Week of 1/8/2017

January 8, 2017

TODAY

10:00 AM – WORSHIP SERVICE CANCELLED DUE TO SNOW AND ICY CONDITIONS. SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!!

11:30 AM – Adult Choir Rehearsal

 

There is nothing we can do to make God love us more.  There is nothing we can do to make God love us less.    

~ Philip Yancey

 

 

OLD TESTAMENT         Isaiah 60:  1-6

EPISTLE                Ephesians 1: 3-14

SERMON      “A Mystery Revealed”      Rev. Allyson Glass

 


 

The flowers today are given in memory of Ethel A. Marshall

by the Marshall Family.

Please join us downstairs in the Fellowship Hall for coffee hour.

It is being hosted by the Outreach committee.

 

GREETERS:  Tom & Alyce Wells

LAY LEADER:  Gail Catlin

DEACONS OF THE MONTH:  Kreglings & Catlins

Christmas Carols were played on the Memorial Chimes by Bethany Catlin on Christmas and New Year’s Day.  Many thanks.

 

 


Miracles

 I love the delightful stories that people send me through email, often they provide a smile when I most need one.  They also give me pause to think about how I view situations.  Hopefully the following story will make you smile but also make you think about what it would take to give your faith a boost.

Sister Mary Ann, who worked for a home health agency, was out making her rounds visiting homebound patients when she ran out of gas.  As luck would have it, a Texaco gasoline station was just a block away.  She walked to the station to borrow a gas can and buy some gas.  The attendant told her that the only gas can he owned had been loaned out, but she could wait until it was returned.  Since Sister Mary Ann was on the way to see a patient, she decided not to wait and walked back to her car.  She looked for something in her car that she could fill with gas and spotted the bedpan she was taking to her patient.  Always resourceful, Sister Mary Ann carried the bedpan to the station, filled it with gasoline, and carried the full bedpan back to her car.  As she was pouring the gas into her tank, two Baptists watched from across the street…one of them turned to the other and said, “If it starts…I’m turning Catholic.”

May your new year be filled with laughter and many miracles, Pastor Allyson


Weekly Prayer

Gracious God, you are with me each hour of the day. For all I have seen with my own eyes today, for all others have helped me to see, I give thanks.  For those things I did not notice; signs of beauty and kindness, evidences of your grace, I pray that you will improve the eyes of my faith so that I can see more clearly, and follow you more nearly, tomorrow, and all of my tomorrows.  Amen

 


 

 THIS WEEK

 

Monday, Jan. 9

4:30 PM Weight Watchers

7:30 PM Amaranth

 

Tuesday, Jan. 10

6:15 PM GS #135

7:00 PM Deacons

 

Wednesday, Jan. 11

6:00 PM GS #60306


 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Annual Report – To those who prepare a report for the Annual Meeting, please email me your report to seymourchurch@snet.net byJanuary 8.  Thank you,

Connie

 

RE:  2017 Seymour Congregational Church Annual Meeting

To the Members of the Seymour Congregational Church, UCC

 

Please be advised that the Annual Church Meeting will be held Sunday, January 22, 2017 at 12:15 P.M. following a Pot-Luck Dinner at 11:30 A.M.

The Agenda of the meeting will be:

The review and acceptance of:

Minutes of 2016 Annual Meeting

2016 Committee Reports

Nominating Report, including election of any new Officers and Committee Members

Financial Reports, including approval of the 2017 Annual Budget

To consider any concerns that may come before the Governing Body.

All members of the Seymour Congregational Church are both urged and expected to attend this meeting.

Respectfully submitted,

Dawn Ryan

Secretary of the Church

Seymour Congregation Church, UCC

 


.

NEW FLOWER CHART:

Our new Flower Chart for 2017 is up if you would like to put flowers in church for a Sunday Service.  It can be found in the Narthex by the side door.  Just write your name and any “Dedication of”, “In Celebration of”, or “In Memory of” on the line next to the date you would like to have flowers.  If you are taking your flowers home after church, please put a big “T” (for Take) next to your name, or if you would like to leave them for a shut in, please put “L” (Leave) after your name.  The flowers will be ordered and delivered to the church for you.  The cost is $25.00.  Please make the check out to the Seymour Congregational Church and either give it to me at the organ or place it in the “Flower Mailbox” in the church office.
This is a wonderful way to share your joys with your church family.  It is appreciated by all.  Thank you.  Cherie Weiss


.

Food Bank Volunteers Needed

 

The Seymour/Oxford Food Bank is in need of volunteers to assist in meeting the growing needs in our community.  The Food Bank needs help Monday through Thursday 9:00 am to 11:00 am so if you have a spare half an hour or a few hours we can find a job for you.  We are in need of people to pick up food from local grocery stores, people to act as “shopping pals” for clients as they pick up food, someone to answer the phone and schedule appointments, and help stocking shelves.  If you would like to help in any way, please call the Food Bank at        203-888-7826 and leave your name and contact information.

Thank you for any time you can give to this important community resource.

The Food Bank Executive Board

 

SUNDAY, February 12th, is our 4th Annual Valentines Auction

Get on the good side of your sweetheart!  There will be a “healthy” Coffee Hour immediately after Church service that day which will be followed by the Live Auction!

We are in need of donated items for the Auction.  If anyone is interested, please see Lynne Foreman.  We will also be accepting donations of baked goods or other food items on the day of or day before.

Peace and Blessings,

Your Parish Life Committee

 


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.


 .

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

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

.

Advertisements

Week of May 1, 2016

Sunday May 1, 2016

10:00 AM – Family Worship & Nursery

10:15 – Church School


May we have communion with God in the secret of our hearts, and find Him to be to us as a little sanctuary.       Charles Spurgeon, British preacher and author


 

Please join us in the Fellowship Hall for Coffee Hour.  It is being hosted by the Outreach Committee.


GREETERS:

Tony Calzone and Luanne Smith

LAY LEADER:

Karl Kregling

DEACON OF THE MONTH:

Catlins and Kreglings

11:00 AM – Bell Choir – Come ring with us!  All ages welcome!

11:30 AM – Adult Choir

5:00-7:00 PM – Confirmation Class

 


Chasing Fullness

The crowd continued to follow Jesus the day after Jesus performed a miracle by feeding thousands of hungry people with the five loaves and two fish, not because they were hungry, but they were hoping for another miracle.  They were driven by a need for fullness; it seems they were chasing fullness as there never seemed to be enough.  It is in this context that Jesus speaks to the multitude saying, “I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never by thirsty.” (John 6: 35)

In saying, “I am the bread of life”, Jesus is in effect telling us; “I don’t want you to spend your life just chasing fullness.  I want to offer satisfaction, no matter what the circumstances are.  I want to give you contentment and peace. I can provide that. Let me be your source of joy, so that no matter where you are, you are, you can say, right now is a good day, Life is good.  I am blessed.”

Through communion we celebrate our nearness to the spirit of Jesus in the partaking of the bread of life and the cup of the new covenant.  In this way, communion is not so much about the remembering the One who has gone before us but about celebrating the One who is always with us.   The beautiful hymn Here O My Lord, by Horatius Bonar (1855) speaks about this celebration; “Too soon we rise; the symbols disappear; the feast, though not the love is past and gone.  The bread and wine remove; but Thou art here, nearer than ever, still my shield and sun.”

 Blessings, Pastor Allyson

Weekly Prayer

Christ be with me, Christ within me,

Christ behind me, Christ before me,

Christ beside me, Christ to win me,

Christ to comfort and restore me,

Christ beneath me, Christ in danger,

Christ in hearts of all that all that love me,

Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

~Attributed to – St Patrick’s Breastplate Prayer (9th Century)


THIS WEEK

Monday, May 2 4:00 PM Weight Watchers

Tuesday, May 3 6:15 PM GS #135

Thursday, May 5 6:30 PM GS #135 Leader Mtg.

Friday, May 6 8:00 PM Eastern Star


ANNOUNCEMENTS

Save the Date:

May 15 – Confirmation Sunday

May 22 at 4:00 PM – Pastor Allyson’s Installation, Reception following

 

 

SCHOLARSHIP

Scholarship informational meetings will be held at the church in the gym  on Tuesday, June 7th at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 5th  at 11:30   Both a parent and the student applicant (new applicants and those reapplying) must attend one of these mandatory meetings.  Applications will be given to the candidates after attendance of one of these meetings.

The Scholarship Committee of the Seymour Congregational Church is empowered to award 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 awards if they are members or children of members of the Seymour Congregational Church.  At this meeting, scholarship committee members will explain expectations, requirements and important information for the families to understand before applying for a scholarship.

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.

If you have any questions, speak to Laura Thompson or Karen Baker, Scholarship Committee.

 

Carriers for Foster Kids:

Gently used tote bags, backpacks, overnight bags or duffle bags are needed in a New Haven Foster Care facility.

The children that are brought into the system generally have only the clothes on their backs until they are placed and then they carry their belongings in garbage bags.

Other items that are needed are toiletries like toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, and soap. (conditioner, powder, combs and brushes too)

They will also accept hats, scarves and gloves, but with the warmer weather coming, perhaps those things can wait until Fall.

Please see Kim Walsh  to arrange pick up or drop off of any items that you are willing to donate to this cause.

 

 TAG SALE ~ SATURDAY, MAY 14th

  8 A.M. – 2 P.M.

We are part of the “Town Wide Tag Sale”, so grab a flyer the morning of the sale and shop till you drop all around Seymour! Thank you for the items generously donated so far (please put your items marked for “tag sale” in the gym – NO clothing, please). Please note: the last night to drop off any items is Wednesday, May 11th! We also have 4 members (2 inside, 2 outside, so far) who have rented tables, so be sure to check their items too! Help will be needed during the week of May 9th  (That’s a week from Monday! ~ Mon-Thurs, about 5:30 – 8 p.m.) to move tables and bring out the boxes from the back room. Donations of baked goods are also appreciated and can be dropped off on Friday (from 2 – 6 pm) or before the sale Saturday morning – be sure to have pre-packaged, pre-priced (if possible), and marked if it contains nuts. See Laura if you would like to volunteer ~ we can always use extra help, especially at the end of the day when it’s time to pack up before the trucks come from Helping Hands. Also, please park in the grass parking lot and wear name tags and tee-shirts if you have them! (P.S. Bring more baskets for the raffle, too, if you have them ready, as we will have someone on hand to sell tickets).

The 19th Annual Walk for the Hungry and Homeless

To benefit Spooner House/The valley Food Bank –

Saturday, May 21st

8:30 AM – Registration, 9:00 AM –Start

Where:  Derby Greenway (Division St. Entrance)

Minimum $20 donation receives a free event t-shirt

Nancy Cretella will have flyers to hand out at Coffee Hour on Sunday with more information.

 Veterans Appreciation Concert 2016

Presented by The Connecticut Hurricanes Drum & Bugle Corps

Emil Senger Post 10 American Legion and VFW Post 12084

Seymour Middle School Auditorium | 211 Mountain Rd. Seymour, CT

Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 6:30 PM

 Admission is $10 – Tickets available at:

BALANCE, 1 Klarides Dr., Seymour, CT (203)888-8983

Emil Senger American Legion Post 10, Seymour, CT – George Bashura (203)-305-3821

St. Michæl’s Catholic War Veterans Post 1562, Derby, CT (203) 734-9748

VFW Post 12084, Seymour, CT – Al Yagovane (203)736-7981

For Ticket information contact Tom Gabianelli at tgabs@att.net or 203-231-2682

DiSorbo’s Food Truck will be selling hot dogs, burgers, fried dough, pastry’s, etc.

Kindly bring a non-perishable food item for the Seymour / Oxford Food Bank

TURKEY DINNER AND BASKET RAFFLE  Sat., June 4th

Dinner starts at 5:30 PM and Raffle drawing at 7:00 PM.

Adults $14, Kids (under 10 yrs.) $5 – Raffle tickets – $1 for one and $10 for 12

Come for food and fellowship!

There is still time to donate a basket or items for a basket for the Basket Raffle!

 

4th Annual “Hot Dog Stand”

For Veterans and participants of the Seymour Memorial Day Parade

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.  Last year we served over 500 hot dogs!  Items can be left in the kitchen, marked accordingly.  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.

The Field of Flags

is a welcomed site for many and has now become a tradition each Memorial Day. Last year I noticed quite a few people, stopping at all times of day, walking in the field taking pause and paying their respects to not only loved ones past and present but to our country.  Out of respect to the flag, many of them need to be replaced this year as the outdoor elements have taken their toll on them. I’d like to ask if anyone would care to make a monetary donation so that more flags could be purchased.  No amount is too small, anything would be greatly appreciated.  If a donation is made in honor of someone please let me know so this can be appropriately acknowledged. The flags that we’ve had on display these past 2 years have been generously donated by Sally Schwaller in honor of her husband and her father.

Thank you and God Bless!

For more information, see Lynne Foreman

BOOK CLUB:  Our book club’s next book is Me Before You by JoJo Moyes.  It has received great success in past years and is a favorite of book clubs.  It has a moral theme that I predict will promote much discussion when we meet on May 13th.  If you are interested in joining us, please speak to Kim Majkner.

PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY – Are you interested in being a member of the Prayer Shawl Ministry?  Please contact Lynda Boynton. 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, leave a message at the church office 203-888-6729.

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.  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.

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

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


 

 

Welcome to Seymour Congregational Church

We welcome our new pastor,

Reverend Allyson Glass

Allyson is a graduate of Springfield College with a BS degree in Physical Education and Southern CT State University with a MS degree in Adaptive Physical Education and a Sixth Year in Educational Leadership.  She retired as the Principal of Rock Hill Elementary School in Wallingford after a 34 year career in education.  Allyson graduated from Andover Newton Theological School in May 2012 graduation and completed her Chaplain Residency at Yale New Haven Hospital.  She was ordained by the Middlesex Association of the UCC on November 10, 2013 at the Congregational Church in Killingworth, CT where she was a member for 32 years.  She served as a Hospice Chaplain with Valley Health Care in New Jersey for two years before being called the Ministry at the Seymour Congregational Church, United Church of Christ.

Allyson was married for 43 years to her beloved husband Stephen who passed away after a brief battle with Pancreatic Cancer in 2010.  They lived in Killingworth, CT where they raised their two daughters, Laura and Teresa.  Teresa lives in Rocky Hill, CT with her husband Brian and their son Desmond.  She is a speech pathologist with the Region #4 School District.  Laura lives in Holly Springs, NC with her two children Madelyne and Zachary.  She is the Senior VP for Quality and Systems Improvement with the Mid-Atlantic Affiliate of the American Heart Association.

 Join us this Sunday to meet her!


Sunday September  13, 2015

Worship Service – 10:00am

Join us for coffee hour immediately after!


This Weeks E Bridge Announcements

 

 

Rally Day

What a gift Rally Sunday will be for me as your new Pastor.   This is a Sunday to celebrate our community of faith as we come together to feast and celebrate.

We will first feast on The Word through worship.  I cannot help but smile as I see the names of the children and young people who will participate in our Rally Day service.  You will be warmly greeted by Bethany Catlin, Jaden Rogers, Molly Tripp and Emily Soss. We will have special music provided  talented young musicians,  and the return of our choir after a summer hiatus.  Our altar flowers are given by Janet Horton to celebrate Grandparent’s Day.  Yes, we will truly celebrate the gift of our children and young people as we begin the new church school year.

Following worship we will feast on delicious food.  We will be treated to a BBQ and to side dishes provided by members of the congregation.  Our dessert will be the entries in our annual baking contest. This is a wonderful time for us to gather at the table together to share our summer fun and our hopes for the upcoming year.

Our feast of fellowship will continue after lunch with opportunities to participate in a number of games.  What a great opportunity to spend the afternoon having fun together.

 I look forward to our feast,

Pastor Allyson


CHURCH PICNIC SUNDAY!

Tickets are still available only $5 pp  –  see Lynne Foreman


 

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


MEETINGS HAPPENING THIS WEEK

Monday, Sept. 14
3:30 PM Weight Watchers
7:30 PM Amaranth

Tuesday, Sept. 15
6:15 PM GS #135
7:00 PM Council

Wednesday, Sept. 16
6:00 PM GS #60059

Thursday, Sept. 17
7:00 PM Masons
7:00 PM AA

Friday, Sept. 18
8:00 PM Eastern Star


CHURCH SCHOOL  

Join us on September 20th for the start of our Church School season. We have an exciting year planned where will be exploring a new curriculum and a confirmation class will be starting lead by Reverend Allyson Glass.

SNOWFLAKE FAIRSATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21st ~ 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A basket has been placed in the hall for you to place your donations (miscellaneous items we can incorporate into our gift baskets; any miscellaneous ball ornaments~any color or size~that we can use to make/decorate wreaths; pine cones; any bear ornaments or small bears we can  make into ornaments; and clear wrap for our gift baskets and wired ribbon).  You can start bringing in your completed baskets in early October. Items for the Christmas Treasures Room and the Boutique will be collected starting in mid-October. Our next craft get-together will be Saturday, September 26th, at 10:00 a.m. here at the church in the gym. We will have several things we can work on, including a bow-making demonstration by Jeannette (so, please bring a roll of wired ribbon – we will be donating 1 you make to decorate our baskets). See Laura or Jeannette if you have any questions.

225th Anniversary Celebration Dinner

We will be having a birthday party for our Church on Sunday, October 18, 2015 at Antonio’s Restaurant in Southbury.  We have a lot to celebrate!  The Reverend Allyson Glass answered our call to our Church, so we have a full time pastor.  Our Church is 225 years old, having started the same year as President George Washington’s first inauguration!

We will be having a buffet, and the cost is $30.00 per person; kids are $15.00. That price includes everything but we will have a cash bar.   The party will be 12-5 with lunch being served some time after 1:00 P.M.   The buffet will include:  Verde Salad- Penne Vodka- Lemon Chicken- Roast Beef- Stuffed Sole- Potatoes- Vegetables.   There will be soda, coffee, tea and assorted cookies and a Birthday Cake.

Please see Dave Lawson, Karl or Teresa Kregling, Peggy Frazine, Sandy Barber, Mandy Hicks or Dave Bell if you are going to attend.  Thanks.

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.

 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.

 BOOK CLUB:  Our book club meets the second 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.

 

Neighbors in Need

 The Neighbors in Need offering, which we will receive on October 4, supports the UCC’s ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States.  Two-thirds of the offering is used by the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries to fund a wide array of local and national justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects.  Through ucc.org/justice, our national Justice and Witness Ministries office offers resources, news updates, and action alerts on a broad spectrum of justice issues.  Working with members of the UCC Justice and Peace Action Network (a network of thousands of UCC justice and peace advocates), Justice and Witness continues its strong policy advocacy work on issues such as the federal budget, voting rights, immigration, health care, hate crimes, civil liberties, and environmental justice.  Neighbors in Need also supports our American Indian neighbors in the UCC.  One-third of the offering supports the UCC’s Council for American Indian Ministries (CAIM).  Historically, forebears of the UCC established churches and worked with Lakota, Dakota, Nakota, Mandan, Hidatsa, Arickara, and Hocak in North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and northern Nebraska. Today there are 20 UCC congregations on reservations and one urban, multi-tribal UCC congregation in Minneapolis, MN.  These churches and their pastors are supported by CAIM.  CAIM is also an invaluable resource for more than 1,000 individuals from dozens of other tribes and nations who are members of other UCC congregations in the U.S.

Seymour/Oxford Food Bank:  The greatest need right now is canned pasta of any kind.  Please leave donations in the box in the Outreach Room.  Thank you.

HELPING HANDS: Your donation of clothing, furniture, etc. to Helping Hands benefits our church also. When an item is purchased at one of their stores that was donated by us, we receive a portion of the sale price. Your donations are tax deductible. They will pick up furniture.

 

E-Bridge 9/6/14

Friends,

Remember, Sunday is Communion Sunday – Come hungry and ready to be fed!

The text this week comes to us from Matthew 18-

“If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one.16But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

This is one of these text that we silently wink at and then each other we will unpack it a bit Sunday in church but for now let’s at least begin

            If another member of the church sins against you… what do we do – just talk about them behind their back.

            If another member of the church sins against you…just call a bunch of people in the church to complain about them. You may even want to start a letter-writing campaign against them.

            If another member of the church sins against you…just send them a nasty email. Copy the clergy. And, while you’re at it, CC the Senior Deacon or the Regional Minister.

            If another member of the church sins against you…don’t say anything. Just avoid them. Un-friend them on Facebook. And, if you can’t avoid them on Sundays, then just leave the church.

…No.

In the eighteenth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus talks directly to his followers to tell us what our fellowship is to be like. If a brother or sister in the faith hurts you, angers you, saddens you, or does you wrong in any way…you go and talk to them about it directly, one on one. You don’t send someone else in secret – or start a whispering campaign – you don’t go around corners – someone is not happy with something you did – sounds like middle school drama – I know something you don’t know – or kindergarten sandbox – Jesus is clear – go directly to them.

Not only does this manner of working out difficulties lead to forgiveness, it also does so in a graceful way. The offended party isn’t dragging the offender through the mud. If it gets worked out here, no one else needs to know.

            Forgiveness is available without fear of embarrassment in the fellowship. It can be done quietly. Lovingly. Gracefully.

However, when that doesn’t work, you bring another person or two with you. This “ratchets” things up a bit, but still provides for grace amidst discretion.

And then, if things can’t be worked out there, you bring it to the whole church.

            I’ve seen churches be totally undone by backbiting and whisper campaigns. It can be devastating-and not just to attendance and finances-but it’s devastating to the Christian witness of that faith community, and the Universal Church.

For when that happens, the church ceases to be a place of forgiveness, grace, and mercy. One might say that it ceases to be a church in any discernible fashion.

            Forgiveness is meant to be at the core of who we are, and to be honest with you, if we can’t do it between ourselves in the church, how can we ever be agents of reconciliation in the world? Right here, Jesus gives a clear blue-print for how our communities might be holy places where holy relationships might flourish. And, it’s something that we need to practice until it is so ingrained in our DNA, we can’t imagine living another way.

Because, for Jesus, there isn’t another way.


This week’s Connecticut Conference Spirit reflections come to us by Kathy Peters. Kathy is the pastor of Chester Congregational Church.

Dog Days

Spirited Wednesday

Romans 13:8-14 (NRSV)

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet’; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law. Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Reflection:

The Dog Days of summer are gone and school has begun. The end of Labor Day festivities indicates that the lazy days are over and “real” life is back. (The fact that the lazy, hazy days of summer are just a perception and that we are not always good at taking Sabbath time or allowing ourselves such days is a topic for another time!) This by all accounts has been a difficult, war-filled summer, and perhaps we are “happy” to see it end. We live in a world that seems to have forgotten the “law” of love.

My dog is a lover! No matter who you are, what you look like and if you smell a bit funky all the better…he loves you! His tail wags in greeting and his whole body moves with joy if you say hello and pet him. He is one bundle of unconditional love. He does not hold grudges or remember that you called him “bad dog” when he ate the garbage. He will never take anything that is yours though he will look longingly at your dinner plate. He has never killed anything…well maybe an occasional moth or a bug. He will sit by your side, listen without offering a bit of unsolicited advice and is always willing to accompany you on a walk. When you return home at the end of the day, his bounding joy at your presence just fills your soul. You just cannot hurry through life when taking a moment to love like my dog!

Dog Days of the summer kind have been around since ancient times and there is even a reference to them in the 1611 edition of the King James Bible. (Google it!) But if every day we could adopt the ways of my dog: unconditional love, joy in experiencing life, napping often, living the law of love, imagine the possibilities. I hope each day to “wake up” and be the kind of person my dog thinks I am.

Love does no wrong to a neighbor, and we are all neighbors. When will we learn to love?

See you Sunday

Rev Ed

  


ANNOUNCEMENTS

.

Coffee Hour This Sunday 

We need volunteers.  Any goodies would be greatly appreciated.  Clean up would also be helpful.  Lynne and Mackenzie will be there early to set up and make coffee, juice and tea.  Thanks so much.


Hunger Action MonthIt’s Hunger Action Month supported by the Citizens Bank Foundation!

Each September, Hunger Action Month gives Connecticut Food Bank the opportunity to encourage others to take action to solve hunger!

Nearly half a million Connecticut residents, including more than 155,000 children, don’t always know where their next meal is coming from.

Connecticut Food Bank urges you to wear orange – the color of hunger relief – on Thursday, September 4, as part of a nation-wide effort to increase awareness about hunger in our communities. Then send your photo to cfb@ctfoodbank.org for posting on our website and social media channels.

Make plans to join us for two special Hunger Action Month events:

  • September 4 – Wear orange and get a free orange donut from Tony’s Orangeside Donut Truckparked outside Citizens Bank, 209 Church Street in New Haven from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • September 30 – Volunteers needed for a Connecticut Food Bank Volunteer-a-Thon. Groups and individuals are welcome. Email kdamien@ctfoodbank.org to schedule a time.

Here are some other ideas to get involved:

  • Find us on Facebook and “like” our page.
  • Tweet photos to @CTFoodBank
  • Update your Facebook status to share a hunger fact with your friends
  • Take the SNAP (food stamp) challenge and live on a $4.15 a day food budget.
  • Download our 30 Ways in 30 Days Calendar for more ideas!

Hunger Action Month is supported by the

                                    Citizens Bank Foundationl green logo


SCC-Picnic-Poster


pierogies

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


securedownload

SNOWFLAKE FAIR – SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22ND

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Various forms, information, and important dates are on the back table in the fellowship hall. Be sure to check out our “Positively Pink” basket today to see what we have collected so far ~ more items are needed (proceeds from tickets sold for this basket will go to Seymour Pink ~ last year we rounded up to an even $100). A box for donations of miscellaneous items to be incorporated into our basket raffle will be in the hall the end of August. Our first craft nightwill be Friday, September 26th at 5:30 p.m. at Lynne F.’s home. Please bring $5 for pizza and any craft idea you may have. Please see Laura or Jeannette if you have any questions or call the church office.


SUNDAY FLOWERS:  We still have several Sundays available in September for you to sign up in the church vestibule to give flowers – In celebration of joyful friendships & special thanks, someone’s birthday, anniversary, or  in memory of someone, and to the greater glory of God!


 

 

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.


PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY

Our church’s shawl ministry is appreciated by many and we continue with its mission.  Lynda Boynton has agreed to guide this endeavor with new ideas, patterns and prayers that she has gathered from other prayer shawl groups.  If you would like to learn more about the Prayer Shawl Ministry of our church, please join us in the gym at 11:15AM TODAY.


CHOIR NEWS

Here’s a fantastic opportunity for you to be part of the fun and fellowship as well as providing the important music ministry of our church.  No experience necessary – on the job training available.  Just drop in and join us this Thursday at 6:30 PM.  The following Thursday, Sept. 18, we are going to have a Pizza Party!  Someone was very kind to treat us to pizza.  After that we will be having rehearsals on Sundays which is convenient for people that travel from Thomaston, Oakville, West Haven, Derby and Ansonia, and Naugatuck too!


Attention Youth: Our next Give2 event is on Saturday, September 13th, when we will be going to Locket’s Meadow farm in Bethany. This farm is special in that it’s a sanctuary for at-risk farm animals. There are over 40 horses and many are used for therapeutic work and to entertain visitors. We will have more details (time, etc.) by next week. Please let know Mandy know if you are interested in participating.


.

Flu and Pneumonia VaccineOn 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.

 

Easter Bunny Breakfast

bunny breakfast 2

Join us for our Annual Easter Bunny Breakfast!

Saturday, April 19th 2014

8:00am – 11:00am

Adults  $7.00

Children (10 and under) $4.00

 Proceeds provide “camperships” to Silver Lake and funding for youth group activities.

Call the church for reservations or more information.

 

NEW LOOK, NEW WEBSITE!!

Hello and welcome to all of our visitors, old and new!

We are changing things up a bit and hosting our information here on this wordpress blog as we transition to a new website in the near future.  All of our events, sermon notes, notices and important information will be posted here.  We are looking forward to meeting all of you and answering any questions you may have.

Join us on facebook, visit us here often to see what’s going on in our church family, community and outreach.

What’s happening at our church?

We just had a wonderful homemade polish dinner on October 19th.  Almost 200 diners enjoyed pierogies, kielbasa, sauerkraut, stuffed cabbage, potato pankes and tons of wonderful desserts.  All made by our wonderful volunteers. Pictures will be posted soon!  If you missed this event, join us at our Snowflake fair in November!  Our kitchen will be open again with homemade specialties and desserts!

Our Choir is working on the Christmas Cantata, and as the Holidays fast approach, we look forward to celebrating  the Season of Jesus.

 Join us for our Christmas Eve Service that is sure to inspire you!

Come in and spend some time in faith with us…and bring a friend! – All are welcome here!