Week of May 13, 2018

happy mothers day

Dare to love and to be a real friend. The love you give and receive is a reality that will lead you closer and closer to God as well as to those whom God has given you to love.”      Henri J.M. Nouwen, Theologian and writer.

 

SERMON “A Prayer for You” Rev. Allyson Glass

John 17: 6-19

Have you ever had anyone hold your hand, look directly at you and pray for you?  It is an incredibly powerful experience.  As I sat in distress some years ago with my pastor, she reached out and took my hands in hers and prayed for me.  “Jesus loves you”, she told me, as she began the prayer.  The intimacy and passion of this prayer has stayed with me throughout these years. This morning we prayed the Lord’s Prayer together, the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray. It is a prayer for us to pray to God.  Now we hear Jesus praying for us.  He says in His prayer, “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but I pray for them which thou hast given me; for they are Thine.” Wow! Can a person be any more blessed than to have Jesus pray for them?  I am so overwhelmed with joy every time that realize that Jesus is praying for me, sitting at the right hand of God, praying for me.  As I read and reread our gospel text I realize that Jesus is claiming each of us as His own. Jesus is loving us and praying for us – praying for us because He loves us, not because we have earned that love or are worthy of that love.   We hear so much about prayer – how we should pray, what we should pray for, who we should pray for – but how about how to accept the love poured out on us through those who pray for us?  As people pray for us, we feel their support and a holy connection. When we pray, do we stop and think how people feel when we pray for them?  We know that people yearn for our prayers; they even request our prayer but let’s stop and think about how it feels to be prayed for. I received an unexpected Easter card this year; it was from my college roommate.  While we keep in touch throughout the year, I don’t recall ever receiving an Easter Card from her.  When I opened the card, I found it contained a lovely bookmark with the words of Philippians 4:6 written on it: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God.” She had written a note on the card telling me she was thinking about me and keeping me in her prayers.  The beauty of this unexpected prayer and bookmark brought me a sense of peace and calm as I prepared for the busyness of Holy Week and Easter.  I knew that someone was praying for me, I felt loved.   I placed the bookmark in the last page of the book I was reading at the time, knowing I would see it before I fell asleep each night.  As I finish my reading each evening, I hear those words being prayed for me, on my behalf and my heart is a little less troubled. I think this is what it feels like to overhear Jesus praying for you. The upper room was filled with pain and abandonment: with betrayal and loss, with unsettled hearts and fearful souls.  And Jesus ends it all with a prayer for His disciples, and then He prays for us. This is not The Lord’s Prayer.  This is not Jesus teaching His disciples how to pray.  After betrayal and their questions about the rejection Jesus tells them they will face when He is gone, the disciples do not need another lesson, another miracle, or another example.  They need exactly what Jesus does, because Jesus knows – for Jesus to pray for them. And then, with the hour of death approaching, He took the time to pray for us. And what does He pray for?  He is praying that we may find God’s support and encouragement and that we may be one in fellowship with each other and God.  Of course, these two things go together – as we gather together to hear God’s Word and to remind each other of God’s promises, we are not only drawn together in deeper fellowship but also find the strength and courage to face the challenges that come from living in the world. Jesus prays that His joy maybe made complete in us.  We are His joy.  Author Marlena Graves writes: My three year old daughter caught me staring at her. “Mommy, why are you looking at me like that?” she asked.  “Because I love you and delight in you.” I said.  “God looks at you that way too.”  “You mean, God looks happy at me?” she earnestly inquired.“Yes!” I said.  “God looks happy at you.” When we are going through difficult times and things threaten to overwhelm us, we may wonder if God cares.  It is in exactly these times that we need to remember that Jesus is praying for us, that no matter what- Jesus is loving us.You and I and all of humanity are worth more than we can possibly understand.  Jesus’ own life and prayer declare this.  We are the gift He and His Father share and exchange between themselves.  In His prayer, Jesus entrusts us to His Father’s protection, even as He entrusted Himself to the Father.Now I want you to say to yourself – I am Jesus’ joy, He is praying for me. As you say – I am Jesus’ joy, He is praying for me – pull those words into your heart and let them fill you with hope and comfort.  This prayer is meant to remind us of Jesus’ active and ongoing love and compassion for us and to draw us more deeply together.In the clutter and chaos of our lives we need to take the time to hear Jesus praying for us.  We need to find a few precious quiet moments to sit or to walk and listen to Jesus praying for us.  In the words of the beloved hymn we will sing in a few moments: “I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses; and the voice I hear, falling on my ear the Son of God discloses.  And he walks with me and he talks with me, and he tells me I am his own, and the joy we share, as we tarry there, none other has ever known.”Jesus is praying for you, and for me, all we need to do is live out His “amen”.  We live His “amen” when we choose forgiveness rather than retribution, when we choose mercy instead of condemnation, and compassion rather than indifference.  We live out Christ’s “amen” when we choose unity rather than individualism.  In those moments we are the amen to Jesus’ prayer, our hearts are healed and the world is different.Jesus asks a lot from us, but that’s exactly why He prays for us.May it be so in your life.


Mother’s Day

I recently read a devotional about what we can learn from scriptural mothers.  The author began the piece talking about what his mother taught him:

*My mother taught me about logic: “If everyone else jumped off a cliff would you do it too?”

*My mother taught me about medicine: “If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they’re going to freeze that way.”

*My mother taught me about weather: “It looks like a tornado swept through your room.”

*My mother taught me about prayer: “You better pray that comes out of the carpet.”

You get the idea, while many of us can relate to these age old warnings, mothers do teach us about life; not only in words but by the way they live their lives and treat others.  

The author uses Matthew 15: 21-26 to provide lessons learned from the Canaanite woman who asks for Jesus’ mercy because her daughter is suffering from demon-possession.  When Jesus does not appear to help her, she begs again for him to help her daughter and Jesus lauds her for her faith and her daughter is healed.

She teaches us a lesson in love; she loves her daughter so much that she is willing to seek out Jesus and do whatever it took to get Jesus to help her.  She asks for mercy and appeals to the compassion of Jesus.  She pleads with Him out of the compassion of her own heart and she acknowledges Jesus as Messiah.  Love is at the center of our lives in Christ and she teaches us to put love into action.

She teaches us a lesson in persistence: when the disciples say, “send her away for she keeps shouting at us” and urge Jesus to disregard this woman, she continues to ask for mercy and healing.  The woman is not willing to give up; she is fighting for her daughter.  From her we learn not to give up but to fight for what we know is right, even when we face difficulties.

She teaches us a lesson in humility: when she comes to Jesus and she falls before Him asking for help.  She knows Jesus is a healer and can help her daughter so she says, “even the dogs eat the crumbs from the master’s table”.  We too need to humble ourselves before Jesus and surrender our own pride in His presence.

She teaches us a lesson in faith: when Jesus proclaims the faith of this mother, He not only acknowledges her faith but grants her request.  As we seek Jesus and we face challenges our faith is strengthened.

This Mother’s Day I urge us to think about all of the women in our lives who have influenced us. Many of us are lucky to have had mothers who were there for us and loved us; others had mothers who had difficulty loving, while others lost our mothers too early.  I hope that each of you has had a woman in your life that has loved you, inspired you, protected you or in some way helped you feel cared for.

Blessings, Pastor Allyson


Weekly Prayer

Our loving God, we know that love is the fuel for life.  When life gets rough, we ask for love that gives us strength.  When life lets us down, we ask for love that gives us encouragement.  When life seems empty, we ask for love that gives out lives meaning.  When life seems sad, we ask for love that gives us joy.  We thank you, O Lord, for your grace in mercy in our lives. Amen


THIS WEEK

 

Monday, May 14 4:30 & 6 PM Weight Watchers

7:30 PM Amaranth

Tuesday, May 15 6:15 PM Girl Scouts #135

7:00 PM Council

Wednesday, May 16 6:00 PM Girl Scouts #306

Thursday, May 17 7:30 PM Masons


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We Love our Veterans Hot Diggity Dog!  Come join us for SCC’s 6th Annual “Hot Dog Stand” for Veterans and participants of theSeymour Memorial Day Parade Sunday May 27th

At this time we would like to request donations of Hot Dogs, but only “Hummel’s Skinless” and any kind of bottled water would be greatly appreciated.  Items can be left in the kitchen, marked for the “Parade.  This is a wonderful way to not only show our support but to also show others some of the things that are important to us like family, neighbors, our community, faith and fellowship.  

We will be setting up the Field of Flags the week before the parade, details to follow.

Thank you and God Bless!

For more information, see Lynne Foreman or call (203) 881-1250

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Bible Study:  The next Bible study will be held on May 22 at 1:00 pm.  All are welcome to join the discussion and fellowship as we study the Word.  Please contact Pastor Allyson with any questions regarding bible study.

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SCHOLARSHIP

Scholarship application time is just around the corner.  The Scholarship Committee of our church awards funds to qualified scholarship candidates from two distinct funds. The Pittis Fund, the larger of the two funds, is restricted to those candidates who will attend or are attending, on a full-time basis, an accredited four-year college or university for the purpose of obtaining an undergraduate degree.  The Common Fund is an unrestricted fund, which may be used for awarding scholarships for any form of advanced education.

Applicants are eligible for an award if they are members or children of members of the Seymour Congregational Church.  The amount of the awards is influenced by the number of applicants and the amount of income available from the trust funds, which support the scholarship program.

The scholarship committee will once again be having two mandatory meetings – Sunday, June 3rd at 11:30 and Monday, June 4th at 6:30 pm.   All scholarship applicants – new and repeat – and a parent are expected to attend one of these meetings.

If you have any questions, contact Karen Baker, 203-888-0394.

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SEYMOUR/OXFORD FOOD BANK DRIVES

May 12th Postalworkers Stamp Out Hunger food drive need volunteers to set up and unload trucks date and box food.Hours are 12:t 5:30pm. at the Seymour Oxford Food Bank, 20 Pine St., Seymour, Conn. Please call Seymour Oxford Food Bank with hours you can work: 203*888*-2876 we are there Monday thru Thursday 9am to 11am.

Volunteer driver preferably with a pickup truck to pick on Monday and Thursday at 9:00am in Shelton at the Walmart and Big Y on Bridgeport Ave., Shelton and bring to the Seymour Oxford Food Bank.

Thank you for help. Darlene Swanat

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Mental Health First Aid – May 21,  2018 – 8:00-4:00 PM – BHcare                435 East Main St., Ansonia, CT  $25 Per person                                            What is Mental Health First Aid?  Mental Health First Aid is an 8 hour training course designed to give members of the public key skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.        Why Mental Health First Aid?  Mental Health problems are common.  There is a stigma associated with mental health problems.  Many people are not well informed about mental health problems.  Professional help is not always on hand.  Who can be a Mental Health First Aider?   Educators, College leaders, HR professionals, Members of
Faith Communities, Homeless Shelter staff, Nurses/ Physicians Assistants, Social workers, Police/First responders, Mental Health authorities, Policymakers, Substance Abuse professionals, Family members and Caring Citizens.                 Studies have shown that the program improves people’s mental health, increases understanding of mental health issues & treatments, connects more people with care and reduces stigma.   Participants receive a 3 year certification as a mental health first aider.Register at 
HTTP://bit.lyMHFAMay2018 by May 14th.  For more information, call APW at 203-736-8566 or email Pam Mautte at pmautte@bhcare.org.

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PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY – Are you interested in being a member of the Prayer Shawl Ministry?  Please contact Lynda Boynton at 203-888-5473.  Shawls are given to bring comfort to those who have suffered a loss, an illness or some misfortune.  For more information go to www.shawlministry.com.  To request a shawl, call Lynda (203-888-5473) or leave a message at the church office 203-888-6729.

 

 

 

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Week of April 15, 2018

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You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.

Eleanor Roosevelt


TODAY ~ April 15, 2018

 

10:00 AM – Worship

11:30 AM – Choir Rehearsal

Running Through Fear to Hope

My heart pounded as I watched the video footage of the devastating fire that ripped through a second floor dance academy in Edgewater, NJ this week.  What I witnessed was people running toward this horrific fire with ladders in hand in an effort to save the young girls stranded on a balcony by intense flames.  Without a thought of their own safety these people brought ladders to try and help the girls and many simply stood below the balcony trying to break the fall of the girls who jumped to safety.

Tony Nehmi, a business owner in the complex where the fire broke out, was the first person on the scene.  He rescued two of the girls with the help of Edgewater Police Officer Jimmy Dalton.  Nehmi said he immediately ran toward the building when he saw smoke down the street from his shop.  He started asking some restaurant workers who had escaped if they knew if anyone was still inside and then saw two girls pounding on the glass window on the second floor.

He said he knew he had to act quickly as the room was quickly filling with smoke.  “I just wanted to get those two girls out; I never would have lived with myself if they got hurt.” Nehmi said.  So he grabbed a ladder, ran to the building and once on the balcony used the ladder to break the glass and rescue the girls.

I would like to think if I was in that situation I would be able to react in the same way, to work through my own fear to bring hope to those who needed rescuing.  Due to the quick action of so many there were no casualties and most of the girls received only minor injuries.  Thank God for these real life heroes, they inspire me.  They take my breath away.  I have watched the video several times and each time I am overwhelmed by the sheer selflessness of those who ran toward danger to bring hope.

I hope that in some way I will have the courage to put aside my fear and run toward someone who needs help and give them hope.  While I most likely will never be asked to raise a ladder to a burning building I know there is a lot more I can do to bring hope to others if I am willing to run through my fear of the unknown and be a witness for Christ.  Where can I bring hope if I run through my own fear of rejection or worry about not having just the right words?

Thank God for the heroes we see each day and pray that in some way we might bring the light of hope to those who so desperately need rescuing.

Blessings, Pastor Allyson


see me

John 24: 36b-48

A small boy once approached his slightly older sister with a question about God. “Susie, can anybody ever really see God?” he asked. Busy with other things, Susie curtly replied: “No, of course not silly. God is so far up in heaven that nobody can see him.” Time passed, but his question still lingered so he approached his mom: “Mom, can anybody ever really see God?” “No, not really,” she gently said. “God is a spirit and he dwells in our hearts, but we can never really see Him.” Somewhat satisfied but still wondering, the youngster went on his way. Not long afterwards, his saintly old grandfather took the little boy on a fishing trip. They were having a great time together – it had been an ideal day. The sun was beginning to set with unusual splendor as the day ended. The old man stopped fishing and turned his full attention to the exquisite beauty unfolding before him.On seeing the face of his grandfather reflecting such deep peace and contentment as he gazed into the magnificent ever-changing sunset, the little boy thought for a moment and finally spoke hesitatingly: “Granddad, I – I – wasn’t going to ask anybody else, but I wonder if you can tell me the answer to something I’ve been wondering about a long time – can anybody – can anybody ever really see God?”.The old man did not even turn his head. A long moment slipped by before he finally answered. “Son,” he quietly said. “It’s getting so I can’t see anything else.” Jesus truly does want to be seen by His disciples during the forty days following His resurrection.  He wants them to move from fear to hope to joy as they see Him and touch Him and even eat with Him. Luke moves us through these emotions in our reading this morning.  When Jesus appears in their midst, they are “startled and terrified.”  They think they are seeing a ghost.  Their fear is a natural human response and would have most likely been our response.  Yet there stood Jesus comforting them with his words, “Peace be with you.”  He wants them to See Him and believe in His presence with him so he says, “Look at my hands and feet; see that it is I myself.” To further assure them of his real presence he remarkably asks from something to eat, and they gave him some fish.  He eats the fish to further assure them of His living presence with them following His crucifixion.  And so their fear moved to hope.  Hope that Jesus was truly with them, a live presence among them.   And as He opens their minds to understand the scriptures, their hope turns to joy.  From the fear that had them hiding behind locked doors, Jesus appears to them and moves their fear to hope and finally to the joy of His presence.  Jesus wants to move us from the fear that sometimes causes us to hide behind locked doors. Jesus is here with us opening our hearts and minds to His loving presence in our lives if we only look.  We want to see Jesus; that is our desire. We want to know that Jesus is among us, and so I ask – What do you see?  My heart pounded as I watched the video footage of the devastating fire that ripped through a second floor dance academy in Edgewater, NJ this week.  What I witnessed was people running toward this horrific fire with ladders in hand in an effort to save the young girls stranded on a balcony by intense flames.  Without a thought of their own safety these people brought ladders to try and help the girls and many simply stood below the balcony trying to break the fall of the girls who jumped to safety. Tony Nehmi, a business owner in the complex where the fire broke out, was the first person on the scene.  He rescued two of the girls with the help of Edgewater Police Officer Jimmy Dalton.  Nehmi said he immediately ran toward the building when he saw smoke down the street from his shop.  He started asking some restaurant workers who had escaped if they knew if anyone was still inside and then saw two girls pounding on the glass window on the second floor. He said he knew he had to act quickly as the room was quickly filling with smoke.  “I just wanted to get those two girls out; I never would have lived with myself if they got hurt.” Nehmi said.  So he grabbed a ladder, ran to the building and once on the balcony used the ladder to break the glass and rescue the girls. Through the courageous actions of these everyday heroes Jesus is saying… See Me, I am here. Desmond Doss was one of those heroes that demonstrate Jesus is present moving us from fear to hope to joy.  Doss’ religious beliefs forbade him to carry a gun so when he was drafted to serve in World War II he faced ridicule from his fellow soldiers.  Doss served as a field medic in Okinawa.   When his unit was attacked by Japanese forces on top of a cliff, cutting down nearly every man, Doss quickly rigged up a stretcher that he could lower with ropes and pulleys to the safety of the ground below.  Then by himself and under fire he retrieved each soldier in his unit one at a time and lowered them to safety.  He rescued 75 men that day. Through Doss’ courageous actions Jesus is saying…See Me. Countless heroic actions during the devastation of Hurricane Harvey brought us further evidence that the loving presence is among us.  During the height of the storm a resident of a Houston apartment building went into labor.  Her husband quickly called 911 but after he wasn’t able to reach any first responders, he sent an urgent email to the apartment building residents to ask if anyone in the complex was an obstetrician, or a physician, or a nurse. Almost immediately, people began coming to the couple’s apartment to see if they could help, and they were there an hour later when the Houston Fire Department came to rescue the woman.  However, with the flood waters rising the emergency responders couldn’t get a stretcher to the building so the residents formed a human chain.  Through the driving wind and rain they stood hand in hand in the rising waist deep water to ensure that the woman and her husband got to the rescue truck safely. Through their selflessness, they help us to hear Jesus saying to us…“See Me” On October 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire on a crowd of concert goers at the Las Vegas Harvest music festival leaving 58 people dead and 851 injured.  In the chaos of this traumatic event we witnessed many moments of heroism in which people overcame their fear and with hope moved to help those around them. During the shooting, Dean McAuley had found a path to safety, but he didn’t leave.  As his two friends followed the police away from the Las Vegas gunman’s view, one called back to him: “You’ve got to come with us.” McAuley replied, “I’ve got to go to work.”  You see, McAuley is a firefighter from Seattle who went to the music festival each year with his friends.  He ignored warnings that bullets were still flying and got gloves from a medical tent and helped bring two wounded women back to the tent and to safety. He then found Natalia Baca, a 17 year old girl, and applied a tourniquet to the bullet wound in her arm.  She was having hard time breathing due to the loss of blood but was somehow able to stay calm.  McAuley told her to trust him, and said he wouldn’t let anything happen to her. Just at that moment, a passerby offered his car to take them to the hospital.  He recalls that he kept Natalia calm by showing her pictures of his wife, son and dog.  Natalia’s parents later thanked McAuley and told him, “You saved our daughter’s life.” Through Dean McAuley’s selfless actions Jesus is saying to us…“See Me” Jesus’ post Easter appearances assure us that God is alive and working in our community and in the world.  Jesus is alive and working among us.  May His words bring us a release from our fears and His presence bring us hope for the future and the knowledge that He has not forsaken us move us to joy as we hear Him say;  “Peace Be With You…I am here.”


Weekly Prayer

weekly prayer

 


THIS WEEK

Monday, April 16 4:30 & 6 PM Weight Watchers

Tuesday, April 17 6:15 PM Girl Scouts #135

7:00 PM Council

Wednesday, April 18 6:00 PM Girl Scouts #306

Thursday, April 19 7:30 PM Masons

Saturday, April 21 5:30 PM Turkey Dinner


UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Advanced Care Planning Forum

Join us for an interactive evening of information and discussion on Monday, April 16th at Trinity Episcopal Church from 6 – 7:30 PM.  Advanced Care Planning (ACP) is a process for understanding, reflecting on and talking about your own goals, beliefs and values in order to determine your healthcare wishes, should a time come when you cannot make them – or express them yourself.  Come and learn about some of the legal terms in Advanced Care Planning and their implications.  This is being sponsored by the Seymour Oxford Clergy group and presented by Griffin Hospital.

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animated-clip-art-thanksgiving-turkey-dinner-funny       basket_raffle logo

TURKEY DINNER AND BASKET BONANZA

 Saturday, April 21st, join us at the Seymour Congregational Church for delicious food and wonderful company!  With a chance to win one of our many baskets!

Dinner starts at 5:30 PM

Adults – $14

Kids (under 10 years) – $5

Basket drawing at 7:00 PM

Chances – $1 each

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Spiritual Practices for Everyday Life: A Women’s Day Retreat will be led by Pastor Allyson for the women of the Seymour Congregational Church, UCC on May 5, 2018 from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm at the Mercy By The Sea conference center in Madison, CT.  The cost of the retreat is $36 which includes a continental breakfast, a sit down lunch, the retreat and use of the beautiful waterfront property.  Due to limited space the first 20 paid participants will be accepted for the retreat.

Bible Study:  The next Bible study will be held on April 24 at 1:00 pm.  All are welcome to join the discussion and fellowship as we study the Word.  Please contact Pastor Allyson with any questions regarding bible study.


NOTICES

Property & Renovation Committee request.

During the previous 30 days, there has been two occurrences of a water faucet in the lower level restrooms being left on full blast.  This results in a serious water loss and a much higher water bill for the Church.  The folks that use the lower level have been asked to check the restrooms before they leave.  It would be helpful for all of us, anytime we are participating with a group in the lower level to check the restrooms upon departure.  THANKS.

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PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY – Are you interested in being a member of the Prayer Shawl Ministry?  Please contact Lynda Boynton at 203-888-5473.  Shawls are given to bring comfort to those who have suffered a loss, an illness or some misfortune.  For more information go towww.shawlministry.com.  To request a shawl, call Lynda (203-888-5473) or leave a message at the church office 203-888-6729.

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The Shriner’s Children’s Hospital:   Pull-tabs or “pop-tops” from beverage cans, soup cans, etc. can be saved and delivered to the Shriners Hospital, and then they are sold to a recycling center.  The money collected is used to fund transportation for needy children to and from the hospital.   See Dawn Ryan or call her at 203-888-0600.  She will deliver them.

Week of November 5th, 2017

After a few weeks of computer glitches, the E-Bridge is up and running again!

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This Sunday

November 5, 2017

OLD TESTAMENT: Micah 3: 5-12
GOSPEL: Matthew 23: 1-12
SERMON “Let Us Practice What We PreachRev. Allyson Glass
The flowers today are given for Robert H. Marshall by the Marshall Family.
Please join us downstairs for Coffee Hour hosted by the Property Committee

“No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.”
Max Lucado – Christian writer and preacher

LAY LEADER: Kim Majkner
GREETERS: Rob Majkner and Claudia Majkner
DEACON OF THE MONTH: Kim Majkner
TODAY
10:00 AM – Worship
11:00 AM – Coffee Hour
11:30 AM – Choir Rehearsal

Our Guilt is Gone
Yesterday I read a short devotional by Xochitl Dixon in which she relates a story from her childhood about guilt and confession. She writes: “As a young girl, my friend and I were in a gift shop when she shoved a handful of colorful barrettes into my pocket and yanked me out the door of the shop without paying for them. Guilt gnawed at me for a week before I approached my mom – my confession poured out as quickly as my tears. Grieved over my bad choice, I returned the stolen items, apologized, and vowed never to steal again. The owner told me never to come back. But my mom forgave me, so I slept
peacefully that night.” Like Xochitl there are many things that I have done and said in my life that I regret and have tried to put right through confession to our forgiving God and also through apology to the person or persons who might have been affected by my poor choice. Confession soothes our soul as it allows us to move beyond the incident and the past to a brighter future. While we can’t choose the consequences of our sins or control people’s responses when we confess and seek forgiveness, we are assured that our guilt is gone through the grace of God’s loving forgiveness earned for us with the death of our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross.
Blessings, Pastor Allyson
Weekly Prayer
Forgiving God, I come to you asking forgiveness for the times I have hurt others with my words and poor decisions. I ask strength and courage to accept your forgiveness and the forgiveness of others as I seek to follow in your ways.
Amen

  • THIS WEEK
    Monday, Nov. 6 4:30 PM Weight Watchers
    7:00 PM NVA Community on Ministry
    Tuesday, Nov. 7 6:15 PM Girl Scouts #135
    Wednesday, Nov. 8 6:00 PM Girl Scouts #306

    ANNOUNCEMENTS

    SNOWFLAKE FAIR
    SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18th ~ 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    IT’S CLOSER THAN YOU THINK! Once again, we will have our basket, quilt and tree raffles, Boutique, Bake Sale Table, Christmas Treasures Room, Kids’ craft area on our stage, craft booths and vendors. Our Snowflake Café will serve breakfast and lunch. As always, we cannot have a successful fair without your help!. We have reached our goal for gift baskets. Thank you everyone who has contributed to them. Items for the Christmas
    Treasures Room and the Boutique can be brought in by Nov 12th. Please also consider making a donation for our baked goods table or see Teresa regarding making a dessert for our lunch.
    **A sign up sheet for working the fair will be in fellowship hall. Please let us know if you can help by signing up!  You do not have to work the entire day, just help us out for a couple of hours if you can!

    We especially welcome any newcomers to jump in and get involved! See or call Karen Baker, Lynda Boynton or MaryJo Chevarella if you have any questions.
    IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT BAKED GOODS DONATIONS FOR THE FAIR: Please have your baked goods prepackaged and priced (if possible) and marked if they contain nuts.

    HOLIDAY POINSETTIA ORDER FORM

    Person Placing this Order:
    ____________________________________________________________
    Plant Size requested: 6”/$6.00 ea.
    RED____________PINK_______________WHITE___________
    8 “/$12.00 ea
    RED____________PINK_______________WHITE__________
    Given in Loving Memory of:
    _____________________________________________________________
    Given in Celebration of:
    ______________________________________________________________
    Other:
    ______________________________________________________________
    Please make check payable to: Seymour Congregational Church
    Your Poinsettia will add beauty to our church this holiday – So Please do not delay
    Orders must be placed with the school no later than November 30th.
    Plants will be delivered to the church prior to Sunday Service December 24th.
    Thank you in advance for your order, Merry Christmas Everyone!
    If you have any questions, please call 203-888-7826

    OUTREACH COMMITTEE will be collecting new and used coats for those in
    need in our local communities. Please look through your closets and see if you
    have any coats you do not wear. They will be collecting until December 2nd.
    CALLING ALL CONFIRMANDS!!
    Pastor Allyson will be holding a confirmation class for all interested students in
    grades 9 and up beginning after the first of the year. The confirmation journey is a
    time of intentional preparation in which to explore their faith, learn about their
    church and their denomination and come to more fully understand what it means to be a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. Our time together will include opportunities for fellowship, participation in worship, community/church service, and a chance to attend a confirmation retreat at Silver Lake where our group will meet with confirmands from other CT churches. The class will culminate with a Service of Confirmation in May. Please contact Pastor Allyson at pastorallyson.scc@gmail.com or through the church office to express interest in the program. Our meeting times will be determined by the group to accommodate everyone’s schedule.
    FROM THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE: There are many positions that
    need to be filled for the upcoming year. Diaconate – 1, Christian Ed – 2, Music –
    3, Parish Life – 6, Outreach – 4, Finance – 1, Property – 7, Stewardship – 3,
    Nominating – 4, Auditors – 2, and a Moderator. If you might be so moved by the
    Spirit and would like to fill a vacancy, please contact Teresa Kregling at 203-881-
    2027, Leslie Miklus at 203-308-2628, or George Bashura at 203-888-7734.
    FOOD BANK VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
    The Seymour/Oxford Food Bank is asking for help with sorting, dating, and
    boxing food for upcoming food drives:
    Boy Scouts on November 11th (12:00 pm – 3:00 pm and 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm)
    Police and Haynes Food Drives On November 18th (3:00 – 6:00)
    WINTER HEATING COSTS – HELP IS AVAILABLE
    Now is the time to think about applying to TEAM for assistance with winter
    heating costs. Households qualify for assistance if they fall below these income
    levels:
    $34,366 household of one $44,940 household of two
    $55,514 household of three $66,089 household of four
    Applicants are eligible based on review of their total gross household income,
    such as wage earnings, unemployment compensation, social security, pension,
    etc.; household size; and liquid assets, as shown through bank statements. If
    an applicant is approved for assistance, TEAM will make direct payments to
    their home heating provider.
    Both homeowners and renters who are residents of Ansonia, Beacon Falls,
    Bethany, Derby, Milford, Orange, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton and Woodbridge
    can apply for energy assistance from TEAM.
    To schedule an appointment with Energy Assistance please call
    203.736-5420 and follow the prompts.
    Milford residents – 203.783-3253
    Woodbridge residents – 203.389-3429
    Orange residents – 203.891-4787
    Bethany residents – 203.393-2100 X 124
    TEAM, Inc. is a private 501(C)3 nonprofit corporation whose mission is to strengthen our community by educating, supporting and empowering individuals and families. TEAM programs impact the communities of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Milford, Naugatuck, Orange, Oxford, Shelton, Seymour, Waterbury and Woodbridge
    Please send your announcements to the church offce by Wednesday morning if
    you wish them to be included in next Sunday’s bulletn.

Week of October 22, 2017

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Welcome! We welcome you here to Seymour Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, where whoever you are or wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here. Here you will find a friendly, faith filled community willing to work and serve our Risen Savior. Here we “receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need”. Hebrews 4:16. Our Communion Table is open to all. Please join us in the partaking of the bread and the cup. If you wish to learn more about Seymour Congregational Church, please join us at coffee hour, call the church office at: 203-888-6729, or email us at seymourchurch@snet.net,

TODAY
10:00 AM – Family Worship & Nursery
10:15 AM – Church School
11:00 AM Coffee Hour in Fellowship Hall
11:15 AM Choir practice
11:30 AM SCC Talent Show!

Man is not at peace with his fellow man because he is not at peace with himself. And he is not at peace with himself because he is not at peace with God.
Thomas Merton – writer, theologian and mystic

The flowers today are given by the Noyack Trust as a provision of the will of Mildred Noyack in fond remembrance of her marriage to Edward Noyack. The church voted to place these monies from her trust in a separate fund named the Noyack Trust, to be used for renovations and some scholarship and charitable donations. We are thankful for her generosity which has allowed us to maintain and renovate our beautiful church building.

Today’s LAY LEADER: George Bashura
Today’s GREETERS: Dawn Ryan & Mary Jo Chevarella
DEACONS OF THE MONTH: Teresa Kregling & Deanna Imbro

THIS WEEK
Monday, Oct. 23 4:30 PM Weight Watchers
Tuesday, Oct 24 1:00 PM Bible Study
6:15 PM Girl Scouts #135
Wednesday, Oct. 25 6:00 PM Girl Scouts #306
Saturday, Oct 28 4:30 PM A Taste of Poland DinneR
  • ANNOUNCEMENTS

    Calling All Confirmands!
    Pastor Allyson will be holding a confirmation class for all interested students in grades 9 and up beginning after the first of the year. The confirmation journey is a
    time of intentional preparation in which to explore their faith, learn about their church and their denomination and come to more fully understand what it means to be a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. Our time together will include opportunities for fellowship, participation in worship, community/church service, and a chance to attend a confirmation retreat at Silver Lake where our group will meet with confirmands from other CT churches. The class will culminate with a Service of Confirmation in May.
    Please contact Pastor Allyson at pastorallyson.scc@gmail.com or through the
    church office to express interest in the program. Our meeting times will be
    determined by the group to accommodate everyone’s schedule.
    “Not For Prophet” Musical Concert:
    All are invited to attend a free concert by “Not For Prophet”, a church group from
    Hamden, on October 29, 2017 at 2:00 pm at the Oxford United Church of Christ, Congregational Church. The concert will take place following the Naugatuck Valley Association Fall Meeting and is open to anyone wishing to take advantage of time to enjoy beautiful music.
    From the Nominating Committee: There are many positions that need to be
    filled for the upcoming year. Diaconate – 1, Christian Ed – 2, Music – 3,  Parish Life – 6, Outreach – 2, Finance – 1, Property – 7, Stewardship – 3, Nominating – 4, Auditors – 2, and a Moderator. If you might be so moved by the Spirit and would  like to fill a vacancy, please contact Teresa Kregling at 203-881-2027, Leslie Miklus at 203-308-2628, or George Bashura at 203-888-7734.
    PEACE CANDLE
    Our candle for peace burns as a sign of our continuing prayers for
    justice and freedom from oppression.

Week of 9/17/2017

wood path

                                                                                                           

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”                                  

C S Lewis, noted Christian writer


OLD TESTAMENT      Genesis 50:  15-21

GOSPEL    Matthew 18:  21-35

SERMON   “Grace:  The Gift That Keeps on Forgiving”

Rev. Allyson Glass

The flowers today were given by Roger and Lee Janvrin with loving thoughts for those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. .

Please join us downstairs in Fellowship Hall for Coffee Hour.

Thank you to Joan Waldorf, our guest organist.

LAY LEADER:  Elwin Jimmo

GREETERS:  Tom & Alyce Wells

DEACON OF THE MONTH:  Gail Catlin


Written In Sand or In Stone

Our Lectionary Scripture Reading for Sunday is from the Gospel of Matthew in which the disciple Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive someone.  He asks, should he forgive as many as seven times? Jesus says not seven but seventy five times.  Peter must have thought, wow – you’ve got to be kidding – that’s like impossible.

I have done a lot of thinking about Jesus’ seemingly impossible answer to the Peter’s question.  Basically he is telling Peter, there is no end to the number of times you are to forgive.  Really the question should be, not how many times we forgive but why we forgive.  In reading and preparing my message for this week I came across this story and thought it is a perfect illustration of why we forgive.

A story tells that two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand:
TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE.

They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.

After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone:
TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE.

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?”

The other friend replied “When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.”

LEARN TO WRITE YOUR HURTS IN THE SAND AND TO CARVE YOUR BENEFITS IN STONE.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them.

Remember that forgiveness is truly one of the most difficult of human acts, not only to give but also to receive.  Each Sunday we say the Lord’s Prayer together and ask God to forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and then we go out into the world and are asked to actually act out what we just prayed.  This Sunday, as we pray the Lord’s Prayer together, let’s not just speak the words but pour them out of our heart.  God know this is difficult and is there with us in our struggles with forgiveness.

 Blessings, Pastor Allyson


Prayer for the Week

Our loving God, thank you for the forgiveness you offer through Christ.  Thanks you for the riches of your grace, by which we are forgiven beyond measure.  Thank you for allowing us to experience the joy and freedom of forgiveness as we confess our sin to you and ask you to forgive us.  And thank you for the way our experience of being forgiven by you helps us to forgive others.  Amen


THIS WEEK

Monday, Sept. 18 4:30 PM Weight Watchers

Tuesday, Sept. 19 6:15 PM Girl Scouts #135

7:00 PM Council

Wednesday, Sept. 20 6:00 PM Girl Scouts #306

Thursday, September 21 6:00 PM Girl Scout Registration

7:30 PM Masons


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Barbara Hanson, our new Parish Nurse, will be holding free monthly blood pressure screenings downstairs during Coffee Hour, beginning today and then on the third Sunday of every month.  If you are curious about your blood pressure, or if your blood pressure is a little elevated when you see your doctor, feel free to stop by and have it checked out.    

Bible Study:  Pastor Allyson will be offering bible study on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 1:00 pm.  The next study will be held on September 26 in the “Nursery” room across from the church office.  We will be discussing the “I am” statements of Jesus.  All are welcome to join the discussion and the fellowship.

Rally Day Water Ceremony:  Our Rally Day Brunch Church is scheduled for September 24, 2017.  As part of our Rally Day service we will be celebrating our shared faith and unity with a Water Ceremony.  Everyone is invited to bring in water from a place that is special to them.  Small green glass bottles with stoppers are available to those who would like to participate in this celebration.  The water could be from some place special you visited this summer or simply from your home.  The bottles are available for the next few weeks in the Narthex of the church and Fellowship Hall so please take one on Sunday or stop by during the week.

SEYMOUR CONGREGATIONAL/UCC’s 2ND ANNUAL

RALLY DAY BRUNCH AND CHURCH ~ WATER CEREMONY

SEPTEMBER 24, 2017

GATHERING BEGINS AT 9:30 A.M. – WORSHIP 10:00 A.M.

FELLOWSHIP HALL (instead of upstairs in Sanctuary)

Everyone is invited to bring in water from a place that is special to them, perhaps somewhere you went on vacation or from your own home. Small glass bottles are available in the Narthex of the church and in Fellowship Hall. Stop by and pick one up or bring your own bottle of water.

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CHURCH SCHOOL REGISTRATION BEGINS TODAY!!!

Continental Breakfast with Juice, Coffee and Tea will be provided!

* * * DEADLINE for SIGN-UPs extended to SEPTEMBER 24th * * *

 

Talent Show Sunday October 22, 2017

 Coffee Hour from 11:00 a.m. ~ 11:30 a.m.

Talent Show from 11:30 a.m. ~ 1:30 p.m.

Seymour Congregational Church will be having a Talent Show for its members, friends, and families on October 22 during and after Coffee Hour. We all have a talent so come show us what you’ve got! Everyone is welcome to take center stage or you can cheer the performers on from the audience!

Talent may be:

*      Individual

*      Group

Category may be, but is not limited to:

*      Musical

*      Comical

*      Magical

*      Theatrical

All Acts must register no later than September 24th. Each act will need to advise the category of the act, participants names, and approximate running time of the performance.  At this time, also please let us know if you have any special requirements.

Note: The time allotted for your act may be altered depending on the number of actual participants at the time of registration. You will be notified no later than October 1st if a change is required.

For more details and for registering please see Lynne Foreman.

~ sponsored by your Parish Life Committee ~

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Snowflake Fair, Saturday, November 18th.  We have space available for more vendors (forms are in the hall if you know anyone who is interested).  Items for our basket raffle can be brought in starting NOW—or, get a group together and put together a basket (approx. $25-30 value), with the baskets being displayed at the Polish Dinner on October 28th.  Items for the Treasures Room and Boutique can be brought in starting in October.

pierogi 1

Please mark your calendars!  We are having our Annual Polish Dinner on Saturday, October 28th from 5 to 7 PM.  I will let you know soon when we will be making the stuffed cabbage and pierogi’s.  The day of the dinner, I will need help in the kitchen and a hostess and servers.  Let me know if you can help.            Teresa

RE: Church Picnic ~ Please note that we (Parish Life) have not forgotten that many of you enjoy an annual picnic.  The church’s schedule is chock full of various activities from Rally Day through the Christmas season so we will be looking at some time next year to have a wonderful Picnic/BBQ Get Together filled with fine food, family/friends, faith and fellowship – stay tuned for more news in early 2018.  Peace and Blessings!

From the Nominating Committee:  There are many positions that need to be filled for the upcoming year.  Diaconate – 1, Christian Ed – 2, Music – 3, Parish Life – 6, Outreach – 2, Finance – 1, Property – 7, Stewardship – 3, Nominating – 4, Auditors – 2, and a Moderator.  If you might be so moved by the Spirit and would like to fill a vacancy, please contact Teresa Kregling at 203-881-2027, Leslie Miklus at 203-308-2628, or George Bashura at 203-888-7734.

 

Volunteer Orientation & Training, Fall 2017 at the CT Hospice, Inc.

The CT Hospice, Inc. (inpatient and homecare) is sponsoring volunteer orientation and training this fall.  If you or someone you know is looking for an opportunity to serve others in your community, we would like to hear from you.  Our patients and families are in need of your care and support.  As a volunteer, you can fill your hours (weekdays/evenings or weekends) by assisting in clerical capacity or offering direct patient/family contact as a friendly visitor, provide pastoral care or bereavement services, help in the arts, massage therapy, pet therapy, hairdresser/barber or provide transportation.  For more information, please contact Joan Cullen at 203-315-7510 orjcullen@hospice.com.

The Shriner’s Children’s Hospital  provides treatments for diseases of the bones, muscles and joints for children from birth to 18 years of age.  All care, while at Shriner’s Hospital, is provided regardless of the patients ability to pay.  The Hospital is funded by the Shriners, Shriners Hospital endowment fund, and gifts from the public.  There is no need to have an affiliation with a Shriner or be related to one.  Please save your pull-tabs or “pop-tops” from beverage cans, soup cans, etc. and Dawn Ryan will deliver them  to the Shriners Hospital, where they are sold to a recycling center.  The money collected is used to fund transportation for needy children to and from the hospital.   See Dawn Ryan or call her at 203-888-0600.  

 

PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY:  Do you like to knit, crochet, or sew?  I invite you to join our prayer shawl ministry.  Shawls or lap blankets are given to those who have suffered a loss, an illness or even in celebration of an event.  Have questions?  Please call Lynda Boynton at 203-888-5473.

PRAYER CHAIN:  The Prayer Chain is open to everyone.  There is an amazing strength from the power of prayer.  To have your email address added to our prayer chain so you will receive notifications of those in need of prayer, let Teresa Kregling know at kreg5@comcast.net or call her at 203-881-2027.  If you have a prayer request you would like to go out to the people on the Prayer Chain, email or call Teresa and she will send it out.

Please send your announcements to the church office by Wednesday morning if you wish them to be included in next Sunday’s bulletin.