Did you miss our 9/14 Worship Service?
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World Communion Sunday The Diaconate provided us with a coffee hour “spread of breads” to celebrate World Communion Sunday on October 5, 2014 Great job! It was enjoyed by all! .. . . Did you miss our Worship service of … Continue reading
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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.
Passion For Peace
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.
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.
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.
Our Church phone system is down indefinitely. You can still call in and leave a message or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Rev. Ed can be reached at email@example.com .
*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
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!
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
* 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.
Assistant to the Conference Minister
Connecticut Conference UCC
125 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT 06105
August 10, 2014
Worship Service 10:00 AM
Did you miss our Worship Service on August 3rd? Click on the image below to view it!
“Celebrating Our 225th Anniversary”
HI Folks I am away – or almost on vacation – It is a time to dream- or reflect on this past year and the next. Peg and I will be at Chautauqua Institution for the two weeks. With our grandkids for the first week, then with their parents for week two, along with our second son and his significant other ( we need a better word for that) then Tonya’s parents are coming for a few days- so my reflection time will be limited. But I do dream – and hold to the vision.
While I am away simply call the office if you have a question. Call a deacon for pastoral concerns.
Also while I am away I have left copies of the survey in fellowship hall for your reading and discussion. I have placed on the walls graphs and printouts of data gleaned from the survey. This is excellent information and the congregation should spend some time reflecting on its significance.
One interesting observation is that 84% feel that the minister needs to be very or essentially important to be a fellow traveler, 70% counselor / healer; 67% celebrant or worship leader and 61% spiritual guide. These roles are slightly higher than church administrator (51%) . or witness /Evangelist (29%)
The numbers are numbers and are an education to look into. So go at it and have some fun.
Speaking of reflecting and dreaming –
Below is this week Spirited reflection from the Connecticut Conference site;
by Elivette (Elly) Mendez Angulo
August 06, 2014
Genesis 37:19 (NLT)
“Here comes the dreamer!” they said.
Usually we hear about dreams around February, when Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I had a dream” speech once more becomes important. Or maybe dreams are part of your everyday thought process, as you try to remember that dream that startled out of a deep sleep in the middle of the night. Or, that poem that you learned in your youth sticks in your head as a reminder of living out your potential, Langston Hughes asked, “What happens to a dream deferred?”
When we meet Joseph, his brothers call him a dreamer, and he was. But aren’t we all dreamers at some point, with stars in our eyes, knowing that we are meant for SOMETHING. ANYTHING.
Some of us have heard God’s voice speak greatness into our lives and yet, we stay still and much like a raisin in the sun, we dry up. But we are meant for greater things. We are meant to dream big. Because when we dream big and put our fears aside, we allow faith to take over and walk us into our destiny.
Peter walked on water when all he had was a notion of a dream. How else can you explain daring to ask Jesus to call him over and allow him to walk on water? When you dare to ask God, you get a guide. And for Peter, Jesus was his guide. When Peter truly opened his eyes and realized that the impossible had become possible, he fell into the water, more afraid of the known than the unknown.
We need to be like all those dreamers who came before, who paved a way for us. Joseph was a dreamer, and though his life was complicated, he lived the life of a dreamer. Peter, when he dreamed, was able to walk on water. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream, and we are still living towards that dream. Langston Hughes knew that dreams left untreated and unfulfilled could someday explode.
But I envision that explosion as an explosion of God’s glory pushing you forward, towards something you remember once having wanted. Be a dreamer. Live towards God’s dream.
“Kevin Tucker, son of Debra and Alan Tucker, is our Lay Leader this morning. Kevin is attending U Conn – Waterbury studying kinesiology for physical therapy and is expected to graduate in 2017.
This summer besides vacationing in Rhode Island and Florida, he has been taking chemistry and volunteering at Life Designs in Shelton. Life Designs is a rehabilitation center and Kevin is helping patients who have suffered from strokes, spinal injuries and cerebral palsy. We wish him continued success this year as he continues pursuing his degree.”
Many thanks to Jeannette Raymond and Christine Murphy, guest Pianist, for sharing their talent with us this morning!
Please join us after church in Fellowship Hall for Coffee Hour. It is being hosted by Dawn Ryan and Mary Jo Chevarella.
The altar flowers are given by Connie and Stan Wiesniak in loving memory of
their dad, Ralph Mann on his birthday today.
Reverend – On vacation
Administrative Asst. – Tues., Wed., & Thurs. – 9:30 AM-1:30 PM
Rev. Ed will be on vacation until Tuesday, August 26. Please contact Karen Baker, Deacon Chairperson at 203-888-0924 in his absence.
Please send your announcements to the church office by WEDNESDAY morning if you wish them to be included in next Sunday’s bulletin.
Plans are under way for our 26th annual Snowflake Fair! Many of our vendors will be returning, but we do have some spaces left. If you know anyone who would be interested in renting a space ($25 for members, $35 for non-members), forms will be in the entry way and in the fellowship hall, or see Laura.
Along with our normal Basket and Quilt Raffles, Snowflake Café, Boutique, Bake Sale Table, Christmas Treasures Room and Kids’ craft area, we will have a “Giving Tree” for donations to the Gellatly Scholarship Fund and the CT Food Bank (donations can be anywhere from $1 up ~ would like to have a good start on filling the tree before the fair, so we will have donation forms available the week prior). Also, the stage area will have decorated boxes for donations to TEAM “white gifts”, the Veteran’s Hospital, and “Covenant to Care” to bring community awareness to the missions we support.
As always, we cannot have a successful fair without your help! We will be collecting items starting by the end of August for our basket/ raffle (if you cannot do a whole basket, there will be a separate box in the hall for items we can incorporate into full baskets) ~ we will plan on starting to collect and display the baskets in late September or early October. If you plan on donating a basket (approx. $25 in value), please be sure to take a form to list all items included so we don’t miss anything in the description. Forms will also be downstairs for business donations; if anyone knows of a business who may want to donate a gift card or basket, please take a letter and indicate where you are delivering.
Don’t forget to collect items for our “Positively Pink” basket (proceeds from tickets sold for this basket will go to Seymour Pink); we will display what we have so far in mid August. Other miscellaneous items we can use NOW include: clear wrap for our gift baskets and wired ribbon; donations for our “all that glitters” tree, the Christmas Treasures Room, and the Boutique will be collected starting in mid October.
Come join us as we celebrate our beloved Church
together with friends and family
The picnic will offer plenty of food and fellowship
and there will be lots of activities for
the young and young-at-heart
Thank you to all who visited Grace Farmer on her 99th birthday.
Happy Birthday Grace!!!