Week of October 23-October 29

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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

 

Sunday 11/17/2013 Notes….

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

10:00 AM – Worship

11:00 AM – Coffee Hour

11:15 AM – Cantata Rehearsal – Grab a cup of coffee and come right up and join us!

No experience necessary.  Just a desire to sing.  Come give it a try!

12:00 PM – Adult Choir Rehearsal

5:00-7:00 PM – AA

GREETERS:  Howie Bradshaw & Nancy Rogers

LAYLEADER:  Jeanette Raymond

DEACON OF THE MONTH:  George Wityak

Please join us after the service in the Fellowship Hall for coffee hour. It is being hosted by Lynne Foreman, “Giving Thanks”. The Altar flowers are given by Lynne & Mackenzie Foreman in Support of and in Honor of anyone who has dealt with cancer, whether directly affected or supportive – you are all so special!

 SCRIPTURE 

Luke 21:5-19
We would be less than truthful if we said we knew precisely what to make of the Gospel lesson before us now. Falling Temples.
I understand what it means to have temples fall. I have driven by my old home. The tree I played in is gone. The grape vine I hid under is missing my old sacred temples are gone. My world has changed. My old high school still stands but the track field I ran on every day for four long years has been replaced. Many of my childhood places of discovery have been replaced by something unsacred. Another sacred temple removed.
Temples?  No, of course not. At least not in the way that Jesus speaks today.  But places that seemed permanent and immovable?  Yes, they were that.  Even so, all these changes do seem to fit into a natural order of what we might understand as progress.
So while I have not seen temples fall in the violent way that Jesus speaks of now, I do know the ache in my own soul to see so much of what I thought would always be, be no longer.  The older one gets, the surer one becomes of this.  The things that last are not always the things you think will last.  Not even the big, impressive, amazingly beautiful ones. No, not even the ones that helped make you who you are.
So while I sort of get the first part of this week’s Gospel reading, I can’t really begin to say that is so about the second part.  Except for what I catch on the evening news or skim on my news feed, I don’t know much of nations rising against nations.  I have experienced tremors some personal some external. But still I shook.

Do you hear Jesus’ words today as meant for us universally or cosmically, individually, or both/and?

  • When have you experienced ‘temples falling?’  What was that like?  Where did you discover grace?

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Name tags for those who asked for them will be on the card table in the Narthex this Sunday.  Please wear yours in church and at coffee hour.  Take them home and wear them in the next Sunday.  Thanks!

  

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SNOWFLAKE FAIR
SATURDAY
November 23rd
 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

25 Craft and Specialty Vendor tables, offering hand-painted wooden Santa Claus figurines and ornaments; snow people and soft sculptured snowmen; silk flower arrangements; Amato’s Toy & Hobbies with children’s books, puppets, puzzles, games and craft kits; knitted and crocheted dog coats, towels, pot holders, sweaters, scarves, hats & purses; gift items for cats and the cat lover; wire sculptured jewelry; “Make a Bracelet” a “Thirty-One” rep, and another vendor will be in the choir room. Our own Deanna Imbro and the Sunday school will also have tables with items for sale. We will also have an author with her book “Wings Up” and reps from: Tastefully Simple, Origami Owl, Scentsy Candles, Silpada Designs, Party Lite and Tupperware. Raffles for: Gift baskets, wreaths, homemade quilt and decorated trees; ladies boutique, baked goods table, craft area for kids on the stage and breakfast & lunch served in the Snowflake Café. Silent auction for angel-themed tree will benefit the prayer & serenity garden and youth activities; silent auction for a wreath will benefit the church.

        Donations for the baked goods table and desserts for lunch can be dropped off Friday night from 4:30-7:30 p.m. or the morning of the fair. Monetary donations are also greatly appreciated to help us offset costs. Food bank donations will be accepted at the door. Thanks to everyone who has helped/donated so far ~ please come and support our vendors and our church on the day of the fair! NOTE: please park in the grass lot behind the church to save the paved lot for our outside patrons!

In light of the devastating result of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, we are going to be requesting donations during Coffee Hour that will be sent to Americares along with $200 from the Outreach Committee that will hopefully help them help the 10,000+ people in need of food, water, and medical aid.

The United Church of Christ today issued an appeal to church members and friends for $250,000 to support Typhoon Haiyan response efforts.  Initial support grants funded by One Great Hour of Sharing have been sent to the ACT Alliance and UCCP.  How you can help:  Pray for the people impacted by Typhoon Haiyan, UCC partner organizations active in response efforts, and all humanitarian workers.  To assist people in recovering from this disaster, please make a gift payable to Seymour Congregational Church with “Typhoon Haiyan” in the memo line.

 The Churches of Seymour and Oxford invite you to the Ecumenical Thanksgiving Eve Service, Wed., November 27th at 7:00 PM at Great Hill UMC, 225 Great Hill Road, Seymour.  We come together to give God thanks for our blessings!  We will celebrate Holy Communion and join voices with an ecumenical choir.

Advent Worship Opportunity – an early worship experience during Advent, “55 Alive”.  At 8:55 AM each Sunday morning, we will offer a brief 30 minute worship experience in the church sanctuary for those who find the holidays busy and hectic – or are just looking for a quiet reflective experience.  This service will be a quiet meditative service of music, the word and communion.  The first service is on Dec. 1st.  Interested or have questions, see Rev. Ed.

Community-Wide Christmas Tree Lighting and Carol Sing – Dec. 1st at 3:00 PM, Broad St. Park (across the street) sponsored by the Friends of the Park and Seymour Congregational Church.  This will be followed by a Hot Chocolate Social downstairs.  All are invited.

The Parish Life Committee will again this year sponsor a Craft Night/Movie Night for children.  It will be held on Friday, Dec. 6th from 6-9 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.

The children will make a Christmas themed craft and then watch a movie.  Popcorn and juice will be provided. There is no charge and parents need not attend.

Bring a friend.  Sign up sheet is posted.  Contact Karen Schuttler or any member of Parish Life for further information.

WHITE GIFTS – On Sunday December 8th, we will begin to prepare for the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ with the “Hanging of the Greens” service.  We will also have our annual “White Gifts” collection to benefit the Valley Toys-for-Tots. On that Sunday, we ask you to bring a new toy for a boy or girl, wrapped in white (or any color) and place it under our sanctuary Christmas tree. These gifts will be delivered to TEAM, Inc. in Derby for distribution to needy children in the lower Valley towns. There is a special request for gifts suitable for older kids; they typically get lots of things for the littlest angels. No child should be without a gift on Christmas morning, be a cheerful giver!  Thank you for sharing your blessings.   Yours in the Spirit of Christmas,

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 2014 FLOWER CHART IS READY AND WAITING FOR YOUR NAME

The new flower chart can be found in the Narthex by the side door.  If you would like to order flowers, 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 would like to TAKE your flowers home after church, just put a big “T” next to your name.  Or if you would like to LEAVE  the flowers so that our Parish Life Committee can bring your flowers to a shut in or ill parishioner, just put a “L” next to your name.

The flowers will be ordered and delivered to the church for you.   The cost is $25.  Please make your check out to Seymour Congregational Church and either give it to me or place it in the “Flower” mail box in the office. This is a wonderful way to share your joys with your church family.  It is appreciated by all.

Thank you,

Karen Baker

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