Sunday, December 2, 1918
10 am Worship – Hanging of the Greens / Honoring First Responders
1 pm Children’s Community Chorus Concert – Sanctuary
Next Sunday: Communion – No Church School
From Reverend Pat Kriss
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
In this, nature’s darkest time of the year, we yearn for the return of light. In these often dark days of anger and hatred in the national discourse, we long for the return of caring people who speak and act out of love.
It’s natural then, at the beginning of this Advent season that starts on Sunday that our theme for the next four Sundays is Moving From the Darkness Toward the Light. We know theologically that Jesus, the Light of the world even as a baby in the manger, is coming. But what about the rest of the time in our church life until Christmas? Where do we look locally for the light in our own darkness?
This Sunday we will not only be “decking the halls” of our own sanctuary with our church family. We will also be honoring all the men and women who serve as police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians. THESE are the people who, in some of our darkest moments, bring the light of saving care to us. We never, ever have a chance to thank our first responders adequately, but this Sunday we honor them with a very special hymn commissioned for them, and invite them into our family to hang a special ornament on our tree. Truly they are already family in every sense of the word. And, lest we forget, we also honor the families of these first responders, who donate someone they love to serve the community and protect us. My next door neighbor is an EMT. I know how often, just at the beginning of family dinner, or on a relaxing Saturday afternoon at home, the fire horn goes off and I hear my neighbor’s car door slamming as he races off to answer the call. His sacrifice is also the family’s sacrifice.
So on Sunday our children will particularly enjoy church. We start off Sunday’s service with a Police Color Guard, and then the kids can help decorate the trees with members of police, fire and emergency medical services as well as our church members.
And on the Second Sunday of Advent – December 9, mark your calendars as we have a special Real Theology Sunday and guest speaker. Mayor Mark Boughton will join me in the pulpit to talk about his diagnosis a couple of years ago of a potentially life-threatening brain tumor, and how his faith helped him endure what followed. In our coffee hour I hope that we will be joined by a couple of our own church members who also know what it is to walk through the darkness while carrying the ember of faith as a light. Blessings and peace be to you all this Advent season. --- Pastor Pat Kriss
Our December Fellowship Luncheon will be on Tuesday, December 11th, 12:30 pm in Annie Hall. Please bring a dish to share and welcome in the holidays!
“Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.” – Kahlil Gibran
DEC. 2 – This Sunday is the 1st Sunday of Advent and the first Sunday of Pastor Pat’s Advent theme “...from darkness towards the light.” In celebration of the theme and of ‘first responders’, the choir will be singing two very special anthems.
Dec. 2 – The Children’s Community Chorus, direct by Patricia Moriarty will present their Winter Concert at 1pm. This year, the chorus in full costumes, will be singing and moving to several selections from the Nutcracker. Other selections will round out what has become a very special popular children’s concert free to the public.
Dec. 8 – YOU must include in your Holiday plans this Holiday Jazz Concert which begins at 4pm at the First Congregational Church on Deer Hill Ave. Doug Hartline and friends will present the most unique Holiday concert of its type in our surrounding areas. You might call it light jazz, or contemporary arrangements of seasonal music performed with vibraphone, guitar, bass, drums, and vocals to make for a very pleasant musical experience. There will be a requested donation of $20.
Dec. 15 – The Annual performance of the Messiah presented by the DMC will feature 80 voices and over 20 instrumentalists. The performance beginning at 3pm will be held in our wonderful sanctuary. In the past this performance has filled our sanctuary - both balcony and downstairs. And it is free, although any donation will be requested.
Peace and Joy through Music,
ARC’s Peaceable Home Charity Breakfast will be on Friday, Dec 7th at 7:30 am at the Amber Room Colonnade. First Church will once again host a table. If you would like to attend, please sign up in Annie Hall or call MaryAnn in the church office. Thank you.
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 to RSVP/next date.
Deer Hill Thrift Shop
Great merchandise, low prices, very friendly staff.
Please consider volunteering for the holiday season – contact Pat Moriarty or Terry Hansen.
Holiday Hours beginning Nov. 30th – Fridays 9:30-2:30; Saturdays 10 – 3.
The Dorothy Day Overflow Shelter has opened in our gym. We welcome our homeless guests and the volunteers who staff the shelter every night throughout the winter season. Donations of cup-of-soup, hot chocolate and coffee are always welcome.
White Gifts - Food Pantry Collection for Interfaith Aids Ministry - Sunday, December 9, 2018 -- Wanted items are: Coffee (cans), tea, hot chocolate, holiday cookies, Christmas candy, candy canes, canned veggies, soups, canned meals, grocery store gift cards.
Also small toys (do not wrap) - ex. Crayons, coloring books, card games, hot wheel type cars, small dolls, stuffed animals.
Doug Hartline and Friends Benefit Christmas Celebration Concert in our Sanctuary, Saturday, December 8th at 4 pm. Suggested donation $20 at the door. The concert will include unique renditions of Christmas carols, hymns and popular songs.
The 2018 Holidays are rapidly approaching and it will be time, once again in First Church tradition, to decorate our beautiful church with POINSETTIAS & WREATHS. If you would like to place an order, please contact the church office (203)744-6177 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wreath $17.00 each ; Poinsettia $15.00 each.