First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone:(203) 744-6177

E-Tidings Weekly Newsletter

Sunday -- December 16, 2018

Third Sunday of Advent – Ugly Sweater Sunday

 

From Reverend Pat Kriss

"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy."-- Rumi, 13th century

I know a lot of people find the whole shopping experience for Christmas presents to be a major drag. But I have to say that there’s something about the experience of thinking of people and determining what gift of cheer would delight them that makes ME happy. I guess if I were always buying out of obligation instead of willingness, I’d be grumpy, too. But when you choose the joy of giving, it changes everything.

This Sunday is what is known to older Christianity as Gaudete Sunday. It’s the “pink candle” on the Advent wreath Sunday that is when we rejoice that our long waiting in the dark for the birth of the Baby who will be the Light of the world, is almost over. Gaudete translates, literally, into Rejoice.

This Sunday at First Church is one we also greet with a bit of silliness. It’s Ugly Sweater Sunday (or ugly tie or ugly suit Sunday, too. Do your best to have the worst taste you can in clothing.) It’s our way of saying that we’ve done our best with the solemnity of the season, and now it’s time to relax. Oddly enough, the Gospel for this Sunday has John the Baptist being anything but giddy with the people who have followed him into the desert. John has a way of telling it like he feels it, and he lays down some serious corrective measures to these early followers who he calls “a brood of vipers.” Then again, I guess I would be grumpy too if all I ate was bugs and honey.

We won’t be grumpy this Sunday, however. I’m going to ask you all to think about what Jesus would like for Christmas, whether you think of Jesus as the Babe in the manger, or whether it’s the resurrected Jesus for whom you’re going to select a gift. Give that some thought, and bring it with you wrapped in the ugliest sweater you can think of. Until then, PEACE. --- Pastor Pat Kriss

A special thank you to so many in this hectic season: We owe the highest thanks to Jim Moriarty, the choir and soloists who have enriched our times together this month in the Sanctuary. You have stood by us during not only our special services, but during the moving funeral for Al Jennings. And it goes without saying that we owe so much to all those generous volunteers who set up and served a beautiful reception after the funeral service. Thank you to Mayor Mark Boughton for his moving personal testimony about faith in the face of serious illness. We must thank and congratulate Pat Moriarty and her great Children’s Chorus for the concert of music and performance from the Nutcracker. Finally, but far from least, we are grateful to Doug Hartline and Company for the incredible Christmas Jazz Concert that lit up our Sanctuary this past week. To all who worked so hard to make their work a gift to the Church, thank you.—Pastor Pat
 

From Jim Moriarty, Music Director

“Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.” – Kahlil Gibran

Dec. 15 – The Annual performance of the Messiah presented by the DMC will feature 80 voices and over 20 instrumentalists. The performance beginning at 3pm   will be held in our wonderful sanctuary. In the past this performance has filled our sanctuary - both balcony and downstairs. And it is free, although any donation will be welcomed.

Dec. 23 – Fourth Advent Sunday – a very different anthem, and preservice music of Jim Brickman.

Dec. 30 – Festival of Carols Service.  If you have a special carol you’d like to sing/hear please let me know! This service will be mostly musical.

Peace and Joy through Holiday Music,

Jim Moriarty

 

First Church Knitters Group.  We plan on meeting to knit and crochet at 5:30 pm in the Parlor on alternate Thursdays.  Everyone is welcome. Seasoned knitters and crocheters as well as people who want to learn to knit or crochet. Fellowship and friends meet to relax...call Heidi at 204 798 0476 or 203 826 6827 to RSVP/next date.

 

To submit article ideas for the website or Facebook, contact Greg Pings: greg_pings@hotmail.com

 

Deer Hill Thrift Shop

Great merchandise, low prices, very friendly staff.

Please consider volunteering for the holiday season – contact Pat Moriarty or Terry Hansen.

Holiday Hours – Fridays 9:30-2:30; Saturdays 10 – 3. 

 

The Dorothy Day Overflow Shelter has opened in our gym.  We welcome our homeless guests and the volunteers who staff the shelter every night throughout the winter season.  Donations of cup-of-soup, hot chocolate and coffee are always welcome.

 

 

Christmas Eve Worship

7 pm

Traditional Service of Lessons and Carols

E-Tidings Date: 
Thursday, December 13, 2018

Sunday -- December 9, 2018

This Friday:  11 am Funeral for Al Jennings

This Sunday:    Communion – No Church School – White Gifts

Real Theology Sunday – From Darkness Toward the Light

Mayor Mark Boughton, speaker

 

From Reverend Pat Kriss

"Now that I look back, it seems to me that in all that deep darkness a miracle was preparing. So I am right to remember it as a blessed time, and myself as waiting in confidence, even if I had no idea what I was waiting for." -- Marilynne Robinson, author Gilead, 21st century.

We've all walked through dark places in our lives. For some of us, it meant facing a potentially fatal diagnosis or dangerous surgery. What does our faith do for us when that happens? This Sunday we will have another Real Theology Sunday -- a time when we talk about and reveal things that we normally don't share with others. This Sunday I will be sharing the pulpit with Mayor Mark Boughton, who just a short time ago, faced the diagnosis of a brain tumor that would require sensitive brain surgery. He will discuss his own faith in the face of fear. Mayor Boughton will be joined in our Coffee Hour by Greg Pings, who will also share his recent journey through learning about oral cancer and enduring the treatment for this disease.  Please do come and support these brave people with your presence. 

A note of Deep Sadness: we just learned this morning of the death of Ken and Betty Ballard's son, Kenneth H. Ballard, Jr. who has fought a valiant and long battle with cancer, and for whom we as a congregation have been praying for months. May God comfort Ken, Betty and Ken Jr.'s family in this time of emptiness, with the knowledge that he now resides, free from pain, in the presence of God. Funeral arrangements are yet to be confirmed.  --Pastor Pat Kriss

 

Don't miss out on the best concert in town that benefits your church! Doug Hartline and Company will be raising the roof of our Sanctuary this Saturday starting at 4 PM for a swinging Christmas happening. This group of music makers will include the vibes, sax, brass, guitar and drums. Come out and support our church!!

Our December Fellowship Luncheon will be on Tuesday, December 11th, 12:30 pm in Annie Hall.  Please bring a dish to share and welcome in the holidays!

 

From Jim Moriarty, Music Director

“Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.” – Kahlil Gibran

I want to thank both the church chancel choir and Pat Moriarty’s Community Chorus for making this past Sunday a wonderful day of music! The anthems along with the concert were very well received.

Dec. 8 – You must include in your Holiday plans this Holiday Jazz Concert which begins at 4pm at the First Congregational Church on Deer Hill Ave. Doug Hartline and friends will present the most unique Holiday concert of its type in our surrounding areas. You might call it light jazz, or contemporary arrangements of seasonal music performed with vibraphone, guitar, bass, drums, and vocals to make for a very pleasant musical experience. There will be a requested donation of $20.

Dec. 15 – The Annual performance of the Messiah presented by the DMC will feature 80 voices and over 20 instrumentalists. The performance beginning at 3pm   will be held in our wonderful sanctuary. In the past this performance has filled our sanctuary - both balcony and downstairs. And it is free, although any donation will be requested.

Peace and Joy through Music,

Jim Moriarty

 

First Church Knitters Group.  We plan on meeting to knit and crochet at 5:30 pm in the Parlor on alternate Thursdays.  Everyone is welcome. Seasoned knitters and crocheters as well as people who want to learn to knit or crochet. Fellowship and friends meet to relax...call Heidi at 204 798 0476 or 203 826 6827 to RSVP/next date.

 
To submit article ideas for the website or Facebook, contact Greg Pings: greg_pings@hotmail.com
 

Deer Hill Thrift Shop

Great merchandise, low prices, very friendly staff.

Please consider volunteering for the holiday season – contact Pat Moriarty or Terry Hansen.

Holiday Hours – Fridays 9:30-2:30; Saturdays 10 – 3.  (Closed this Friday)

 

The Dorothy Day Overflow Shelter has opened in our gym.  We welcome our homeless guests and the volunteers who staff the shelter every night throughout the winter season.  Donations of cup-of-soup, hot chocolate and coffee are always welcome.

 

White Gifts - Food Pantry Collection for Interfaith Aids Ministry - Sunday, December 9, 2018  --  Wanted items are: Coffee (cans), tea, hot chocolate, holiday cookies, Christmas candy, candy canes, canned veggies, soups, canned meals, grocery store gift cards.

Also small toys (do not wrap) - ex. Crayons, coloring books, card games, hot wheel type cars, small dolls, stuffed animals.

 

Doug Hartline and Friends Benefit Christmas Celebration Concert in our Sanctuary, Saturday, December 8th at 4 pm. Suggested donation $20 at the door.  The concert will include unique renditions of Christmas carols, hymns and popular songs.

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The 2018 Holidays are rapidly approaching and it will be time, once again in First Church tradition, to decorate our beautiful church with POINSETTIAS.  If you would like to place an order, please contact the church office (203)744-6177 or fcdanbury@att.net. Poinsettia $15.00 each.

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E-Tidings Date: 
Thursday, December 6, 2018

Information

First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Est. 1696

Phone: (203) 744-6177
Email: fcdanbury@att.net

Office Hours:
Monday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tuesday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Thrift Shop Hours:
Friday 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Saturday 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Sunday Worship:
Sunday    10 a.m.–11 a.m.

 

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