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

This Sunday -- September 16, 2018 -- Jazz Sunday

From Reverend Pat Kriss

It hasn’t escaped anyone’s attention, I don’t think, that the southeastern United States is in for a major storm, and residents along the coast are moving inland, while in the rest of the states people are preparing in advance for the onslaught of high wind and floods. The best and only defense in times like these is to be prepared. Certainly our prayers are with the people.

But I must say that there are other things coming up this Fall for which we ought to prepare. As we get nearer to November, I detect the the “wind” is picking up around political opponents, as the media waves become flooded with negative rhetoric and downright nastiness. I may love the autumn, but I hate the negativity of election season. The one thing I wish I could get across, especially for candidates that like to profess their Christianity to garner votes, is that they can’t have it both ways. Scot McKnight, the New Testament Scholar and writer, says, "Those who aren't following Jesus aren't his followers. It's that simple. Followers follow, and those who don't follow aren't followers. To follow Jesus means to follow Jesus into a society where justice rules, where love shapes everything. To follow Jesus means to take up his dream and work for it."

From my perspective, that means you can’t stand up one day and profess how Jesus is your role model, and the next day flog your opponent with hateful words that demean and devalue. It doesn’t work that way. You either are a Christian, or you need to stop using that self-definition. Christianity is much more than just saying we’re Christians. Christianity means living it in the way we treat others. It’s Faith and Works. Not just words alone. And for the rest of us, we need to prepare for the gathering autumn storm of negativity. We need not let the flood of words wash away our peace of mind, not if we “sandbag where we live” with the knowledge that all of the bluster is just gusts of rhetoric.

This Sunday is Jazz Sunday. All of our scripture readings deal with the damage that that seemingly most innocent organ – the tongue – can do with just a few words. Even the Gospel itself is all about the disciples who misunderstand what Jesus means when he says he’s the Messiah. They thought he was going to be a political Messiah who would save them from their rivals and political enemies. But Jesus meant that he came as their personal Messiah, to teach them, to save them from themselves.   We’re going to study some powerful words of hope and encouragement this Sunday, while we enjoy some cool jazz along with those points of hope. Join us! – Pastor Pat Kriss

Something Spooky to Look Forward to: Next month on Sunday, October 28, we’re going to spend our Arts Sunday carving up some pretty creative pumpkins, right after church. Our Pumpkin Carving Sunday will be held during and right after Coffee Hour in the Gym, for kids of all ages. Pastor Pat will need some enthusiastic parents and grandparents to help supervise that day, so if you are interested, please let MaryAnn Holley know. It will be open to anyone, so encourage your children and youth to invite others to join us.


From Jim Moriarty, Music Director

This Sunday we welcome back Doug Hartline and his ensemble for the first of this year’s Jazz Sunday’s. Note that in both October and November that Jazz Sunday will be on the second Sunday of each month.

I thank my choir and soloist for making Sunday’s blend of music so very special. If you have sung in any type of choir in the past and can read music a little, please think about joining the choir.

Peace and Joy through music,

Jim Moriarty


Church School

We need one or two people that are willing to assist in the event a scheduled teacher can’t be there.  No work or prep required.

Church School will not be run with only one teacher this year.

See Cindy

 Food Collection Sunday – October 14th – We will be collecting food for Interfaith Aids Ministry. Items needed are canned coffee, soup, tuna, meals in a can, cereal, peanut butter and wrapped candy for Halloween baskets.  Items may be brought to the Sanctuary on Oct. 14 or dropped off at the church office during the week.  Thank you!!


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 Sept. 20th.


Youth Group:  Our newly formed Youth Group has decided to meet every other Tuesday at   6 pm on the 3rd floor.   See Pastor Pat or Jay Duhamel for more info.


Join the Choir!  Singers are always welcome to join the choir - see Jim Moriarty after worship.


“Faith and Foam” September 24th 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.


Bible Study Returns! - Our next session will be on Monday, September 17th 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!

Children’s Community Chorus meets every Tuesday at 4:30 pm beginning on September 18th. 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. 


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.


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


E-Tidings Date: 
Thursday, September 13, 2018


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.