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

E-Tidings Weekly Newsletter

Sunday -- February 17, 2019 -- Jazz Sunday

From Reverend Pat Kriss

It was so wonderful this past Sunday to conclude our Service with eight couples renewing their wedding vows. Through thick and thin, we’ve all weathered the challenges and joys of marriage. This week I came across a moving poem by one of my favorite poets, Rev. Maren Tirabassi, who writes not only about love, but about the blessings and woes that Jesus spoke about, when he gave the Sermon on the Plain. Less known and less loved by the readers of the bible, it challenges us to consider the four blessings, AND the four woes, that Jesus says awaits all of us in the way we express our love and care for others. I share her poem today for our consideration.

A Valentine’s Day Reading of Luke 6: 20-26 - By Rev. Maren Tirabassi

Blessed are you who are poor

in pink greeting cards and chocolate,

because you love someone with dementia –

for God remembers you both.

 

Blessed are you who are hungry for a love

forbidden by family or culture,

by law or religion,

by damage sustained in heart or spirit,

or by ICE agents who tear your family apart –

because God promises you

the taste of kisses.

 

Blessed are you who are shunned or bullied

in person and online,

for you will have a day

when you will see yourself in a mirror

and laugh with joy at your beauty.

 

Blessed are you when they refuse

to bake your wedding cake,

or let you show your love of country

with military service,

when they call the child you love –

“just a foster kid,”

bar the way of the therapy dog

who holds your heart together,

because your wounds do not fit

their definitions,

or turn you away in tears

from an ex-spouse’s visiting hours.

 

Re-joy in that day, for you understand

the Corinthians psalm to love

as more than a link

on a wedding planner’s website.

 

But woe to you who hoard a loving family,

rather than sharing it with the lonely,

for you are consoled now.

Woe to you who expect life

to be all honeymoon,

for you won’t be resilient to disappointment.

 

Woe to you who laugh at anyone

who is unloved,

or whose love is dismissed –

for you will never be able to take it back

when tears teach you wisdom.

 

Woe to you when all congratulate

your penmanship in life,

for you may forget the teacher

who once told you to make

a Valentine, not just for those like you,

but for everyone in class,

 

no, not the teacher in second grade --

the one two thousand years ago.

 

Save the Date for a Sweet Trip!

On Sunday, March 10 we will be going after services to Warrup’s Farm in Redding to do some maple sugaring, to enjoy the farm Zoo and to do some tasting of our own. We will work out the carpooling as we get nearer the date. Do let us know if you will go, and bring friends and grandkids as well!  Pastor Pat

 

Interfaith Aids Pantry - Have a Heart Collection – extended to Feb 17th
Toilet paper, tissues, soap, shampoo, deodorant, tooth paste & feminine products.
(Cans of coffee are always needed).

 

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 need to thank the sanctuary choir for their outstanding delivery of “Set me as a seal”. They received so many compliments. I am so proud of them!

This week is Jazz Sunday with Doug Hartline and his group. They were snowed out in January. It has been a couple of months since they have led us in worship.

“Calling all Angels” – contributions are welcomed for organ and piano tunings/repairs.

Joy and Peace through music,

Jim Moriarty

 

We are in need of a church school teacher for the younger kids starting in Sept. A church member volunteer would be great. You do not have to have kids to teach church school
If you know of a person who is not a church member please let Cindy Tyrseck know. Riley will be going to college so we need to have someone for the younger kids.

 

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 dates:  Feb.14 and 28.

Prayer Shawl Ministry:  Thus far we have many Prayer Shawls, 10 baptismal prayer shawls, 310 Pocket Prayer Shawls! They are at our Thrift Shop, in the Pastor's office and in the Church Office. They have been very well received when, in certain events all we can do is pray!  One can take as many as they think they'll need of the Pocket Prayer Shawls-after all they fit perfectly in an envelope for mailing!

 

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 – contact Pat Moriarty or Terry Hansen.

Fridays:  9:30 am – 2 pm; Saturdays 10 am – 2 pm.

 

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.

 
Bible Study:  Our next session will be on Monday, February 18th at 6 pm in the parlor off Annie Hall with food available, too. Even if you did not come before, please come and join us (call the church office before the next session so you can be sent the bible passage for that week).  Open to all!
 

Rescheduled: Our February Fellowship Luncheon will be on Tuesday, Feb. 19th at 12:30 pm in Annie Hall.  Please bring a dish to share – All Welcome!

 

Winter Closing Notifications – Listed on TV Channel 3, WFSB Hartford; call the church phone number: 203-744-6177 and there will be a message; check church Facebook page (First Church Danbury).

 

Beginning February 19th:  Children’s Community Chorus meets every Tuesday at 4:30 pm. Open to All Children – Elementary & Middle School Age – no charge, non-religious, limited enrollment. To sign up or for more info: pamort@hotmail.com or call the church office.

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E-Tidings Date: 
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Sunday -- February 10, 2019

This Sunday:  Vow Renewal / Remembrance

“Have a Heart Collection”

 

Our morning service this Sunday will feature a time to honor all relationships, including those in our congregation whose partners have gone before them to God, in a candle lighting ceremony that begins our 10 am service.

Immediately following our 10:00 service, you are cordially invited to renew your marriage vows with your spouse. This is a lovely service that, when last performed in 2016, was particularly moving.  Please call the church office or contact Pastor Pat if you would like to join in this ceremony.

 

From Reverend Pat Kriss

“Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right. And the other is the husband.” 

There’s a never-ending supply of marriage jokes in this world, and no wonder. Being married requires a wonderful sense of humor to get us through the highs and lows of the journey together. I’ve explained sometimes in pre-marital counseling that you’re not really married until you have meat loaf firmly lodged in your wedding rings, or until that point that all those personality quirks that you saw in each other as cute when you were dating, are now full-blown flaws that you see daily – and you still love one another.

Reverend T. Merton Rymph, my late pastor and the man whose prayer of dedication for the offering is the one I recite every Sunday at the Doxology, had a saying. Speaking about the inevitable little spats that almost all couples have, Mert said that one of the great things about long term marriage is, the longer you’re married, the shorter the fights get. That’s because, he said, the better you know a person, the better you know where the buttons are to push to get a rise out of them, and therefore, the tiff is over much more quickly. Mert and his wife Jackie were married over 60 years.

Why DO we get married, anyway? The legalistic minds among us might respond, so that we have rights and responsibilities to the other party in marriage, and protection for any children. The romantic among us might say that it’s because we have found a soul mate who is the yin to our yang, the butter to our bread, and that’s all that matters. But those of us who have paid attention to our bible will know, that marriage draws its strength from the most basic principle in that book, and that’s the concept of Covenant. God made a covenant with Abraham and with all humankind, so that God would be their God and they would be God’s people. When we wed, we make a solemn promise to the one we love to place their lives and happiness first in our lives. AND, in a sanctified marriage, we make that that covenant not only with our spouse but with God. It’s a three-way covenant. So yes. There’s a reason that we marry, and make that promise for life, as the old wording goes, “for richer, for poor, in sickness and in health, till death us do part.” A tall order to be sure, but long after the bouquet’s flowers have faded and crumbled, it’s in the autumn of our lives that we can look at the garden of mutual care as our reward.

So come this Sunday to our Valentines service, and at the end, join with us as we renew our wedding vows, together. You’ll be glad you did.  --- Pastor Pat Kriss

 

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 need to thank Nancy, our alto soloist, for sharing her unique musical talents during last Sunday’s service. She did a terrific job even though she was a bit ‘under the weather’.

This Sunday’s service is very special as Pastor is planning to renew wedding vows for those who would love to participate. For this service, the choir has prepared a very special anthem written by Joseph Martin.

Joy and Peace through music,

Jim Moriarty

 

Interfaith Aids Pantry - Have a Heart Collection - Feb 10th
Toilet paper, tissues, soap, shampoo, deodorant, tooth paste & feminine products
(Cans of coffee are always needed)

 

We are in need of a church school teacher for the younger kids starting in Sept. A church member volunteer would be great. You do not have to have kids to teach church school
If you know of a person who is not a church member please let Cindy Tyrseck know. Riley will be going to college so we need to have someone for the younger kids.

 

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 dates:  Feb.14 and 28.

Prayer Shawl Ministry:  Thus far we have many Prayer Shawls, 10 baptismal prayer shawls, 310 Pocket Prayer Shawls! They are at our Thrift Shop, in the Pastor's office and in the Church Office. They have been very well received when, in certain events all we can do is pray!  One can take as many as they think they'll need of the Pocket Prayer Shawls-after all they fit perfectly in an envelope for mailing!

 

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.

Fridays:  9:30 am – 2 pm; Saturdays 10 am – 2 pm.

 

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.

 

“Faith and Foam” Monday, February 11, 2019 at Three Brothers Diner in Danbury, starting at 6pm (242 White Street). If you haven’t heard of these kinds of meet-ups, they have become very popular for churches to run in communities all over the country. The intention behind the meet-ups is this: For many people because of work or other commitments, going to a house of worship on the weekend just doesn’t fit with the way their lives unfold. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a spiritual life, or, for that matter, that they don’t have questions or opinions they’d like to share about faith and religion. It’s the informal kind of discussion that lends itself to a brew or a drink among friends after work.

 

Bible Study:  Our next session will be on Monday, February 18th at 6 pm in the parlor off Annie Hall with food available, too. Even if you did not come before, please come and join us (call the church office before the next session so you can be sent the bible passage for that week).  Open to all!

 

Our February Fellowship Luncheon will be on Tuesday, Feb. 12th at 12:30 pm in Annie Hall.  Please bring a dish to share – All Welcome!

 
Winter Closing Notifications – Listed on TV Channel 3, WFSB Hartford; call the church phone number: 203-744-6177 and there will be a message; check church Facebook page (First Church Danbury).
 

Beginning February 19th:  Children’s Community Chorus meets every Tuesday at 4:30 pm. Open to All Children – Elementary & Middle School Age – no charge, non-religious, limited enrollment. To sign up or for more info: pamort@hotmail.com or call the church office.

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E-Tidings Date: 
Thursday, February 7, 2019

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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