Twenty-Fifth Sunday After Pentecost | Thanksgiving Sunday | Reign of Christ | November 22, 2020
From Reverend Pat Kriss
“... for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me...” Jesus at the Last Judgment, Matthew 25, this Sunday’s gospel
This is a Sunday to bring more than just yourselves to Church whether in person or online. Not only is it our annual Thanksgiving Sunday celebration. It’s also the day that our Outreach Committee awards support to some of our most helpful community nonprofits. It’s the day that you can bring nonperishable food, canned goods – especially canned coffee for Interfaith Aids – and also cat food and kitty litter for the charity that saves four legged creatures in need. (You can also drop these items off at church before Sunday).
Pilgrim's 400th Anniversary
We also observe the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the people from which we as a church can trace our spiritual roots –- those religious separatists known today as the Pilgrims. Four Hundred years ago in September, 105 men, women and children departed from Leyden, thence to London, and then across the Atlantic -- not to Plymouth, but first to Provincetown Harbor in a November 11th storm.
After the harsh voyage only half of them were alive to see that day. Their stay in the harbor would be short, as the local Nauset Native Americans had already had unpleasant dealings with earlier English explorers. So after a few days the Mayflower sailed across Cape Cod Bay to land in Plymouth on December 16. 1620. They were a mixed group: The Pilgrims who left to escape religious persecution and to find a place where they could practice their Bible-centered worship, and a band of entrepreneurs who had come to seek land and fortune, not any spirituality.
The Mayflower survivors were mostly men – so many of the women died en-route. Were it not for the friendly Wampanoag natives who took care of them that first winter, there probably wouldn’t have been a First Thanksgiving. At the same time no one knew that the Westerners brought with them pandemic after pandemic of illnesses to which the native population had no resistance. In the three decades that followed, close to 90 percent of Native Americans perished across the continent.
As it was in 1620, there was already an unspoken but widening gap between the culture of the natives and the westernized European arrivals. For Native Americans there was never any thought that any human being could actually own the land, as Westerners did. The land belonged to the Great Spirit, and humans shared it, which was how they viewed the arrival of the Mayflower remnant. And in contrast as well, in Wampanoag culture every day started out in prayers of gratitude for all that nature provided them. They didn’t need to designate a day as the new arrivals did to thank God for their blessings.
But this Sunday we will proclaim our thanks for the blessings we have, and may have rediscovered in these pandemic times, and lift up the people and organizations who answered the call: “For I was hungry and you gave me food…”
Please join us. We turn toward Advent next week. --- Pastor Pat Kriss
We welcome everyone, regardless of faith background, sexual orientation, economic status or any other category. Here's how to join us on Sunday:
- Join Us In Person: Sunday' service begins at 10 a.m. in our sanctuary at 164 Deer Hill Avenue in Danbury. When you join us, pPlease observe these social distancing guidelines.
- Watch Us Online: Our services are livestreamed to Facebook. You may also view the replay on www.Facebook.com/DanburyChurch/videos.
$5 Coupon from the Deer Hill Thrift Store
Receive a coupon worth $5 from the Deer Hill Thrift Store when you join their email list. Email from the Thrift Store will alert you to special events or sale prices on certain items in their inventory. You'll be surprised at what you can buy for $5! Sign up for the email list here.
The Deer Hill Thrift Store is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. We offer great merchandise, low prices, and a very friendly staff. Please consider volunteering: Contact Pat Moriarty or Terry Hansen.
Connect With Each Other
- Wednesday, 12 p.m. (Online)
Mid-Week Devotional and Chat: Pastor Pat shares an inspirational reading and a brief reflection on our Zoom channel. Afterwards, we'll open the mics and invite everyone to catch up with each other and socialize. Click here to join us at noon on Zoom.
- Sunday, 5 p.m. (Online)
Coffee and Cocktails at 5: BYOB (or C) and chat with each other like we did in the pre-pandemic days. The only difference is we'll gather on Zoom. We'll keep the channel open while you gab. Click here to join Coffee and Cocktails at 5 p.m. on Zoom.
Church School Is Open
Art projects, cards for members who are sick, and plenty of good Bible Stories await! Miss Cindy and Miss Marcia are taking every precaution to make church school a safe and fun experience for your children. Your children will be asked to follow these guidelines, which are designed to protect everybody's health and safety:
Masks are required. We will provide a mask if you don’t have one or if you forget it .
Use hand sanitizer before class begins. We provide that too.
Class meets in Annie Orr Hall, which assures your children will have plenty of room to maintain social distance.
Do not share art supplies. Each student will receive their own bag of brand new art supplies. The scissors, which will be sanitized after class, will be reused.
No outside food, please.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Cindy on Sunday.
How to Donate to Our Community
Your congregation relies on you for financial support. Click here to donate with your credit card, debit card, or Pay Pal account. You may also mail a check to:
First Congregational Church of Danbury
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810