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

Sunday -- March 10, 2019

This Sunday:  First Sunday in Lent

Maple Sugaring at Warrup’s Farm after Worship

(Rain or Shine but not heavy rain & wind)

“Spring Forward – Set Clocks Ahead -- Daylight Savings Time Begins”


From Reverend Pat Kriss

Last night when we gathered in quiet, together, to inaugurate the season of Lent, we received ashes on our foreheads or hands. And these are the words that accompanied that moment: The old has died. The new has come. Why not use the old words that some of us may remember from ashes given in our youth: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. It is a basic and important difference, between acknowledging our nothingness, and realizing that Lent has been given us to become the best individuals we can be.

That’s the thing I think that is far more important in our leaning out toward Jesus: realizing that God thought it important enough to create one and only one of us, out of the raw materials of this universe. For some of us, our parents saw our arrival as an answer to a prayer. We need to recognize that we have purpose. Within our hearts God lives, along with the absolute ability to create good in the world. Of course, also within us is the ability to ignore the voice of God, and listen instead to our desires, the ones that also damage others when we cave in to darkness. Lent is a time for us to listen for the good that we are being called to accomplish. Instead of giving up things, we need to adopt at least one new expression of God’s goodness, whether that’s prayer, or a meditation, reading a little each day from the Bible or walking out in creation to read the fingerprint of God in our own world.

As we visit Warrup’s Farm to witness maple sugaring this Sunday, let us recognize that Lent is a time to distill what exists in us naturally – our spiritual “sap” – into a sweet understanding of “God With Us.” See you this weekend, and enjoy the poem below that reminds us of our journey. – Pastor Pat Kriss

One night,

when you were just a star

someone hung every hope

          every wish

          every dream

they ever had

          from your limbs


so if you ever feel inferior

ever start to doubt

          your beauty

          or brilliance

just remember:


You have constellations

lining the cathedral walls

of your chest, a moon for

a heart, and the sunlight

pouring through your skin


you are a symphony of stardust

and you were born to shine.            -- tyler kent white


We’ll be going on Sunday March 10 after services to go maple sugaring at Warrup’s Farm in Redding. It’s a perfect winter outing whether you’re seven or seventy.  And…. we may even go out for something sweet to eat afterwards. (Pastor Pat is looking for suggestions for ice cream or gelato places on the way home.) Warrup’s is not just maple sugar, but has a farm zoo to keep young people entertained. Call Mary Ann and let her know you’ll join us!  (and … call the office if you would like to carpool).


From Jim Moriarty, Music Director

“Music is the art of the prophets and the gift of God.” – Martin Luther King

The best example of the above quote is exemplified by composers of Lenten, Palm Sunday and Easter music. Although many may seem to be “ole school” or too “traditional” they remain liturgical pillars of the story of Christ.

 Here is an invite you may want to mark on your March calendar. On the evening of Saturday, March 30, beginning at 7pm there will be a fantastic concert featuring two artists. The first is piano virtuoso, Ferdy Talon who will be performing works of Chopin, Ligeti, and Liszt. Ferdy has shared his talents throughout the world along with First church a couple of years ago to a very appreciative audience. I look forward to his return!

Performing in the second half of this fabulous evening of music is the world renowned men’s a cappella group from Yale called the “Spizzwinks”. They, too have performed here at First Church. Their wit, humor and excellent blend of voices will leave you smiling and humming a tune by the end of the concert. And the Best part of this evening is the charge of only $10 at the door!

Already there have been inquiries for tickets to the March 30th concert, but tickets will only be sold at the door.

“Calling all Angels” – contributions are needed for organ and piano tunings/repairs. We have three pianos and one big beautiful organ that need to be tuned at least twice a year. The organ tunings with minimal repairs costs at least $2500. The piano tunings start at $150 each. Please think about sharing a bit of your tax return knowing it would be for a very good cause. Thank you.

Joy and Peace through music,

Jim Moriarty


“Faith and Foam”- Tuesday, March 19, 2019 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 Heidi at 204 798 0476 or 203 826 6827 to RSVP/next date.

Prayer Shawl Ministry:  Thus far we have many Prayer Shawls, 10 baptismal prayer shawls, 310 Pocket Prayer Shawls! They are at our Thrift Shop, in the Pastor's office and in the Church Office. They have been very well received when, in certain events all we can do is pray!  One can take as many as they think they'll need of the Pocket Prayer Shawls-after all they fit perfectly in an envelope for mailing!


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 – contact Pat Moriarty or Terry Hansen.

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


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.  Donations of cup-of-soup, hot chocolate and coffee are always welcome.


Bible Study:  Our next sessions will be on Monday, March 11 & 25 at 6 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!


Winter Closing Notifications – Listed on TV Channel 3, WFSB Hartford; call the church phone number: 203-744-6177 and there will be a message; check church Facebook page (First Church Danbury).


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: or call the church office.


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.


Save the Date:  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.


March Fellowship Luncheon will be on Tuesday, March 12th at 12:30pm in Annie Hall.  Please bring a dish to share and enjoy good food and fellowship.  All Welcome!

E-Tidings Date: 
Saturday, March 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    10 a.m.–11 a.m.