Sunday -- March 17, 2019
This Sunday: Jazz Sunday & “Art in March” Angels & Demons in Religious Art
From Reverend Pat Kriss
Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! -- Jesus in this Sunday’s Gospel
Last night as I was getting in the mood for St. Patrick’s Day this Sunday, I watched all two hours of a PBS special on the Wild Coast of West Ireland. Not only was it nostalgic for us of the trip we took there for our 35th anniversary, but one of the scenes in this beautifully photographed video reminded me about what we will be learning this Sunday, in our service AND in the special Second Hour I’ll be presenting about great art and religion.
In the Irish special program, there was a moment when a family of little seaside birds, plovers, were being menaced by a hungry gull who loomed over the area where the parents had hidden the little chicks in a hole. Within seconds the mother plover ran from the nest site into the field. And there she began to limp and flounder, with one wing out, crying as if in pain. Her intent was to lure the gull away from her babies, and to make him think that her wing was broken and she was “easy pickings” and more desirable than her babies. It worked. The gull moved toward her and away from the hidden chicks, and she also made a clean getaway. This is precisely the message that Jesus delivers in the Gospel this week. He knows the people of Jerusalem are both bedeviled and also easily led astray, and he would do anything to distract the demons away from them, even with his own body. In the end, he does sacrifice himself for them. In this Sunday, Jesus is acting as an exorcist, casting out demons and healing people.
High on the summit of the Mount of Olives, there stands a contemporary chapel, Dominus Flevit. It overlooks Jerusalem near the spot where Jesus wept over the city because of its failure to hear his voice of love. This chapel is teardrop-shaped, its name translating into The Cry of the Lord. Inside on the floor there is a beautiful mosaic of Christ as the hen, protecting her chicks, drawn directly from this gospel.
This Sunday, we will take a look at some of the great works of art that portray two kinds of messengers: angels and devils. Throughout the history of Judea and Christianity, we see these images in art and in churches, and might not understand their significance in our own belief system. I’ll be presenting a tour of these ideas during Coffee Hour, and will surprise you with some of the ways they have arrived in our lives today. So come and explore beautiful masterworks--- and, I promise, a few Irish images you may never have seen before! ---- Pastor Pat Kriss
From Jim Moriarty, Music Director
“If you want to make beautiful music, you must play the black and the white keys together.” – Richard M. Nixon
Here is an invite you must mark on your March calendar. Here in the First Congregational sanctuary, 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 Talan who will be performing works of Chopin, Ligeti, and Liszt. Ferdy has shared his talents throughout the world and also here at 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.
Joy and Peace through music,
“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 relax...call 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!
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.
Bible Study: Our next session will be on Monday, March 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.