Sunday -- May 5, 2019
This Sunday: Anniversary Sunday
Communion – Baptism
3pm Children’s Community Chorus Concert (free)
From Reverend Pat Kriss
“life is too short for fake butter or fake people.” ― Karen Salmansohn, author
As most of us have experienced, there are times in our lives – hard times – when it’s really, really hard to find Jesus in the middle of it all. Ever since Easter I’ve been struck by how, in many ways, our looking for the goodness of God is a continuation of a hunt for Easter eggs. Our faith tells us that God’s there, hiding under some daffodil (or even under a skunk cabbage). But we’re the ones who have to put in the effort to find that goodness.
Recently, and even a few times in these same few weeks, we people who believe in goodness have been brought up short emotionally by the kind of sorrow and tragedy that oozes out of the festering wound of blind hatred and violence. Sri Lanka. The Chabad of Poway, California. the University of North Carolina. And literally hundreds and hundreds of acts of daily violence and bullying that don’t make the news. How do we even deal with these acts? Is there anything we can do with the information?
The truth is, we Jesus believers were going through the exact same thing in the weeks and years right after the first Easter, when the zealots of the time, unable to tolerate difference of belief, sought to snuff out the early followers of Christ. There was no one more intent to kill off Jesus believers than the man called Saul – a Benjaminite and Zealot who rounded up and led them to be killed. But, as Karen Salmansohn, who I quoted at the beginning of this meditation, also says, “I'd rather have an enemy who admits that they hate me, than a friend who secretly puts me down.” Saul was just such an enemy, someone who God was about to flip from foe to friend of Christians. Then God stepped in and knocked Saul off his high horse, blinded him, and left him exposed to the love Jesus taught as he was tended to over a few days, until he could really see. Saul the killer became Paul the best friend of the Savior. His conversion led him to become, with out a doubt, the man who created the Christian Church. He became known for writing extraordinary letters to troubled churches when they were being persecuted by others, or even by their own deep flaws.
The thing is, amidst the carnage and confusion, the pain and persecution that is at the root of most terrorism and bullying, we need to look for the hidden Jesus, the Easter egg of possibility that such awful moments present to us. We CAN find ways to enhance understanding of one another when blind rage comes to call. We CAN find a resurrection moment whenever people stand up to evil and say, “No more. I will do whatever I can to comfort others, and to let them know that only love triumphs in the end.”
We need a post-Easter uprising, a moment to sift through the wreckage of human failure, and find the places that Jesus has hidden himself, waiting to be found by us, where we become the instruments of God’s peace, the healers who restore the sight of those who cannot yet see our common brotherhood. Join me on Sunday when we tackle the hard questions of what we do with our own sense of betrayal and how we heal ourselves and the world. --- Pastor Pat Kriss
A Postscript: On Sunday we will also be treated to the Baptism of little Fiona Albanesi – a time for rejoicing, indeed!
From Jim Moriarty, Music Director
“Did you ever listen to a song and remember exactly what life was like when you first heard it?” - Unknown
This Sunday is Anniversary Sunday and Communion Sunday. There will also be a baptism. My wonderful choir has a couple of special anthems just for this special day.
Also on the afternoon of this very special day is a concert by the Community Children’s Chorus directed by Pat Moriarty. The chorus will be speaking lines and singing songs from “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” It begins at 3pm, here in the sanctuary, and is open to the public free of charge. Please plan on supporting this non-religious intercultural group of wonderful children!
“Hallelujah...Hallelujah” -- Jim Moriarty
May 6 - “Faith and Foam” 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. 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 for more info. Upcoming date- June 13.
To submit article ideas for the website or Facebook, contact Greg Pings: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Tuesday, May 14 at 3 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!
Our May Fellowship Luncheon is on Tuesday, May 14th at 12:30 pm in the Parlor. Please bring a dish to share!