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

Sunday, January 13, 2019

This Sunday: The Baptism of Christ


From Reverend Pat Kriss

You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”—Jon Kabat Zinn

Water. It isn’t merely one of our greatest needs: it is an absolute necessity for life. We can live without food for three weeks, but without water, we’re done in a few days. Our bodies themselves are made of about 65% water. And water is one of our first sensations when we leave the womb. We must realize that, at the moment we emerge into this life, we emerge from water, and most often as we leave life, old and sick, it is what returns to take us in the end.

Standing at the edge of the sea, we find an amazing sense of peace, a kindred spirit with water. For every culture, for poets and artists, water is the theme of the ebb and flow of our lives. It’s not at all surprising that, just as we enter life through water, we also enter our commitment to follow Jesus as Christians by the simply and yet profound act of Baptism. For most of us, baptized as infants or toddlers a long, LONG time ago, our baptisms aren’t even memories, but stories told to us by family. We enjoy watching others be baptized, but we can feel pretty disconnected from our own.

This Sunday marks the Baptism of Christ, and there is a special message conveyed in Luke’s gospel that will echo again before Lent begins. It’s easy to miss, but as the late theologian Marcus Borg reveals to us, baptism is a metaphor for the conscious desire to die to our pasts and rise up out of the water in Christ, also dying and rising up in Christ’s resurrection. The interesting thing that Borg points out is, at the moment of Jesus’ baptism, we have the chance to hear the Voice of God speaking for us to hear directly.

And in the last Sunday before lent begins, as the disciples stand atop a mountain watching Jesus be transfigured in glory alongside Moses and Elijah, the Voice will speak to us again. It will say, “This is my Son. Listen to him.”

But how do we, in our noisy and distracted world, get a chance to hear anything, much less the Voice of God? We don’t even pause long enough in church to do that! So I’m planning to make it possible for us to take time each of these weeks of Epiphany Sundays before the beginning of Lent to learn how to pray. To have an Epiphany. We’ll start this Sunday, with a celebration of the baptism we can’t remember, and by learning how to be present for God to speak to us, through meditation. Next week we will start to examine the beauty of the Lord’s Prayer, and how it applies to our lives today. See you this Sunday…. Pastor Pat Kriss


From Jim Moriarty, Music Director

“Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.” – Kahlil Gibran

A big thanks goes out to the multi- talented Cheryl Hill for helping us sing a couple of our hymns containing a Spanish verse or two during this very special Sunday service. 

I recently had communicated with Joseph Martin composer of “Unsung Heroes” and “An Advent reflections” which was commissioned for our church and sung by or choir at the service that was dedicated to the “first responders”. He told me that over 500,000 copies of his “Unsung Heroes” anthem have been sold and that it is the number 4th best seller of all his anthems! I am curious as to the titles of his top three... It was composed initially for the ‘first responders’ of 911.

Peace and Joy this coming year through music,

Jim Moriarty


Interfaith Aids Pantry - Have a Heart Collection - Feb 10th
Toilet paper, tissues, soap, shampoo, deodorant, tooth paste & feminine products
(Cans of coffee are always needed)


We are in need of a church school teacher for the younger kids starting in Sept. A church member volunteer would be great. You do not have to have kids to teach church school
If you know of a person who is not a church member please let Cindy Tyrseck know. Riley will be going to college so we need to have someone for the younger kids.


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 Heidi at 204 798 0476 or 203 826 6827 to RSVP/next date


To submit article ideas for the website or Facebook, contact Greg Pings:


Deer Hill Thrift Shop

Great merchandise, low prices, very friendly staff.

Please consider volunteering for the holiday season – contact Pat Moriarty or Terry Hansen.

Fridays:  9:30 am – 2 pm; Saturdays 10 am – 2 pm.


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.

E-Tidings Date: 
Wednesday, January 9, 2019


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    9:30 a.m.–11 a.m.