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

E-Tidings Weekly Newsletter

Sunday, May 16, 2019

This Sunday:  Annual Meeting

From Reverend Pat Kriss

"If you are a Christian, you are not a citizen of this world trying to get to heaven;
you are a citizen of heaven making your way through this world."  -- Vance Havner, 20th Century Evangelist

In this divided world, we too often hear the purveyors of “Fear Religion” as they try to scare people into believing the way they think and vote. They scold America: “If you don’t reject (insert name of group that they despise here -- e.g. gays, blacks, women in leadership, Muslims, Jews) you’re all going to hell. If you don’t deny them membership in Christianity, God is going to destroy America, and only WE will make it to heaven.”   Lines of scripture are just as capable of being twisted as a leather belt when it’s being fashioned into a way to bind people’s reason. Revelation, which actually is a writing not of destruction and fear, but of hope, is one of most frequently twisted for the purpose of scaring people into line.

Hopefully none of us will ever fall for this kind of “theology” based on FEAR. Our scripture readings this Sunday, including from Revelation, teach us otherwise -- that God’s relationship with us is steeped in LOVE, love for the incredible world God has created and which we “sing” about in Psalm 148. We, too are a part of that Divine creation, meant to spread God’s righteous love to all people and creatures as we move through this world. We are, indeed, citizens of a heaven we haven’t seen but can only dream of, as we work our way back to God. Unfortunately too many people associate religion with exclusion and hatred, instead of the way God’s love is manifested in the world. But that’s not how we think at First Church.

If you think religion is about fear, we are that DIFFERENT kind of Christian community that says our focus has us embracing everyone for exactly who they are at this moment in their journey. Our work is all about taking that welcoming message and spreading that vision of heaven on earth, to this often sad and depressed world, to show people that Jesus Christ indeed lives in all who practice what he preaches. Join us this Sunday when our new beginnings include a double Baptism of two lovely little girls, Elyanna and Sophia Pinto. I’ll be sharing that message of joyful love with you this Sunday -- Pastor Pat Kriss

 


 “Faith and Foam” 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.


First Church Knitters Group We plan on meeting to knit and crochet at 5:30 pm in the Parlor.  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 for more info.  Upcoming date- June 13.


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.

 


Bible StudyIn 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!


The Scholarship Committee invites all members of First Church entering into college, technical school or community college after high school to apply for a Scholarship grant.  These funds are made available through the generous contributions of former and present members of our church.  All who are interested in receiving a scholarship grant must fill out an application form obtained from the church office (or can be emailed to you).  Students are eligible for a grant for a 2-year period.  Grants are awarded on an as needed basis.  The deadline is May 31st.    A high school transcript may be presented with the application.  Completed applications may be faxed to the church at 203-744-4683.

E-Tidings Date: 
Friday, May 17, 2019

Sunday, May 12, 2019

This Sunday:  Mother’s Day

Next Sunday:  Annual Meeting

From Reverend Pat Kriss

Happy Mother's Day

It’s fitting -- although entirely accidental -- that this Sunday’s New Testament Acts of the Apostles text revolves around a woman named Tabitha in Aramaic, but Dorcas in Greek. After all it is Mother’s Day. What makes Tabitha unique is that she is the ONLY woman that the New Testament names from the beginning as a disciple. As you can imagine, it must have taken a special kind of woman to be valued by society in those days of inconsequential femininity to be recognized as such. And she was.

Tabitha, a widow, didn’t stop caring for people when her husband and children were gone. Not in the slightest. Instead in this post-Easter world Tabitha began to “mother” all those in her community who needed someone to care for them: the needy, the grieving, the lonely widows like herself.

And then, in an instant, Tabitha was gone. Tabitha whose name refers to the graceful gazelle. Tabitha, full of grace for raising other people up, now needs someone to raise her up. Tabitha needs someone like Jesus, who raised from death Jairus’s daughter, by calling out a name one letter off from hers: “Talitha, arise,” Jesus said.

And so it was that Peter, now the head of the Jesus believers, answered the grieving followers’ call to come to Joppa. He found her surrounded by other widows and women who had prepared her and dressed her -- tenderly like mothers. Peter recalled that he and the other disciples had been told by Jesus that they had been given his powers-- the power to forgive, to heal, to raise others up just as Jesus did. So it is with the assurance of that power that Peter stepped forward, said “Tabitha, arise,” and watched as she did. We can easily assume that Tabitha used her renewed life on earth to continue to be a shining example, not just of womanhood and maternal caring, but of being Christ’s disciple.

In the moment of that full-fledged miracle we learn that Peter and the other disciples carry on the great work of Jesus. And we, too, are bidden in this post-modern era of hate mongering and senseless acts of violence to extend our transformative discipleship far beyond the often hollow “thoughts and prayers” that people toss out at the moment of the next school shooting or racist act. The world needs “a mother’s touch” that is all action, not all talk, a touch that heals and moves forward by doing, enfolding, and not just talking.

This Sunday, we’ll be thinking back to mothers of all kinds. Not all of our mothers were living saints like Tabitha. But some of our mothers were. However all mothers have left their mark on us, and taught us that, as much as we were forgiven for not being perfect, we need to forgive others, including Moms, for being human, but always trying to grow. -- Pastor Pat Kriss

P.S. As a special treat for Mother’s Day this Sunday, we will have Sue Gross, an English Horn and Oboe Soloist performing our musical selections!


From Jim Moriarty, Music Director

“Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God, and the permissible delight of the soul.” – Johann Sebastian Bach

I thank our choir for their wonderful harmonies during this past Sunday’s service. I also want to thank the Community Children’s Chorus for sharing their voices and talents this past Sunday. It was a wonderful day of music at first Church.

The choir is off this Sunday in recognition of Mother’s Day. A colleague of mine returns as our soloist this Sunday.

Peace and Joy through Music, Jim Moriarty


May 20 - “Faith and Foam” 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.

First Church Knitters Group We plan on meeting to knit and crochet at 5:30 pm in the Parlor.  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 for more info.  Upcoming date- June 13.


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.


 

Bible StudyOur next session will be on Tuesday, May 14 at 3 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!


 

The Scholarship Committee invites all members of First Church entering into college, technical school or community college after high school to apply for a Scholarship grant.  These funds are made available through the generous contributions of former and present members of our church.  All who are interested in receiving a scholarship grant must fill out an application form obtained from the church office (or can be emailed to you).  Students are eligible for a grant for a 2-year period.  Grants are awarded on an as needed basis.  The deadline is May 31st.    A high school transcript may be presented with the application.  Completed applications may be faxed to the church at 203-744-4683.


Our May Fellowship Luncheon is on Tuesday, May 14th at 12:30 pm in the Parlor.  Please bring a dish to share!

E-Tidings Date: 
Saturday, May 11, 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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