctuary.
Silver Lake 13th Annual Golf Tournament to benefit Silver Lake Conference Center – Monday, May 6, 2019 at The Country Club of Waterbury. See bulletin board in Annie Hall for more info.
Volunteers Needed! - April 13th - Hillside Food Outreach will be collecting food outside Stop and Shop in New Fairfield and needs volunteers to hand out flyers to shoppers and then ask them to purchase food to donate. There will be three shifts – 8:30am-noon; noon-3pm; 3pm-6pm. See Pat Mitchell for more info.
Interfaith Collection for Spring - April 7 & 14. Items needed: *canned coffee, peanut butter, tuna, cereal, soups, tissues, toilet paper, small toys & wrapped candy for Easter. (*most requested item).
POTLUCK SUPPER on Maundy Thursday, April 18th in Annie Hall.
We will be hosting a Potluck Supper (please bring a dish to share) at 6PM in Annie Hall. It’s going to be simple and social, followed by our very moving Tenebrae Service in the Sanctuary at 7 PM. A sign-up sheet is in Annie Hall.
Renewal House Breakfast – Friday, May 3, 2019, 7:30 am at Westside Campus Student Center at WestConn. Renewal House has been the only available path to housing and stability for more than 100 older, at risk men and women. A signup sheet is in Annie Hall.
Deadline is This Sunday!:
It’s Spring and time to order Easter Flowers to be placed in our beautiful Sanctuary on Easter Sunday as a memorial for, or honoring a loved one. Please complete the form below and return it to the church office with your check made out to the First Congregational Church (mail to 164 Deer Hill Ave, Danbury, CT 06810 or leave in the church office) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Price: $10.00 per plant
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IN MEMORY OF or HONORING: (CIRCLE ONE)