This Sunday -- January 7, 2018 -- Communion
From Rev. Pat Kriss
"Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self.
Every other identity is illusion."
-- Brennan Manning, Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging, 21st century
Here we are, just 72 hours into the New Year, and if you turn on your computer or the TV, you’ll see just how many ways we are already being bombarded with reminders of the ways we “don’t measure up” to our culture’s expectations. Typically this sort of thing happens with every New Year, and with every well-intended list of resolutions that is made.
The message is not so subtle: “Try this diet and lose 20 pounds by February”- message: you’re fat. “Slather this expensive cream on your face and erase years of damage in just seven days”- message: you’re old and ugly, too. “Buy this piece of workout equipment/ gym membership, and have washboard abs before you know it!” – message: you have a Dad bod. “Sign up now with (name your brand) dating service and meet the person you were meant for!” – message: you’re not only fat, flabby and ancient, but you’re desperately lonely, too… Pay up and we’ll see what we can do.
The thing is, all of this kind of negativity after a while takes its own toll. At the core of these enticements to open your wallet, there lies only one message: you are unacceptable as you are. If there is one sentiment that we could completely identify as absolutely NOT in the manner of Jesus, it would be this. At the core of God’s message is: you are a child of God, Beloved of God, just as God spoke those words above Jesus as he was baptized in the Jordan. Regardless if you are fat or thin, young or old, gorgeous or somewhere south of average, you are the product of God’s creating, of God’s thinking you into existence. You are intentional. You have a role in this Divine plan being rolled out on your journey. You have a purpose, just as you are, and as God reveals to you along the way.
It should come as a great assurance to us all that we have God’s love as a foundation for all that we will do in the year ahead. The thing you might want to concentrate on in 2018 is your spiritual fitness. What are you doing to help refresh your spirit? How are you connecting yourself to the Source of all energy – to the pure Love that God is, and that created you in love? We’ll be exploring a bit of this on Sunday. – Pastor Pat Kriss
From Jim Moriarty, Director of Music
Happy New Year! For those who were in attendance at the Doug Hartline and Friends Holiday Concert you were treated to several wonderful arrangements of holiday classics and some unfamiliar songs by Mr. Hartline. There were seven talented musicians who participated including his wife, Ginny. The Hartline ensemble leads our worship service, musically every third Sunday of each month. June is the one month when the date has been changed to thefourth Sunday of the month. So mark your calendars and bring a friend.
The Community Children's Chorus will begin to meet on February 20th, Tuesday afternoon at 4:30. Pre-rehearsal snacks are available for the children. Their Winter Concert was a real treat, with great musical selections! If your child would like to participate, please contact the church office @ 203-744-6177.
As for my wonderful choir, I want to thank them for all the beautiful music during the Advent Season. If you would like to be a member of the choir, please see me after a Sunday service, or phone the office and leave a contact number. We resume singing on January 14.
Peace and Joy through music,
Deer Hill Thrift Shop
Great merchandise, low prices, very friendly staff.
Volunteers urgently needed, especially on Saturdays. Please call the church office if you can help. Hours: Friday and Saturday, 9:30 am – 2 pm.
Deer Hill Thrift Shop will be closed
Friday & Saturday, Jan 5 and 6 due to the ongoing extreme cold
January Fellowship Luncheon (weather permitting!) will be on Tuesday, January 9th at 12:30 pm in Annie Hall. Please bring a dish to share and enjoy the warmth of good food and fellowship. All Welcome!
The Dorothy Day Overflow Shelter continues in our gym. We welcome our homeless guests and the volunteers who staff the shelter every night throughout the winter season. Needed are donations of ramen noodle soup cups and hot cocoa mix. They may be left in the church office.