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.

Prayer-Shawl-Ministry-knitted-heart1

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.

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Week of March 20, 2016

Worship 10:00am

Coffee Hour immediately following

Retreat

 

When you hear “Retreat!” you think of the dictionary definition: “moving away from a place or situation especially because it is dangerous or unpleasant.  This definition most certainly does not describe our wonderful Confirmation Retreat this past weekend at Silver Lake. In fact, we moved toward a safe and nurturing place, a beautiful place where we worshipped together, learned together, and played together.

Thank you to our chaperones, Nancy Rogers and Elwin Jimmo, for their enthusiasm and support during our time at Silver Lake.  In addition to visiting the Labyrinth and hiking around the camp, the retreat provided us with opportunities to meet with other teens from around CT to discuss many spiritual topics including baptism, discipleship, and the scriptural basis for the six core values of the United Church of Christ denomination.  Our confirmation class has decided that our church truly exemplifies the UCC core value; “We Are People of God’s Extravagant Welcome” and we talked about how our group can be part of that welcome. What a blessing for us to share our faith with each other as we experienced God together in such an inspiring setting.   

So sound the Retreat, head for a safe and comforting place and spend some quiet time with God and with friends this week.  I’m sure glad we did!

 Blessings, Pastor Allyson

Prayer for the Week

Thank you God,

Not just for life,

But for our journey through life.

Life is a miracle,

And a journey through life is so full of so many more miracles

If we travel with our Heartsongs,

Thank you God for blessing me with the gift of Heartsongs,

So that I can enjoy my miracles.

~Mattie J.T. Stepanek, 11 yr. old struggling with Muscular Dystrophy, April 1998

 


 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

MAUNDY THURSDAY:  We will be having a pasta dinner prior to the Maundy Thursday service, 5:30 pm, March 24th in Fellowship Hall.

 It would be helpful if we had an approximate headcount so please sign up at coffee hour.

We will be serving pasta (including a gluten free option) and three sauces: Howie Bradshaw’s famous meat sauce, turkey Bolognese, and plain marinara; salad & garlic bread.

Donations of pasta (spaghetti) and sauce (marinara) would be greatly appreciated (leave items in the kitchen). Please contact Michelle Mann if you can help out in the kitchen. We will be there at 3pm to start cooking and could use help with clean up as well.  We did this last year and had a good turn out. Hope you can make it.

 


 

 

Breakfast-with-Easter-Bunny

Pancake Breakfast with the Easter Bunny

Saturday, March 26, 2016

8 – 11 am

$7 per person – $4 children 10 and under

Free Children’s Easter Craft Table

Proceeds provide camperships to Silver Lake Conference Center and funding for Youth Group and Church School activities

DON’T MISS THE FUN – BRING YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS!!!

Volunteer and Donation Sign-up sheets are in Fellowship Hall for the Bunny Breakfast. We need help with set up and bacon cooking on Friday 3/25 and help from beginning to end on Saturday 3/26. Any amount of time you can share with us is appreciated. Don’t miss the fun and satisfaction of knowing you are helping fund programs for our youth and church school children!

Tickets for the breakfast will be available soon!

Please bring in your raffle basket or items to be added to a basket as soon as possible so that we will have a good number of baskets at the Bunny Breakfast, and can sell tickets for the drawing in June at the Turkey Dinner.

Basket Ideas:  Gardening, Wine/Beer, Baking, Kitchen, etc.

Thank you,

The Christian Education Committee

 


 

 

tag sale

T A G   S A L E

SAT., MAY 14TH

8:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.

Our annual tag sale is fast approaching – mark your calendars NOW!

This year, we will have around 7 tables inside for members ($10 per table) and non-members ($20 per table). We will also offer a limited amount of 10’ x 10’ spaces outside for $15 (must provide own table). Interested members need to advise Laura Thompson if interested by March 31st before we advertise for outsiders.

Items can be dropped off in the gym the week after Easter. Items should be clean and in good condition (NO clothing, unless hats, purses or scarves). Any unsold items will be donated to Helping Hands. If you need your items picked up, please call the church office or Laura.

We will also have coffee and baked goods for sale, and any donations will be gratefully accepted (no lunch will be offered).


Church-bus

Need a ride to church??

The Seymour Senior Center is now offering transportation to church services for Seymour Residents who are no longer able to drive themselves.  We will be offering transportation to the following Sunday Services:

Seymour Congregational, Broad St., 10:00 a.m.

Trinity Episcopal, Church St., 10:00 a.m

St. Augustine Catholic, Washington Ave., 10:30 a.m.

Other churches may be included  if requested and times do not conflict with the schedule.  Reservations required.  Call 203-888-0406 before 4:00 p.m.  Calls made after 4:00 p.m. will not be accepted. Transportation will be provided by the Senior Mini-Bus.

It is free – first come, first serve.

 


 

OFFICE HOURS THIS WEEK

Reverend – Tues., Wed.  & Thurs. – 9:30 AM-4:00 PM

Pastor Allyson is looking forward to meeting with members of the congregation and sets aside mornings for that purpose.  Please call first to meet with her in the afternoon as she will use this time for visitation and community outreach.

Administrative Asst. – Tues., Wed. & Thurs. – 9:30 AM-1:30 PM


 

THIS WEEK

Monday, March 21 4:00 PM Weight Watchers

Tuesday, March 22 6:15 PM GS #135

6:30 PM Adult Choir Rehearsal

Thursday, March 24 5:30 PM Pasta Supper

7:00 PM Maundy Thursday Service ~ Special music by the Adult Choir.

 

 

E Bridge – Week of 2/8/2015

Welcome to this week’s E-Bridge

What you will find here :
-Reflections on this week’s text
-What is happening at Seymour Congregational Church
-What is going on around the Conference. Please spend time to review the video on church interdependence found at the end of the E-Bridge.

We have two text this Sunday the First is from Isaiah 40:21-31

This time of year is rough on lots of people. In Connecticut winter has finally arrived. The snow while beautiful when fresh loses its luster soon. The full moon last night lit up my yard, Peg went into the old familiar words of the Christmas Eve Poem “gave a luster of midday to objects below”; After two days of moving the stuff, the luster, I will admit was wearing off. Short days and long nights have a negative effect on many. The grayness and short days often have a wearing effect. Some suffer from seasonal affective disorder, which leads to depression. So that leads me to our first text.
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint. [from Isaiah 40]
The prophet was of course speaking to a people in exile, who’d spent a lot of years away from home. They were tired. Tired of the distance, the longing, the not knowing, no luster, powerless.
The prophet’s words come to us also. We get tired. Exhausted, even. Lonely. Faint, the poet says. And what is the word we’re to hear?
Years back when studying biblical languages, I learned that triplets (three-line sequences) in Hebrew poetry, like the one at the end of this chapter, grew in emphasis from the first to the third. In other words, the last line is more important to the author than the middle, and the middle is more important than the first. In this case, that seems counterintuitive to me.
If he were thinking/writing/preaching the way I would, the poet would have said, “They shall walk and not faint, they shall run and not be weary, they shall mount up with wings like eagles.” But his order is just the opposite of what I’d expect.
Surely, I would say, flying like an eagle should be the pinnacle moment of this poem, not walking without falling down. That however is for me what it is all about. Walking and not falling down. How many times have I stood with someone who has broken a wing and is now learning to walk all over again. Walker in hands one step forward.
Here’s what I have grown to love in this poem: Sometimes, no matter how much we long to soar like an eagle, all we can do is barely manage to put one foot in front of the other, over and over and over again. Maybe that is all we can hope for. That the very best thing is simply to be able to walk, in faith and with strength, because God accompanies us.
And from Mark 9:2-9
This is one of those stories that woman hear different than men. There is Jesus doing his thing. Simon-Peter has brought his new found friends over for dinner. Only a guy would do this without calling ahead. And only a guy would have stopped to think if my mother-in law is sick maybe we should dine out and bring her something. I feel for this un-named woman. Who as the woman who read the text note, sick or not Jesus gets her up, a miracle well maybe and off she goes into the kitchen to cook and serve. The real miracle would have been if the men at least delivered some pizza.
See You Sunday


ANNOUNCEMENTS

On February 7th at 9:00 AM, there will be a kitchen cleanup.
Please come and help out. Contact Teresa Kregling with any questions.

THIS Sunday, February 8 is our 2nd Annual Valentine’s Auction.

Get on the good side of your sweetheart! There will be a “healthy” Coffee Hour immediately after church service this Sunday followed by the Live Auction. So grab your coffee or tea, a little nosh, and a bidding paddle (and don’t forget your checkbook!) We have so many wonderful gifts for all ages that have been donated to bid on, including amazing sweet and tasty treats! Come on down to Fellowship Hall after service and join us in the fun!

For donations of baked goods or other food items – Please bring them in before the start of the service on Sunday and be sure to label what the item is and if it contains nuts or is gluten-free. Thank you.

In the event church is cancelled due to the weather, we will have the Auction on Sunday, Feb. 15th.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Peace and Blessings,

Your Parish Life Committee

 

** Next Sunday, Feb. 15th, the Choir will be starting to rehearse a new Cantata “Sanctuary” to be presented on Palm Sunday in Celebration of the Life of Regina Poniatowski, given by her family and friends. We’re inviting people that like to sing to come join us, be a “Sometime Singer” and sing in the Cantata and for Easter. Grab your coffee and come up to the Choir Room at 11:30 next week! No experience necessary. See You?

**Is any member of your family having a birthday or anniversary? Why not surprise them and put flowers on the altar for their celebration? Or remember a loved one. Flowers mean so much. Our Flower Chart in the hall is completely empty for February and March. Calling YOU to please sign up!!

**Please send your announcements to the church office by WEDNESDAY morning if you wish them to be included in next Thursday’s E-Bridge and Sunday’s bulletin.

**Tag Sale date will be Saturday, May 2nd, 8 am – 2 pm. Members who would like to unload some items can rent a table for $20. A sign up sheet will be posted in March for those wanting to rent a table and for volunteers to help set up/tear down, work at the sale, etc. Please hold off bringing in items until the week following Easter (April 6). Any questions, contact Laura Thompson. Thank you!

**BOOK CLUB: Our book club meets the first Friday of each month. We each take turns picking a book of our own choice and then the discussion takes place in our home. Books of every genre are chosen which makes for lively discussion. For more information contact Karen Baker, 888-0394.


THIS WEEK AT SEYMOUR CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

Sunday, February 8th 
10:00 AM – Worship
11:15 AM – Valentine’s Auction
No Choir Rehearsal Today

Monday, Feb.9:
3:30 PM Weight Watchers
7:30 PM Amaranth

Tuesday, Feb. 10
6:15 PM Girl Scouts #135

Thursday, Feb. 12:
7:00 PM AA

Saturday, Feb. 14:
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!



OFFICE HOURS THIS WEEK

Reverend – Tues., Wed. & Thurs. – 9:30 AM-4:00 PM
Administrative Asst. – Tues., Wed., & Thurs. – 9:30 AM-1:30 PM

Rev. Ed is here Tues., Wed., and Thurs. from 9:30 AM until 4 PM. He would like to meet members of the congregation, and puts morning hours aside for that. Please call first if you plan to come in the afternoon as Rev. Ed goes out to visit at that time.


Conference News

News and Announcements
One of the new ideas taking place around the conference has been to assist congregations to find mutual ways to work together. Interdependent ministries recognizes that the difficulties the local congregation has when trying to stand alone. It call out to the benefits that occur when congregations find mutual ways to work together. You may wish to view the video by Rev. Siladi as he discusses this new approach.

VIDEO: New Vantage Point Begins Series on Interdependent Ministries  HARTFORD — In a new edition of Vantage Point released today via the Connecticut Conference’s YouTube channel, Conference Minister the Rev. Kent Siladi began a series of conversations with local church leaders engaged in interdependent ministries. In the first installment, four pastors joined Rev. Siladi in the Leadership Studio at United Church Center to briefly describe some of the ways they have shared in God’s work with members and ministers of another congregation. 02/04/2015

Conference Calls Michelle Hughes as Associate Conference Minister for Transitions – HARTFORD — In a message to church leaders around the state today, Conference Minister the Rev. Kent Siladi announced that the Rev. Michelle Hughes of Chicago, Illinois, has been called as the first Associate Conference Minister for Transitions, to support and collaborate with local congregations during leadership transitions. “We believe that many of our churches will reap rich harvests from the assistance and training she will be able to bring to them,” he said. 01/23/2015
And Yes ministries do die!

Sunset: the Christian Conference of Connecticut Concludes its Ministry – HARTFORD — With a single candle flickering at the front of the chapel in the Asylum Hill Congregational Church UCC in Hartford, friends, supporters, and admirers of the Christian Conference of Connecticut honored the ecumenical agency’s ministry in worship on Thursday evening, January 15th, as it concluded. Board Secretary the Rev. Bruce Steinway reflected, “To follow Jesus is to make one’s way to the cross — but the cross is not the last word.” 01/21/2015


UPCOMING SERMON NOTES:

The subject of our Sermon on February 15th will  be about global warming.  Please take a moment and watch this supporting video:

Global Warming – Preaching for the Planet

 

E-Bridge 9/14/2014

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Did you miss our Worship Service on 8/31/14?

Click on the photo below to view it at your leisure!

August 31

Matthew 18:21-35

21Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” 22Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. 23“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; 25and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. 26So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. 28But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. 31When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. 32Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ 34And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. 35So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

 

Today is the anniversary of 9-11 and God’s lays this text at our feet. Forgiveness is so difficult when you hurt so much. I lost friends that day. I still grieve the moment how can I forgive when I have been hurt… But I must forgive although I do not wish to ever forget.  That is way it is so necessary – in order to get past the hurt – the anger – the pain for our own healing God offers to us the grace of forgiveness. It is only in our forgiving that our soul can move toward completeness. It is in forgiveness that we discover rebuilding and in forgiveness that relationships are reformed.

Rev Ed


 

Passion For Peace

Spirited Wednesday

by the Rev. Rochelle A. Stackhouse
September 10, 2014

Exodus 14: 19-31 (NRSV)

The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them. It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel. And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and chariot drivers. At the morning watch the Lord in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. He clogged their chariot wheels so that they turned with difficulty. The Egyptians said, ‘Let us flee from the Israelites, for the Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.’

Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and chariot drivers.’ So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at dawn the sea returned to its normal depth. As the Egyptians fled before it, the Lord tossed the Egyptians into the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the chariot drivers, the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not one of them remained. But the Israelites walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.

Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.

Reflection:

In Steven Spielberg’s telling of the story of Moses (Prince of Egypt), this scene at the Red Sea has all the drama of the old Cecil B. DeMille version, but then something just a bit different. At the end of the story, after the children of Israel have crossed the sea on dry land and the water has rushed back in to drown the chariots and chariot drivers, Moses hears his adoptive brother, the Pharaoh, crying out from the other side of the sea. Moses sits on a rock, looking out at the pieces of chariots floating by and knowing their drivers have now drowned, knowing that he is severed forever from his family in Egypt, and he is obviously distraught at what has just happened. For just a moment before the great victory song, we are reminded that this victory came with multiple losses.

Thirteen years ago the towers of the World Trade Center fell, and the planes flew into the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. In the thirteen years since then, our nation has fought two wars, and both Iraq and Afghanistan continue to be places of struggle and death. Wars pile up one loss after another, and each loss brings cries of pain and breaks families and communities. In Moses’ song in chapter 15, we find the words “the Lord is a warrior,” and it seems that the three great faiths who honor Moses, including the one which claims to honor the Prince of Peace, all are quick to insist that God the warrior is on their side. Perhaps the way out is to pause for a moment in all the warring, to stop the rush to the victory song, and to recognize the loss upon loss in every conflict. Perhaps if we did not charge so quickly out of sadness and grief and into triumphalism, we might be more motivated to be peacemakers. This week, as we remember 9/11, let us sit on that rock by the sea with Moses, and remember all those of many nations who have lost lives since then. Out of our lament, perhaps, will come a passion for peace instead of a song of victory.

Prayer:

For a time of prayer today, sit in silence and let the sadness of the world flow through your mind. Then lift each hurt, each loss, each pain up to God in silent lament. End by praying for peace for all.

The Rev. Rochelle A. Stackhouse is pastor of the Church of the Redeemer in New Haven.

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Our Church phone system is down indefinitely.  You can still call in and leave a message or send an email to seymourchurch@snet.net               Rev. Ed can be reached at revedcornell@comcast.net .

*Flu and Pneumonia Vaccine:  On Sunday, October 5th, Stephanie and the UCONN Pharmacy students will be running their annual Flu Shot clinic.  Stephanie will also have the Pneumonia and Shingles shots available.   To sign up please see Teresa.

  

*22nd Annual Polish Dinner:  Saturday, November 1st, 5 to 7 pm.  We would love to have you join us again this year.  We will need many hands to make this another successful year.  Any donations are welcome. Thanks, Teresa


MC900026980[1]SNOWFLAKE FAIR – SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22ND 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Please be sure to post this note on your refrigerator to keep these dates at hand!

All are welcome to come to any/all of our get-togethers – Your help is needed! Children & Youth are especially invited to help when we’re setting up trees*!

 

Now-Oct. 26: Drop off items to be incorporated into raffle baskets (boxes at back of church hall).

Sept 26:        (Friday) 5:30 pm, craft night at Lynne’s (please let her know if you plan to attend). Bring $5 for pizza, a box cutter (if you have one), and a small-medium sized paintbrush, along with any other craft idea you may have.

Oct. 5-26:     Bring in your completed baskets, so we can have on display for the Polish Dinner on Nov. 1st.

Oct. 16:         (Thurs) 5:30 pm: Craft night at Leslie’s (likewise, let Leslie know if you plan to attend). Bring $5 for pizza and a glue gun, if you have one. Leslie will have material to make ornaments, or bring a craft idea.

*Nov. 2:       Decorate stage, following worship

Nov. 2-16:    Christmas Treasures Room and Boutique donations can be placed in boxes at back of church hall.

Nov. 9:         See Nancy Cretella during coffee hour to get a gift idea for a “Covenant to Care” child.

*Nov. 15:     (Sat) Decorate the nursery and set up our “Giving Tree” and “All That Glitters” tree, 1 p.m.

Nov 16:        * Purchase your Giving Tree ornament (before or after church) by donating $1 and up to either the Gellatly Scholarship Fund or the CT Food Bank; or by donating a gift to TEAM “white gifts”, Covenant to Care gifts, or items for the VA Hospital. Let’s show the community our support we have for these missions by putting a big dent in filling up the tree! Donations will also be taken on the day of the fair.

                     *Help carry baskets (and the shelving~men needed please) up to the nursery following coffee hour.

Nov. 17-19:  Set up/price items in Treasures Room, 6:30 – 8 p.m.; see Doris Raymond if you can help during the day)

Nov. 19&20: Help set up boutique, around 9:30 a.m. (see Connie)

Nov. 20:       Set up vendor tables, complete decorating hall, 2:00 p.m. – ?

Nov. 21:       Baked goods can be dropped off between 4:30 and 7 p.m.; otherwise, bring early on day of fair (items should be wrapped/bagged and priced ~ be sure to indicate if includes nuts).

Nov 22:        Fair Date ~ please sign-up if you can help on day of fair. Please come & support our vendors & your church!

           


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Dear Churches authorized ministers, MID’s, and delegates ,

The content of this email is from the Assistant Conference Minister. Please let your congregation and delegates know of these opportunities to attend  Pre- CT Conference Annual meeting hearings.  All are welcome to attend.

 

Pre-Annual Meeting Hearings: In an effort to allow more time for the
spirit to move through Annual Meeting there will be Regional Hearings
presented in September to learn about the Resolutions, the Budget and to
hear some reflections from Rev. Kent Siladi, Conference Minister. There
is a flyer enclosed to be posted and shared with others. The schedule is
as follows:

*  Saturday, September 13, 2014       10 AM First Congregational Church, Guilford

*  Saturday, September 13, 2014      2:30 PM Liberty Christian Center,Hartford

*  Sunday, September 14, 2014        3 PM Congregational Church of Brookfield

*  Wednesday, September 17, 2014        7 PM First Church of Christ in Mansfield

We look forward to seeing you at one of these hearings.

Cecile Gilson
Assistant to the Conference Minister

Connecticut Conference UCC
125 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT 06105
(860) 761-7109

 

 

 

E Bridge Week of 7/6/2014

. . . Weekly Newsletter Seymour Congregational Church United Church of Christ July 6, 2014 Worship Service 10:00am  Please join us after service for coffee hour. “Celebrating Our 225th Anniversary”     Did you miss our worship service on June 29th? … Continue reading