Week of September 20, 2015

Seymour Congregational Church

Worship Service 10:00am every Sunday

Easy as ABC

Preacher Colleen Townsend Evans tells us, “Faith is an area where growing up means we must become more like a child.”  In response to their bickering about which one of them was the best, Jesus told His disciples, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)  This lesson in humility was a lesson the disciples were having difficulty learning. To further the lesson, Jesus took a little child in his lap and told them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me…” (Mark 9:37)  By welcoming the child Jesus was welcoming the most vulnerable and insignificant of society.  In this way Jesus turned everything inside out and upside down.  He put a child first and a ruler last.

Through this scripture we are urged to be child-like in our faith. Jesus wants us to adapt the best characteristics of children; trustfulness, humility, openness to being taught, and most of all to be accepting and loving toward those around us.  Reverend John Jewel proposes the Master’s Plan for living the Christian life which he termed as “Easy as ABC”.

Acceptance:  Jesus Christ has accepted us for who we are and his spirit works within us to make us who God wants us to be.  Our acceptance by Christ translates into our acceptance of others.

Belief:  I believe or trust that Jesus Christ knows what he is doing by choosing me for his work.  I may feel insignificant or powerless to help with his mission, but the fact is that as a Christian person, I am chosen to bear the good news to others.

Commitment:  I make a commitment to choose the way of Christ instead of the way of the world when it comes to the meaning of greatness.  Instead of “me first” – it is “Christ first.”  Instead of “my way” it is “his way.”

May you have a blessed week knowing you are God’s beloved child.

Pastor Allyson






Monday, Sept. 21

3:30 PM Weight Watchers

Tuesday, Sept. 22

6:15 PM GS #135

Wednesday, Sept. 23

6:00 PM GS #60059

Thursday, Sept. 24

7:00 PM AA

Saturday, Sept. 26

10:00 AM Craft Get-Together



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





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.

PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY – Are you interested in being a member of the Prayer Shawl Ministry?   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 prayer 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 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.

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.










E-Bridge Week of June 1, 2014

Missed the Service of 5/25/2014?  Click on the image below to view the video!

seymour congregational church photo


Reverend – Wed.  & Thurs. – 9:30 AM-3:00 PM

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

Reflections of the Text for Sunday June 1st Communion Sunday

Questions from my youth –

OK did Jesus change water into wine, and if so why do we drink grape juice? Is the Bread and Wine REALLY the body and blood of Christ, Was Mary a Virgin, (remember I went to an all male Catholic school, ) was Mary Assumed into heaven and did Jesus body and all ascend into heaven?

Going up anyone! 

The Ascension of Jesus (celebrated Sunday, June 1st this year) is a peculiar day in the Christian calendar. In a de-centered, non-hierarchical world, most of us don’t know which way is up! The idea that Jesus ascended to a God “up there” is just as strange as Harold Camping’s prediction of the end of the world for May 11, 2011. And his image of corpses flying up to the sky along with today’s believers. ( for those who don’t know about Camping – who recently died he was a radio preacher who was amusing for his predictions. )

Some Christians still live in a three-story universe—heaven above, earth between, hell below—but few people believe, that if you get into a space ship and fly far enough, you’ll find a place called “heaven.”

What are we to make of Jesus’ Ascension? Of course, it’s not out of the question that Jesus defied gravity, but is that the real point? Is the Ascension about gravity or spirituality, geography or vocation?

Acts 1:1-6 describes the Ascending Christ. But not until the disciples quiz him about the timing of fulfillment of history. Jesus’ response is vague, and still remains good counsel for those who seek a precise date for judgment day. We get a prediction at least once a year.  “It is not for you to know the times or periods.” Rather, we are to await the coming of God’s Spirit and the missional power that comes from the Holy.

Finished with his counsel, Jesus is lifted up, and the disciples are left gazing into the heavens until an angel admonishes, “Why do you stand looking toward heaven?” The angel promises Jesus’ ultimate return, but that’s not the point. The point is that the disciples’ mission and our own is right here—in our time and place and on our planet not some far off sphere. So is ours. We are to stop gazing at the stars or our belly buttons and take a real look at the possibilities for ministry right here.

The point of Ascension is perspective. Rising to the clouds gives us a broader perspective on our lives and the planet. Rather than individualistic images of salvation and personal well-being, Ascension challenges us to bring heaven to earth, that is, to live Jesus’ values in our world.

When we live from a higher perspective, we can transcend our own self-interest to embrace the well-being of the whole earth, including strangers, enemies, and non-humans.

So can we be Ascension christions what would that look like . We catch a glimpse of Ascension living by reflecting on the Day of Pentecost, described in in Acts 2.

The Spirit Jesus promises will embrace all creation.

The Spirit reconciles rather than divides.

It promises wholeness and salvation for all people, not just a select few.

It promise is global and all-inclusive, not parochial and limited, in contrast to individualistic and limited visions proclaimed by persons such as was by Camping and his apocalyptic companions. As Acts 2 proclaims:

God will pour God’s Spirit on all flesh,
And your sons and daughters shall prophesy;
And your young men shall see visions
And your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit;
And they shall prophesy.

On Ascension Day, we are called to “go up” and maybe even get up to gain a vision and mission that is larger than ourselves or our communities. Our mission is here—to heal, to embrace, to welcome, and to love. We don’t need to wait for a far off day of perfection and rapture. If God is always with us, then right here and now can be the day of transformation and fulfillment.

Rev Ed



Saturday, June 7th, is the Annual Turkey Dinner and Basket Extravaganza.  Dinner is around 5:45.. Hoping to have everyone eating by 6 so we can start the drawing around 7-7:30.  There is limited seating – only 100 tickets.  Tickets are $14 for Adults and $5 for Children.  Full Turkey Dinner, stuffing, potatoes, veggies and dessert..If you would like to come please see me at church on Sunday.  Teresa


Called to Care:   Have you ever wanted to visit someone who was ill, but you did not know the right words.

Seymour Congregational Church is introducing a visiting ministry called “Called to Care”.

This is a visiting, caring ministry for members who will commit themselves to the ministry of caring and visiting. We are seeking several members who are willing to submit themselves to the necessary training in order to become a vital part of this ministry.

There will be a four session training program for those interested in discovering more about this ministry. There is a signup sheet located in the church office. Or you may wish to contact Rev. Ed directly to obtain more information.


Book Club – Our last book club meeting was full of surprises. We actually had an iPad FaceTime discussion with Help for Haunted  author John Searles. It was so fascinating to talk real time about why he chose to write, how he writes  and his growing up in Monroe.   What a treat for our little book club!!  Thank you, Charlene.

Now on June 6th we will meet to discuss A Secret Gift by Ted Gup. Talk to Jackie Calzone if you are interested in joining us.

Karen Baker

This Week

Monday, June 2 4:00pm Weight Watchers
Tuesday, June 3 6:15pm Girl Scouts #135
7:00pm Diaconate
Thursday, June 5 6:30pm Girl Scout #135 Leaders
7:00pm AA
Friday, June 6 8:00pm Eastern Star
Saturday, June 7 5:30pm Turkey Dinner & Raffle

The Family of

Edward F Cornell, Jr.

Acknowledges with grateful appreciation

The members of the Seymour Congregational church

For your kind expressions of sympathy

I just want to say Thank you to all of you for also being so selfless and giving of yourselves to help out with the Hot Dog Stand for the Memorial Day parade – what a huge success!!  It was so wonderful just to look around the church lawn and see all the different people talking, laughing, eating hot dogs, sweet treats, and enjoying a well-deserved cool drink.  The set-up and clean-up were relatively quick and easy; and the cooking and keeping up on the hot dogs was perfectly executed.  Everyone jumped in to make sure our ‘neighbors’ were welcomed and well taken care of.  With all of the incredible donations that we received we were able to feed about 500 people!!

Everyone was so appreciative of our kindness and thoughtfulness in reaching out to them.  It was wonderful to say that everything was donated by our church members!  We were able to portray ourselves in a most positive light as individuals and as Christians and showed the community one of our many fine characteristics as a congregation that truly cares. I would like to say thank you to Craig Michael, Jaden, Becca, Brittany, and Mackenzie who were so wonderful to help us out!!  We need more young people like you.  AND a Very Special Thank You to Michelle Mann for being the mother of this brainchild – this would not have been possible without your vision!!


Peace and Blessings,

Lynne Foreman

If anyone knows of a Seymour Veteran who is buried at a cemetery in another town and does not have a flag on the grave, please contact George Bashura or Michael Kearney, and they will provide a flag to the family to place at the grave.  Thank you. 

Altar Flowers:

There are many openings for June, July and August on the Flower Chart.  You may want them to be ordered or you may bring in your own.  Please indicate on the Flower Chart whether you would like to take them home or leave them to be given to shut-ins or someone who is sick.   T-take, L-leave

Thank you.


helping hands header

334 Boston Post Road

Orange, CT  06477

Helping Hands is proudly partnered with over 175 local non-profit organizations.

helping hands coupon

They are now offering House-Cleanouts.  Donated items will reduce the cost of the clean out.

The Food Bank is very low on the following items:

Urgent need – 1 lb. boxes of spaghetti.

Jello, pudding, spam, jam, jelly, canned fruit, instant potatoes, canned white potatoes.





Presenting the
Bowl-2-Benefit 2014
Top Fundraising Teams


Congratulations to….


New Haven Family Condors


Seymour Congregational Church


Oxford Center School (Youth)


Trinity Lutheran Church


Oxford High School Hope Club (Youth)



Thanks to you, your fellow captains, teammates, sponsors, donors, virtual bowlers, and everyone else who played a part in this event, the 2014 Bowl-2-Benefit raised over $92,000 in support of The Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services (UCDVS), a program of BHcare.




27th Annual Bowl-2-Benefit UCDVS

March 14, 2015

Registrations Begin in December 2014



Visit us online: BHcare.org

Shoreline Office: (203) 483-2630

Valley Office: (203) 736-2601

UCDVS Crisis Hotline:
(203) 736-9944 and (203) 789-8104.
Toll-free 1-888-774-2900


Sunday Service – March 16, 2014

10:00 AM – Worship Service

11:00AM –  Coffee Hour, Hosted by the Diaconate Committee.Please join us!

11:00 AM-Tag Sale “Meet and Sort

11:00 AM – Bell Choir – Join Us!  If you can’t sing, come ring!

11:30 AM – Cantata Rehearsal – Looking for more “sometime singers” – come give us a try!

The altar flowers are given today in memory of Herbert Blaze by Eleanor Blaze.


GREETERS:   Janet Kopec & Dawn Ryan

LAYLEADER: Howard Bradshaw

DEACONS OF THE MONTH: Stan & Connie Wiesniak


Scripture notes:

Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night… John 3:1-2

What does it mean to be born again? I remember once this little boy came up to me, I figured him to be about 5 years old. He announce that he was born again, I smiled and said to myself that he was still wet from his first birthing experience. The body in its wonder blocks out the trauma of our birthing experience, if not why would anyone want to relive that a second time.   In the language of this age, the expression has come to suggest some sort of metaphysical transformation, a shift that promises eternal reward. Believe in Jesus and you are born again, the logic goes, and then you get to go to heaven. For many being born again is the culmination of the Christian task, but for Jesus and his followers this second birth marked a beginning of a dangerous and fraught journey. It is about leaving behind the safety nets woven and stored up in life and starting fresh, aligned with something new, something politically subversive, socially fraught, and existentially threatening. To those who claim this experience I always ask what they plan to do with this gift. OK were all saved but that does not release me of my responsibility to bring light to a darkened world. Just the opposite because of my baptism I gain a new responsibility to bring the light of Christ to the darkened regions of the kingdom.

Jesus is asking Nicodemus to be born in a new way, to be born from above, to bear God’s logic amongst a world that functions astray from the will of the divine. Jesus is asking Nicodemus to be on the ground floor of something new. To turn away from what has been done before, to turn away from the rules and logic that have ordered his life up to this point, to emerge anew into the world.

Although Nicodemus seems confused by his conversation with Jesus, he had to have expected something like it. Nicodemus came to Jesus at night. His behavior suggests that he knew he was defecting, at least in some small way, by going to speak with this radical Rabbi, and Jesus does not disappoint. He calls Nicodemus to walk away from the power and privilege of his leadership position and join a lost cause for justice and liberation, to cast in his lot with outcasts.

Jesus is pushing his followers to understand that new life emerges constantly from the old, that God sends new life from above and that new perspectives that interrupt our new habits. This is what Jesus names as salvation. God sent Jesus so the world might be saved through him. Through his message of love and the vision he bears. Through the human transformation he facilitates and for the radical departures he encouraged. To be followers of Jesus demands a similar radical departure from norms and a similar willingness to boldly make all things new.


Reverend – Tues., Wed.  & Thurs. – 9:30 AM-3:00 PM

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


Birthdays This Week

March 16 – Sandy Tucker, March 19 – Michelle Mann & Becky Mc Cart,

March 20 – Sandy Barber, March 21 – Kim Majkner, March 22 – Tyler LaBranche

Happy Birthday!!




The Seymour/Oxford Food Bank needs volunteers to help pack and distribute food for those in need in our community.

It is right here in Seymour, two minutes from our own church!

The Food Bank is located in Trinity Episcopal Church 91 Church Street (Across from the Library) Seymour, CT 06483 203-888-7826

Days and Times that they need help are:

Mondays and Wednesdays (pack) 9:00-11:00

Tuesdays and Thursdays (distribute) 11:30-1:15

Either call the number above for details about volunteering or go directly to the church where the Food Bank is located.  Just to be clear, Trinity Episcopal Church does not run the Food Bank, it is run by volunteers (who are appreciative and friendly), and the number above is a direct line to the Food Bank, not the church.

The Food Bank is very low on the following items:

Jello, pudding, spam, jam, jelly, canned fruit, instant potatoes, canned white potatoes.

Update on Covenant to Care for Children – In December, we were able to provide Christmas gifts for 9 families which included 13 boys ranging in age from 8 months to 19 years old and 9 girls ranging in age from 6 to 18 years old.  Gifts provided included gift cards, toys, clothing, diapers, shoes and jewelry.  Now we need to collect items needed monthly.  Right now they need diapers, kid’s coats, and toiletries, including toilet paper.


Lenten Bible Study

          We will meet each Thursday at 12 noon for a review and reflection on the weekly scripture.  Brown Bag (we will supply sweets.)  Sign up following worship.

Sundays of Lent:

Special Second Hour offering “How my faith influences my work world” 

          During Coffee Hour, we will hear from four different professionals their personal stories of how their faith helps them to direct their work.

March 16th  Vivian Michaels, RN –  Survivors of Suicide

March 23rd  Andrea Rochniak O.F.D. – Ralph Hull Funeral Home

March 30th   Meral Prewitt – Covenant to Care



“How Does Faith Affect Our Work Week?”

Vivian Michaels, R.N., of Survivors of Suicide is visiting with us today speaking of her faith journey as a nurse.   She will speak to us during “The Second Hour”.

No Sunday School this week-Family Sunday.

Join us for Pierogi Making!  We meet Fridays, from 9:00-11:00 AM and then come back at 5:00 PM.   Contact Teresa at 203-881-2027 or kreg5@comcast.net with questions.

Tag Sale Committee “meet and sort” TODAY, March 16th after worship in the gym.  Small items can be dropped off now in the “Youth Room” next to the kitchen; please hold your larger items until the week before the sale. A sign-up sheet has been posted to work the day of the fair on the bulletin board to the left of the kitchen.

 Some of us are planning to go see the movie Son of God, this Sunday, March 16 for the 3:45 viewing.  It is playing at the movie theater in Seymour (Derby Ave.) – The old Ames Plaza.  If you would like to come, please feel free.  I would suggest getting there by 3:30 to get tickets and seats.  Also, if you would like to join in, we are heading to Alberto’s afterwards for dinner. If you plan on attending the restaurant, please let me know so I can contact Alberto’s to have a section saved for us.


Ann Tripp

Need Everyone’s Help!

It is anticipated that the Seymour Fire Marshall will conduct an audit of the Church within the next 10 days.  Please – All committees & groups – check your storage areas to have them as neat and uncluttered as possible.  When in doubt throw it out.  This includes the back corner of the gym, storage closets, office areas, staircases, classrooms, exits, etc. Thanks -from the Property & Renovation Committee. Thanks, Tom

The Annual Turkey Dinner and Basket Raffle will be held on June 7th.  Save the date and consider donating a basket for the raffle worth approximately $25.00.  Help will be needed for set up, clean up, cooking and serving.  Come join us!  It’s a fun time for all.

Update on Covenant to Care for Children – In December, we were able to provide Christmas gifts for 9 families which included 13 boys ranging in age from 8 months to 19 years old and 9 girls ranging in age from 6 to 18 years old.  Gifts provided included gift cards, toys, clothing, diapers, shoes and jewelry.  Now we need to collect items needed monthly.  Right now they need diapers, kid’s coats, and toiletries, including toilet paper.

New short web address is now active!  www.seymourcongregational.com

New webmaster email address is:  webmaster@seymourcongregational.com

A short class for all committee chair people interested in navigating the site for posting will be offered in April. Date to be announced. This will not be a class in operating a computer…knowledge of internet access, uploading/saving/word processing is a must! Contact me at the webmaster address if you are interested!!  If you are not interested in posting for your committee, I understand and will be available to upload your information and postings for you.  DeAnna 

COFFEE HOURS:  The Parish Life Committee oversees the non-committed coffee hours and we are in need of packaged goodies to keep in our pantry.  There are also open dates (March 23rd is next) if you and your family/friends would like to volunteer and delight us all with your very own hospitality.  There’s a sign-up sheet in Fellowship Hall or feel free to donate your goodies by leaving them in the kitchen marked “Parish Life”.  Any help would be most appreciated since we love our Coffee Hours!

BOOK CLUB:  Last Friday’s book club was beyond fun.  Katelynne Stevens accessorized in the fashion of Night Circus – our book for that month.  We all dressed up in the manner of the characters and had much to laugh and comment about.  It was our first book of fantasy.  I felt it was an adult Harry Potter book.  To reflect on the past nine books we have read, with the exception of my choice, I would not have chosen any of the books we have read.  The purpose of joining a book club is to expand our literary horizons and have fun.  We are doing both!! If you are interested in reading our next book, it is I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai.  So we head back to the Middle East.            Karen Baker 

Pot Luck B-I-N-G-O Dinner on Saturday, April 5th.   5:00 – 8:00 p.m,  sponsored by the Parish Life Committee. Admission is Free!  There will be a sign-up sheet for dinner/desserts and there will be paper BINGO sheets, so please bring a friend and bring your dabber!!  Come for fabulous food and fellowship!  No cash, but lots of prizes.

Easter Lilly Plant Orders are due by April 4th. See Jackie Calzone for order forms.