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

E-Tidings Weekly Newsletter

Sunday, October 21, 2018

 

This Sunday:   Rev.  Dr. Michael Ciba, preaching

 

From Reverend Pat Kriss

This weekend, I am pleased to be sharing the pulpit with Reverend Michael Ciba, who is Regional Minister in the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ. Rev. Ciba has oversight of the Fairfield East Association, to which we belong, and over the Southwest Region of Connecticut.

The burning question in this Sunday’s Gospel is posed by a lawyer to Jesus. He asked, which commandment is the greatest? 

The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Love God. Love our neighbor. It can’t get any clearer than that. Probably the hardest of these two commandments is the second one, to love our neighbor. Now, neighbors can be a wonderful blessing. The thing is, however, there is no guarantee that our neighbors may be as “warm and cuddly” as a Hallmark card to get along with. I’ve lived with a neighbor who overnight started raising pigs on his property, about 150 feet away and upwind of our windows. I’ve known neighbors who went away for three weeks, never thinking to have someone check in on their home. I’ve seen that same home’s water heater rupture and flood the downstairs resident’s townhouse with six inches of water in their absence.

So, when you end up with neighbors like that, what do you do? You love them anyway. And you re-read Commandment number one. It reminds us that not only is the Lord our God one, but we, God’s children, are “all in the family,” all a unity of creation. We all bring blessings and challenges to one another.

It’s always interested me that every observant Jewish household has affixed to its front doorpost, a mezzuzah – a small cylindrical container that holds the Shema. On entering and exiting a home, we touch the mezzuzah and once again take to heart the small parchment scroll inside with its words:  ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.’ We need to be reminded to create neighbors out of strangers, and see the face of God in the other, whether they are near or far away. – Pastor Pat Kriss

Get Ready for Pumpkin Sunday on October 28! We’ll be carving up the pumpkins after church services (starting around 11:30) in two weeks, down in the Church Gym. Bring your best ideas, and help celebrate the fall with us! And don’t forget to bring your friends.

 

From Jim Moriarty, Music Director

Because the next few Sundays are our annual Stewardship Drive Sundays, the anthems for those Sundays will relate to the faith of our church as a family and the responsibilities we share.

This fall several concerts are scheduled in our beautiful sanctuary. I am listing all of them so you can mark your calendars well in advance to help with your Holiday plans.  I also want to mention that November’s Jazz Sunday is scheduled for November 11 – the second Sunday of the month and the final Sunday of our stewardship Sunday.

Nov. 3 – The Danbury Music Concert Chorus will present an evening of songs related to love in varying genres – some of which are quite comical.  Several selections are written for 4 handed piano, and one with a fifth added! Several a cappella selections will round out this evening of fine and fun music. The concert begins at 7:30. Donations will be taken at the door.

Nov. 18 – Our Annual Thanksgiving morning service.  In the afternoon The Master Chorale directed by Tina Heinrich will present their Annual Holiday Concert beginning at 3pm. Our sanctuary is usually filled for this concert which cost $25.

Dec. 2 – The Children’s Community Chorus, direct by Patricia Moriarty will present their Winter Concert at 3pm. This year, the chorus in full costumes, will be singing and moving to several selections from the Nutcracker. Other selections will round out what has become a very special popular children’s concert free to the public.

Dec. 8 – YOU must include in your Holiday plans this date. 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 which will include vibraphone, guitar, bass, drums, and vocals to make for a terrific unique experience. Additional information coming soon.

Dec. 15 – The Annual performance of the Messiah presented by the DMC will feature 80 voices and over 20 instruments. 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 a donation will be requested.

And of course for Advent and Christmas Eve, there will always be special music, special arrangements of favorite carols and new selections sung by our soloists and chancel choir.

Yes, these things may sound a little early, but our Stewardship Drive, Thanksgiving and Advent are about to happen! So lock in these dates.

Peace and Joy through Music, Jim Moriarty

 

Church School

We need one or two people that are willing to assist in the event a scheduled teacher can’t be there.  No work or prep required. Church School will not be run with only one teacher this year.

 

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.

 

Youth Group:  Our newly formed Youth Group has decided to meet every other Tuesday at   6 pm on the 3rd floor.   See Pastor Pat or Jay Duhamel for more info.

 

Join the Choir!  Singers are always welcome to join the choir - see Jim Moriarty after worship.

 
“Faith and Foam” Monday, October 22 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 Tuesday, Oct. 30th 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.

 

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. 

 

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.
Volunteers urgently needed, especially on Saturdays.  Please call the church office if you can help. Hours:  Frida 9:30 am – 2 pm; Sat. 10 am – 2pm.
 

Thanksgiving Food Collection for Interfaith Aids Ministry - November 11th.  Besides Thanksgiving items, most needed are: different kinds of pasta, sauce, canned soups, vegetables and meals in cans; also condiments.er 11

 

 

 

E-Tidings Date: 
Thursday, October 18, 2018

Sunday, October 14, 2018

This Sunday:   Jazz Sunday – Food Collection

Next Sunday:  Rev.  Dr. Micahel Ciba, preaching

 

From Reverend Pat Kriss

I have to be candid. Some of the nicest, most thoughtful people I’ve ever known have been what we would call “rich people.” After a long pre-pastoral career as a non-profit fund raiser, I’ve known my share of individuals who are unfailingly generous and aware that they are blessed.

In this week’s Gospel, however, we find ourselves brought up short by Jesus’ remarks to a rich young man about what it would take for him to earn salvation. He tells the young man that, in order to follow him, he must sell everything he has to join him. The young man leaves, grieving in a way. Jesus said to the disciples,  "How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!"  ….Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

What are we to make of this? Does Jesus really think that a wealthy person has to strip his or her life bare of material things? Most of us don’t have to worry about being extremely wealthy. But hopefully you are as perplexed by this statement as the rest of us.

The truth of the matter is, Jesus is not saying that drastic measures must be taken to be “saved.” Instead, Jesus was making it clear to the young man the truth in following Jesus is not our material goods, but our attitude toward material wealth and the importance we place upon our good fortune.  There are plenty of rich people who understand, who get the concept that they have been blessed, and who in turn use their fortune to assist others who are not so fortunate. To these belongs the Kingdom of heaven. These are “the camels” that have made themselves small and not brimming with human pride, in order to fit within the eye of the needle. There is a fascinating Jamaican-born young artist from Britain – Willard Wigan-- who, upon reading of the eye of the needle, created the camels already fitting within a tiny needle, not just as a sole animal, but as a caravan. Humility lets us let go of defining ourselves by what we own in favor of what we do for God.

On this upcoming Jazz Sunday we pause to think about it all. What is required of us to follow Jesus? What does it mean to be asked to make a sacrifice to follow him? Come join us at 10 AM to spend some time, to listen to uplifting music, and to enjoy the presence of people who welcome you to rest a while. --- Pastor Pat Kriss

 

Church School – We need one or two people that are willing to assist in the event a scheduled teacher can’t be there.  No work or prep required. Church School will not be run with only one teacher this year.

Food Collection Sunday – October 14th – We will be collecting food for Interfaith Aids Ministry. Items needed are canned coffee, soup, tuna, meals in a can, cereal, peanut butter and wrapped candy for Halloween baskets.  Items may be brought to the Sanctuary on Oct. 14 or dropped off at the church office during the week.  Thank you!!

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.

Youth Group:  Our newly formed Youth Group has decided to meet every other Tuesday at   6 pm on the 3rd floor.   See Pastor Pat or Jay Duhamel for more info.

Join the Choir!  Singers are always welcome to join the choir - see Jim Moriarty after worshi p

“Faith and Foam” Monday, October 22 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 Tuesday, Oct. 16th  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!

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. 

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.

Volunteers urgently needed, especially on Saturdays.  Please call the church office if you can help. Hours:  Frida 9:30 am – 2 pm; Sat. 10 am – 2pm.

E-Tidings Date: 
Thursday, October 11, 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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